28A.405.070  <<  28A.405.100 >>   28A.405.102

Minimum criteria for the evaluation of certificated employeesFour-level rating evaluation systemProceduresSteering committeeImplementationReportsComprehensive performance evaluation.

(1)(a) Except as provided in subsection (2) of this section, the superintendent of public instruction shall establish and may amend from time to time minimum criteria for the evaluation of the professional performance capabilities and development of certificated classroom teachers and certificated support personnel. For classroom teachers the criteria shall be developed in the following categories: Instructional skill; classroom management, professional preparation and scholarship; effort toward improvement when needed; the handling of student discipline and attendant problems; and interest in teaching pupils and knowledge of subject matter.
(b) Every board of directors shall, in accordance with procedure provided in RCW 41.59.010 through 41.59.170, 41.59.910, and 41.59.920, establish evaluative criteria and procedures for all certificated classroom teachers and certificated support personnel. The evaluative criteria must contain as a minimum the criteria established by the superintendent of public instruction pursuant to this section and must be prepared within six months following adoption of the superintendent of public instruction's minimum criteria. The district must certify to the superintendent of public instruction that evaluative criteria have been so prepared by the district.
(2)(a) Every board of directors shall, in accordance with procedures provided in RCW 41.59.010 through 41.59.170, 41.59.910, and 41.59.920, establish evaluative criteria and a four-level rating system for all certificated classroom teachers.
(b) The minimum criteria shall include: (i) Centering instruction on high expectations for student achievement; (ii) demonstrating effective teaching practices; (iii) recognizing individual student learning needs and developing strategies to address those needs; (iv) providing clear and intentional focus on subject matter content and curriculum; (v) fostering and managing a safe, positive learning environment; (vi) using multiple student data elements to modify instruction and improve student learning; (vii) communicating and collaborating with parents and the school community; and (viii) exhibiting collaborative and collegial practices focused on improving instructional practice and student learning. Student growth data must be a substantial factor in evaluating the performance of certificated classroom teachers for at least three of the evaluation criteria listed in this subsection.
(c) The four-level rating system used to evaluate the certificated classroom teacher must describe performance along a continuum that indicates the extent to which the criteria have been met or exceeded. The performance ratings shall be as follows: Level 1 - unsatisfactory; level 2 - basic; level 3 - proficient; and level 4 - distinguished. A classroom teacher shall receive one of the four performance ratings for each of the minimum criteria in (b) of this subsection and one of the four performance ratings for the evaluation as a whole, which shall be the comprehensive performance rating. The superintendent of public instruction must adopt rules prescribing a common method for calculating the comprehensive performance rating for each of the preferred instructional frameworks, including for a focused performance evaluation under subsection (12) of this section, giving appropriate weight to the indicators evaluated under each criteria and maximizing rater agreement among the frameworks.
(d) The superintendent of public instruction shall adopt rules that provide descriptors for each of the performance ratings with updates to the rules made following consultation with the steering committee described in subsection (7)(a)(i) of this section.
(e) The superintendent of public instruction shall identify up to three preferred instructional frameworks that support the four-level rating evaluation system. The instructional frameworks shall be research-based and establish definitions or rubrics for each of the four performance ratings for each evaluation criteria. Each school district must adopt one of the preferred instructional frameworks and post the selection on the district's web site. The superintendent of public instruction shall establish a process for approving minor modifications or adaptations to a preferred instructional framework that may be proposed by a school district.
(f) Student growth data that is relevant to the teacher and subject matter must be a factor in the evaluation process and must be based on multiple measures that can include classroom-based, school-based, district-based, and state-based tools. Student growth data elements may include the teacher's performance as a member of a grade-level, subject matter, or other instructional team within a school when the use of this data is relevant and appropriate. Student growth data elements may also include the teacher's performance as a member of the overall instructional team of a school when use of this data is relevant and appropriate. As used in this subsection, "student growth" means the change in student achievement between two points in time.
(g) Student input may also be included in the evaluation process.
(3)(a) Except as provided in subsection (11) of this section, it shall be the responsibility of a principal or his or her designee to evaluate all certificated personnel in his or her school. During each school year all classroom teachers and certificated support personnel shall be observed for the purposes of evaluation at least twice in the performance of their assigned duties. Total observation time for each employee for each school year shall be not less than sixty minutes. An employee in the third year of provisional status as defined in RCW 28A.405.220 shall be observed at least three times in the performance of his or her duties and the total observation time for the school year shall not be less than ninety minutes. Following each observation, or series of observations, the principal or other evaluator shall promptly document the results of the observation in writing, and shall provide the employee with a copy thereof within three days after such report is prepared. New employees shall be observed at least once for a total observation time of thirty minutes during the first ninety calendar days of their employment period.
