1 Teacher Performance Appraisal Frequently Asked Questions Table of Contents TOPIC PAGE General 2 Responsibility for Conducting Appraisals 4 Frequency 5 Competency Statements 6 Annual Learning Plan 7 Scheduling Performance Appraisals 8 Classroom Observation & Pre- and Post-Observation Meetings 9 Summative Report 10 Performance Ratings 11 Review Status & Termination of Employment 13 Secondments and Absences 14 January
2 General 1. What is the purpose of Ontario s Teacher Performance Appraisal system? Ontario s teacher performance appraisal (TPA) system for new and experienced teachers is designed to: enhance student learning by promoting teacher development; provide meaningful appraisals of teachers performance that encourage professional learning and growth; identify opportunities for additional support where required; and provide a measure of accountability to the public. The TPA is an integral part of a continuum of professional learning that supports effective teaching, learning and assessment practices by building on and complementing previouslyacquired learning from pre-service teacher education programs and the New Teacher Induction Program (NTIP), as well as learning acquired throughout each individual s teaching career. 2. When was it put in place? The government first introduced a provincial TPA process in This was revised in September, 2007 after the introduction of the New Teacher Induction Program, which included a TPA process for new teachers. 3. What is the legislative and regulatory authority for the TPA system? TPA requirements are set out in Part X.2 of the Education Act, and in Ontario Regulation (O. Reg.) 98/02 Teacher Learning Plans, and O.Reg. 99/02 Teacher Performance Appraisal. 4. What are the roles of the Ministry and school boards vis-à-vis the TPA? In addition to its responsibility for the legislative framework set out above, the Ministry of Education supports the TPA by developing policies, guidelines, and other resources to assist boards and schools. Through its Regional Offices, the Ministry also monitors implementation and gathers information from the field on questions and issues that require clarification or further policy direction. School boards are responsible for ensuring compliance with the TPA s legislative requirements in the schools within their jurisdiction. They may also establish additional policies and procedures so long as these do not conflict with provincial requirements. Compliance-related responsibilities include ensuring that all principals employed by the board carry out performance appraisals of the teachers within their schools in accordance with provincial and board requirements. 5. Why is it important for boards and schools to comply with the provincial TPA requirements? First of all, TPA is a legislated requirement. Secondly, it is in the interest of everyone students, teachers, administrators, and parents - to comply with the TPA requirements set out in the Education Act and related regulations because their primary purpose is to improve student achievement by promoting high quality teaching. Compliance with TPA requirements also helps protect boards, principals and teachers in the event of a challenge or adverse publicity related to a teacher s competence. January
3 6. To whom does the TPA system apply? Ontario s TPA system applies to all new and experienced teachers employed in Ontario s publicly-funded schools. 7. For the purposes of the TPA, how are new and experienced teachers defined? New teachers are defined in the legislation as all teachers certified by the Ontario College of Teachers who are employed in a permanent position full-time or part-time, by a school board, school authority or provincial school to begin teaching for the first time in Ontario. Teachers are new until they successfully complete the New Teacher Induction Program (NTIP) or until 24 months have elapsed since the date on which they first began to teach in a board. All teachers who have completed the NTIP, or who held permanent positions in Ontario s publicly-funded schools prior to the NTIP s implementation in September, 2006, as well as temporary teachers (those teaching on a Letter of Permission) are appraised as experienced teachers. 8. Who is not covered by the TPA requirements? Within Ontario s publicly-funded education system, TPA requirements do not apply to occasional teachers, continuing education teachers, vice-principals, principals, supervisory officers and directors of education. As of September 1, 2010 the appraisal of vice-principals and principals is governed by the provisions set out in O. Reg. 234/10 Principal and Vice-Principal Performance Appraisal and in the Principal/Vice Principal Performance Appraisal Technical Requirements Manual, Boards may develop a process for appraising the performance of any employees who are not covered by provincially-mandated performance appraisal requirements. The TPA does not apply to certified teachers employed in private schools and instructors in faculties of education and other teacher education institutions. 9 If a school board decides to appraise its long-term occasional teachers using the TPA requirements for new teachers, will these appraisal results count towards completion of the NTIP? No. Although occasional teachers are eligible to participate in the NTIP elements (orientation, mentoring, professional development), they are not included in the definition of new teachers for the purposes of the TPA. Therefore, any performance appraisals they receive prior to employment in a permanent full- or part-time position will not count for the purposes of completing the NTIP and earning a notation on their Certificate of Qualification and Registration. 10. Can a board appraise a new teacher in a long-term occasional position or a continuing education teacher using the TPA requirements? In accordance with the legislation, these teachers are not covered by the TPA system. However, as employers, boards can develop processes for apprising those employees who are not included in any provincially-mandated appraisal system, and may choose to use elements of the TPA in these appraisals. If a board adopts this option, it should make it clear to these employees that appraisals conducted under these conditions do not count towards completion of the NTIP. January
