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1432 - Educator Evaluation

 Washington County School District - Approved 3-9-04; 5-8-07; 3-18-08; 8-12-08; Revised 10-8-13; Revised 10-14-14; Revised 6-14-16

1. Purpose:

The purpose of the formal educator evaluation system of the Washington County School District (referred to as District in this policy) is to insure that the best possible instruction and learning are accomplished and to provide feedback to the educator in order to promote professional growth in conjunction with the educator's plan for professional development. The evaluation process is also intended to establish behaviors that contribute to student progress.

2. Policy

The Washington County School District Board of Education understands the importance of guaranteeing that every child has an effective educator. Research shows that educator quality affects student achievement greater than any other school based variable. It is the policy of the Washington County School District to focus on preparing, recruiting, and retaining quality educators as primary strategies to boost academic achievement. By linking educator evaluation with academic standards for students and professional standards for educators, the District intends to transform educator evaluation into a more effective tool for improving instructional practice and raising student achievement.

3. Procedure for Educator Evaluation:

3.1. References/Definitions:

3.1.1. "Career Educators" has the meaning given that term in UCA 53G-11-501(2). http://le.utah.gov/~code/TITLE53A/htm/53A08a020100.htm

3.1.2. "Designee" as it pertains to a principal's designee in this specific policy, is a district or school administrator holding an active administrative endorsement assigned to be paid from the administrative salary schedule, excluding staff developers.  This designation is not applicable to the Superintendent's designee.

3.1.3. "Educator" means an individual licensed under Utah Code Section 53A-6-104 who, as a condition of licensure, is required to comply with the standards and requirements of Utah Administrative Rule R277-530 and R277-531.  For the purpose of this policy an educator does not include individuals who work less than three hours per day or who are hired for less than half of a school year.

3.1.4. “Effectiveness Standards” means the Utah Effective Teaching and Educational Leadership Standards found in Utah Administrative Code R277-530 located on-line at: http://www.rules.utah.gov/publicat/code/r277/r277-530.htm

3.1.5. “Formative Evaluation” means evaluations that provide Educators with feedback on how to improve their performance. The Administrator conducting a Formative Evaluation may review applicable and available Educator Evaluation Multiple Lines of Evidence to include, but not limited to observations, evidence, Educator effectiveness, stakeholder input, student growth and information obtained from at least two Walk-through Evaluations. This information may be used to “re-validate” the most recent Summative Evaluation or as a basis to conduct a formal Summative Evaluation.   Formative Educator Evaluation is based on the Effectiveness Standards.

3.1.6. "EYE" has the meaning given that term in Utah Administrative Rules: R277-522. Entry Years Enhancements (EYE) for Quality Teaching - Level 1 Utah Educators. http://www.usoe.k12.ut.us/cert/other/EYE.htm

3.1.7. “Joint Educator Evaluation Committee” has the meaning given that term by UCA 53G-11-506, and shall consist of four classroom teachers, four parents, and four administrators appointed by the Washington County School District Board of Education.  Membership in the committee is temporary.  The term of membership is four years unless otherwise extended or discontinued by the Board.

3.1.8. "Misconduct" means conduct that is designated as a cause for termination or disciplinary action under Section 53A-8a-501, a violation of District Policy or a reason for license discipline by the State Board of Education or as a basis for action recommended by the Utah Professional Practices Advisory Commission.  Misconduct also includes, but is not limited to, a violation of work rules; a violation of Board policies, State Board of Education rules, directives issued by an administrator or supervisor, or law; a violation of standards of ethical, moral, or professional conduct; or insubordination.

3.1.9. “Probationary Educator” means an Educator employed by the District who has been advised by the District that the Educator’s performance is inadequate and is placed on a Plan of Assistance.  The term may also include an Educator who is placed on “Formal Probation” for Misconduct.  Educators placed on Formal Probation for Misconduct are not granted additional entitlements, rights, opportunities, or benefits as a condition of this policy.

3.1.10. "Provisional Educator" has the meaning given that term in UCA § 53A-8a-201.  Specifically, a provisional employee must work for the Washington County School District on at least a half-time basis for three consecutive years to obtain career employee status.  The District may extend the provisional status of an employee up to an additional two consecutive years as specified in this policy.

3.1.11. “Summative Evaluation” means evaluations that are used to make annual decisions or ratings of Educator performance and may inform decisions on salary, continued employment, personnel assignments, transfers, or dismissals.

3.1.12. "Temporary Educators" has the meaning given that term in District Policy 1100. While temporary educators will be evaluated annually, temporary Educators serve at the will of the District and may be terminated at any time at the sole discretion of the District regardless of evaluation outcome. Compliance or failure to comply with this policy will not provide an expectation of continued employment or provide additional rights for at-will or temporary Educators.

