DG – Policy Exhibit 1

Policy Exhibit #1DG

[Pursuant to Utah Code § 53G-11-506, a district educator evaluation program is to be developed by each Board of Education in consultation with its joint educator evaluation committee. This Exhibit, which contains the basic elements required by statute and regulation, is meant to provide a template for consideration and discussion by the committee and Board of Education in establishing the evaluation program and the evaluation program adopted by the Board in consultation with the committee should reflect the particular decisions of the Board and committee.]

EDUCATOR EVALUATION

PURPOSE

The purpose of the formal educator evaluation system of the Garfield 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.

POLICY

The Garfield County School District Board of Education understands the importance of ensuring that every child has an effective educator. Research shows that educator quality affects student achievement more than any other school based variable. It is the policy of the Garfield 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.

REFERENCES/DEFINITIONS

  1. “Administrator” is an individual who holds an appropriate license issued by the State Board and supervises educators.
  2. “Career Educator” has the meaning given that term in Utah Code § 53G-11-501(2) and incorporates the requirements for career employee status in Utah Code § 53G-11-503
  3. “Designee” as it pertains to a principal’s designee in this specific policy, is a district or school administrator holding an active administrative endorsement or pursuing such endorsement. This designation is not applicable to the Superintendent’s designee.
  4. “Educator” means an individual licensed under Utah Code § 53E-6-201 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, nor does it include the District superintendent
  5. “Effectiveness Standards” means the Utah Effective Teaching Standards and Educational Leadership Standards established by the State Board of Education and set forth in Utah Administrative Rule R277-530-5 and Utah Administrative Rule R277-530-6.
  6. “Formative Evaluation” means a formal evaluation that takes place yearly and provides Educators with information and assessments 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.
  7. “EYE” has the meaning given that term in Utah Administrative Rule R277-522, Entry Years Enhancements (EYE) for Quality Teaching – Level 1 Utah Teachers.
  8. “Joint Educator Evaluation Committee” has the meaning given that term by Utah Code § 53G-11-506, and shall consist of four classroom teachers, four parents, and four administrators appointed by the Garfield County 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.
  9. “Misconduct” means conduct that is designated as a cause for termination or disciplinary action under Utah Code § 53G-11-512 or Utah Code § 53G-11-501(15)(b), including 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. 
  10. “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 and the remediation provisions do not apply.
  11. “Provisional Educator” has the meaning given that term in Utah Code § 53G-11-503. Specifically, an educator must work for the 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.
  12. “Summative Evaluation” means the annual evaluation that summarizes an Educator’s performance during a school year and that is used to make decisions related to the Educator’s employment, including decisions on salary, continued employment, personnel assignments, transfers, or dismissals. The Summative Evaluation will be used to help maintain effectiveness in teaching.
  13. “Temporary Educators” has the meaning given that term in District Policy DHA. 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.
  14. “Unsatisfactory performance” means a deficiency in performing work tasks which may be due to insufficient or undeveloped skills, or lack of knowledge or aptitude; and remediated through training, study, mentoring, practice, or greater effort. Unsatisfactory performance does not include Misconduct.
  15. “Utah Effective Teaching Standards” are set forth in Utah Administrative Rule R277-530-5.
  16. Utah Code governing Educator Evaluations is contained in Utah Code Title 53G, Chapter 11, Part 5.
  17. State Board of Education regulations regarding educator evaluations are set forth in Utah Admin. Rules R277-531 and R277-533

Educator Evaluation Training and Notification

The District will explain the evaluation process and provide comprehensive training and implementation guidance to principals, require state evaluator certification and provide follow-up training as needed. District leadership will monitor and enforce compliance and intervene as necessary.

Provisional Educator Evaluation and Mentor Assistance

  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. 
  2. Provisional Educators will receive an annual Summative Evaluation using the District Educator Evaluation Instrument. The evaluation shall occur prior to March 1st. Administrators shall share and discuss summative ratings with provisional educators within 15 days of the observation. 
  3. Provisional Educators will receive formative evaluations as determined to be appropriate by the supervising administrator.
  4. 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 the most recent legislative allocated salary adjustment.

