Schools are changing! Expectations of schools have also changed. Accountability of our schools has never been greater. There are several movements in education taking place across the nation and in the state involving education that will certainly impact the Hoquiam School District.
The evaluation method and process used to evaluate teachers and Principals will be different beginning in the fall of 2013. The nearly 40 year old system of evaluating a teacher and Principal with a simple “U”(unsatisfactory) mark or “S”(satisfactory) mark will be replaced as directed by several new laws.Teachers and Principals new to the district and new to the profession will be evaluated under the new system which uses four marks to evaluate effectiveness: “1” unsatisfactory, “2” basic, “3” proficient and“4” distinguished. Every Principal and every teacher will be evaluated on eight state approved criteria or categories. Each criterion will be graded independently and then converted into one overall score ranging from 1-‐4. Student growth must be factored into this over-‐all mark. You’ll learn more about this new system on the tpep-‐wa.org web site. By school year 2015-‐16, all teachers and Principals will be evaluated using this new process.
Another major change coming to schools will involve the alignment of English/Language Arts and Math courses we teach to the national Common Core State Standards (CCSS). Washington is one of forty six states to adopt these national standards. This commitment on the part of our state took place nearly two years ago. Our team of teachers and administrators have been busy doing the work to make sure what we teach is aligned to national standards. The CCSS will begin with the 2013-‐14 school year.Unfortunately, there will be new tests that will measure student success with the CCSS in math and language arts too.
Parents should also be aware that changes have been made to graduation requirements too. Over the last several years, the state has increased the requirements to earn a high school diploma. In the “old days” a high school diploma was awarded based on passing particular classes and earning a certain number of credits. Not so anymore! Seniors in the Class of 2013 from Hoquiam must:
Earn at least 22 credits in required courses
Pass the state HSPE writing test
Pass the state HSPE reading test or alternative
Pass ONE math end of course exam in Algebra or Geometry or an alternative
Complete a high school and beyond plan
Complete a senior project (referred to as the culminating project)
Further changes to the graduation requirements could occur as the legislature considers more changes proposed to them by the State Board of Education.
The funding of public schools may also change following this current legislature. How it will impact the Hoquiam School District remains to be determined.
One thing does remain constant in our district-‐ we have a caring staff working with wonderful students!