4 11. What are the essential components of a teacher performance appraisal? The TPA system consists of the following key components: Competency statements Pre-observation meeting Classroom observation Post-observation meeting Summative report, which includes the Performance rating Additional supports for teachers who do not achieve a Satisfactory rating Annual Learning Plan (for experienced teachers only) Application of these components differs in some cases depending on whether the person being appraised is a new or experienced teacher. For a summary of these differences, please see the table in section 3.2 of the Teacher Performance Appraisal Technical Requirements Manual (2010). Responsibility for Conducting Appraisals 12. Who conducts teacher performance appraisals? Principals are primarily responsible for appraising the performance of all teachers employed in their schools, and for ensuring that appraisals are conducted in accordance with the statutory and regulatory requirements. 13. Can principals delegate this responsibility? A principal may delegate TPA responsibilities to the vice-principal(s) employed at the same school. This may help to ease the principal s workload and gives the vice-principal(s) an opportunity to gain experience in this area. However, the ultimate responsibility for ensuring that all appraisals are carried out in accordance with provincial requirements remains with the school s principal. Principals may not delegate TPA responsibilities to anyone other than the vice-principal(s). At any time, a duty or power of a principal may be undertaken by a supervisory officer assigned by the board. In exceptional circumstances, these responsibilities can be delegated to a supervisory officer from another board. To support principal workload, a board may contract temporary staff to manage the school in order to create uninterrupted time for the principal to conduct teacher performance appraisals. 14. Can an acting principal or acting vice-principal conduct teacher performance appraisals? In exceptional circumstances, such as an extended leave of absence by the principal, appraisals may be conducted by the school s acting principal. However, the acting principal must be qualified as a principal or deemed to be qualified in accordance with the Education Act and regulations. Teachers who are designated to perform the duties of a principal or vice-principal and who do not meet this condition cannot conduct appraisals. January
5 15. What happens if the principal cannot conduct the performance appraisals? The legislation provides for substitutions in instances where a principal cannot undertake this responsibility. (see Questions 13 and 14), If a principal is absent or otherwise unable to conduct performance appraisals of teachers assigned to the school,, he or she can delegate this responsibility to a vice-principal in the same school or the appraisals can be conducted by a supervisory officer from the same board. In exceptional cases where none of these individuals is able to conduct these appraisals, a supervisory officer from another board can do so. 16. A new teacher s first appraisal was conducted by the principal, and the second by a viceprincipal or supervisory officer because the principal went on leave. Does this affect the teacher s NTIP status? No. Because the Education Act provides for the delegation of this responsibility, the second appraisal is just as valid as the first. So long as the appraiser is qualified as a principal or supervisory officer, appraisals conducted by different persons will not affect the teacher s NTIP status. 17. Does the mentor of a new teacher have any responsibility for the teacher s evaluation? No. The NTIP s mentorship element is intended to provide support and foster professional growth in a non-evaluative manner and with complete confidentiality. The goal is to develop a collegial and collaborative mentoring environment. Frequency 18. How often do teachers receive a performance appraisal? That depends on whether a teacher is new or experienced. A new teacher must be appraised at least twice during the first 12 months of teaching. There will be additional appraisals if the new teacher receives a performance rating that is either Development Needed or Unsatisfactory. An experienced teacher is appraised once every five years, and will receive additional appraisals if the performance rating is Unsatisfactory, of if concerns related to the teacher s performance cause the principal to require one. Except during an evaluation year, a teacher may also request an additional performance appraisal. However, the principal may refuse the request if he or she believes that it is unlikely the additional appraisal will lead to improvement in the teacher s performance rating. 19. What happens if an experienced teacher takes a position in a new board? For an experienced teacher who is new to a board, the first year of employment is an appraisal year. Provided that the teacher obtains a Satisfactory rating, the five-year performance appraisal cycle begins when the teacher completes that year. 20. Can principals conduct performance appraisals that are in addition to those required under the TPA system? In accordance with the legislation, a principal can conduct an additional appraisal if he or she considers it advisable to do so in light of circumstances related to the teacher s performance. Refer to section 4.2 in the Teacher Performance Appraisal Technical Requirements Manual (2010). January
