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BV talks evaluations, student growth

MANLIUS — The Bureau Valley School Board heard from the district’s three principals on Tuesday, who spoke briefly about the importance of teacher evaluations and how they have evolved in the last year.

The board approved recommendations made by the joint committee on the evaluation documents on Tuesday.

Bureau Valley South Principal Kristal LeRette said the committee’s work is very positive and is going in the right direction.

“There’s great communication. I’m just very pleased with the teachers and administrators who are working together on the project,” she said.

Bureau Valley North Principal Sandra Beitsch explained how Bureau Valley is in a good place with the evaluations, as some surrounding school districts have not yet adopted the project.

“They don’t have to yet, but I think we’re ahead of the game and in a good position,” she said.

She explained how teachers have had lots of input on changes made to the evaluations and how they have fine-tuned the language to provide a more efficient evaluation.

The next step in the evaluation process is focusing on the student growth component.

Superintendent Stephen Endress commented this portion of the evaluation is huge because it assesses students when they come in at the beginning of the year and assesses them again at the end of the year; it provides a look at the growth completed throughout the year.

Beitsch said teachers have developed assessments to gauge the growth and will be piloting this step of the evaluation.

“I think that puts us in a good position to see how that’s going to work and eventually have that be a certain percentage of the teacher evaluation process,” she said.

Board member Don DeWaele asked about the action plan set in place for students who come out of eighth grade and are not ready for the level of math they were placed in for high school.

BV High School Principal Eric Lawson said it’s a work in progress, but with collaboration with the teachers and administrators, it will help highlight the deficiencies and find out the level of intervention those students will need.

Beitsch reminded the assessments should be used for direction on how to improve instruction, and it is only one piece of data used for teacher evaluations.

“We certainly want assessments to go beyond that,” she said. “I think it will be a piece in looking at any students who might have a deficiency in a grade or subject.”

In other news, the board:

• Approved the employment of Bureau Valley South and North coaches and sponsors for 2014-15.

• Accepted the resignation of Erin Matlick as special education teacher at Wyanet and Katie Bosnich as special education aide at BVN and freshman volleyball coach.

• Approved the employment of Tricia Musselman as special education teacher at Wyanet; Angela Cotton and Heather Bauer as special education aides at BVS; Kendra Ross as head teacher at BVS; and Robert Uzumecki as assistant high school football coach.

• Approved Wayne Bailey as volunteer high school volleyball coach.

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