Inspecting What We Expect:

Follow Up with Staff to the Spot Check Overview

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Instructional Leader (IL) Questions

1. Do you train ILs?
Yes! All Instructional Leaders are trained with a Professional Learning (PL) developed training that happens prior to becoming an IL. ILs receive weekly training and coaching from their Instructional Director (ID). PL is currently developing an additional training that will include the Jeni Day video. This training will also include another video showing an IL completing a Spot Check of a struggling teacher, how the coaching happens, and then a follow up Spot Check.

2. ILs work with how many teachers?
About 15 teachers -- ideally we would like this to be lowered but we have to consider cost. ILs make about $875 per month BEFORE taxes ($3500 per semester). Curriculum and Instruction (C&I) would like to restore IL pay back to $4500 per semester but this will be hard to do.

3. How many ILs?
We currently have 81 ILs and each ID works with any where from 12 to 21 ILs.

Spot Check Process Questions

  • The number of each teacher's Spot Checks performed each semester are based on teacher experience and/or previous teacher performance (see number of Spot Checks below)
  • IDs work with their ILs to set up the Spot Check Rotation Document
  • Each week, IDs and ILs talk in their weekly meetings about Spot Check ratings and trends. This drives discussions in this meeting, in Department meetings, and for Professional Learning needs.
  • Each week, C&I discuss overall Spot Check trends. This further drives discussions about "what do we do next."
  • After an IL completes a Spot Check, it is shared back with the teacher and the ID. The IL has already provided her coaching and summary statement. The teacher then provides her reflections on all TEN categories. From here, any additional discussions happen. If it is a low spot check, a conversation happens immediately with the IL and ID. The process finishes with the ID providing a summary statement as well. This happens for EVERY spot check for EVERY teacher.
  • IDs are able to check behind an IL as often as needed.
  • Teachers can and do disagree with ratings and further conversations happen with additional summary statements added.

How Often Do Spot Checks Happen?

First Semester Teaching with NCVPS:
Fall/Spring: A Spot Check will be conducted every two weeks. After two consecutive Spot Checks with categories at Proficient, the Instructional Leader may move the teacher to monthly Spot Checks if checks continue to be at Proficient. If Spot Checks are not at Proficient, then spot checks should remain as every two weeks.

Summer: A Spot Check will be conducted every week for four weeks, and if the teacher has four Spot Checks at Proficient, the Instructional Leader may conduct Spot Checks every other week. If Spot Checks are not at Proficient, then spot checks should remain as every week.

NCVPS Veteran Teachers Teaching with NCVPS Three Years or Less:
Fall/Spring: A Spot Check will be conducted each month for a total of four Spot Checks per semester. If the teacher is not Proficient in all categories after two Spot Checks, a Spot Check will be conducted as often as the Instructional Director deems necessary.

Summer: A Spot Check will be conducted monthly for a total of two Spot Checks. If the teacher is not Proficient in all categories after the first Spot Check, a Spot Check will be conducted as often as the Instructional Director deems necessary.

NCVPS Veteran Teachers Teaching with NCVPS Three Years or More:
Fall/Spring: A Spot Check will be conducted the first month. If the Spot Check has all categories at Proficient, then at least two more Spot Checks will be conducted for a total of three Spot Checks per semester. If the teacher is not Proficient in all categories, a Spot Check will be conducted monthly or as often as the Instructional Director deems necessary.
Summer: A Spot Check will be conducted monthly for a total of two Spot Checks. If the teacher is not Proficient in all categories after the first Spot Check, a Spot Check will be conducted as often as the Instructional Director deems necessary.

NCVPS Instructional Leaders:
Fall/Spring: At least three Spot Checks will be conducted per semester.

Summer: At least one Spot Check will be conducted during the summer semester.

NCVPS Instructional Leaders are Spot Checked by other Instructional Leaders.

C&I is developing an IL evaluation system to resemble the Spot Check process. This will be conducted by the ID.

How do we know Spot Checks have made a difference? How do we know this level of rigor is producing results?

  • Largest enrollments ever for 2013-2014 - over 52,000 full credit enrollments
  • Largest enrollment area? students with disabilities
  • Fall 2014 -- largest semester enrollment of over 25,000 full credit enrollments
  • Fall 2014 -- largest number of teachers under contract -- over 700
  • 83% pass rate
  • Expanding intervention options for schools
  • More effective teaching – Spot Check ratings

  • Stronger teacher/student relationships – Communication Journals, survey results

  • Enrollment from all 115 NC school districts

  • More returning students for a second NCVPS course

  • Low teacher turnover

  • All three General Education courses -- Biology, Math 1, English 2 -- exceeded state averages for End of Course testing for 2013-2014.

"The best thing about teaching is that it matters. The hardest thing about being a teacher is that it matters every day." Todd Whitaker

Other Questions!

1. How is C&I working to improve the Communications expectations?

  • Focus on Instructional Director and Instructional Leader weekly meetings
  • Focus on monthly Department meetings
  • Michelle's focus in Virtual Connection
  • Will be on on-going

2. How do teachers know which Web 2.0 tools are approved?

We have a Web 2.0 process. Janice leads this. There is information for the teachers weekly in the Virtual Connection about a new tool Janice has seen and has been approved.

3. Do ILs look at every student activity or just one activity in general?

They will randomly choose several assignments for a each student, varying the assignments they choose.