6 21. Can a teacher ask for an additional appraisal? Yes, a teacher can request an additional appraisal. However the principal may refuse such a request if he or she believes that it would not result in a change to the teacher s performance rating. 22. Can a teacher s appraisal be deferred to another year? No. The principal must complete performance appraisals according to the legislated five-year appraisal cycle and the board must ensure that each teacher receives an appraisal during his or her evaluation year. The principal and/or board may not alter the five-year cycle to move an appraisal year forward or to extend it to the next year. There are periods of time, however, that are excluded from the appraisal cycle for a given teacher. Namely: A period during which the teacher does not teach at any time in a school governed by the board; A period when the teacher is on secondment to a non-teaching assignment; A period when the teacher is on secondment to a teaching assignment outside Ontario s publicly funded education system; A period during which a teacher is on an extended leave of absence approved by the board. See questions for more information. 23. If a board hires a new teacher into a permanent position for only one semester, must the teacher be appraised twice during that period? No. In accordance with NTIP requirements, a new teacher is appraised twice during the first 12 months of teaching. The teacher should receive one appraisal in the semester during which he or she is employed with the board. If the board continues the teacher s employment, the NTIP would continue and the second appraisal would occur sometime during the second semester. If the teacher is employed by another board, a record of his or her NTIP participation, together with the appraisal and its results would be forwarded to the new board. Competency Statements 24. What are competency statements and why are they important to the TPA system? Competency statements are descriptions of the knowledge, skills and attitudes that reflect what is required to meet the Standards of Practice for the Teaching Profession developed by the Ontario College of Teachers. They provide clear, transparent and evidence-based criteria against which the performance of teachers can be assessed consistently across the province. The 16 competency statements are set out in Schedule 1 of Ontario Regulation 99/02 made under the Education Act and on page 20 of the Teacher Performance Appraisal Technical Requirements Manual (2010). 25. How are these competency statements applied in the appraisal of new and experienced teachers? Principals and teachers have found that particular competencies are more relevant than others in appraising the performance of new teachers during the initial phase of their careers. For this reason, new teacher appraisals focus on 8 of the 16 competency statements. For appraisals of new teachers, principals must comment on all 8 of these competencies. When appraising January
7 experienced teachers principals must consider all 16 competencies, but do not need to provide specific comments on all of them. 26. Can school boards establish additional requirements? A board may establish additional requirements for the appraisal of the teachers it employs, as long as those additional requirements do not conflict with the provincial requirements. Annual Learning Plan (ALP) 27. What is the purpose of the Annual Learning Plan, and to whom does it apply? The Annual Learning Plan is a document that experienced teachers are required to prepare and update each year. It provides a vehicle for the teacher s professional learning both during the appraisal year and in the intervening years between appraisals. Developing and maintaining an ALP provides teachers and principals with an opportunity to collaborate and engage in meaningful discussions of teacher performance and growth strategies. The ALP also provides the opportunity for teachers to reflect on their professional learning and growth each year. 28. At what point do teachers who have successfully completed the New Teacher Induction Program (NTIP) begin preparing an ALP? When new teachers successfully complete the NTIP, they become experienced teachers and are placed on the five-year experienced teacher appraisal cycle. They develop their initial ALP in the first year of that cycle. 29. When do teachers have to submit their ALP to the principal or school board? That depends on the policies set by individual principals and school boards. In consultation with their principals, teachers must annually review and update their previous year s ALP. Both the teacher and the principal retain a copy for their records. 30. What should be included in the ALP? The ALP must include the teacher s professional growth goals and the proposed strategies and timelines for achieving these goals. These strategies should take into account the professional growth goals and strategies recommended in the summative report from the teacher s most recent appraisal. Teachers completing their first ALPs might wish to include any suggestions for professional growth provided during the NTIP and set out in their Individual NTIP Strategy forms. 31. To what extent can a principal and/or a school board impose requirements on a teacher s ALP? The ALP is teacher-authored and directed, and is developed in a consultative and collaborative manner with the principal. However, teachers should bear in mind that professional growth takes place within the context of School and Board Improvement Plans and provincial education goals and priorities. January
