ACentral evaluations on RISE

    In an effort to ensure the staff at Adams Central continues to strive to give students their best efforts, the AC Board of Education, at its meeting this week, adopted a new system of evaluating teachers.
    Superintendent Mike Pettibone said that Indiana law mandates teacher evaluations and under this new system, RISE, he feels teachers and principals alike will benefit from the more detailed process.
    Pettibone said the RISE model is similar to the current method of evaluations used by the school and is research based in the high standards of solid teaching practices.
    "RISE will not be used as a checklist, but rather a guide," said Pettibone.
    With AC Principals Terri Laurent and Aaron McClure, Pettibone said the trio has been attending workshops to be trained in using the RISE model, and that the system must be approved by the Indiana Department of Education.
    Under the RISE model, teachers will be evaluated on four different domains: planning, effective instruction, leadership, and professionalism.
    Pettibone explained that on the first three domains, teachers will receive a rating from  one, ineffective, to a four, highly effective.
    This allows the principal performing the evaluation to decide the degree at which a teacher is performing in a certain area. Rather than a simple yes/no type answer, the principal can better pinpoint where the teachers stand on each criteria, said Pettibone.
    "Professionalism is based on things like do you arrive to school on time, are you ethical, do you attend and participate in professional development, are you a team member, those types of things. And that's a yes or no answer. You either are or you're not," said Pettibone.
    In the RISE rubric, planning makes up 10 percent of the teacher's score, instruction is 75 percent, and leadership is 15 percent, with professionalism getting either a zero, for a yes, or a minus one for a no. So if a teacher is deemed unprofessional by the principal, one point will be subtracted from the overall score, according to Pettibone.
    Teachers with three years or fewer at AC will be observed for at least 40 minutes twice a year; a teacher with four years or more years will have one 40-minute observation a year, and all teachers will have a minimum of three ten minute observations a year.
    McClure said under the current system, there are no 10-minute observations at all. First- and second-year teachers are evaluated twice a year; in years three through five, teachers are evaluated once a year; and teachers with six or more years are evaluated once every other year.
    All evaluations will be followed up with meetings between the principal and teacher, with the principal providing detailed feedback to help teachers see areas they could improve upon.
    "We don't want this to be viewed as a punishment," said Pettibone. "We want our teachers to see these evaluations as a type of coaching tool. We all need a little guidance now and then. Even Michael Jordan had a coach."
    The board voted to adopt the RISE rubric in its entirety, 6-0.