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HCPS publishes minutes of School Board meetings after Board approval. Although the online minutes do not include signatures, citizens may arrange to review the official documents by completing a public records request with the Communications Department.

MINUTES
SCHOOL BOARD OF HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, FLORIDA
901 E. Kennedy Boulevard, Tampa
Tuesday, January 6, 2015

The School Board of Hillsborough County, Florida, met in workshop session January 6, 2015, at 9 a.m., in the Staff Conference Room, 901 East Kennedy Boulevard, Tampa, with Superintendent MaryEllen Elia and Board Members Doretha W. Edgecomb, April Griffin, Sally Harris, Carol Kurdell, Melissa Snively, Cindy Stuart, and Susan Valdes present.  Chair Valdes presided.

Others present:
School Board Attorney – Jim Porter
Deputy Superintendents – Jeff Eakins and Cathy Valdes
Assistant Superintendents/Division Chiefs: 
  • Curriculum and Instruction – Wynne Tye
  • Human Resources – Stephanie Woodford
  • Student Services and Federal Programs – Larry Sykes
  • Communications Officer – Stephen Hegarty
Senior Administrative Secretary (Recording) – Patti McBride
News Media Representatives:
Tampa Bay Times – Marlene Sokol
Tampa Tribune – Erin Kourkounis
Approximately 24 people were in the audience, including other school district personnel.

Chair Valdes called the workshop to order at 9:03 a.m., and made brief comments regarding the workshop.  Introductions of audience members were made.

(1)Observation and Evaluation Overview (Human Resources Division)

This workshop was held to provide an overview of the district’s teacher observation and evaluation process.  

 

Superintendent Elia made brief remarks regarding the observation/evaluation process, commenting that she appreciated CTA’s presence at the workshop and thanked Mrs. Kurdell for beginning this process/developing with staff.

 


Stephanie Woodford provided a Power Point  presentation – discussion included:
  • Overview of evaluation process, impact on teaching and learning,  historical perspective of the process, and where we are heading for 2015-2016 school year (to include resource teachers, instructional coaches, and ESE Specialist) – Marie Whelan
  • Mentor/Evaluator Roles – Jamalya Jackson 
  • Explanation of formal vs. informal observations – Sabrina Gates, Jessica Dougherty & Kay Bonte; Sample Observation Instrument distributed.
  • Overview of VAM (Value Added Measure)  – Tracy Schatzberg
John Grantham, Principal of Turner Bartels K-8, discussed role of principals in the classroom, along with others in the classroom (multiple opinions) - helps eliminate peer problems.  
Jean Clements discussed feedback received from multitude of teachers, etc. -- feel we have fallen down on listening to teachers as much as we did in the beginning.  Critical that the teachers feel the system is fair, mechanisms are in place to carefully, thoughtfully, and respectfully look at teachers other than just what the evaluation  may say (a good teacher not receiving good score) – support teaching, not evaluating.

Stephanie Baxter-Jenkins commented that we have created a solid system, but could do some things better, would like to see us at a place where the peers could provide a bridge for more mentoring.  

Van Ayres, Principal of Jefferson High School discussed the importance of not forgetting the support school sites provide to the teachers, as well as the district support (to help make the teachers be the best they can be, no matter where they come in at). 

There was general discussion by board members and staff – considerations/suggestions included:
  • Series of workshops on this topic – possibly in the evening
  • Make sure safeguards are in place for personality conflicts (conflicts of interest; respect for both teacher and evaluator.
  • Consider possibility of changing name of "peer” evaluator to more positive name, which changes perception.
  • What seems punitive, change to positive – create comfortable environment/culture.  Formalize process to hear teacher’s voices (feedback).
  • Provide support to experienced teachers transferring into the district; support, not penalize, teachers who change subjects, i.e. English/ESE. Assist veteran teachers who have learned differently.
  • Work with CTA to have workshops (recommendations/suggestions from CTA reps prior to holding workshops).   
  • Focus on communication - provide accurate information.  Use of technology for feedback, instead of attending meetings
  • Consider changing "peers” to "coaches,” like positive change from technical "centers” to technical "colleges.”
  • Consider "workshops” as a topic for suspended agenda.
  • Board members were reminded to fill out their workshop forms for comments/suggestions. 

Chair Valdes thanked everyone for attending the workshop.  With no further discussion, the workshop adjourned at 10:59 a.m. (Audio recording on file.)

 

HCPS publishes minutes of School Board meetings after Board approval. Although the online minutes do not include signatures, citizens may arrange to review the official documents by completing a public records request with the Communications Department.

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