4. What if a teacher received all Proficient do you grow that teacher?

This is a teacher that we would work with to grow her to deepen her work with students AND we would use this teacher to teach others in Department meetings, one-on-one, eLC meetings, etc.

We use GROWTH PLANS for those teachers who do not improve.

5. I noticed that a teacher recorded this process. Do the IDs know how to do all of these reporting functions at the same level as the ILs? What areas of improvement do you see for the actual implementation of this process?

Yes, the IDs know how to do all the reporting functions as the ILs do. We do, however, learn constantly from our amazing ILs.

We are already implementing this process and have for several years. We review the Spot Check form and process every semester to ensure it is working to provide students with the best instruction possible.

6. Within Grade Activity, is there a column to pull stats for District and/or School, specifically to define/trend lagging districts/schools?

I don't think so.

7. Who sees the celebrations? All students in section, or specific students addressed only?

All users enrolled in that section.

8. What are the stats in making ample contact with students/parents/schools?

This is Pillar 3, Building Relationships through Stakeholders Relationships. Teachers are help responsible here for this communication on the Spot Check.

9. When teachers communicate with parents via e-mail, what is the next step if parents never respond?

The school contact becomes the de facto parent if the school cannot get in touch with the parent as well.

10. Does ALL communication between teacher & student/parent/ELA need to be documented?


Inter-Rater Reliability

Definitions of "inter-rater reliability" to reflect different viewpoints about what is reliable agreement between raters.

1. Reliable raters agree with the "official" rating of a performance.

2. Reliable raters agree with each other about the exact ratings to be awarded.

3. Reliable raters agree about which performance is better and which is worse.

This is the focus of all training, all coaching, discussions, meetings, reviews, etc. If we are EVER in doubt, we re-check.

Spot Check Proficiency Numbers as of November 14, 2014

These numbers represent teacher proficiency as of the MOST recent Spot Check as of November 14, 2014.

RIGHT CLICK HERE for CURRENT Spot Check proficiency numbers as described above.

5 Data Questions
What does this data tell you?

What does this data NOT tell you?

What are the celebrations about the data?

What opportunities for improvement does the data allow us?

Where do we go from here?


Our FOCUS, either Facilitator or Teacher, Defines the Teacher's Performance

A facilitator by definition is “one that helps to bring about an outcome (as learning, productivity, or communication) by providing indirect or unobtrusive assistance, guidance, or supervision <the workshop's facilitator kept discussion flowing smoothly>.”

That is not our role as teachers at NCVPS! The key giveaways are the words “indirect” and “unobtrusive.” A teacher by definition is “one whose occupation is to instruct.” Instruction requires connection, a relationship, and decisions that positively impact student learning.

Content matters! But content ALONE is not effective learning -- research says student success is all about the relationship with the teacher!

"Although students have less time with teachers during high school, there is strong evidence that relationships with adults in these settings are among the most important predictors of success."

"Connection with teachers was a better predictor of many outcomes than was students’ sense of family connectedness. As with young students, the benefits of positive relationships with adults are not limited to social and emotional outcomes. Although both parental and teacher support are important in predicting students’ achievement, a recent study indicated that student-perceived teacher connection was the factor most closely associated with growth in achievement from 8th to 12th grade (Gregory & Weinstein, 2004)."

"Great teachers form strong relationships with their students and show that they care about them as people. Great teachers are warm, accessible, enthusiastic and caring. Teachers with these qualities are known to stay after school and make themselves available to students and parents who need them. They are involved in school-wide committees and activities, and they demonstrate a commitment to the school."

If the teacher/student relationship is important, teachers must be expected to develop these relationships and givent he tools and training to do so.

And then they must be held accountable.

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Why? Factors that lead to the evolution of the NCVPS Instructional Model

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How? The Instructional Model: From Teacher Training to Implementation

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Need for Accountability -- Inspect what you Expect

Hint: right click to open in a new window

NCVPS Teacher Portfolio with Spot Check template
NCVPS Teacher Expectations 2014-2015

Supporting the Online Teacher Through eLearning Communities

The NCVPS Vision of eLCs

What is an eLC?

An eLC is time for all the teachers of a particular subject to come together, both asynchronously and synchronously, to discuss common instructional concerns, practices, successes, and reflections, all in order to improve student learning.

eLCs create an instructional culture, allow teams to set clear and measurable goals, and allow teams to collect and analyze the data to see if goals are being reached (Harry Wong).

Why have an eLC?

NCVPS believes in collaboration at all levels, and there is perhaps no more important collaboration time than teachers working together to evaluate what works and what doesn’t work for student learning. This is not a time to just teach and have no connection to other teachers in your area - so much can be learned when teams work together.

Two hundred studies have shown that the only factor that can create student achievement is a knowledgeable, skillful teacher (Harry Wong.) Harry Wong says, “The bottom line is that there is no way to create good schools without good teachers. It is the administrator who creates a good school. And it is the teacher who creates a good classroom.” The eLC helps us to improve instruction and do all we can to provide effective instruction to all students.

What does accountability look like in an eLC?

eLC time is a part of every teacher’s NCVPS contract. But more importantly, it is an excellent way to become a better online teacher. NCVPS expects every teacher to participate weekly, three weeks asynchronously and one week synchronously, to collaborate, to build relationships with colleagues, and to improve instruction.

What is my role in an eLC?

Each teacher’s role is to participate intentionally and not approach the eLC as “just one more thing to do” or as something on a checklist. Be committed; be a leader; make a difference.

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Additional Resources (right click on link to open in new window)