School Board Outlines New Teacher Evaluation Plan
WETHERSFIELD - The Wethersfield Board of Education has charted out a teacher training and evaluation plan designed to meet standards set by soon-to-be enacted school reform mandates.

       A presentation given during Tuesday night’s Board of Education meeting highlighted a blue print for complying with the Common Core State Standards, under which sustained and thorough instructor support, as well as regular observation and feedback, are emphasized.

       Teacher evaluation criteria will be broken into four areas--in-house observations, parent feedback, student progress, and a broader examination of the school’s larger learning environment. The greatest weight, 45 percent of what goes into the instructor’s “rating,” will be placed on student development on standardized tests and proficiency in related subject matter.

       Although the state is transitioning away from the Connecticut Mastery Test (CMT) and Connecticut Academic Proficiency Test (CAPT) these evaluations are factored into assessing a teacher’s performance, according to the presentation.

       Forty percent of a teacher’s overall performance rating will be based on evaluations, both formal and informal. Formal observations are pre-arranged, 30-minute blocks, after which a faculty member is provided written feedback. This observation form also includes a pre-conference and post-conference. Teachers can expect three formal evaluations throughout the first implementation year, according to the presentation.

       An informal evaluation, which will be given twice in the first implementation year, is conducted over a 10-minute period and is unannounced. This is also followed by feedback.

       After the initial implementation year, the number of evaluations will depend on each teacher’s level of experience and performance. First and second year non-tenured, as well as struggling teachers will be observed four times, three formal and formal informal, while those reaching proficiency standards will have only one formal, but one informal evaluations.

       Parent feedback, which will be gauged through the use of surveys, comprises 10 percent of the assessment.

       The district also plans to implement a curriculum of teacher training that will include targeted professional development, instructional coaching, data teams, and peer assistance, amongst other methods.