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Innovation Schools

The Innovation Schools Act (§ 22-32.5-102, C.R.S.) 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 zone 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 CDE Schools of Choice Unit works to inform boards, districts, schools and individuals about process of applying to be an innovation school or zone.  The office also monitors the performance of innovation schools and produces an annual report for the legislature.

Data and Statistics

Annual Reports 

2023 Districts of Innovation Annual Report


Janyse Skalla, Senior Policy Consultant