5/20/16 Notes

The E.I. Committee met on 5/20/16.  During the meeting, the committee:

  • Analyzed data and survey results from the 2015-16 E.I. process survey.
  • Reviewed feedback from the Alaska Department of Education and Early Development (DEED) regarding the E.I. evaluation system.
  • Reviewed and refined the 2015-16 E.I. process forms.
  • Planned and developed training resources for the 2016-17 E.I. process.

A summary of the committee’s decisions and findings is as follows:

  • Responses to the annual E.I. process survey reflected a 39.5% response rate.
  • More than 90% of respondents indicated they received valuable, sufficient feedback, and indicated that evaluators spent sufficient time in classrooms.
  • New evaluation forms for Counselors were reviewed and approved.
  • Updates to the other E.I. process forms were discussed and approved.  Based on regulatory changes, the sections for reporting on measures of student growth and the overall rating information were eliminated from the forms and processes.  DEED’s review of the E.I. evaluation system revealed that there must be a greater focus on professional goal setting and growth for teachers in relationship to their professional evaluation.  As a result, the topic of identifying a professional goal and calibrating on what achievement of the goal will involve and “look like” was added into the E.I. process.
  • The committee reflected upon the need to refocus training and PD back on the Danielson Framework rubrics to further support the process as a tool for supporting growth in addition to achieving a professional evaluation of practice.
  • The Rediker software pilot will continue in 2016-17 to allow further refinements to the forms and software.
  • Teachscape calibration will continue to be required for new-to-district administrators.  Site calibration visits will also be required for all administrators next year.

The Committee will meet again on September 27, 2016. Questions regarding the information above may be directed to any member of the E.I. Committee or to Christine Ermold, the facilitator of the committee.

Effective Instruction Committee Information: SGMs

The Effective Instruction (EI) Committee met on January 28, 2016 to review the progress of the SGM pilot and discuss the implications of possible regulatory changes related to the December 2015 passage of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).  Questions regarding the following information may be directed to the facilitator of the EI Committee, Dr. Christine Ermold, or any member of the committee.  Principals have been asked to share the following information with their faculty and organize questions at their site into a single document to help direct the flow of communication through the site administrator.

  • Background: Pending the outcome of the March 2016 State Board of Education & Early Development meeting, 4 AAC 19.010(k) Purpose and Scope of Evaluations may be repealed.  This would remove the state requirement for all educators to pilot a measure of student learning data as part of the evaluation system. As stated in the 1.25.16 State Board packet Agenda Item 3A memo, “It will be necessary for the State Board of Education & Early Development to determine whether or not to maintain the use of student achievement data as part of the educator evaluation process, as well as to maintain or revise other elements of the evaluation process currently required by regulation.  The department recommends a full discussion of possible regulatory revisions as part of … a future board meeting.”
  • Issue: Should the KPBSD continue the pilot of SGM for the 2015-16 school year if the regulatory requirement to do so is repealed?
  • Discussion: Charlotte Danielson’s Framework for Teaching and her related research is the foundation upon which the KPBSD Effective Instruction System was built.  The consideration of evidence of student learning is woven throughout the Framework, and the basis for the current Student Growth Map (SGM) can be explicitly found in Components 1F: Designing Student Assessments and   3D: Using Assessment in Instruction.  Evidence of a teacher’s impact on student growth and learning is one piece of the broader picture of teacher effectiveness that the KPBSD values.  The KPBSD Board of Education is required to review and approve any changes to the certified employee evaluation system.  The current evaluation system was presented and approved by the Board on 7/6/15.  Additionally:
    • The original regulation required the use of the state’s approved test as one of multiple measures considered in a teacher’s evaluation.  The future of the state’s assessment, the Alaska Measures of Progress (AMP) is uncertain.  It was anticipated that eventually, educators would build one of the two to four SGMs off of AMP data.
    • The current format of SGMs has resulted in additional record keeping that has been beneficial for some teachers, redundant for some teachers, and unsuccessful for some teachers.
    • Conversations around the data presented in the SGM has proven to result in a positive change in practice for many principals and teachers.
    • In circumstances that the SGMs were reported to be too difficult or too cumbersome, it appears likely that educators’ developing skill levels with SGMs, and the challenge of determining what amount of growth is appropriate for various students with various measures were the source of the challenges.
    • Additional information is needed from KPBSD teachers after completing the current pilot to determine how best to proceed with including evidence of student learning in the KPBSD’s E.I. Evaluation System.
  • Decision: The E.I. Committee recognizes that KPBSD’s current SGM process has both benefits and drawbacks, and in an effort to continually refine and improve the KPBSD’s E.I. Evaluation System, the SGM pilot will continue this school year regardless of the State Board of Education & Early Development’s decision in March 2016.
    • In an effort to ease the burden of additional meetings and paperwork preparation, and to promote authentic conversations around student data with colleagues, all educators piloting an SGM who are being evaluated on the Standard Evaluation Plan in 15-16 may conduct their mid and end-of-SGM reviews within their collaborative teams.  The completed SGM form does not get submitted to district office; it should be kept onsite by the principal.
    • Only educators piloting an SGM under the Alternate Protocol for Tenured Teachers in 15-16 will continue to review their SGM data with their administrators and submit their final form to district office.
      • Please note that it was the intent of the committee that the reviews of SGM progress should occur during already existing meetings.  Therefore, the reviews with tenured teachers on the Alternate Protocol should occur during regularly occurring calibration meetings or informal observation discussions whenever possible.
  • Future Action: The E.I. Committee will meet again this winter to refine the E.I. Survey that is sent to all certified teachers each spring.  Data from the survey will be used along with any regulatory changes and guidance to make changes to the E.I. Evaluation System for the 16-17 school year and beyond.

