Evaluations follow state guidelines

NAUGATUCK — The borough’s public schools have adopted similar guidelines as the state, with some slight modifications, for how to evaluate teachers.

Assistant Superintendent of Schools Chris Montini showed the Board of Education last week the new teacher evaluation plan, which he said is similar to what Naugatuck has used for the past two years. It has some upgrades to ensure teachers are reaching their goals, he said. The board accepted the plan.

A major portion includes administrators evaluating teachers with a mix of short, unannounced visits to their classrooms for evaluation and longer, preplanned evaluations. Parent, student and teacher perceptions and feedback will be part of the evaluation process, as will student achievement.

“The purpose at the heart of the process is to clearly articulate what effective teaching looks like and to give teachers a rubric for that to constantly improve teaching and consequently, learning,” Montini said.

The plan, he said, was created by a team of 25 teachers and administrators; about two-thirds of them were teachers. The evaluation plan says that each year, veteran teachers will be given a minimum of five mini, unannounced observations that last about 15 minutes apiece. Newer teachers can expect three formal observations that are announced and will last about 45 minutes apiece. They will also be given at least two mini observations that are unannounced and last about 15 minutes each, Montini said.

Per guidelines set up by the state Department of Education, which just last year implemented its new teacher evaluation process, borough teachers will be graded on a rubric for effective teaching that thoroughly evaluates four main areas: classroom environment, student engagement and commitment to learning; planning for active learning; instruction for active learning; professional responsibilities and teacher leadership.

Trained administrators will look at how the teacher planned for the lesson, implemented it and the follow through of that lesson, Montini said. Administrative evaluators will then give grades of exemplary, effective, developing and below standard. They will also give specific reasons for each grade as well as improvement plans.

“Teachers will be spending a lot of time reflecting on the rubric (for effective teaching) for all of their lesson plans,” Montini said. “Like most occupations, we are always looking to get better and this evaluation plan is no different.”

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