New teacher evaluation system

Beginning this school year, teachers will undergo a new evaluation system. This system, which was built from the combined efforts and input from an array of faculty and staff, will allow for more teacher/principal interaction, accountability for student performance and opportunities for professional and creative development.

“We collaborated directly with teachers, principals and several departments to align our new system with the division’s strategic plan and also the new state guidelines,” said John Mirra, assistant superintendent of human resources. “However, the most important fact about this new system is that it will help teachers become more involved in sharpening their teaching skills, which will ultimately improve student learning.”

The new evaluation system is a three-year cycle, and encourages collaboration among teachers and evaluating administrators. Each year, teachers and administrators will identify student growth goals as well as the preparation and learning opportunities necessary to meet those goals. Then, each semester, teachers will take part in one of a dozen different Formative Options (student and parent surveys, peer observations, participation in professional learning communities, etc.) and complete an online reflection form based on their experience with the activity. Administrators will use these reflection forms as well as three to four mini classroom observations each year to give the teachers feedback. They also have the option to conduct longer, more formal observations at any time. This process will continue for the second and third year in the evaluation cycle, and will conclude with a summative evaluation and conference to discuss the growth seen from the past three years.

With the collaborative design in mind, VBCPS also tried a different training approach for the system as well. Principals formed School Training Teams comprised of the principal, one assistant principal and two teachers. Each team attended sessions where they learned how to deliver training to the school staff using several on demand -training modules.

The subcommittee for developing this new evaluation system was made up elementary, middle and high school teachers and principals, the president of the Virginia Beach Education Association as well as members from the departments of school administration and human resources. Staff at the Center for Teacher Leadership conducted 34 meetings with almost 500 teachers to create the student growth measures that teachers and administrators will use to create their student growth goals. Additionally, this new system meets the Virginia Departments of Education’s new seven performance standards (Professional Knowledge, Institutional Planning, Instructional Delivery, Assessment of/for Student Learning, Learning Environment, Professionalism and Student Academic Progress).

Right now, a similar process is underway to develop a principal evaluation system.

If you have any questions about the new system, contact your school administrator.


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