The Innovation Schools Act provides a pathway for schools and districts to obtain greater individual school autonomy and managerial flexibility in order to implement diverse approaches to learning. The Act allows schools greater control over matters such as educational programming, personnel selection and evaluation, calendars and scheduling, and budgeting. Under the Act, a public school or group of public schools may submit an innovation plan to a local board of education outlining the innovative practices the school or schools intend to implement and identifying the state laws or rules and local policies that the school(s) seek to waive. Once approved by a local board of education, the district submits the innovation plans and waiver requests to the Colorado State Board of Education for approval.
The Schools of Choice Office works to inform boards, districts, schools and individuals about process of applying to be an innovation school or zone. The department also monitors the performance of innovation schools and produces an annual report for the legislature.
Data and Statistics
- List of Innovation Schools Approved by State Board (by District and Approval Date) (Updated January 6, 2017)
- Approved State Waivers-Innovation Schools (Updated January 6, 2017)
- 2014-15 Innovation Schools by District (Updated June 2015)
- 2014-15 Enrollment by School and Grade Level (Updated June 2015)
- 2014-15 Pupil Percentage by District (Updated June 2015)
- 2014-15 Innovation School Enrollment Demographics (Updated June 2015)
- 2014-15 % Free and Reduced Price Lunch Eligible Students (Updated June 2015)
- Archive: innovation school applications and supporting documents
- 2017 Districts of Innovation Annual Report
- 2016 Districts of Innovation Annual Report
- 2015 Districts of Innovation Annual Report
- 2013 Districts of Innovation Annual Report
- 2012 Districts of Innovation Annual Report
- 2011 Districts of Innovation Annual Report
- 2010 Districts of Innovation Annual Report
Submitting an Innovation Plan
Please note: CDE does not allow Zip files to come through our email server. Send an email to confirm receipt of your submission or to share the files via Syncplicity.
- Guidance for the Innovation Schools Act (updated Aug. 2013)
- Innovation Plan Cover Page-MUST SUBMIT AS FIRST PAGE OF THE INNOVATION PLAN!
- Innovation Guidance Appendix A Checklist
- Application Process Flowchart
- State Board of Education Innovation Schools Act Procedures
- S.B. 10-191 Guidance for Innovation Schools
- Memo for Innovation Schools seeking to waiver teacher licensure
- Options for Autonomous Schools in Colorado: A Handbook for School and District Leaders
- FACT Sheet on Innovation Schools
- FACT Sheet on Innovation School Waiver Requests (12/28/15)
Brian Martin, Schools of Choice