Effective Instruction Committee Information

The E.I. Committee met to finalize details for the 2015-16 school year.  The committee finalized the following items:

  • The KPBSD EI Handbook 15-16.
  • The procedure for determining an educator’s overall rating for the purpose of meeting state reporting requirements.
  • The training modules that will be used to train all KPBSD educators in what SGMs are, how to create and review them, and where to find supportive resources.

As always, other notes and documents from the work of the committee can be found online at http://effectiveinstruction.blogs.kpbsd.k12.ak.us/wpmu/.

SGM Pilot- Year End Procedures

The following information was provided to all Student Growth Map (SGM) pilot participants during the 4/29/15 session.  It outlines the information that participants need to complete by May 21 to close out the pilot project.


1. Save finalized SGM(s) in the Districtwide Staff Shared folder < 2014-15 Eval Docs for Pilot in the following format: Grade.Content.Assessment (For example: PreK.SelfHelp.Observation, 3.Reading.CBM, 7.Math.PerfSeries, 10.Foods.TeacherMade)

2. Once SGMs are saved, send a confirmation email to Doug Hayman and Christine Ermold stating the step was completed and providing the name the SGM was saved under. If supporting documents are related to the SGM (like a teacher made test or separate data chart,) send them with the email.

3. Complete two end of year surveys.


The powerpoint from the 4.29.15 session is also inserted for review.


Questions regarding this information may be directed to:

Christine Ermold, Ed.D.

Director of Elementary Education & Professional Development

Kenai Peninsula Borough School District, Alaska

2.19.15 Effective Instruction Committee Notes

The Effective Instruction (EI) Committee met on February 19, 2015 to continue the development and revision of tools and processes related to the Student Growth Maps.  Questions regarding the following information may be directed to the facilitator of the EI Committee, Dr. Christine Ermold, or any member of the committee.

  • The possible regulatory changes related to Alaska’s ESEA waiver were discussed, as were plans for expanding the SGM pilot into the 2015-16 school year.  Training at a district level versus site level was discussed at length, and the members of the EI committee concluded that regional, job alike, and on-site training would likely be the most helpful, and that ongoing learning during in-service or collaboration time will need to be required and scheduled at each site.
  • A guide outlining when to exclude student data from an SGM was drafted.  Exclusion Criteria 3.10.15
  • A guide for evaluating the quality of an assessment for the purpose of an SGM was drafted.  Assessment Quality Assurance 3.10.15
  • The Continuous Growth System Map was revised.  3.10.15 Teacher Evaluation Continuous Growth System v5
  • Extensive discussion regarding the Teacher Enrichment Pathway (TEP) occurred.  The TEP continues to be recognized as a powerful agent of growth for educators, however, concern continues to exist over whether requiring an additional evaluation process within the Continuous Growth System is essential.  Members of the E.I. Committee agreed to talk with colleagues about the idea of the continuing the TEP opportunity as it currently exists versus the TEP becoming an opportunity for professional development facilitated through the Professional Development Department that is unrelated to a teacher’s evaluation status.  This topic will be revisited during the next EI Committee meeting on 5.29.15.
  • The agenda and activities for the final SGM Pilot Project meeting on 4.29.15 was outlined.

Effective Instruction Committee Update

Following input from our pilot participants and after many discussions and a review of current practices nationwide, the Effective Instruction Committee settled on the following rating system for the purpose of the SGM pilot.  The rating system will be reviewed at the end of May to determine if changes need to be considered for 2015-16.

