innovative practices, better meet the needs of individual students and allow more autonomy to make decisions
at the school-level. The stated purpose of the Act is to provide additional flexibility to schools and districts for
the purpose of meeting student needs, and it is the intent of the Colorado Department of Education to interpret
the provisions of the Act broadly so as to maximize this flexibility. The Act allows a public school or group of
public schools to submit an innovation plan to its' local board of education that is designed to increase student
outcomes and strategically align the school's resources with their approach to teaching and learning. Once
approved, school district boards of education must submit the innovation plans and waiver requests to the
Colorado State Board of Education for approval.
of receiving innovation status and the process to receive innovation designation. The office is responsible
for reviewing innovation applicaitons and coordinating additional review by CDE staff in areas such as: budget
compliance, special education compliance, educator effectiveness and turnaround grant compliance. Following
review, the office then provides staff recommendations about innovation applications submitted for State Board
approval. In addition to working with schools and districts as they develop their innovation plans, the Schools of
Choice Office conducts meetings and conversations with individuals to help them identify if innovation status is
a good option for a district or school and collects innovation school data and produces an annual report on
innovation schools by March 1st.