Career Educator Evaluation

  1. Career Educators shall participate in and receive an annual Summative Evaluation. 
  2. All Career Educators shall participate in at least one annual Formative Evaluation, or such additional Formative Evaluations as determined to be appropriate by the supervising administrator. 

Educator Evaluation Process

  1. The District’s Evaluation Instrument shall be based on the Utah Effectiveness Standards:
  2. Educator Evaluation Multiple Lines of Evidence:
    1. Self-Evaluation: Each Educator shall engage in a self-assessment and develop a professional growth plan using the Effectiveness Standards no later than 30 days before the Summative Evaluation. Educators shall use the District on-line tool to conduct their self-assessment and document their professional growth plan.
    2. 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.
    3. Student Academic Growth: The District will measure student academic growth using:
      1. Learning goals measuring long-term outcomes linked to the appropriate specific content knowledge and skills from the Utah Core Standards;
      2. Assessments; and
      3. Targets for incremental monitoring of student academic growth.
    4. Stakeholder 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.
    5. 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.
    6. Supervisor Observations: Evaluation will include a reasonable number of supervisor observations, sufficient in number to ensure adequate reliability. These observations shall meet the requirements of Utah Admin. Rules R277-533-4.
    7. Professional Growth: Evaluation will address evidence of professional growth and other indicators of instructional improvement based on the Utah Effective Teaching Standards.
    8. For Administrators, the evaluation shall include employee input and also shall assess the Administrator’s effectiveness in evaluating the employee performance in a school for which the Administrator has responsibility or within the Administrator’s assignment within the District.
  3. Additional Evaluation Evidence:
    1. Portfolio Evidence
    2. Completed Professional Development
    3. Student or parent written praise or concerns
    4. Peer feedback or written praise or concerns
    5. PLC participation
    6. Archived evidence 
  4. Summative Evaluation:
    1. Differentiated Levels of Performance (third level based on license level):
      1. Highly Effective
      2. Effective
      3. Emerging Effective (applies to educators who hold Level 1 licenses, or are being served by the District’s EYE program, or received a new or different teaching or leadership assignment in the last school year, or are developing in that new area)
      4. Minimally Effective (applies to educators who hold a Level 2 license and are teaching or leading in a familiar assignment)
      5. Not Effective
    2. Components and Weight: Educators shall receive a Summative Evaluation rating based on:
      1. Actual observations of the educator’s performance; and
    3. Educator, evaluator, student academic growth, or other stakeholder data gathered, calculated, or observed that is aligned with standards and rubrics. 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.
    4. The administrator responsible for an Educator’s Summative Evaluation shall allow the Educator to respond and gather evidence to any part of the Summative Evaluation and, if the response is written, attach the Educator’s response and evidence to the evaluation.
    5. Within 15 calendar days after the Summative Evaluation process is completed, the administrator shall discuss the written evaluation and evidence provided with the Educator and based on the Educator’s performance assign one of the four levels of performance.
    6. Administrators shall share and discuss summative ratings with career educators by the first Monday in March of each year. The evaluating administrator may conduct further Formative Evaluations throughout the school year and if needed hold a teacher conference, develop a performance improvement plan, a Plan of Assistance, and adjust the Summative Evaluation rating as appropriate following additional evaluation.
  5. Summative Rating Review:
    1. A career educator who is not satisfied with a Summative Evaluation rating may in writing request a review of the evaluation within 15 days after receiving the written evaluation.
    2. If a review is requested, the Superintendent or the Superintendent’s Designee shall appoint a person not employed by the District who is a certified rater and who has expertise in educator evaluation to review the evaluation procedures and make written findings reported to the superintendent regarding the Educator’s Summative Evaluation in accordance with Utah Admin. Rules R277-533-8.
    3. Upon receipt of the written findings, the District shall determine if the evaluation was issued in accordance with the District’s evaluation policies, the requirements of the performance standards, Utah Code Title 53G, Chapter 11, Utah Administrative Rule R277-531, and Utah Administrative Rule R277-533.
  6. Wage Increase and Legislative Supplemental Salary Adjustments
