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Frequently Asked Questions about the New Evaluation System

(This is an evolving list, so if your question is unanswered please Ask it here)
Issue areas:


What different types of observations exist?

An announced observation consists of a pre-conference, a scheduled observation, and a post-conference, similar to the majority of observations in the former system. Announced observations are only required in two cases. Educators in their first year of teaching in Wareham will have two announced observations, and educators in the second and third year of teaching in Wareham will have one. Educators on an Improvement Plan will have at least one announced observation.
Announced observations are not required as part of the evaluation process for any other educator.

What is an unannounced observation?

An unannounced observation (often called a walkthrough) occurs when an evaluator observes an educator in person. These will form the great majority of observations of educators under this system. This term should not be taken as literally consisting of someone walking from one of a teaching space to another.

How many unannounced observations can I expect?

The expectation is for each educator to receive ten observations per year. Since scheduled observations will be rare, most observations will be unannounced. The number of formal, scheduled observations plus walkthroughs must equal ten. For most educators, the vast majority of observations will be unannounced and unscheduled.

What should the result of these unannounced observations be?

The intention is that evidence will have been collected on all indices of the first two categories over the course of these ten unannounced observations (Curriculum, Planning, and Assessment and Teaching All Students). It is be possible that evidence has been collected on the third and fourth categories (Family and Community Engagement and Professional Culture) as well. As is explained in the sections on artifacts and evaluations, evidence for all these categories will be supplemented by artifacts supplied by the educator.

Are there different types of unannounced observations?

Yes, based on the length of time of the observation. An unannounced observation during which the educator is observed for less than ten minutes must result in feedback of some sort within three school days.
An unannounced observation that lasts for ten or more minutes must result in feedback by way of the form that has been developed by the Supervision and Evaluation Committee. This feedback must be provided within three school days. Only evidence seen during these walkthroughs can be used in completing an evaluation of an educator.

Where and when can an unannounced observation take place?

An unannounced observation can occur during a class, a parent/guardian meeting, team meeting, or other educational function that takes place during school hours. A walkthrough cannot occur if an administrator is performing duties as part of that job. For example, if an administrator is distributing textbooks to classrooms, s/he cannot use something seen as part of that process for an evaluation. However, s/he may return to perform an observation of ten or more minutes after finishing that task, and note anything seen as evidence for future evaluations.
Since the evaluation must be completed by May 15, unannounced observations would need to be completed three school days before this date to be admitted as part of the summative evaluation.

What is the result of an unannounced observation?

Any walkthrough must result in feedback of some sort. An unannounced observation under ten minutes must result in feedback of some sort, but that feedback cannot be used as evidence for an evaluation. A walkthrough of ten or more minutes must result in feedback using the form agreed to be the Supervision and Evaluation Committee, and can be used as evidence for the educator’s evaluation.


What does feedback look like?

All observations must result in feedback. An unannounced observation of under ten minutes can result in written feedback in any form and length. A unannounced observation of ten or more minutes must result in feedback using the form that has been developed by the Supervision and Evaluation Committee. Only this second type of feedback can be used on an educator’s summative or formative evaluation. Must feedback be followed by a conversation between the educator and evaluator?

This is not required in the system per se. However, the spirit of the system expects particularly in the event of an area indicated as needing improvement that some form of coaching would follow. An educator has every right to request such a conversation held over email or in person to address any such feedback. Does the feedback include a rating of the educator?

Feedback should not result in a rating of the educator in any category. That function is fulfilled during the evaluation process.

Who can provide feedback?

Feedback can be provided only by the primary or supervising evaluator. Every educator must be informed of the name of their primary and supervising evaluators early in the school year.

What if an administrator who is not an evaluator of mine sees something they want recorded?

Only evidence personally observed by either your supervising or primary evaluator can be returned as feedback, and entered into an evaluation. An evaluator cannot admit evidence into an evaluation or feedback form that s/he did not personally observe. However, an administrator can certainly urge one of the educator’s evaluators to begin an unannounced observation as soon as possible.

Can educators respond to feedback?

Educators have every right to respond to feedback, with copies going to both supervisors, and one being kept by the educator if s/he chooses. Any written response must be submitted within ten school days.


What is an artifact?

An artifact is any result of the educational process. Artifacts can include but are not limited to: educator-selected learning tools, educator-written learning tools, completed student work, evidence of home-school communication (email, notes, newsletters, logs), forms collating data, team meeting forms, parent conference logs, website printouts, course notes.

What is the purpose of artifacts?

Artifacts are used to provide evidence that an educator is fulfilling their duties under the 16 indicators of the system. They must be provided to the supervising evaluator by April 20. If a formative assessment is scheduled for the halfway mark in the school year, any artifacts meant for that step would be submitted by February 14, or four weeks before the date of a formative assessment.

When are they "due"

For those on one-year plans, for any artifact to be considered for the final formative report (called a formative evaluation report -- this is the one with ratings) your supervising evaluator would need it be February 14. However, if you have it now, turn it in now.

Must artifacts be electronic?

No. Artifacts may be electronic documents, but there is no requirement that they be scanned or photographed. Artifacts can be submitted in paper form.

Do I have to submit at artifact for every indicator?

No. That would be crazy. An artifact proves to your evaluator that you are doing something well. The same artifact could prove multiple things at the same time -- a modified test that you designed shows that you are teaching all students, have content knowledge, and have high expectations.

How many artifacts should I submit?

There is no minimum. An educator may choose to submit zero if s/he chooses. However, a smart educator will submit artifacts showing progress or achievement on any goal or indicator where they received no feedback, or negative feedback. For any indicator where feedback is positive, there is likely no useful purpose served by submitting an artifact. This is your way to prove any negative, or lacking feedback, wrong.

What about the cover sheet?

Electronic artifacts (photos, emails, word processor files, etc.) require no cover sheet. Check out these pre-written cover sheets for common artifacts in Word format. Also, the online evaluation system (TeachPoint) coming online in February will allow for forms to printed out with most of the spaces already filled out.

Here is a hypothetical. Evaluator A has received feedback, and her evaluator has positive comments on 11 of the 16 indicators. Artifacts are not needed for those 11. There is nothing on the family/community engagement indicator, so the educator submits Artifact 1, a newsletter. The newsletter respectfully suggests ways to support learning at home (III-B), and lists upcoming activities (III-C), and includes a copy of a major assignment (III-A). This single artifact takes care of 3 of the 5 outstanding issues. Also, she received negative feedback about collaborative process, so Artifact B is an email with files attached for papers to help teach a certain lesson; that email helps refute the negative feedback.


What method is used to complete an evaluation?

An evaluation is written by a supervising evaluator based on – and only on – the evidence that had been earlier recorded in feedback, artifacts gathered in the process, and multiple measures of student growth.

Who is responsible for the evaluation?

Per the contract the primary evaluator determines the educator’s performance rating and evaluation. This should be based on the recommendations of the supervising evaluator.

What are these different kinds of reports?

No kidding. Here are the reports you'll get:

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