Policy Details

4115 Evaluation and Support Program

4115

PERSONNEL

EVALUATION AND SUPPORT PROGRAM

It is universally accepted that good teaching is the most important element in a sound educational program. Student learning is directly affected by teacher competence; therefore, teacher evaluation shall be accomplished using a teacher evaluation plan which demonstrates a clear link between teacher evaluation, professional development and improved student learning. (The educator evaluation and support plan or revisions must be approved annually by the State Department of Education prior to District implementation.)

The submission of the District's evaluation plans for SDE review and approval, including flexibility requests, shall take place no later than the annual deadline set by the State Department of Education.

Note: "Teacher" or "Administrator" for purposes of evaluation shall include each professional employee of the Board, below the rank of Superintendent, who holds a certificate or permit issued by the State Board of Education.

Appraisal of teaching performance should serve three purposes:

1. To raise the quality of instruction and educational services to the children of our community resulting in improved student learning.

2. To raise the standards of the teaching profession as a whole.

3. To aid the individual teacher to grow professionally, linking district-wide teacher evaluation and professional development plans.

Evaluation of teacher performance must be a cooperative, continuing process designed to improve student learning and the quality of instruction. The Superintendent shall annually evaluate or cause to be evaluated all certified employees in accordance with the teacher evaluation and support program, developed through mutual agreement with the Professional Development and Evaluation committee for the District. The required union representation on such committee shall include at least one representative from each of the teachers' and administrators' unions. The teacher shares with those who work with the teacher the responsibility for developing effective evaluation procedures and instruments and for the development and maintenance of professional standards and attitudes regarding the evaluation process.

The Board of Education shall adopt and implement a teacher evaluation and support program. Such teacher evaluation and support program shall be developed through mutual agreement with the District's Professional Development and Evaluation Committee. If unable to attain mutual agreement, the Board and the Professional Development and Evaluation Committee shall consider adopting by mutual agreement the State Board of Education (SBE) adopted model teacher evaluation and support program without any modification. Further, if the Board and the

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Professional Development and Evaluation Committee fail to agree on the SBE model, the Board, will use its statutory authority to adopt and implement a teacher evaluation program of its choice, provided such program is consistent with the SBE adopted guidelines.

The system-wide program for evaluating the instructional process and all certified personnel is viewed as one means to improve student learning and insure the quality of instruction. The evaluation plan shall include, but need not be limited to, strengths, areas needing improvement, strategies for improvement and multiple indicators of student academic growth. *Further, claims of failure to follow the established procedures of such teacher evaluation and support program shall be subject to the grievance procedure in collective bargaining agreements negotiated subsequent to July 1, 2004.

Note: The district's evaluation plan, submitted to the State Department of Education for approval, may be the district's selection of the state model evaluation plan, SEED (Connecticut's System for Educator Evaluation and Development), or a hybrid of SEED, or a district proposed alternative evaluation and support plan which fulfills the state guidelines.

The Superintendent and all employees whose administrative and supervisory duties equal at least 50% of their time shall include a minimum of fifteen hours of training in the evaluation of teachers pursuant to Section 10-151b, as part of the required professional development activity during each five-year period for reissuance of their professional educator certificate.

The State Board of Education as required has adopted guidelines for a model teacher and administrator evaluation and support program which is to provide guidance on the use of multiple indicators of student academic growth in teacher evaluations. The guidelines include, but are not limited to:


1. The use of four performance evaluations designators: exemplary, proficient, developing and below standards;

2. The use of multiple indicators of student academic growth and development in teacher and administrative evaluations;

3. Methods for assessing student academic growth and development;

4. A consideration of control factors, tracked by the state-wide public-school information system that may influence teacher performance ratings, including, but not limited to, student characteristics, student attendance and student mobility;

5. Minimum requirements for teacher evaluation instruments and procedures, including scoring systems to determine exemplary, proficient, developing and below standard ratings;

6. The development and implementation of periodic-training programs regarding the teacher evaluation and support program to be offered by the local or regional board of education or RESC to teachers whose performance is being evaluated and to administrators who are conducting the performance evaluations;


7. The provision of professional development services based on individual or group needs identified through the evaluation process;

8. The creation of individual teacher improvement and remediation plans for teachers who are rated "developing" or "below standard" in performance, designed in consultation with such teacher and his/her exclusive bargaining representative chosen pursuant to CGS 10-1536;

9. Opportunities for career development and professional growth; and

10. A validation procedure to audit evaluation ratings of "exemplary" or "below standard" evaluation ratings by the SDE or third-party entity approved by the SDE.

