Resources and Reminders
for DPAS-II in 2020-2021
In October, the DDOE released updated guidance for implementing DPAS-II evaluations for teachers and specialists in the 2020-2021 school year. To view that guidance click here. Read a summary here. Two important notes below:

Evaluation System - Additional Guidance 2020-2021

Component One and Component Four forms are optional this year. Due to the modification - now that observations are no longer required on all 18 criteria on the teacher or specialist rubric - the forms for Component I and Component IV will not be required this year. 

Goal Setting - Evaluation System 2020-2021

Educators are required to set goals for the 2020-2021 school year even though the Student Improvement Component (Component 5) is not included in an educator’s summative evaluation rating for the 2020-2021 school year. Measure selection/goals setting conference will begin on November 1, 2020. The goal setting should be completed as soon as possible. Goals should be a minimum of four weeks in length. 

Please direct questions about the updated guidance to Angela Socorso.
Deep Dive into the Redesigned Rubric
Since 2018, a Steering Committee of educators from across the state have been engaged in a redesign of the teacher evaluation rubric in use in Delaware. The Steering Committee engaged in the redesign following this theory of action:

  • Because: despite efforts by educators across the state, Delaware students are not yet meeting expectations or are fully prepared for college and career,
  • And because: teachers are the number one most influential in-school factor in whether a student is successful,
  • Our theory is that If: teachers and leaders across the state have a shared expectation for what great teaching and learning looks and sounds like,
  • And: teachers are supported to improve their practice and meet those expectations for what great teaching is….
  • Then: student learning and success will increase.
  • So: educators need a teaching framework that articulates expectations for students, and articulates skills and development strategies for teachers to meet those expectations.
The redesign effort resulted in the current rubric draft, which will be piloted in select districts across the state beginning in the fall of 2021. Read on to get to know the rubric, and click here to download your own copy. Or, for a more detailed deep dive, view the webinar in PDMS (Course #28957)

The rubric is organized into three Performance Areas. Each describes the major elements of a successful classroom. The three Performance Areas are:

  1. Learning Environment: To what extent does the classroom environment support all students to learn?
  2. Engagement in Learning: To what extent does the instruction support and engage all students?
  3. Maximizing Learning: To what extent do all students retain and apply their learning with productive struggle? 

Each Performance Area is accompanied by an Essential Question that provides a guide for the teacher and observer in discussing and assessing instruction. Each Performance Area is further defined by three Indicators. Indicators and the accompanying Descriptors describe the specific teacher and student behaviors that an observer would see in the classroom, during instruction. The Descriptors are broken up across four Levels of Performance that describe the quality of instruction at different levels. 

The rubric includes only the teacher and student actions and outcomes that are observable in the classroom, during teaching. There are many things teachers do outside of actual teaching that contribute to successful teaching and learning in the classroom. To recognize this important work, each Performance Area includes Core Teacher Skills. Core Teacher Skills are not evaluated, but instead serve to name the work teachers do to achieve the levels of performance in the rubric. Core Teacher Skills also provide a common language and set of expectations to support teacher growth and development.

In the coming months, each newsletter will dig more deeply into each performance area to help readers understand the content and prepare for the pilot in fall 2021.
Do you have questions or thoughts about the rubric? Email us to share!
Calling All Early Childhood and Special Education Experts
The Evaluation Redesign Steering Committee is seeking nominees for working groups in Early Childhood and Special Education. Members of these working groups will create resources and tools for adapting the resigned rubric for use in early childhood and special education contexts. We are looking for teachers and leaders with expertise in these areas to join these Working Groups and contribute to the creation of tools to support educators across the state. Work will begin remotely in December. If you are interested in participating please contact Angela Socorso. The DOE expects to announce the Working Group participants in late November.
Resources to Support Virtual Teaching and Learning
Many Delaware teachers and students are engaged in at least some remote learning this fall. DDOE is committed to providing support and resources for teachers to implement strong remote learning strategies to ensure student learning. Below is a list of a few resources available to teachers and leaders:
  • Identifying Best Practices in Remote Instruction Creating academically engaging and differentiated spaces for learning is even more critical in a remote learning environment. Click here for a resource, published by Hendy Avenue Consulting, that includes strategies for academic engagement and differentiation in remote learning.
  • Planning for Virtual Learning Teachers and school leaders are invited to register for the course, “Planning for Virtual Learning” that helps educators translate skillful teaching to a virtual setting. Sessions are facilitated by instructors from Research for Better Teaching. If you would like to join a school team, please contact Angela Socorso. Sessions will be offered via Zoom from 4:30 p.m. – 6:30p.m.  
  • Looking at Classroom Practices in a Remote Learning Environment Webinar In this folder you will find set of a pre-recorded, self-paced videos that range from 5 to 10 minutes. Each video addresses one of the DPAS-II criteria that have been identified as having the highest impact in a remote learning environment. (1b, 1d, 2a, 2c, 3a, 3d, 3e, 4a). Educators will learn about the elements of success and a variety of strategies for both asynchronous and synchronous learning.
  • Sometimes You Just Have to Laugh. Take a brain break by clicking here to read the Research for Better Teaching blog's most recent article.