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Streamlining the Professional Growth Process

By: MaryBeth Crissman Date: February 25, 2016

One of the greatest challenges of developing an effective and reliable professional growth platform is the ability to track where each individual is in the evaluation process. Without a proven platform that houses all of the necessary and important data in one place, there is no easy way to see who has begun or finished the evaluation process as well as where in the process others are. Many districts that rely on paper-based evaluations have filing cabinets full of observation records, professional development reports, and self-assessments and reflections, but a lack of digitization makes each of those elements a separate component rather than a small piece of the whole evaluation picture.

The Washoe County School District in Nevada was faced with these very same issues. Being the second-largest district in the state, Washoe County struggled to keep up with the sheer volume of documents in their paper-based evaluation system. Evaluations were stored in the Human Resources department, but it was easy for missing or incomplete evaluations to go unnoticed for months. Handling the professional growth paperwork for 6500 full-time teachers and administrators as well as an additional 2000 classified staff was a daunting task that was overwhelming for all involved in the process. And, to make matters worse, teachers felt like outsiders in the evaluation process because there was no opportunity for collaboration and partnerships.

Analyzing the evaluation results proved to be an even greater challenge because of the sheer volume of paperwork to be sifted through. With the strong national push to quantify teacher effectiveness with data, the paper-based system that Washoe County was using was not making the grade. They needed to find a system that allowed them to track each individual evaluation from start to completion as well as making data aggregation and analysis easier. Because giving teachers ownership over the evaluation process was also important to Washoe County, they also needed a system that allowed teachers to collaborate throughout their evaluation.

Truenorthlogic’s comprehensive and innovation professional growth platform was exactly what Washoe County was looking for. The ability to effortlessly track the evaluation process as well as seamlessly integrate professional development opportunities into the system has helped both administrators and teachers to find more value and see more growth in their evaluations. Washoe County’s new-found efficiency allows them to stop focusing solely on compliance but also on professional growth and improvement. Now professional development opportunities provided by individual schools as well as the Department of Professional Learning could be tracked and managed, making professional development opportunities more meaningful. With the help of Truenorthlogic, Washoe County Schools can rest assured that their professional growth platform is meeting and exceeding the needs of their educators and administrators.