Evaluations change for principals

Nick Stroman TimesNewspapers

Principals in Illinois Valley Central District 321 are going through a rigorous evaluation process this school year.

Superintendent Dr. Nick Polyak revealed the new principal evaluation model to the school board at its Sept. 25 meeting.

Polyak said the new principal evaluation laws changed radically and now focus on 50 percent professional growth, 30 percent student achievement and 20 percent district discretion.

“Basically, they can pick two goals they want to set for themselves and that is that last 20 percent,” Polyak said.

Polyak said he had to share his plan with the principals on the first day of classes and set up goal meetings with each of them before Oct. 1.

By Feb. 1, all the principals must do a self-assessment and Polyak must submit his summaries and ratings by March 1.

“My evaluations in years past were more narrative and reflective. This new model requires an extensive amount of paperwork and is going to take up lots of my schedule,” Polyak said.

In other action and discussion, the board:

• Heard about the district’s Illinois State Achievement Test scores from Curriculum Director Jennie Hawkey.

The meets and exceeds percentages for reading were: third grade — 84 percent; fourth grade — 78 percent; fifth grade — 81 percent; sixth grade — 89 percent; seventh grade — 82 percent; and eighth grade — 84 percent.

The meets and exceeds percentages for math were: third grade — 90 percent; fourth grade — 85 percent; fifth grade — 85 percent; sixth grade — 93 percent; seventh grade — 83 percent; and eighth grade — 85 percent.

Hawkey said the standard districts used to be held to was 92.5 percent for meets and exceeds, but it was recently lowered to 85 percent to be more attainable.

She added to get ready for the next set of standards the district will be implementing a pilot program later this month called Making Awesome Progress (MAP) which will involve differentiated instruction for every student every day and in every classroom.

• Approved the summary of the district’s improvement plan for special education.

Polyak said the district had to submit a plan to make changes to its special needs program because the state recommends those students have at least 80 percent of their time spent in regular classrooms and IVC’s number was found to be lower during a visit from the state.

• Heard about the calendar for the April 2013 school board election.

There are four school board seats open and Sept. 25 was the first day that prospective candidates could circulate nominating petitions for signatures.

Dec. 17 is the first day candidates may file nominating papers with the board secretary and Dec. 24 is the last day to do so.

• Heard an update on renovation plans for Mossville School.

Polyak said the facilities and transportation committee was able to see another set of design renderings from the architects and they hope to put the project out for bids by the end of the year so construction can start in early 2013.

• Approved the hiring of: Sally Stevenson, part-time special education aide at IVC High School; Cindy Noonan, bus monitor; and Donald Schmidt, substitute bus driver.

• Approved the resignations of: Merry Durstein, bus monitor; Paige Cline, bus driver; June Abbott, part-time secretary at the district office; and Barb Carroll, special education aide at Mossville School.