Earlier this month, the Maine Department of Education recognized the RSU 21 Kennebunk School District as the first school administrative unit to be approved for its performance evaluation and professional growth (PEPG) system plan.
Many factors influence the ability of children to thrive in school. Every child deserves excellent teachers and building principals. The goal of the system is to grow better educators through professional development which results in improving student learning.
RSU 21 assembled an educator effectiveness stakeholders group consisting of a majority of teachers. This group considered several models of professional practice evaluation systems and decided Charlotte Danielson’s Enhancing Professional Practice provided the best approach for RSU 21’s system. This practice used by districts in Maine as well as nationwide is research based and extensively covers the educator’s many roles.
RSU 21’s Model for Educator Performance Evaluation and Professional Growth (PEPG) Systems is predicated on the following beliefs:
- The primary purpose of teacher evaluation is to promote teacher improvement.
- Effective teacher evaluation systems utilize multiple measures of teaching practice.
- Teacher evaluation is a process, not an event
With these core beliefs in mind, the district created a comprehensive evaluation and growth system for its educators. The district has been working on the evaluation system for the past five years in developing RSU 21’s plan with a focus on attention to teacher and evaluator training and professional development. Phil Potenziano, Assistant Superintendent at RSU 21 noted, “I think this process is was worthwhile. It is keeping our staff focused and truly collaborating.”
The plan includes a mechanism for on-going training at all levels of the organization as well as trainings for new employees and extensive calibration training. PEPG training and professional development is embedded into the day-to-day district work and is part of the on-going professional development plan as a district.
Nathan Bean, Co-Chair of the RSU 21 Steering Committee said, “The high quality of the professional development offered to our teachers is what made the difference. Our teachers had a need for quality feedback. Out of this need administration and staff came together. It was a collaborative effort.”
Maine Department of Education Chief Academic Officer Rachelle Tome recognized the district for its efforts and a well-designed PEPG plan. “We extend our sincere congratulations for a job well done. It is our hope that other districts will use your plan as a model when developing their own plans.” Tome applauded the leadership of RSU 21 Superintendent Kathryn Hawes and congratulated the steering committee. Superintendent Kathryn Hawes recognized the Department for offering quality resources and ongoing professional development to support district educator effectiveness work.
The Department of Education is looking forward to receiving and approving many more comprehensive PEPG submittals next month as the submittal season comes into full swing.
For information on PEPG submittals, contact Educator Effectiveness Coordinator Charles Lomonte at firstname.lastname@example.org.