8 32. Are the ALP procedures different in the teacher s evaluation year? In an evaluation year the teacher and principal meet to review and update the teacher s most current ALP as part of the appraisal process. Both the pre- and post-observation meetings provide opportunities for this activity. The ALP is finalized on the basis of this performance appraisal, and must take into account the principal s recommendations from the appraisal. During non-evaluation years the teacher reviews and updates the previous year s ALP in consultation with the principal. Procedures for conducting this review are for the principal and teacher to determine, subject to board policies. Although a meeting is not required, it is recommended, and must take place if either the teacher or the principal requests it. Scheduling Performance Appraisals 33. When does a principal have to inform an experienced teacher about performance appraisals? Within 20 school days after an experienced teacher begins teaching, the principal must inform him/her that this is an evaluation year. Appraisals can be scheduled at any time during the school year, subject to board policies. 34. At what time during the school year should principals schedule new teacher appraisals? This is determined by the principal and/or individual board policies. However, principals are encouraged to ensure that the first appraisal takes place early enough in the school year to allow time for a suitable interval between the two appraisals, so that the new teacher has time to demonstrate professional growth from one appraisal to the next. Principals are also advised not to delay initial appraisals of new teachers, especially if there are any concerns about that teacher s performance. If the first appraisal results in a Development Needed rating but was completed relatively early in the new teacher s first year of teaching, there is enough time for the principal to assign additional supports to the new teacher to improve the teacher s performance. 35. How long should the interval be between the two performance appraisals required for new teachers during their first 12 months of teaching? This is determined by the principal conducting the appraisal and/or by board policies. Principals should allow enough time between appraisals for new teachers to incorporate feedback from the first appraisal and any additional supports provided into their professional practice and to demonstrate professional growth. 36. To what extent can principals change scheduled appraisal meetings and/or observations? There are times when unforeseen events make it difficult for a principal or teacher to abide by the scheduled appraisal meeting and/or observation dates. However, the Education Act requires boards to establish policies and rules to ensure, as far as possible, that all timelines are complied with, and to provide for accountability on the part of a person who fails to do so. If, despite this, any required step or process is missed for any reason, it must be completed as soon as possible, and any timelines that have been disrupted as a result of that missed step must be adjusted accordingly. January
9 Principals should schedule performance appraisals in a timely manner, and commit to this schedule as much as possible. Scheduling appraisals requires careful planning and organization, and conveys to everyone that performance appraisal is an integral component of the school s learning environment. The principal s approach to scheduling performance appraisals and keeping to the schedule shows consideration for the teacher s personal and professional effort in preparing for the appraisal and helps set the tone for the school s professional culture. 37. If a principal or supervisory officer omits a required step in the appraisal process, can it be deemed to have been done? No. In accordance with the Education Act, principals and supervisory officers must comply with all requirements and timelines. If a step is missed for whatever reason, it must be completed as soon as possible, and all subsequent timelines must be adjusted accordingly. Classroom Observation and Pre-and Post-Observation Meetings 38. When does the principal have to notify the teacher of an upcoming classroom observation? The principal must inform a teacher within 20 school days of the day the teacher begins teaching that he/she will be appraised that year. Establishing a date for the classroom observation is up to the principal, subject to board policies. Principals are encouraged to schedule observations in consultation with the teacher and to give the teacher sufficient notice of the upcoming observation. 39. How many classroom observations are there for each appraisal? The legislation provides for at least one classroom observation for each appraisal. However, boards may establish polices that require more than one. Some boards currently require two classroom observations for each performance appraisal. 40. What is the purpose of the pre-observation meeting? Principals and teachers use the pre-observation meeting to prepare for the classroom observation. To do so, they should: Set the date and time for the classroom observation; Make sure that the expectations for the appraisal process are clearly understood; Promote a collegial atmosphere prior to the classroom observation; Identify exactly what is expected during the lesson to be observed; Discuss the teacher s plan for the classroom observation period; Identify the expectations for student learning; Discuss the unique qualities of the teacher s class of students; Discuss how the teacher s performance will be assessed, including a review of the competencies that will form the basis of the teacher s performance appraisal. The pre-observation meeting also provides an opportunity to discuss the experienced teacher s Annual Learning Plan. January