(b) As used in this subsection and subsection (4) of this section, "employees" means classroom teachers and certificated support personnel except where otherwise specified.
(4)(a) At any time after October 15th, an employee whose work is not judged satisfactory based on district evaluation criteria shall be notified in writing of the specific areas of deficiencies along with a reasonable program for improvement. For classroom teachers who are required to be on the four-level rating evaluation system, the following comprehensive performance ratings based on the evaluation criteria in subsection (2)(b) of this section mean a classroom teacher's work is not judged satisfactory:
(i) Level 1; or
(ii) Level 2 if the classroom teacher is a continuing contract employee under RCW 28A.405.210 with more than five years of teaching experience and if the level 2 comprehensive performance rating has been received for two consecutive years or for two years within a consecutive three-year time period.
(b) During the period of probation, the employee may not be transferred from the supervision of the original evaluator. Improvement of performance or probable cause for nonrenewal must occur and be documented by the original evaluator before any consideration of a request for transfer or reassignment as contemplated by either the individual or the school district. A probationary period of sixty school days shall be established. Days may be added if deemed necessary to complete a program for improvement and evaluate the probationer's performance, as long as the probationary period is concluded before May 15th of the same school year. The probationary period may be extended into the following school year if the probationer has five or more years of teaching experience and has a comprehensive performance rating as of May 15th of less than level 2. The establishment of a probationary period does not adversely affect the contract status of an employee within the meaning of RCW 28A.405.300. The purpose of the probationary period is to give the employee opportunity to demonstrate improvements in his or her areas of deficiency. The establishment of the probationary period and the giving of the notice to the employee of deficiency shall be by the school district superintendent and need not be submitted to the board of directors for approval. During the probationary period the evaluator shall meet with the employee at least twice monthly to supervise and make a written evaluation of the progress, if any, made by the employee. The evaluator may authorize one additional certificated employee to evaluate the probationer and to aid the employee in improving his or her areas of deficiency. Should the evaluator not authorize such additional evaluator, the probationer may request that an additional certificated employee evaluator become part of the probationary process and this request must be implemented by including an additional experienced evaluator assigned by the educational service district in which the school district is located and selected from a list of evaluation specialists compiled by the educational service district. Such additional certificated employee shall be immune from any civil liability that might otherwise be incurred or imposed with regard to the good faith performance of such evaluation. If a procedural error occurs in the implementation of a program for improvement, the error does not invalidate the probationer's plan for improvement or evaluation activities unless the error materially affects the effectiveness of the plan or the ability to evaluate the probationer's performance. The probationer must be removed from probation if he or she has demonstrated improvement to the satisfaction of the evaluator in those areas specifically detailed in his or her initial notice of deficiency and subsequently detailed in his or her program for improvement. A classroom teacher who is required to be on the four-level rating evaluation system must be removed from probation if he or she has demonstrated improvement that results in a new comprehensive performance rating of level 2 or above for a provisional employee or a continuing contract employee with five or fewer years of experience, or of level 3 or above for a continuing contract employee with more than five years of experience. Lack of necessary improvement during the established probationary period, as specifically documented in writing with notification to the probationer constitutes grounds for a finding of probable cause under RCW 28A.405.300 or 28A.405.210.
(c) When a continuing contract employee with five or more years of experience receives a comprehensive performance rating below level 2 for two consecutive years, the school district shall, within ten days of the completion of the second comprehensive performance evaluation or May 15th, whichever occurs first, implement the employee notification of discharge as provided in RCW 28A.405.300.
(d) Immediately following the completion of a probationary period that does not produce performance changes detailed in the initial notice of deficiencies and program for improvement, the employee may be removed from his or her assignment and placed into an alternative assignment for the remainder of the school year. In the case of a classroom teacher who is required to be on the four-level rating evaluation system, the teacher may be removed from his or her assignment and placed into an alternative assignment for the remainder of the school year immediately following the completion of a probationary period that does not result in the required comprehensive performance ratings specified in (b) of this subsection. This reassignment may not displace another employee nor may it adversely affect the probationary employee's compensation or benefits for the remainder of the employee's contract year. If such reassignment is not possible, the district may, at its option, place the employee on paid leave for the balance of the contract term.
(5) Every board of directors shall establish evaluative criteria and procedures for all superintendents, principals, and other administrators. It shall be the responsibility of the district superintendent or his or her designee to evaluate all administrators. Except as provided in subsection (6) of this section, such evaluation shall be based on the administrative position job description. Such criteria, when applicable, shall include at least the following categories: Knowledge of, experience in, and training in recognizing good professional performance, capabilities and development; school administration and management; school finance; professional preparation and scholarship; effort toward improvement when needed; interest in pupils, employees, patrons and subjects taught in school; leadership; and ability and performance of evaluation of school personnel.
