Washington School District officials are working to update the support staff and superintendent performance evaluation process.

The school board last Wednesday night reviewed policy updates, but did not formally adopt the changes.

Superintendent Dr. Lori VanLeer said changes to the support staff evaluations are 90 percent complete, with much of it aligning with current policy.

The policies feature common characteristics required from all employees, she said, as well as unique performance criteria.

VanLeer told the board the previous policies lacked unique performance criteria, which are more catered to each position.

The new policies call for two evaluations throughout the year, as opposed to one that is required now. It also outlines the evaluation cycle.

Each support staff employee would be evaluated on a four-point scale A mark of “Unsatisfactory,” or ”Performance below expectation,” would require the supervisor to make a written comment identifying the deficiency, as well as indicate steps necessary to make improvements.

VanLeer said the goal is to align job descriptions and develop a procedure for getting direct and secondary supervisors to work together to evaluate support staff’s work. Some slight revisions may still be needed, she said, and additional job positions may be added.

VanLeer said she has met with support staff supervisors about the policy changes.

“They realize that this is going to be a significant change and that it’s more work, but they have a hard time giving employees feedback with the evaluation criteria we currently have in place because it doesn’t at all align with what they do in some instances,” she said.

Superintendent Evaluation

VanLeer suggested taking a phased approach to the superintendent performance evaluation plan beginning with a section-by-section review of the 97-page document.

The superintendent evaluation process is a part of the Missouri’s Educator Evaluation System, which was created, field-tested and piloted, and refined by hundreds of educators across the state, the document states.

The board agreed to the type of approach, in which sections will be reviewed at board meetings through February 2014.

Board members also can watch Department of Elementary and Secondary Education webinars outlining the plan, which calls forboard adoption in February.

Selection of performance indicators would follow at the spring work session so VanLeer will know what she needs to focus on.

If adopted, implementation would begin in July for the beginning of the next school year.

The board may also look at other policies.

Scott Byrne, board president, said he feels the evaluation is a step in the right direction. He also said VanLeer will get continuous feedback throughout the school year, as she has in the past.