10 41. What about teachers such as physical education teachers, librarians, and guidance counsellors, who do not teach in a regular classroom? For the purposes of the performance appraisal, the principal or supervisory officer must observe the teacher in an instructional setting. For teachers who do not teach in a regular classroom, the observation would take place in the teacher s regular instructional environment. 42. What about teacher-consultants who do not regularly interact with students? Boards may establish protocols for appraising the performance of teachers such as curriculum consultants, who are not routinely in an instructional setting with students, by using the mandated competencies and any additional competencies that the board may develop. 43. What happens in the post-observation meeting, and when does it take place? The post-observation meeting should take place as soon as possible after the classroom observation. The teacher and principal review the results of the classroom observation and discuss other information relevant to the principal s appraisal of the teacher s performance. During the post-observation meeting, the teacher and principal should: Discuss the competencies they consider to be most relevant to the teacher s performance appraisal For new teachers, discuss the teacher s participation in the NTIP; Discuss and finalize the teacher s professional growth goals and strategies and/ or the areas for improvement to be considered in the teacher s learning plan (ALP, INS, or Enrichment/Improvement Plan); If the teacher wishes to do so, discuss how the teacher might gather parental and student input to inform development of his/her learning plan (ALP or INS). Summative Report 44. What is a summative report? A summative report is a record of a teacher s performance appraisal. The principal completes the summative report using the Ministry-approved form. There are different forms for new and experienced teachers. All summative reports must contain: A record of the classroom observation and pre- and post-observation meeting dates; A summary of the principal s appraisal of the teacher s performance, including references to the competencies specified for that teacher; The principal s overall rating of the teacher; Recommendations on professional growth goals and strategies if the performance rating is Satisfactory. For new teachers, the summative report must also include the principal s indication of the NTIP elements in which the teacher has participated. For experienced teachers it will contain a record of the competencies identified as most relevant to the teacher s performance appraisal, and professional growth, together with strategies and goals the teacher might consider when developing his or her Annual Learning Plan. January
11 45. Can a principal include comments on competencies that were not previously identified during the pre-observation meeting? For appraisals of experienced teachers a principal can provide comments on any of the competencies set out in Schedule 1 of O. Reg. 99/02, even if they weren t discussed at the preobservation meeting, if the principal thinks it is appropriate to do so in light of the classroom observation. However, principals should discuss these additions with the teacher during the postobservation meeting, so that the additions will not come as a surprise when the teacher receives the summative report. 46. When does the principal give the summative report to the teacher? The principal must give the teacher a signed copy of the summative report within 20 school days of the classroom observation. 47. Why does the teacher have to sign the summative report? What if the teacher doesn t agree with it? The signature helps protect all parties by signifying that the teacher has received and read the document. The teacher signs the summative report to acknowledge receipt, and does not imply agreement. The teacher can add comments if desired, and retains a copy of the signed report for his or her records. 48. Can a principal add comments to the summative report after the teacher has signed it? Principals should not alter a summative report once the teacher has signed it without notifying the teacher and giving him or her the revised report to sign and add comments if desired. This would then become the version sent to the school board through the appropriate supervisory officer. Performance Ratings 49. What are the categories for rating the performance of teachers? The rating categories differ for new and experienced teachers. The performance of new teachers may be rated as Satisfactory, Development Needed, or Unsatisfactory. The Development Needed rating applies only to the first appraisal that is not Satisfactory. Any subsequent appraisal will be rated as Satisfactory or Unsatisfactory. The performance of experienced teachers is rated as either Satisfactory or Unsatisfactory. 50. What are the requirements for new teachers? New teachers must receive two Satisfactory ratings within the first 24 months of teaching in order to fulfil the requirements of the NTIP and qualify for a notation from the Ontario College of Teachers. 51. Why is there an additional rating category for new teachers? The additional rating category was introduced to recognize that new teachers are in the initial stages of their careers and are developing the experience-based skills and confidence that will help them be successful in Ontario classrooms. January