(6)(a) Every board of directors shall establish evaluative criteria and a four-level rating system for principals.
(b) The minimum criteria shall include: (i) Creating a school culture that promotes the ongoing improvement of learning and teaching for students and staff; (ii) demonstrating commitment to closing the achievement gap; (iii) providing for school safety; (iv) leading the development, implementation, and evaluation of a data-driven plan for increasing student achievement, including the use of multiple student data elements; (v) assisting instructional staff with alignment of curriculum, instruction, and assessment with state and local district learning goals; (vi) monitoring, assisting, and evaluating effective instruction and assessment practices; (vii) managing both staff and fiscal resources to support student achievement and legal responsibilities; and (viii) partnering with the school community to promote student learning. Student growth data must be a substantial factor in evaluating the performance of the principal for at least three of the evaluation criteria listed in this subsection.
(c) The four-level rating system used to evaluate the principal must describe performance along a continuum that indicates the extent to which the criteria have been met or exceeded. The performance ratings shall be as follows: Level 1 - unsatisfactory; level 2 - basic; level 3 - proficient; and level 4 - distinguished. A principal shall receive one of the four performance ratings for each of the minimum criteria in (b) of this subsection and one of the four performance ratings for the evaluation as a whole, which shall be the comprehensive performance rating.
(d) The superintendent of public instruction shall adopt rules that provide descriptors for each of the performance ratings, with updates to the rules made following consultation with the steering committee described in subsection (7)(a)(i) of this section.
(e) The superintendent of public instruction shall identify up to three preferred leadership frameworks that support the four-level rating evaluation system. The leadership frameworks shall be research-based and establish definitions or rubrics for each of the four performance ratings for each evaluation criteria. Each school district shall adopt one of the preferred leadership frameworks and post the selection on the district's web site. The superintendent of public instruction shall establish a process for approving minor modifications or adaptations to a preferred leadership framework that may be proposed by a school district.
(f) Student growth data that is relevant to the principal must be a factor in the evaluation process and must be based on multiple measures that can include classroom-based, school-based, district-based, and state-based tools. As used in this subsection, "student growth" means the change in student achievement between two points in time.
(g) Input from building staff may also be included in the evaluation process.
(h) The following comprehensive performance ratings mean a principal's work is not judged satisfactory:
(i) Level 1; or
(ii) Level 2 if the principal has more than five years of experience in the principal role and if the level 2 comprehensive performance rating has been received for two consecutive years or for two years within a consecutive three-year time period.
(7)(a)(i) The steering committee is composed of the following participants: State associations representing teachers, principals, administrators, school board members, and parents.
(ii) The superintendent of public instruction, in collaboration with the steering committee, shall periodically examine implementation issues and refine tools for the teacher and principal four-level rating evaluation systems, including professional learning that addresses issues of equity through the lens of the selected instructional and leadership frameworks.
(b) The superintendent of public instruction shall monitor the statewide implementation of teacher and principal four-level rating evaluation systems using data reported under RCW 28A.150.230 as well as periodic input from focus groups of administrators, principals, and teachers.
(8)(a) Beginning with the 2015-16 school year, evaluation results for certificated classroom teachers and principals must be used as one of multiple factors in making human resource and personnel decisions. Human resource decisions include, but are not limited to: Staff assignment, including the consideration of an agreement to an assignment by an appropriate teacher, principal, and superintendent; and reduction in force. Nothing in this section limits the ability to collectively bargain how the multiple factors shall be used in making human resource or personnel decisions, with the exception that evaluation results must be a factor.
(b) The office of the superintendent of public instruction must, in accordance with RCW 43.01.036, report to the legislature and the governor regarding the school district implementation of the provisions of (a) of this subsection by December 1, 2019, and December 1, 2020.
(9) Each certificated classroom teacher and certificated support personnel shall have the opportunity for confidential conferences with his or her immediate supervisor on no less than two occasions in each school year. Such confidential conference shall have as its sole purpose the aiding of the administrator in his or her assessment of the employee's professional performance.
(10) The failure of any evaluator to evaluate or supervise or cause the evaluation or supervision of certificated classroom teachers and certificated support personnel or administrators in accordance with this section, as now or hereafter amended, when it is his or her specific assigned or delegated responsibility to do so, shall be sufficient cause for the nonrenewal of any such evaluator's contract under RCW 28A.405.210, or the discharge of such evaluator under RCW 28A.405.300.