The Superintendent shall annually evaluate or cause to be evaluated each teacher and administrator in accordance with the teacher evaluation and support program and may conduct additional formative evaluations toward producing an annual summative evaluation.

In the event that a teacher or an administrator does not receive a summative evaluation during the school year, such individual shall receive a rating of "not rated" for that year.

Note: The SBE may waive the requirement of consistency with SBE's model guidelines for any district that, before the model guidelines are validated, (after the pilots 2012-2013), developed a teacher evaluation program that is determined by the SBE to substantially comply with the guidelines.

The Superintendent shall report to the Board by September 15th annually on the status of the evaluations. In addition, annually, by dates determined by the State Department of Education, the Superintendent shall report to the Commissioner of Education on the implementation of the teacher evaluation and support program, including the frequency of evaluations, aggregate evaluation ratings, the number of teachers and administrators not evaluated, and other requirements as determined by the State Department of Education.

Improvement and Remediation Plans

Teachers rated "below standard" or "developing" shall have a well-articulated improvement and remediation plan that:

1. is developed in consultation with the teacher and his/her union representative and is differentiated by the level of identified need and/or stage of development;

2. identifies resources, support, and other strategies to be provided by the Board to address documented deficiencies;

3. contains a timeline for implementing such measures in the same school year as the plan is issued; and

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4. provides success indicators that include a minimum overall rating of "proficient" at the end of the improvement and remediation plan.

Evaluation Training

The Board, prior to any evaluation conducted under the teacher evaluation and support program, shall conduct training programs for all evaluators and orientation for all District teachers regarding the District's teacher evaluation and support program. Such training shall provide instruction to evaluators regarding how to conduct proper performance evaluations prior to conducting an evaluation under the teacher evaluation and support program. The orientation for each teacher shall be completed before a teacher receives an evaluation under the teacher evaluation and support program.

Note: "Teacher" includes all certified employees below the rank of Superintendent.

Implementation Plan

The Board of Education recognizes that the State Board of Education (SBE) utilizes a flexible plan for the implementation of Connecticut's Educator Evaluation and Support System.

Note: Districts intending to renew or request waivers shall do so in conformity with the process and timelines established by the State Department of Education.

The District will use a District developed plan. (Such plan must have at least one variation from any of the elements/components of the SEED model.)

Beginning with the 2014-15 school year and all subsequent years, the submission of the District's evaluation plans for State Department of Education's review and approval, including flexibility requests, shall take place by annual deadlines set by the State Department of Education.

Complementary Observers

The primary evaluator for most teachers will be the school principal or assistant principal who will be responsible for the overall evaluation process, including assigning summative ratings. The District may also decide to use complementary observers to assist the primary evaluator. Complementary observers are certified educators, who may have specific content knowledge, such as department heads or curriculum coordinators. Complementary observers shall be fully trained as evaluators in order to be authorized to serve in this role.

Complementary observers may assist primary evaluators by conducting observations, including pre- and post-conferences, collecting additional evidence, reviewing student learning objectives (SLOs) and providing additional feedback. A complementary observer shall share his/her feedback with the primary evaluator as it is collected and shared with teachers.

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Primary evaluators will have sole responsibility for assigning final summative ratings. Both primary evaluators and complementary observers must demonstrate proficiency in conducting standards-based observations.