12 52. How often can a new teacher receive a rating of Development Needed? A new teacher can receive this rating only once, namely, the first time during his or her new teaching period that he or she receives a rating that is not Satisfactory. Any subsequent ratings will be either Satisfactory or Unsatisfactory. 53. What does a Development Needed rating mean? This rating is intended to ensure that a new teacher whose performance is not at a satisfactory level and who may be struggling receives additional supports and an opportunity to improve. It signals that the teacher would benefit from an additional period of NTIP participation, and indicates the need to focus on the teacher s growth by providing enriched NTIP supports such as more orientation or additional mentoring opportunities or professional development. 54. What happens if a teacher receives a Development Needed rating? With input from the teacher, the principal develops an Enrichment Plan tailored to the teacher s individual professional development needs. The Enrichment Plan identifies those NTIP elements that could help improve the teacher s performance. The principal must give the new teacher this Plan within 15 school days of determining the rating. (See Question 56.) If, during the first 12 months of teaching, a new teacher receives a Development Needed rating, the new teaching period can be extended for up to 12 months. The third appraisal must take place within 120 school days after the beginning of the extended NTIP period to allow time for the teacher to benefit from the additional supports. 55. What does an Unsatisfactory rating mean? An Unsatisfactory rating signals the need for an Improvement Plan that identifies specific areas where the teacher must improve in order to proceed successfully in his or her career with the board. It also signals that, if the improvement does not occur, the teacher s employment could be terminated. 56. What happens if a teacher receives an Unsatisfactory rating? The process is different for new and experienced teachers. New Teachers: Because an Unsatisfactory rating can only be assigned after a new teacher has received a Development Needed rating, the teacher has now received two ratings that are not Satisfactory, and will be placed on review status (See Question 58). The principal must develop an Improvement Plan with input from the teacher, and must implement it within 15 school days of determining that the performance rating is Unsatisfactory (see Question 56). The next appraisal must take place within 120 school days of the time when the teacher is notified that he or she is placed on review status, but no later than 24 months after the teacher began teaching (i.e., the end of the second 12-month new teaching period). Experienced Teachers: Within 15 school days from the time the principal determines that the rating is Unsatisfactory (See Question 56), he or she must develop and implement an Improvement Plan with input from the teacher. This document contains a written explanation of what is lacking in the teacher s performance and the recommended actions the teacher should take to improve. The teacher is responsible for carrying out the actions recommended in the January
13 Improvement Plan. A second appraisal will take place within 60 school days after the principal has given the teacher written notice of the initial Unsatisfactory rating. 57. According to the legislation, the principal must provide a teacher with an Improvement Plan within 15 school days of determining that the teacher s performance rating is Unsatisfactory. How do you define the point when the principal makes this determination? In practice the determination would coincide with the date on which the principal gives the teacher notice of the Development Needed or Unsatisfactory rating, by giving the teacher the summative report. This must occur within 20 school days of the classroom observation. The Enrichment or Improvement Plan must be developed and implemented within 15 days of that time. 58. What happens when an experienced teacher s second appraisal results in an Unsatisfactory rating? An experienced teacher who receives two consecutive Unsatisfactory ratings is placed on review status (See question 58). The principal must give the teacher a copy of the summative report and written notice that the teacher is on review status. Within 15 school days of determining the Unsatisfactory rating, the principal must develop and implement a written Improvement Plan that sets out the actions the teacher should take to improve his or her performance. The Improvement Plan should incorporate input from the teacher and the appropriate board supervisory officer, if any. Review Status and Termination of Employment 59. What is review status? Review status is a formal notification to a teacher that his or her performance may result in termination of employment with the board unless it improves. A new teacher is placed on review status if he or he receives two ratings that are not Satisfactory (i.e. Development Needed and Unsatisfactory) while participating in the NTIP. An experienced teacher is placed on review status when two consecutive performance reviews result in an Unsatisfactory rating. 