SBHS employee evaluations explained

Consistency, usefulness and fairness were common themes at an
informational study session on employee evaluations.
San Benito High School District staff informed Trustees and the
public about how different employees are evaluated
– the superintendent, administrators, certificated staff,
classified staff and temporary employees.
Consistency, usefulness and fairness were common themes at an informational study session on employee evaluations.

San Benito High School District staff informed Trustees and the public about how different employees are evaluated – the superintendent, administrators, certificated staff, classified staff and temporary employees.

Keeping track of how evaluations are completed allows the Board to ensure accountability, said Superintendent Jean Burns Slater.

Board President Shelley Donati said she wanted to make sure all employees are evaluated fairly and consistently.

“I want to see a consistent tool for evaluations,” she said. “There has to be agreement on the vocabulary used. I think it should be as useful for a first-year teacher as it is for a superintendent.”

To combat inconsistency, Superintendent Jean Burns Slater said evaluators watch videos of employees performing to calibrate which performances meet or exceed standards or need improvement. This allows every evaluator to be on the same page.

Evaluations are a year-long process starting with the establishment of job targets for an employee in September and ending with a performance evaluation conference in June.

Trustee Steve Hailstone said he disliked how time consuming evaluations are – for the evaluator as well as the employee.

“Is there any way for evaluations not to be so intensive? It takes far too much time of the evaluator and far too much time of the teachers,” he said.

Tenured employees are evaluated every other year while probationary or emergency credentialed employees are evaluated every year, as per California Education Code, said Evelyn Muro, director of personnel.

But, the governor-signed Assembly Bill 954 would allow “the evaluation and assessment at least every five years of personnel with permanent status who have been employed at least 10 years with the school district, are highly qualified, as defined, and whose previous evaluation rated the employee as meeting or exceeding standards …”

Most employees are evaluated based on exceeding expectations, meeting expectations, needing improvement or unsatisfactory performance. Hailstone said he suggested making sure everyone agrees on what the words exceeding and meeting means. In the past, people have thought of exceeding as an A grade and meeting as a C grade, Hailstone said.

“We’ve had problems with the word ‘exceed’ in the past,” he said.

Evaluators include Principal Duane Morgan, Director of Business Steve DeLay, Assistant Superintendent Michael Robustelli, Muro and possibly Slater.

It’s important to note that, while staff can be fired for poor evaluations, they can not get raises with good evaluations. Pay is negotiated between the union and district for employees as a group, Muro said.

The study session was informational because the process and standards of evaluations are settled during contract negotiations between unions and the district. These processes and standards can not be changed by the Board.

The next Board meeting is Nov. 19 at 7 p.m. in room 172 at SBHS.

Leave your comments