Unsatisfactory Basic Proficient Distinguished/ Exemplary
Less than 50% met growth goal 50-69.9% met growth goal 70-89.9% met growth goal 90-100% met growth goal

Secondary Education & Student Activities “Administrivia” (1.21.15)

Secondary Education “Administrivia” (1.21.15)

  • Digital Technology Initiative Mid-Year Update:
    • We are half way through year 1 of our three year grant from the DEED.  Our mid-year report was submitted January 15th to the independent evaluator (Dr. Dale Cope)
    • The 15 teacher cohort is in the middle of their formalized training/PD sessions.
    • Most cohort members have completed the Quality Matters online course training curriculum.
    • Several Blended Learning topic Lync session trainings have/will also take place throughout this school year.
    • 19 Educators attended the iNACOL conference in Palm Springs, CA funded by the grant
    • 20+/- Educators will also attend ASTE this February in Anchorage funded by the grant
  • Activity/Field Trip Travel Possible Technology Assistance:  
    • David Henson and Jim White are working on a prototype activity trip tracking system that will preload trips, participants, emergency paperwork, and the ability to add/subtract trip participants and add notes/details using a smartphone and a QPC code reader application.
    • We are going to be working with some schools to pilot this  year and hope to go live district-wide next Fall for all activity and fieldtrips (K-12).
    • A new Travel regulations memo will be formalized by the end of this year to reflect all current and any new activity travel expectations for schools (i.e. travel range restrictions, when use of ALMR radio is expected, private vehicle transport restrictions, coaches driving restrictions, and driver on duty/driving time restrictions, etc…).
  • Distance Learning Program:
  • Our second semester course enrollment numbers are at 1010 as of this morning (1.21.15).  This is early for numbers to be this large and our teachers are near capacity on their individual teacher loads.
  • Some changes planned include allowing students to enroll in distance classes during the course enrollment period directly from Powerschool (DP/Counselors working on this now)
  • Next year Credit Recovery Courses for Connections and our K-12 program will no longer be supervised/Teacher of Record by the Distance Learning Program.  Like our larger high schools have for years, these schools will now need to oversee Credit Recovery with their own teaching staff.
  • As the program grows we are hearing concerns/worries from teachers about whether they will eventually be replaced by distance education.  This is absolutely not the case and I would be happy to discuss these concerns with anyone.  Please refer questions on this matter to me (John O’Brien)



  • Summer School Credit Recovery Session:  
  • The session will be run just as it has in the past.
  • Our large high schools provide the program (SoHi, Nikiski, Homer, KCHS, Seward)
  • All CORE areas are provided (Math, Lang. Arts, Social Studies, and Science)
  • The program is an “on-line prescriptive” web based program through Pearson called “GRADPOINT”
  • The Session runs for three weeks in June. Half days (8:00-noon) June 1-19
  • Principals do their own hiring by emailing internal certified staff to solicit interest
  • Staff need to be certified and HQ in one of the four CORE areas (preference)



  • Policy Change TAKE NOTE: 
  • AR 6146.1 High School Graduation Requirements: Additional quality points will be assigned for College Board Advanced Placement (AP) courses for the purpose of calculating grade point average (GPA). For each passing semester grade in an Advanced Placement course, 0.021 will be added to the student’s cumulative GPA. Effective for SY 2015, the fall semester weighted quality points will be added at the conclusion of the fall semester (like before).  In order to receive the spring semester weighted quality points, students must also complete the National Advanced Placement course examination.

Blended & Online Learning

KPBSD sent 17 educators to the International Association for K-12 Online Learning (iNACOL) Symposium in California.  Through the Digital Learning Initiative Grant that the KPBSD received we were able to send a team of district teachers and administrators to learn about “Blended Learning.”  This conference focuses on showcasing districts, schools, and classroom teachers who are using new learning models considered blended learning.  The intent is to “level the playing field for students through the creation of new learning models, and to ensure that students everywhere have access to a world-class education that prepares them for a lifetime of success, no matter their geographic location or economic situation.” -iNACOL


What is Blended learning?  Blended learning is any time a student learns at least in part at a supervised brick-and-mortar location away from home and at least in part through online delivery with some element of student control over time, place, path, and/or pace; often used synonymously with

Hybrid Learning. (Horn and Staker, 2011)


KPBSD hopes that this 3 year Digital Learning grant will help us to build the capacity of our teachers to learn how to and begin to apply blended learning strategies throughout our district’s 43 schools. Over the next three years the grant will help fund professional development and learning opportunities for three cohorts of 15 teachers per year. The teacher cohorts will learn how to implement blended learning/teaching strategies within their classrooms and to share what they have learned with colleagues in their schools so that blended learning can be implemented in more and more classrooms.


Blended learning is all about personalizing the learning experience for each student focusing their individual learning at a time, place, path, and pace that meets their unique learning needs.  By using digital learning tools  within the classroom setting, teachers are able to leverage these tools and skills to provide higher quality immediate feedback to their students about their learning and growth.  Some teachers in our district already employ blended learning strategies in their classrooms and we hope more and more of our classrooms will become blended in the near future.