Teacher Evaluation FAQ

Overall Process
SMART Goals
Document Log
Observations

Overall Process

What support can I expect?

  • Each school has professional development funds and materials and equipment funds. The school administrator is responsible for decisions regarding how those funds are allocated.
  • The Central Office has limited funds for university courses for which you may apply.
  • Department of Teaching and Learning Supervisors and Specialists may be called on for assistance.
  • The Professional Learning Supervisor may be contacted for support.
  • The building administrator is a collaborator with the teacher.
  • Teacher scholarships are available through Human Resources.

What happens if a successful teacher has performance problems?
As described in this handbook, a Performance Improvement Plan may be initiated.

What if a teacher does not agree with the establishment of a Performance Improvement Plan?
The institution of the Performance Improvement Plan process is not grievable. However, if there is a disagreement about whether or not the actions necessary to improve performance have been accomplished, the employee may submit a written statement to the Assistant Superintendent for Human Resources or designee. The statement must be submitted no later than ten working days after the employee has been notified that performance has not improved. The statement shall be attached to the employee’s Performance Improvement Plan and shared with the employee’s supervisor for further consideration.

What from the process is kept in my personnel folder?
The Interim and Summative Evaluation are submitted to Human Resources, via the Human Resources management system and are kept from evaluation cycle to evaluation cycle.

If I disagree with my evaluation, what course of action can I take?
A teacher may submit to the Human Resources a written response to his/her evaluation under a separate cover (as noted in PIP 35-7.2 T-Scale Evaluation).

How is the evaluation cycle related to the Career Advancement Program (CAP)?
The CAP program is an optional program for all non-probationary teachers who have at least 5 years of T-Scale APS service and are not on a performance improvement plan. CAP does not replace your evaluation cycle.

If I have questions concerning the teacher evaluation process whom should I contact?
You should contact the Office of Professional Learning, 703.228.2113. You may be referred to Human Resources at 703.228.6110.

Am I considered a teacher or an educational specialist? I am not sure which standards to use or which type of SMART Goal to write.
Most positions clearly fall into one category or the other. There are a few positions that may fall into one category or the other depending on how they are used in their school. If you are unclear about which category you fall in, have a conversation with your administrator where you look at the standards in Part II of the handbook. Have your evaluator clarify which standards they expect you to be following based on the job that you do in your school. This will determine which standards you are required to meet and which type of SMART Goal you will set.

What information is being shared with the state regarding teacher evaluation ratings?
“Virginia is exempt from certain reporting requirements under State Fiscal Stabilization Fund (SFSF) Descriptors. Virginia is no longer required to collect and report the number and percentage of teachers and principals rated at each performance evaluation rating through the Teacher and Principal Evaluation Collection (TPEC).”

Is there a cap on the number of teachers that can be rated as highly effective?
There is no cap on the number of teachers that can be rated as highly effective. Rating should truly reflect teacher performance.

SMART Goal

When do I have to turn in my SMART Goal to my administrator?
“Teachers complete a draft of their goals and schedule a meeting with their evaluators to look at the available data from performance measures and discuss the proposed goal. Each year, teachers are responsible for submitting their final goals to their evaluator within the first six weeks of school. “ Your evaluator may ask to meet with you to develop your SMART goal at any point within those first six weeks. If you need to make adjustments to your SMART goal after it has been submitted you should consult with your evaluator and discuss revisions in light of new data or information that may be available to you.

Do the SMART goals over the two interim years and summative year have to be inter- related in terms of focus or building on the results from the prior year?
As stated in the handbook on page 15, “Each teacher, using the results of an initial assessment, sets an annual goal for improving student/learner achievement or program progress. A new goal is identified each year.”

Do you turn in test results and products with the SMART Goal for Student Progress Form?
No, you do not turn in individual assessments for each student. Teachers summarize the assessment results and include them with the SMART Goal for student progress form. It is important to review these with your administrator as each teacher develops the SMART goal for student progress form.

Can my SMART Goal focus on just one student?
You should avoid focusing your goal on one student if at all possible. If you only work with students one-on-one or in small groups then think about whether or not you work with another group of learners (such as teachers).

Can my SMART Goal Setting for Student Progress form change over the year?
Yes, the SMART Goal may be revised in collaboration with the evaluator. After the conversation and agreement on what to adjust, the teacher makes revisions to the SMART goal form, dates it and the evaluator initials the updates.

Are there any components that have to be part of my SMART Goal Setting for Student Progress Form?
The SMART Goal for Student Progress Form must have all the components indicated on the form.

What if I do not achieve my SMART Goal?
The SMART Goal Setting for Student Progress Form is one of multiple measures of teacher performance.

Can a team of teachers submit the same SMART Goal Setting for Student Progress Form?
With administrator’s approval, a team of teachers can have similar SMART Goals. The form will represent the data for each individual teacher’s students and should reflect each individual’s approach to the SMART Goal.

Can a probationary or part-time employee be part of a team working collaboratively on a group SMART Goal?
Yes, but as described above each teacher’s SMART goal needs to focus on individual needs of students assigned to each teacher.

What happens if my administrator and I can’t agree on a SMART Goal Setting for Student Progress details?
You and your administrator should discuss the details and work toward agreement. Ultimately the administrator has the authority in establishing an evaluation plan to include a SMART goal.

Can I use a technique that I learned in a workshop or class as part of my SMART Goal Setting for Student Progress Form details?
Yes, as a professional you will adapt it to your own classroom needs.

Can I use a fourth quarter assessment to measure my SMART Goal?
Your SMART Goal needs to be wrapped up by the end of May. You need to use an assessment that will allow you to know where your students are at that point. For example, the Math department has suggested that teachers use the third quarter benchmark test to ensure that they will have the data that they need to finish their SMART Goal.

Document Log

When are document logs required?

You will submit one document log each year that you are on a summative evaluation (see figure 3 of the teacher evaluation handbook).

Do the documents that I submit for Standards 1-5 need to be related to my SMART goal?
No. The documents that are submitted as part of the document log do not need to be related to the SMART goal. The teacher chooses the items that they feel are examples of their best work in each standard.

I know I can only submit one piece of evidence per standard. Can the piece of evidence be more than one page long?
Yes. For example, you may choose to submit a unit plan as evidence of Standard 1 and that unit plan is likely more than one page long.

Observation

Will my administrator still observe me?
School Board Policy 35, Teacher Evaluation, states that administrators shall recognize teachers’ individual responsibility for professional growth through (among other things) constructive, ongoing feedback based on clearly stated expectations for successful performance. One method for doing this is observing the teacher’s performance in the classroom. At the administrator’s discretion, such observations can be announced or unannounced.

How will I know when I am in an observation year?
Employees can log into the Self-Service section of Stars to view his/her APS years of T-Scale Service. years designated as observation years include: Probationary years (typically years 1,2, and 3), 6, 9, 12, 15, 18, 21, 24, 27, 30, 33, 36, 39, 42, etc. years of APS T-Scale service.

Who is responsible for selecting the observation date?
The evaluator may observe teachers at any time. The evaluator may conduct announced or unannounced observations. Teachers may provide times when they would like an evaluator to observe.