3.1.13. “Unsatisfactory performance” means a deficiency in performing work tasks which may be due to insufficient or undeveloped skills, lack of knowledge or aptitude, poor attitude, or insufficient effort; and remediated through training, study, mentoring, practice, or greater effort. Unsatisfactory performance does not include Misconduct.

3.1.14. “Utah Effective Teaching Standards” identified in Utah Administrative Rule R277-530.

3.1.15. Utah Code governing Educator Evaluations is contained in Utah Code 53G-11 sections 506 to 511.

3.2. Educator Evaluation Training and Notification

3.2.1. The District will explain the evaluation process and provide comprehensive training and implementation guidance to principals, with follow-up training as needed. The assistant superintendents over secondary and elementary education will monitor and enforce compliance and intervene as necessary.

3.2.2. Principals will notify Educators of the evaluation process, provide a copy of the instrument, and conduct a group meeting to explain the purpose of, procedure, and the methods used to evaluate Educators at least 15 days before an Educator's first evaluation.  Evaluations may not occur prior to the orientation.

3.2.3. All Educators, to include Career Educators, shall complete a self-assessment and professional growth goals using the Effectiveness Standards no later than 15 days following the Principal’s group meeting.

3.3. Provisional Educator Evaluation and Mentor Assistance

3.3.1. The principal of a provisional Educator shall assign a mentor teacher to work with the provisional Educator.  The mentor shall assist the provisional Educator to become effective and competent in the teaching profession and school system.  The mentor teacher shall not serve as an evaluator of the provisional Educator.  While the mentor teacher shall provide reasonable guidance and direction, based on observation and knowledge, it shall be the ultimate responsibility of the provisional Educator to seek advice and assistance as necessary from the mentor teacher. 

3.3.2. Provisional Educators will receive a Summative Evaluation using the District Educator Evaluation Instrument at least twice each year. The first of two evaluations shall occur prior to December 1st and the second shall occur prior to April 1st. Administrators shall share and discuss summative ratings with provisional educators within 15 days of the observation.

3.3.3. The second lowest level of four levels of performance for Provisional Educators shall be designated as “emerging effective.”  If a Provisional Educator receives a rating of emerging effective, it shall not result in a withholding of advancement on the salary schedule.

3.4. Career Educator Evaluation:

3.4.1. Career Educators shall participate in and receive a Summative Evaluation at least once every three years.  A Career Educator may be subject to additional Summative Evaluations at any time based on information obtained during the Formative Evaluation process, if any of the Lines of Evidence suggests a need for a Summative Evaluation, or if the Educator’s Administrator has reason to believe it would helpful. 

3.4.2. All Career Educators shall participate in at least one annual Formative Evaluation. 

3.5.  Educator Evaluation Process

3.5.1.  The District’s Evaluation Instrument shall be based on the Utah Effectiveness Standards:

3.5.2.  Educator Evaluation Multiple Lines of Evidence: Self Evaluation: Each Educator shall engage in a self-assessment and develop a professional growth plan using the Effectiveness Standards no later than 15 days following the principal’s group meeting to explain the purpose of and the methods used to evaluate Educators. Educators shall use the District on-line tool to conduct their self-assessment and document their professional growth plan. Instruction: The District will measure effective, consistent, and meaningful instruction using the principles and guidelines outlined in the Effectiveness Standards.  This is primarily accomplished and documented using the District Evaluation Instrument through a reasonable number of observations and other indicators of instructional knowledge, skill, and ability. Student Achievement:  The District will measure student growth using assessment data as required by Administrative Rule and State Code. Parent and Student Input: Parents and students will be given the opportunity to provide input using available tools and web-based surveys.  Data will be recorded and measured for both elementary and secondary schools to provide feedback on school climate and educator effectiveness. PLC Effectiveness: WCSD will also use as part of an educator's overall performance score, Team Effectiveness measured through: PLC participation, ensuring the expected effective completion of their team's section of the CSIP, department/team performance scores, and school-wide scores, thus expecting to maintain PLC's and the PLC process within the school and district. Random Evaluation: (Walk-through Evaluation) At any time the principal or designee may randomly and informally evaluate an Educator and record observations using the applicable Effectiveness Standards and evaluation instruments. Additional Evaluation Evidence:

• Portfolio Evidence

• Completed Professional Development

• Student or parent expressed praise or concerns

• Peer feedback or expressed praise or concerns

3.5.3. Summative Evaluation: Differentiated Levels of Performance:

• Highly Effective

• Effective

• Third level based on license level

- Emerging Effective –provisional or in the first year of a new subject, grade level or school assignment.