Dispute-Resolution Process

In accordance with the requirement in the "Connecticut Guidelines for Teacher Evaluation and Professional Development," in establishing or amending the local teacher evaluation plan, the Board of Education shall include a process for resolving disputes in cases where the evaluator and teacher cannot agree on goals/objectives, the evaluation period, feedback or the professional development plan.

When such agreement cannot be reached, the issue in dispute may be referred for resolution to a subcommittee of the Professional Development and Evaluation Committee (PDEC). The Superintendent and the collective bargaining unit for the District shall each select one representative from the PDEC to constitute this subcommittee, as well as a neutral party as mutually agreed upon between the Superintendent and the collective bargaining unit. In the event the designated committee does not reach a unanimous decision, the issue shall be considered by the Superintendent whose decision shall be binding. This provision is to be utilized in accordance with the specified processes and parameters regarding goals/objectives, evaluation period, feedback, and professional development contained in this document entitled "Connecticut Guidelines for Educator Evaluation." Should the process not result in resolution of a given issue, the determination regarding that issue shall be made by the Superintendent. An example will be provided within the State model.

Note: The above is an illustrative example of such a process provided by the State Board of Education.

Data Management

Annually prior to September 15, the District's Professional Development and Evaluation Committee will review and report to the Board the user experiences and efficiency of the District's data management system/platform to be used by teachers and administrators to manage the evaluation plans.

Annually, data management systems/platform to be used by teacher and administrators to manage evaluation plans shall be selected by the Board with considerations given to functional requirements/needs and efficiencies identified by the Professional Development and Evaluation Committee.

Such plans shall consider guidance pertaining to the entry of data into the District's data management system/platform needed to manage the evaluation plan. Such guidance shall address items to be entered, prohibitions pertaining to the sharing and transference of individual

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teacher data to another district or entity without consent of the teacher or administrator, limits on the access to teacher and administrator data and a process for recording authorized individuals' access to information.

Audit

The Board, if selected, will participate as required, in an audit of its evaluation program, conducted by the State Department of Education.

All teachers teaching in public schools at the elementary, middle and high school levels (including special education teachers) must be determined to be an "effective educator," as defined in the Every Student Succeeds Act. To be determined an "effective educator," a teacher must meet state certification and licensure criteria.

The reauthorized Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA) identifies special education teachers as teachers who must demonstrate competency in the core academic subjects that they teach.

The District evaluates a teacher's subject-matter competency in the core academic content areas, based on the Common Core of Teaching (CCT), using both of the following:

A. foundational skills and competencies; and

B. the discipline-based professional standards.

(cf. 4111/4211 - Recruitment and Selection)

(cf. 4131 – Professional Development)

Legal Reference: Conn. Gen. Stat. § 10-145b Teaching certificates.
Conn. Gen. Stat. § 10-151a Access of teacher to supervisory records and reports in personnel file.
Conn. Gen. Stat. § 10-151b Evaluation by superintendent of certain educational personnel. (amended by PA 04-137, P.A. 10-111, P.A. 12-116, PA 12-2 (June Special Session), PA 13-245, PA 15-5 (June Special Session)
Conn. Gen. Stat. § 10-151c Records of teacher performance and evaluation not public records.
Conn. Gen. Stat. § 10-220a(b) In-service training. Professional development. Institutes for educators. Cooperative and beginning teacher programs, regulations.
PA 11-135 An Act Concerning Implementation Dates for Secondary School Reform.
PA 12-116 An Act Concerning Education Reform (as amended by PA 13-145 An Act Concerning Revisions to the Reform Act of 2012.)
Connecticut Guidelines for Educator Evaluation, adopted by the State Board of Education, June 27, 2012.
Connecticut's System for Educator Evaluation and Development (SEED) state model evaluation system.
"Flexibility to Guidelines for Educator Evaluation" adopted by Connecticut State Board of Education, February 6, 2014
34 C.F.R. 200.55 Federal Regulations.
PL 114-95 Every Student Succeeds Act, §9213

Litchfield Board of Education
Policy Adopted: 11/9/1982
Policy Reviewed: 10/1/1998
Policy Revised 5/16/2012, 12/10/2020

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