Spotsy schools to seek evaluation deadline extension
By PAMELA GOULD
The Spotsylvania County School Board expressed unanimous support Monday for the division to seek an extension of the deadline to implement a new evaluation system for teachers and administrators.
“I prefer for us to do it right the first time,” board member Jim Meyer said after hearing a presentation from division staff.
Assistant Superintendent for Instruction Carol Flenard, Executive Director for Human Resources Stephen Covert, and Human Resources Director Michelle Gordon recommended that the division seek the extension from the state. They said the division has been working on the process but wanted more time to determine with school staff an effective way of establishing an evaluation system.
The state is requiring all school divisions to implement a seven-part evaluation process that includes one part linking the teacher evaluation to student performance. That part accounts for 40 percent of a teacher’s evaluation.
Flenard noted that the evaluation is not about linking teacher evaluations to Standards of Learning scores. She said the focus will be on a student’s growth over the school year.
Board member Amanda Blalock was among those who said they didn’t want anything to increase the stress level of teachers, as she feared the new evaluation could unless it was well-crafted.
Teachers have been concerned about how the new evaluation process would affect their careers.
On Monday, the Spotsylvania Education Association issued a statement in support of the extension request.
“The requested extension will result in an improved final product that addresses concerns of teachers about the procedures needed to implement the new evaluation guidelines and will provide administrators adequate time to receive needed training and educate approximately 2,000 affected employees,” the SEA said in its statement.
The evaluation process is being mandated as part of the state’s waiver from the No Child Left Behind law. If a division is not ready to implement the new evaluation for the 2012–13 school year, it must submit a plan detailing how it would move ahead for the 2013–14 school year, according to the division’s staff.
Pamela Gould: 540/735-1972