- Minimally Effective – Career Educators

• Not Effective Components and Weight: Educators shall receive a Summative Evaluation score based on a formula using guidance from USOE that considers three weighted components;

• Educational Effectiveness,

• Stakeholder Input, and

• Student Growth.

Each component will be measured by one or more of the Multiple Lines of Evidence.  The Summative Evaluation system shall align with the above four differentiated levels of performance: The administrator responsible for an Educator's Summative Evaluation shall allow the Educator to make a written response to any part of the Summative Evaluation and attach the Educator's response to the evaluation. Within 15 calendar days after the Summative Evaluation process is completed, the administrator shall discuss the written evaluation with the Educator and any revision of the written evaluation made after the discussion. The Administrator shall electronically file the evaluation and any related reports or documents and provide the Educator electronic access to the file. Administrators shall share and discuss summative ratings with career educators by April 1st of each year.  The evaluating administrator may conduct further Formative or Summative Evaluations throughout the school year and if needed hold a teacher conference, develop a performance improvement plan, a Plan of Assistance, or adjust the Summative Evaluation rating as needed.

3.5.4. Summative Rating Review: A career educator who is not satisfied with a Summative Evaluation rating may request a review of the evaluation within 15 days after receiving the written evaluation. If a review is requested, the Superintendent or the Superintendent's Designee shall appoint a person not employed by the District who has expertise in teacher or personnel evaluation to review the evaluation procedures and make recommendations to the superintendent regarding the Educator's Summative Evaluation in accordance with USOE guidelines.

3.5.5. Wage Increase and Legislative Supplemental Salary Adjustments An Educator that receives the lowest level (“Not Effective”) on the most recent evaluation may not advance on the salary schedule. A Not Effective Rating shall constitute a summative rating of less than satisfactory and subject the Educator to withholding of the most recent legislative allocated salary adjustment pursuant to UCA § 53F-2-405, and Administrative Rule R277-110.  

3.6. Educator Deficiencies:

3.6.1. Notice of Improvement: The administrator shall give an Educator whose performance is inadequate or in need of improvement a written document clearly identifying:

• specific, measurable, and actionable deficiencies;

• the available resources that will be provided for improvement; and

• a recommended course of action that will improve the Educator's performance. The Educator is responsible for improving performance, including using any resources identified by the District, and demonstrating acceptable levels of improvement in the designated areas of deficiencies. An administrator is not required to remediate an Educator with a Notice of Improvement if the Educator's unsatisfactory performance was documented for the same deficiency within the previous three years and a plan of assistance was implemented.

3.6.2. Plan of Assistance: If the District intends to not renew a career employee's contract for unsatisfactory performance or terminate a career employee's contract during the contract term for unsatisfactory performance, the District shall:

• provide and discuss with the career employee written documentation clearly identifying the deficiencies in performance;

• provide written notice that the career employee's contract is subject to non-renewal or termination if, upon a reevaluation of the career employee's performance, the career employee's performance is determined to be unsatisfactory;

• develop and implement a plan of assistance in an attempt to allow the career employee an opportunity to improve performance;

• re-evaluate the career employee's performance; and

• if the career employee's performance remains unsatisfactory, give notice of intent to not renew or terminate the career employee's contract. The period of time for implementing a Plan of Assistance:

• may not exceed 120 school days, except as provided in this policy;

• may continue into the next school year;

• should be sufficient to successfully complete the plan of assistance; and

• shall begin when the career employee receives the written notice provided under and end when the determination is made that the career employee has successfully remediated the deficiency. An administrator may extend the period of time for implementing a plan of assistance beyond 120 school days if:

• a career employee has been approved and qualifies for leave under the Family Medical Leave Act during the time period the plan of assistance is scheduled to be implemented; or

• For other compelling reasons as approved by the Board if the leave was scheduled before the employee was placed on a Plan of Assistance. If upon a reevaluation of the career employee's performance, the District determines the career employee's performance is satisfactory, and within a three-year period after the initial documentation of unsatisfactory performance for the same deficiency, the career employee's performance is determined to be unsatisfactory, the District may elect to not renew or terminate the career employee's contract without implementing a new Plan of Assistance. If the District intends to not renew or terminate a career employee's contract for performance under this section, the District will provide written documentation of the career employee's deficiencies in performance; and give notice of intent to not renew or terminate the career employee's contract.

3.7. Nothing in this Policy shall prevent the District from taking appropriate disciplinary action for Misconduct defined in this Policy, the Utah Code, Utah Administrative Rule, or District Policy 1450.

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