How the ISD Works

The ISD provides two primary interventions – Innovative Schools and Innovation Zones (I-Zones).

  1. Innovative Schools
    These are schools that have been identified by the state as low-performing schools and have been approved by the State Board of Education to be operated under the ISD by qualified Innovative School Operators. Innovative School Operators work under contract by the ISD for five years, with performance expectations that must be met annually. At the end of the contract, the schools are transitioned back to the control and management of the local school district, unless other options are agreed upon by the local school board, the ISD Superintendent and approved by the State Board of Education.
  2. Innovation Zones (I-Zones)
    If a local school district partners with the ISD for the transfer of a low-performing school for operation as an Innovative School, that district may apply and be considered for the creation of a locally controlled Innovation Zone (I-Zone). The I-Zone is a strategy that provides a group of low-performing schools within a local district the opportunity to benefit from additional flexibilities, often aligned with those provided to charter schools in the state. These zones and their schools are established and managed by a separate division in the local district, using matching funds from the state. This local I-Zone office will be managed by a proven educational leader and support team, employed by the local school district, solely focused on the improvement of these schools.