Innovative Education Pilot Program

Public school districts (excluding community schools), educational service centers and chartered nonpublic schools may use this form to apply to the Ohio Department of Education for the Innovative Education Pilot Program. Ohio law authorizes the state superintendent to waive certain state statutes and rules to implement an innovative program. “Innovative education pilot program” means an innovative practice new to a district or building. It requires a limited time pilot period to implement. At the end of the allowable pilot period, the applicant can sustain the program. 

The Innovative Education Pilot Program is intended to encourage innovative practice. Applications must propose an innovation beyond waiver days for professional development or establishing an alternative school as described in state law.

The state superintendent cannot waive statutes and rules related to retirement system requirements, staff employment, educating children with disabilities, student health and safety, Education Management Information System, administering achievement and graduation tests, educating gifted students, calculating school funding and graduation requirements. 

To be considered for approval, requests must include: 

  • The completed application form
  • A letter of support or resolution with the signature of the local school board president or treasurer; 
  • A letter of support with the signature of the local superintendent/building leader; 
  • A letter of support with the signature of the professional staff bargaining unit leader; 
  • A copy of the 2019-2020 school calendar with testing dates indicated; 
  • An end-of-year report for the most recently approved Innovation Pilot waiver; and 
  • A brief program description of five or fewer pages that describes the proposed Innovative Education Pilot Program. Ohio Administrative Code says the description must consist of: 
    • A detailed description of the proposed Innovative Education Pilot Program that includes measurable outcomes, performance indicators and a method of evaluation; 
    • A description of the expected cost of the Innovative Education Pilot Program; 
    • A detailed timeline for planning, implementation and evaluation; 
    • A list of specific statutory provisions and/or rules for which the applicant is asking for exemption, including rationale for each exemption request and a specific time period for each exemption.

Applicants must do the following:

  • Combine the three support letters and summary into one document with signatures of all three parties;
  • Combine the request application and all supporting documents into a single PDF;
  • Submit an annual end-of-year report of an approved request to the Department by June 30, 2020. Failure to submit the report will result in future exclusion from Innovation Pilot consideration.

The Department of Education:

  • Will deny a pilot program request without all the required assurances;
  • Must approve a pilot request before its use; and
  • Must receive the complete pilot request at least 45 days prior to the first requested date and no later than 45 days before the planned implementation date. 

The project summary should be no more than five pages. Please refer to the application cover page to ensure that all required documents are included. Combine all documents into a single PDF, and submit to at least 45 days prior to the planned implementation date. 


Last Modified: 4/1/2019 10:42:09 AM