§ 16.3. Experimental programs.

 (a)  The Secretary may approve exceptions to this chapter for the operation of experimental programs that are anticipated to improve student achievement and that meet certain unique programmatic needs of gifted students. School districts shall submit an annual application for approval of those programs. The application shall:

   (1)  Include provision for the involvement of parents, administrators and professionals in the design and ongoing review of performance.

   (2)  Include provisions for annually evaluating the program as to whether it benefits student achievement.

   (3)  Demonstrate that it has met the following criteria:

     (i)   A definition of the need that exists which necessitates an experimental program.

     (ii)   Data to support the existence of the need.

     (iii)   A description of the program, including the nature of the program, specific goals and objectives to be reached, role and function of personnel involved, and timelines for development, implementation and evaluation.

 (b)  When an experimental program has been approved for 3-consecutive years and has resulted in improved student achievement under subsection (a), annual application is not needed for the program to continue to operate.

 (c)  The Secretary may terminate an experimental program for failing to meet the objectives established in the application or for noncompliance with State law or regulations not specifically waived in the Secretary’s approval of the experimental program under subsection (a) upon 60 days notice.

 (d)  The Secretary will report annually to the Board regarding applications for experimental programs under this section and the disposition of the applications.



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