IR school board reviews new teacher evaluation process
Teachers nationwide have expressed concerns, and now Indian River School District is stepping into the muddy water of teacher evaluations based on student growth.
This year, Delaware is implementing the fifth and final part of the Delaware Performance Appraisal System, called Component V.
Component V ties teacher evaluation to student growth.
“It does impact every single person who is on a teaching contract, and then all administrators,” including school nurses, said Sandy Smith, IR director of assessment and accountability, in a presentation to the IRSD board of education at a meeting on Sept. 18.
Teachers are currently evaluated on four components: planning and preparation, classroom environment, instruction and professional responsibilities.
All educators are evaluated by student growth, but that can be based on different tests. Teachers are split into three groups: Group 1 is any teacher who instructs reading and/or math in DCAS grades 3-10 (regular and special educators with at least 10 students); Group 2 is any teacher who reports student grades in any grade or subject other than DCAS reading and/or math; Group 3 is any educator who generally does not report student grades or cannot otherwise be categorized into Groups 1 and 2.
Students will take a pretest, and then teachers will set goals for the year. This will be completed by the end of October. Schools may be hiring substitute teachers to help with pre-testing.
Group 1 is definitely evaluated by DCAS. Groups 1 and 2 can rely on other internal or external tests. Groups 2 and 3 are also based on professional outcomes.
“For DCAS, teachers actually get a report back that shows, student by student, what the growth was,” Smith told the Coastal Point. “Students in their class have to show the right amount of growth. It can’t just be a few points. It’s has to be specific.”
To be considered “Highly Effective,” 65 percent of a teacher’s students must show adequate growth.
In some places, including Washington, D.C., teachers receive some financial incentive to meet Component V. Other districts require teachers to be Highly Effective in order to receive leadership promotions. Delaware has no penalty or reward system yet, according to Smith.
“We aren’t there yet in Delaware,” said Smith. “Where we will go, I don’t know. Right now, it’s more of a time to just figure out … how many of our teachers are highly effective.”
Board members had no questions or comments after the presentation but will receive updates throughout the year.
In other district news:
• All district schools were honored with new banners celebrating the schools’ achievement of Adequate Yearly Progress. The AYP system holds Delaware schools accountable for student performance.
• The board recognized State Student Council Vice President Cheyann Watts of Selbyville Middle School and Treasurer Andrew Evan of Millsboro Middle School.
• After an overhead light fell at Georgetown Middle School’s football field, the school will remove old eastern light poles, but leave western poles, which are expected to last another five years, illuminated.
• Charles Bireley, board president, reported that the Delaware School Boards Association will vote Wednesday, Oct. 10, on whether to grant Seaford School District’s request for $20,000 to appeal a lawsuit.
• George Washington Carver Academy was recorded at having used 1.7 million gallons of water in two months. The school is looking to resolve possible leaks or faulty meters with the Town of Frankford, which provides water to the school.
• Oct. 15 to 19 is National School Lunch Week, recognizing the “significant contribution” of the National School Lunch Program at IR schools, which provide more than 6,000 daily student meals.
• Oct 15 to 19 is National School Bus Safety Week, highlighting the importance of safe student transportation.
The next Indian River School Board of Education meeting will be Tuesday, Oct. 22, at 7 p.m. at Sussex Central High School.