60. What are the principal s responsibilities? The principal must monitor the teacher s performance while he or she is on review status and must give him or her feedback that the principal thinks might help the teacher s performance improve. The principal must also consult regularly with the appropriate supervisory officer about the teacher s performance and steps that could be taken to improve it. 61. When does the next appraisal take place? The principal must conduct a performance appraisal within 120 school days that begin with the date on which the teacher was advised that he or she is on review status. The exact timing is at the discretion of the principal, subject to board policies and/or input from the appropriate supervisory officer. If this appraisal results in an Unsatisfactory rating, the principal must promptly send the board a written recommendation for the teacher s employment to be terminated. January
14 62. When making a recommendation to terminate a teacher s employment, what should the principal send to the board? Together with the recommendation, the board must also receive written reasons for the recommendation, a copy of all appraisal documents and any other documentation relied on in conducting the appraisal. 63. Can a teacher s employment be terminated before this appraisal takes place? If, at any time during the 120 days the teacher is on review status, the principal and supervisory officer determines that the delay required for conducting another appraisal is not in the best interests of students, they may send a joint recommendation to the board to terminate the teacher s employment. If the principal s duties are being performed by a supervisory officer, then the recommendation must be made jointly with another supervisory officer. 64. Who decides whether a teacher s employment will be terminated? This decision rests solely with the board. It must occur as the result of a majority vote by the trustees, and the vote must take place within 60 days of the board s receiving the recommendation. 65. What is the teacher s status while the board is making this decision? While the board is considering whether or not to terminate a teacher s employment, the Director of Education must suspend the teacher with pay or reassign him or her to duties that are, in the director s opinion, appropriate. 66. What happens if the board votes against terminating the teacher s employment? If the board votes against terminating the teacher s employment, the suspension or reassignment to other duties ends and the teacher resumes his or her former position, unless the teacher and board agree otherwise. 67. What happens if the board votes to terminate the teacher s employment? The teacher is notified that his or her employment is terminated, and the secretary of the board (usually the Director) promptly files a complaint with the Ontario College of Teachers stating the reasons why the termination has taken place. 68. Does any of this apply if the teacher resigns before the board reaches a decision? When a teacher resigns while on review status, the secretary of the board files a complaint with the Ontario College of Teachers stating the reasons why the teacher was placed on review status. Secondments and Absences 69. How does a secondment to another board affect a teacher s performance appraisal cycle? When a new or experienced teacher is seconded to another board, the performance appraisal cycle continues. The teacher s home board must advise the receiving board whether the teacher is in the new teacher appraisal cycle or the five-year experienced teacher cycle, and if the latter, January
15 whether this is an evaluation year for that teacher. While not required to do so, the receiving board should consider requesting any recent appraisals of the teacher from the home board. 70. What happens if the seconded teacher s performance rating is Development Needed or Unsatisfactory? If a teacher on secondment receives a rating that is anything other than Satisfactory, the secondment ends, and the teacher resumes his or her position at the home board. The appraisal is then deemed not to have been conducted except for the purposes of ending the secondment. For new teachers, terminating the secondment resets the new teaching period to the point where the teacher began the secondment, and any appraisals that took place before the secondment began would be considered to be the only appraisals completed to date. For experienced teachers, the appraisal cycle resumes at the home board, and the year is an appraisal year. An appraisal must take place within 60 school days of the teacher s return. 71. How do absences such as sick leaves, maternity leaves, or secondments to non-teaching positions affect the performance appraisal cycle? The following periods are not counted as part of the new teaching period or the experienced teacher appraisal cycle: A period when a teacher does not teach at any time in a school governed by the board; A period when a teacher is on secondment to a non-teaching position (e.g., to the board or the Ministry); A period when a teacher is on secondment to a teaching position outside Ontario s publicly funded system (e.g., to another province or country as part of a teacher exchange); A period when the teacher is on an extended leave approved by the board (e.g. sick leave, maternity leave). When a teacher takes an extended leave during his or her evaluation year, the appraisal must be conducted within 60 school days of the teacher s return from the leave. January
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