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Evaluation of Certificated Staff Members

Section G: Personnel

Policy Title: Evaluation of Certificated Staff Members
Policy Code: GCO

Print Version (in PDF)

The process of evaluation for certificated professional staff members shall lead to improvement of the quality of instruction and the strengthening of the abilities of the professional staff.

Certain elements in an effective evaluation process shall be emphasized:

  • Evaluation shall be a cooperative endeavor between evaluator and evaluatee.
  • Open communication shall be considered essential.
  • The agreed-upon purpose of evaluation shall be to work toward common goals for the improvement of education. This shall include attention to student and staff success, which shall include all certificated staff members.
  • Evaluation shall be continuous, flexible, and sensitive to need for revision.
  • The result of evaluation(s) shall be courses of action for the improvement of instruction. These courses of action shall be set in motion by specific recommendations mutually reviewed by the evaluator and the evaluatee.
  • Evaluation shall be considered one aspect of effective management, rather than a discrete entity.
  • Effective evaluation depends on accurate information; therefore, input from all appropriate sources shall be used.
  • Evaluation(s) shall be based on, but not limited to, the following:
    • Student learning is the primary focus of the teacher's professional time.
    • Job expectations within the District.
    • Instruments for assessment.
    • Personal observation.

Evaluation of Classroom Teachers and Other Certificated Non-administrative Staff Members

The District evaluation instrument will utilize the required elements of the model framework for a teacher and principal evaluation instrument adopted by the State Board of Education that includes quantitative data on student academic progress that accounts for between thirty-three percent (33%) and fifty percent (50%) of the evaluation outcomes for a final cumulative evaluation score of up to 100 points. The certificated teacher shall be classified as highly effective, effective, developing, or ineffective.

Definitions for the above performance classifications are as follows:

  • Highly effective: A teacher will be classified as Highly Effective with final evaluation score of between 79-100 points.
  • Effective: A teacher will be classified as Effective with final evaluation score of between 61-78 points.
  • Developing: A teacher will be classified as Developing with final evaluation score of between 47-60 points.
  • Ineffective: A teacher will be classified as Ineffective with final evaluation score of 46 or fewer points.

The performance classifications are to be applied to the evaluation instruments in a manner designed to improve principal and teacher performance. At least annually, the School District Governing Board shall discuss at a public meeting its aggregate performance classifications of principals and teachers.

In accordance with state law, the District shall involve its certificated teachers in the development and periodic evaluation of the teacher performance evaluation system. The following elements will be a part of the evaluation system:

  • A copy of the evaluation system shall be given to each teacher in the District.
  • Qualified evaluators will be only those individuals who have completed and passed, and continue to pass as required periodically, the Qualified Evaluator Training Professional Development. The Superintendent will forward to the Board the names of all qualified evaluators.
  • The best practices for professional development and evaluator training adopted by the State Board of Education.
  • The system will include incentives for teachers in the highest performance classification as well as incentives for teachers in the two highest classifications to move to schools that are assigned a letter grade of "D" or "F".
  • The system will include protections for teachers who are transferred to schools that are assigned a letter grade of "D" or "F" as well as for those teachers at a school in which the Principal is designated in the lowest performing category.
  • The system will include a plan for the appropriate use of quantitative data of student academic progress in evaluations of all certificated teachers. The plan may make distinctions between certificated teachers who provide direct instruction to students and certificated teachers who do not provide direct instruction to students. The plan may include data for multiple years and may limit the use of data for certificated teachers who have taught for less than two complete school years.
  • As a result of the fact that the 301 Pay for Performance plan provides compensation tied to the teacher's performance classification, the evaluation system will include an appeal process through which a certificated teacher may appeal the final evaluation classification.

The requirement of a second classroom observation for a continuing teacher whose teaching performance based upon the first classroom observation places the teacher in one (1) of the two (2) highest performance classifications for the current school year will be sufficient, unless the teacher requests a second observation.

Inadequacy of Classroom Performance

Classroom performance is considered to be inadequate when a teacher is rated as Ineffective or when a teacher is rated in the lower two categories (Developing or Ineffective) for two consecutive years unless qualifying for an extension as follows to allow for continued development:

  • The teacher is in the first two years of teaching,
  • The teacher is assigned to a new grade level or content area in the current year,

Teachers who qualify for an extension under this policy will have one additional year to reach a rating of Effective. Failure to reach an Effective rating by the end of the additional year will be considered inadequate classroom performance.

Prior approval by the Board is not required for each notice of inadequacy. The Deputy Superintendent and Assistant Superintendents, (are) authorized to issue notices of inadequacy of classroom performance, subject to approval by the Superintendent. When a notice is issued without prior Board approval, the Board shall be notified within ten (10) days of such issuance.

Evaluation of Administrators and Psychologists

The District shall establish a system for the evaluation of the performance of principals, other school administrators, and psychologists. The District will seek advice from District administrators and psychologists in the development of this performance evaluation system.

Principal Evaluations

The evaluation system for the evaluation of the performance of principals may include the over-all instructional program, student progress, personnel, curriculum, and facilities. Principals will be given a review of evaluation procedures prior to beginning the process.

The evaluation system for principals may include the following:

  • Alignment of professional development opportunities to the principal evaluations
  • Incentives for principals in one (1) of the two (2) highest performance classifications, which may include multiyear contracts and incentives to work at schools assigned a letter grade of "D" or "F".
  • Transfer and contract processes for principals designated in the lowest performance classification.

Subject to statutory limitations, the Board shall make available the evaluation and performance classification pursuant to A.R.S. 15-203 of each principal in the District to school districts and charter schools that are inquiring about the performance of the principal for hiring purposes.

Principals shall be classified as Highly Effective, Effective, Developing or Ineffective.

Definitions for the Principal performance classifications are as follows:

  • Highly Effective: A principal will be classified as Highly Effective with final evaluation score of between 76-100 points
  • Effective: A principal will be classified as Effective with final evaluation score of between 57–75 points
  • Developing: A principal will be classified as Developing with final evaluation score of between 45-56 points
  • Ineffective: A principal will be classified as Ineffective with final evaluation score of 44 points or less

Adopted: May 28, 2013
Revised: November 18, 2014
Revised: August 9, 2016

LEGAL REF: A.R.S. 15-203, 15-502, 15-503, 15-536, 15-537, 15-537.01, 15-538, 15-538.01, 15-539, 15-544, 15-549, 15-918.02, 15-977
A.A.C. R7-2-605