District plans job reviews for all its educators

School District 51 will gear up for the 2013-14 implementation of new educator evaluations statewide by evaluating all district principals and teachers this year.

Senate Bill 191, passed by the Colorado legislature in 2010, requires all Colorado school districts to evaluate teachers and school administrators on an annual basis using a new set of standards, including student assessment data from the teacher’s classroom or the administrator’s school. The annual evaluation rule goes into effect in fall 2013 and overturns current guidelines that allow districts to trim evaluations to once every three years for educators who have achieved non-probationary status, which is similar to tenure.

District 51 will continue to use its current evaluation standards in 2012-13 but will begin to evaluate all of its educators on a yearly basis starting this year in order to prepare for the change. District 51 Executive Director of Academic Achievement and Growth Jody Mimmack said during a presentation to the School Board during a board meeting Tuesday evening that the district will work on formulating new evaluations to coincide with Senate Bill 191 guidelines during the coming school year. Mimmack said those evaluations should be complete by May 2013.

District 51 Superintendent Steve Schultz told the board the district will likely duplicate as many parts of the evaluations as possible based on forthcoming evaluation models from the state. Schultz said creating evaluation models from scratch in the district may cost money and the district would have to spend time proving to the state their model was as worthy as the state model.

“We’re not going to reinvent the wheel,” Schultz said.

The district received $250,000 from a Race to the Top grant to help Colorado schools switch to a new evaluation system. Mimmack said the money is being spent primarily on training and stipends for nine District 51 personnel from various schools and buildings who spent the summer working on the transition and building plans and time-lines for the changeover.

The district’s resulting four-year implementation plan designates 2012-13 as a year for building new evaluations and evaluating all teachers and principals, while 2013-14 will be focused on rolling out the new evaluations. In 2014-15, the district plans to start counting lackluster performance standards toward the possibility of a non-probationary teacher losing that tenure-like status. A teacher could lose non-probationary status in 2015-16.


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