May 15, 2014

New evaluation system for school employees

LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. — School personnel will be seeing a new form of evaluations soon, with the students having a voice in teacher effectiveness.

Assistant Superintendent Denise Griebel explained to school board members at Monday night’s meeting that the new evaluation process for teachers, principals, and even classified personnel will be adapted to the state’s evaluation model that allows for “self evaluation.”

“Every student will be taught by an effective teacher and every school will be lead by an effective principal,” Griebel said. “This evaluation form focuses on self-evaluation and incorporates a peer observation tool. It is colleagues helping colleagues.”

While teachers currently undergo evaluation methods, the new model will put another teacher in the classroom to observe the teaching methods and response by the students, at least two times per year. The evaluation will not be made public, but will instead be used to help teachers recognize their strong and weak points.

That, coupled with a Student Voice Survey, will give students input on the effectiveness of the teacher. Griebel used the example that perhaps if a majority of students wrote down negative comments about a teacher, that information could be used for the teacher to review their performance in the classroom and with students and co-workers. Names on these evaluation forms are not required.

“Then you have five working days to conference with the teacher,” Griebel added. “There will be a 50-50 committee - 50 percent administrators and 50 percent teachers on the committee.”

This evaluation format will go into effect for the 2014-2015 school year.

But administrators are not exempt from the evaluation, Griebel said.

“Principals will have evaluations too,” she said, adding that every school in the Laurel district has already piloted the new evaluation forms.

Board members and administrators also received an update on the Career Readiness Center construction. The architectural and construction supervisor offered slides of ongoing progress on the vocational center that is now being looked at by other school districts in the state.

The Career Readiness Center is a unique design that offers true hands-on training from the ground up. Interior footings and retaining walls are in place and progress has gone well over the last month.

One of the many unique features of the center is that the mechanical room will be a classroom that will allow students access to the operation of the heating, air, and electrical for the facility. The room will offer large windows from the hallway, and students in the class can see how the geothermal pumps, solar panels and other mechanical operations are conducted.

Security fences along Fourth Street are also in place, making a more secure  worksite that architects deem as “green” for its cleanliness.

Board members also voted to change the next scheduled meeting on Monday, May 26 to Tuesday morning, May 27, due to the Memorial Day holiday.

A block approval for several routine school functions was also approved.

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The 1971 T.C. Williams football team became famous thanks to the movie, “Remember the Titans.” Three of the original players will speak at this year’s North Laurel Football Banquet.

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Now that school is out, what are your family’s summer vacation plans?

A. No major plans. We will probably hang out around Laurel County.
B. Going to the beach!
C. Kentucky has a lot of wonderful state parks, and we plan to visit a few and enjoy quality family time.
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