Upper Saddle River School District: Teacher Evaluation
An Overview of Teacher Evaluation
Under Achieve NJ, the Upper Saddle River School district assesses teacher performance based on two primary components, teacher practice and student achievement. Teacher practice is assessed by routine observations of classroom visits and other relevant professional experiences (grade level meetings, parent meetings, professional development, curricula development, formal presentations, and participation in professional development sessions). Student achievement and student progress is analyzed based on individual teacher’s SGO and/or SGP.
Description of Teacher Evaluation System
The Upper Saddle River School District utilizes the Kim Marshall System to guide teacher evaluation. This model was selected based on its deliberate effort to create a common definition for high quality instruction and its focus on professional discussions and ongoing reflection.
Under this model, rubrics guide the assessment of teacher performance as it relates to six specific instructional domains (Planning and Preparation for Learning, Classroom Management, Delivery of Instruction, Monitoring, Assessment and Follow-Up, Family and Community Outreach, and Professional Responsibilities). Teacher observations consist of brief, unannounced classroom visits followed by reflective conversations and a more formal observation writeup. Tenured teachers receive six classroom observations each school year while non-tenured teachers receive a minimum of ten. Classroom observations and reflective discussions guide the year end summative evaluation using a four-point rating scale (1-ineffective, 2 – partially effective, 3 – effective, 4- highly effective).
Evaluation Model for Highly Effective Teachers
The Upper Saddle River School District is also transitioning to an alternative model for teachers with an overall performance rating of “Highly Effective.” Under this plan, teachers explore a focused (self-selected) area of interest that will drive professional growth. The teacher, along with the primary evaluator(s), develop a plan for goal setting, improvement, and professional learning. Periodic meetings of support, reflection, and planning continue throughout the evaluation period. Near the end of the year, the teacher will share their findings while celebrating their overall journey of growth and reflection.