MODEL SELECTED BY BLACK HORSE PIKE REGIONAL SCHOOL DISTRICT
The New Jersey Educator Effectiveness Task Force published a document in March 2011, proposing a series of changes centered on teacher and principal evaluation systems. As a result, the New Jersey Department of Education has affirmed that recommendation by mandating school districts change the way they evaluate teachers and principals by September 2013. As a reaction to this mandate, we acted accordingly, developing a leadership committee and investigating our options.
A leadership committee consisting of administrators, supervisors, and teachers met to analyze and evaluate the New Jersey Department of Education’s recommendations for changing the district’s teacher, administrative, and support staff evaluation model, system, and process. We researched four main models: Marzano, McRel, Danielson, and Stronge. Each evaluation model has an on-line, web-based platform upon which the evaluation models are enacted and utilized. After numerous webinars, several workshops, countless presentations, and six leadership team meetings, the committee decided to choose the Stronge model. We felt that the Stronge model best represents the belief that employee effectiveness is the goal and evaluation is merely the means.Selecting an evaluation model is just the first step in this organizational change. In late August 2012, Stronge model associates provided professional development to our administrators, supervisors, and teacher leaders (12). In 2013-2014, the number of observations had changed from one to three formal observations for both tenured and non-tenured employees.
Teachers and Educational Specialists have been using the web-based Stronge model platform called OASYS. All pre-conferences, observations, and post-conferences have been scheduled through this web-based system. Every certificated employee has been provided access to the system and the system is designed for maximum confidentiality and collaboration, when and where appropriate. Again, professional development has been afforded to teachers and administrators throughout the school year and in the summer.In January 2016, the Black Horse Pike Regional School District has been granted an equivalency waiver for the number of observations required each year. Rather than three short observations each year (3 twenty minute observations for 60 minutes total) for tenured staff members, each tenured staff member not on an action plan will have one long observation and one short observation (1 forty minute observation and one 20 minute observation for 60 minutes total).