Educator Evaluation During Extended School Closure as a Result of COVID-19
The following guidance provides a description of the New Jersey Department of Education’s (NJDOE) flexibilities and requirements for educator evaluation necessitated by the state mandated school closures caused by COVID-19. This guidance applies to all Teachers, Principals, Assistant Principals (APs), Vice Principals (VPs) and Other Certificated Staff for School Year (SY) 2019-20, and is differentiated for educators with a provisional certification, in the process of earning tenure, and on a corrective action plan (CAP). Districts have until the end of the 2019-20 school year to complete evaluations of educators that receive a summative rating for the year.
This emergency guidance is only relevant for SY 2019-20. The guiding principle is that the 2019-20 evaluation cycle was significantly disrupted, and the resulting lack of evidence for any required component should not negatively impact the overall integrity of an educator’s score.
Flexibility for All Tenured Educators in Good Standing
All tenured teachers, principals, APs, VPs and other certificated staff in good standing (defined as those whose previous year’s rating was Highly Effective or Effective) will be marked Not Evaluated (NE) for their summative rating, for local and state reporting purposes.
Flexibility to Complete Evaluations for Educators Who Must Receive a Summative Rating
Educators with a Provisional Certification
- Educators working under a provisional certification must receive a summative rating.
- The summative rating must be kept locally and entered into the Provisional Licensure Registration Management System (PLRMS) available in the NJDOE Homeroom.
- Educators with a provisional certification will earn a summative rating based on those observations completed by the date of each school district’s March 2020 closure and scored using the appropriate educator practice instrument. Pursuant to Executive Order (EO) 117, issued on April 7, 2020, no measures of student achievement will be included in the summative rating.
- There must be a minimum of two observations (if the district did not have two scored observations on this educator prior to the date of each school district’s March 2020 closure, please reach out to the NJDOE at firstname.lastname@example.org).
- Educators with a provisional certification must receive a summary conference. This conference should be conducted remotely via a video conference if possible.
Nontenured Teachers, Principals, APs, VPs and Other Certificated Staff
- Nontenured educators must receive a summative rating and that rating must be recorded locally.
- Nontenured educators will earn a summative rating based only on observations completed by the date of each school district’s March 2020 closure and scored using the appropriate educator practice instrument. Pursuant to Executive Order 117, issued on April 7, 2020, no measures of student achievement will be included in the summative rating.
- There must be a minimum of two observations (if the district did not have two scored observations on this educator prior to prior to the date of each school district’s March 2020 closure, please reach out to the NJDOE at email@example.com ).
- Nontenured educators must receive a summary conference. This should be conducted remotely via a video conference if possible.
Teachers, Principals, APs, VPs and Other Certificated Staff currently on a Corrective Action Plan (CAP)
- Chief School Administrators have the discretion to produce a summative rating for an educator currently on a CAP who had been progressing towards an Effective or Highly Effective rating (as shown by observation scores issued up to this point in the year) and who will be moved back into good standing by the issuance of a summative rating. Please apply the guidance provided for nontenured teachers to develop a summative rating for educators described here.
- All other educators on a CAP will receive a Not Evaluated (NE) rating for the 2019-2020 school year.
- Coaching should continue for the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year.
- The current CAP will be in place for the start of the 2020-2021 school year.
- At the start of SY 2020-2021, the educator and supervisor should collaboratively review the CAP and amend it to reflect the educator’s assignment and context.
Frequently Asked Questions Regarding COVID-19 Flexibilities for School Year 2019-20
Answer: All reporting will still occur in the PLMRS system for provisional teachers, as well as the Evaluation Information System (EIS) for all educators. Revised guidance on reporting SY 2019-20 summative ratings to the Evaluation Information System (EIS) will be released later this spring.
Answer: The guidance is that there must be a minimum of two. If you have already completed three observations, use all of them to calculate the educator’s summative rating. Please remember these observations must have all been completed before your district closed and not later than March 18, 2020.
Answer: Pursuant to Executive Order 117, student achievement measures will not count for educators during SY 2019-20. The NJDOE has determined it cannot ensure equitable inclusion of student growth across the state in educator evaluation for the 2019-2020 school year. However, these measures still add value in planning purposes for the future.
The NJDOE realizes we are in uncharted territory and additional questions are likely to arise. Please email questions to firstname.lastname@example.org, and we will do our very best to provide an answer in a timely manner. In addition, your questions may assist in adding to this guidance as time moves on.