    1. 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 being placed on probation and to withholding of the most recent legislative allocated salary adjustment pursuant to Utah Code § 53F-2-405(4)(c) and Utah Administrative Rule R277-110-3
    2. An Educator that receives the second-lowest level on an evaluation (“minimally/emerging effective”) may not advance a step on the district salary schedule, unless that Educator is provisional or in the first year of a new subject, grade level, or school assignment.
    3. The following events will subject the Educator to an interim withholding of the most recent legislative allocated salary adjustment until completion of the identified requirements regardless of evaluation results.
      1. Failure to complete EYE, Alternative Route to Licensure, or other licensing requirements within State Board or District authorized time limits until such requirements are completed. Teacher salary adjustments will resume the month following satisfactory completion of omitted requirements.
      2. Placement on a District level Counseling/Probation form will result in a withholding of the most recent legislative allocated salary adjustment for a period of one year (12 months) commencing at the beginning of the next contract year following the issue date of the formal notice, regardless of evaluation results. 
  7. Educator Deficiencies:
    1. Notice of Improvement:
      1. The administrator shall give an Educator whose performance is inadequate or in need of improvement (evaluated as minimally effective or not effective) a written document clearly identifying:
        1. specific, measurable, and actionable deficiencies;
        2. the available resources that will be provided for improvement; and
        3. a recommended course of action that will improve the Educator’s performance.
      2. 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. The educator must sign the Notice of Improvement. (If the educator refuses to sign the Notice, the administrator will sign the Notice with a note stating in substance that the Educator was given a copy of the Notice of Improvement on the date but refused to sign it.)
      3. 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.
    2. Plan of Assistance:
      1. If the District intends to not renew a career educator’s contract for unsatisfactory performance or terminate a career educator’s contract during the contract term for unsatisfactory performance, the District shall:
        1. provide and discuss with the career educator written documentation clearly identifying the deficiencies in performance;
        2. provide written notice that the career educator’s contract is subject to non-renewal or termination if, upon a reevaluation of the career educator’s performance, the career educator’s performance is determined to be unsatisfactory;
        3. develop and implement a plan of assistance in an attempt to allow the career educator an opportunity to improve performance;
        4. re-evaluate the career educator’s performance; and
        5. if the career educator’s performance remains unsatisfactory, give notice of intent to not renew or terminate the career educator’s contract.
      2. The period of time for implementing a Plan of Assistance:
        1. may not exceed 120 school days, except as provided in this policy;
        2. may continue into the next school year;
        3. should be sufficient to successfully complete the plan of assistance; and
        4. shall begin when the career educator receives the written notice of deficient performance and end when the determination is made that the career educator has successfully remediated the deficiency or when the notice of intent to terminate is given.
      3. An administrator may extend the period of time for implementing a plan of assistance beyond 120 school days if:
        1. a career educator 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
        2. For other compelling reasons as approved by the Board if the leave was scheduled before the employee was placed on a Plan of Assistance.
      4. If upon a reevaluation of the career educator’s performance, the District determines the career educator’s performance is satisfactory, and within a three-year period after the initial documentation of unsatisfactory performance the career educator’s performance is determined to be unsatisfactory for the same deficiency, the District may elect to not renew or terminate the career educator’s contract without implementing a new Plan of Assistance.
      5. If the District intends to not renew or terminate a career educator’s contract for performance under this section, the District will provide written documentation of the career educator’s deficiencies in performance; and give notice of intent to not renew or terminate the career educator’s contract.
      6. Nothing in this Policy shall prevent the District from taking appropriate disciplinary action for Misconduct as defined in this Policy, the Utah Code, Utah Administrative Rule, or District Policy DHA.
      7. At the conclusion of the post observation conference, the employee has 15 school days to request one additional evaluation. The additional evaluation may be conducted by the same administrator or one selected by the district.