The Union R-XI School Board met Monday night for the first work session, in a series, to discuss the district’s superintendent evaluation system.

Superintendent Steve Bryant said adopting the state model for evaluating district employees or one that follows the same principles is a requirement of Missouri’s Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA).

A ESEA waiver requires every district have an effective evaluation process in place by 2014-15.

Gary Young, board president, said the previous superintendent evaluation system was not effective.

The evaluation methods discussed Monday night are centered around growth more so than performance.

A set of 16 quality indicators have been identified by the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) and school districts can select between three and six of those indicators as primary evaluation criteria.

In those highlighted areas, and the secondary group of criteria, the superintendent can be rated in four distinctions: new, developing, proficient or distinguished.

Bryant pointed out the use of data to support the classifications makes the state’s method of evaluation superior to the one utilized previously for the district.

Bryant said the style of the evaluation system is “give and take.”

“If there’s one that’s an issue it’s open game,” he said.

If an educator has an area where he or she wants to personally improve supervisors can assist him or her in the process by holding individuals accountable to a specific standard, Bryant added.

“We’ll need to tweak it as we go along,” he said.

A follow-up discussion to select the primary quality indicators for superintendents this year and further define what the standards mean to this district is tentatively set for Dec. 3.

The date and time of the next work session will be finalized at the board’s Monday, Nov. 19, meeting.

ESEA Waiver

The waiver was granted in August to provide schools with a set of expectations, more effective than the rigid No Child Left Behind stipulations, according to a DESE release.

The waiver requires an “aligned” educator evaluation system.

The Union district already has implemented the state sanctioned system for evaluating principals.

Administrators are encouraged to use the state preferred teacher evaluation tools although they are not required to this year, according to DESE.

Everyone in the district is considered an instructional leader, but the leadership focus is different from position to position and the model is structured to individualize evaluations, according to Assistant Superintendent Dr. Jennifer Hope.