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Many of you have seen the disturbing news regarding the shooting at Freeman High School, which is near Spokane, Washington, this morning. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the students, their families and the surrounding community.

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Teacher Evaluations

Since 2000, Lake Washington School District has been using the Danielson Framework for Teaching for district teacher evaluations. This framework rates teachers on a four-level system on 22 different components comprised of a range of professional responsibilities. This framework spells out what quality teaching consists of. It is a tool to help principals communicate with teachers where and how they are performing well and where and how they may need to improve.

In 2010, the Washington state legislature passed a law requiring every school district to establish a new teacher and principal evaluation system by 2013. The Danielson Framework, with some changes, was one of the three that school districts could choose to use for teacher evaluations. Thus, for Lake Washington School District, implementation of the state teacher evaluation program has been a matter of adjusting an already existing program rather than the implementation of an entirely new one.

The 22 components of the framework are now organized into eight criteria. Within several of the criteria, teachers also set specific student growth goals, for an entire class and for subgroups. There is an emphasis on using data and collaborating with other professionals to develop and reach these growth goals. Teachers are evaluated on a scale of distinguished (4), proficient (3), basic (2), or unsatisfactory (1) in each component and the five growth goals. The criteria and related components follow.

Teacher evaluation criteria

Criterion 1: Centering instruction on high expectations for student achievement
  • Establishing a culture for learning
  • Communicating with students
  • Engaging students in learning
Criterion 2: Demonstrating effective teaching practices
  • Using questioning and discussion techniques
  • Reflecting on teaching
Criterion 3: Recognizing individual student learning needs and developing strategies to address those needs
  • Demonstrating knowledge of students
  • Demonstrating flexibility and responsiveness
  • Student Growth: Establish student growth goal(s)
  • Student Growth: Achievement of student growth goal(s)
Criterion 4: Providing clear and intentional focus on subject matter content and curriculum
  • Demonstrating knowledge of content and pedagogy
  • Setting instructional outcomes
  • Demonstrating knowledge of resources
  • Designing coherent instruction
Criterion 5: Fostering and managing a safe, positive learning environment
  • Creating an environment of respect and rapport
  • Managing classroom procedures
  • Managing student behavior
  • Organizing physical spaces
Criterion 6: Using multiple data elements to modify instruction and improve student learning
  • Designing student assessments
  • Using assessment in instruction
  • Maintaining accurate records
  • Student growth: Establish student growth goal(s)
  • Student growth: Achievement of student growth goal(s)
Criterion 7: Communicating and collaborating with parents and the school community
  • Communicating with families
Criterion 8: Exhibiting collaborative and collegial practices focused on improving instructional practices and student learning
  • Participating in a professional community
  • Growing and developing professionally
  • Showing Professionalism
  • Student growth: Establish team student growth goal(s)