(11) After a certificated classroom teacher who is not required to be on the four-level rating evaluation system or a certificated support personnel has four years of satisfactory evaluations under subsection (1) of this section, a school district may use a short form of evaluation, a locally bargained evaluation emphasizing professional growth, an evaluation under subsection (1) or (2) of this section, or any combination thereof. The short form of evaluation shall include either a thirty minute observation during the school year with a written summary or a final annual written evaluation based on the criteria in subsection (1) or (2) of this section and based on at least two observation periods during the school year totaling at least sixty minutes without a written summary of such observations being prepared. A locally bargained short-form evaluation emphasizing professional growth must provide that the professional growth activity conducted by the certificated classroom teacher be specifically linked to one or more of the certificated classroom teacher evaluation criteria. However, the evaluation process set forth in subsection (1) or (2) of this section shall be followed at least once every three years unless this time is extended by a local school district under the bargaining process set forth in chapter 41.59 RCW. The employee or evaluator may require that the evaluation process set forth in subsection (1) or (2) of this section be conducted in any given school year. No evaluation other than the evaluation authorized under subsection (1) or (2) of this section may be used as a basis for determining that an employee's work is not satisfactory under subsection (1) or (2) of this section or as probable cause for the nonrenewal of an employee's contract under RCW 28A.405.210 unless an evaluation process developed under chapter 41.59 RCW determines otherwise.
(12) Certificated classroom teachers and principals who are required to be on the four-level rating evaluation system must receive annual performance evaluations as provided in this subsection (12).
(a) A comprehensive performance evaluation assesses all eight evaluation criteria and all criteria contribute to the comprehensive performance rating. Classroom teachers and principals must receive a comprehensive performance evaluation according to the schedule specified in (b) of this subsection.
(b)(i) Except as otherwise provided in this subsection (12)(b), classroom teachers and principals must receive a comprehensive performance evaluation at least once every six years.
(ii) The following types of classroom teachers and principals must receive an annual comprehensive performance evaluation:
(A) A classroom teacher who is a provisional employee under RCW 28A.405.220;
(B) A principal in the first three consecutive school years of employment as a principal;
(C) A principal previously employed as a principal by another school district in the state of Washington for three or more consecutive school years and in the first full year as a principal in the school district; and
(D) A classroom teacher or principal who received a comprehensive performance rating of level 1 or level 2 in the previous school year.
(c)(i) In the years when a comprehensive performance evaluation is not required, classroom teachers and principals who received a comprehensive performance rating of level 3 or above in their previous comprehensive performance evaluation are required to complete a focused performance evaluation. A focused performance evaluation includes an assessment of one of the eight criteria selected for a performance rating plus professional growth activities specifically linked to the selected criteria.
(ii) The selected criteria must be approved by the teacher's or principal's evaluator and may have been identified in a previous comprehensive performance evaluation as benefiting from additional attention. A group of teachers may focus on the same evaluation criteria and share professional growth activities. A group of principals may focus on the same evaluation criteria and share professional growth activities.
(iii) The evaluator must assign a performance rating for the focused performance evaluation using the methodology adopted by the superintendent of public instruction for the instructional or leadership framework being used.
(iv) A teacher or principal may be transferred from a focused performance evaluation to a comprehensive performance evaluation at the request of the teacher or principal, or at the direction of the teacher's or principal's evaluator.
(v) Due to the importance of instructional leadership and assuring rater agreement among evaluators, particularly those evaluating teacher performance, school districts are encouraged to conduct comprehensive performance evaluations of principals on an annual basis.
(vi) A classroom teacher or principal may apply the focused performance evaluation professional growth activities toward the professional growth plan for certificate renewal as required by the Washington professional educator standards board.
(13) Each school district is encouraged to acknowledge and recognize classroom teachers and principals who have attained level 4 - distinguished performance ratings.

NOTES:

Effective dateFindingsIntent2019 c 295: See notes following RCW 28A.310.235.
FindingsIntent2019 c 295: See notes following RCW 28B.10.033.
Intent2019 c 295: See note following RCW 28B.102.030.
FindingsIntent2019 c 295: See note following RCW 28A.415.265.
FindingsIntent2019 c 295: See note following RCW 28A.410.287.
Finding2010 c 235: See note following RCW 28A.405.245.
Effective date1994 c 115: "This act shall take effect September 1, 1994." [ 1994 c 115 § 2.]
Severability1985 c 420: See note following RCW 28A.405.110.
SavingsSeverability1975-'76 2nd ex.s. c 114: See notes following RCW 28A.400.010.
Effective date1975 1st ex.s. c 288: See RCW 41.59.940.
Construction of chapterEmployee's rights preserved: See RCW 41.59.920.
Construction of chapterEmployer's responsibilities and rights preserved: See RCW 41.59.930.
Criteria used for evaluation of staff members to be included in guide: RCW 28A.150.230.
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