Davidson says initiative puts in writing and enforces 'things that should have been done all along'

    The Crookston School Board this week approved the implementation of the "Teacher Development and Evaluation Peer Support Plan."   

    So what does that mean? Teachers in the three public school buildings are going to be evaluated more often and more comprehensively than perhaps they ever have before in Crookston.   

    Similar to a revised bullying policy also approved by the board this week, the new teacher evaluation initiative is being spurred by new legislation approved by Minnesota lawmakers earlier this year.   

    Board member Dave Davidson noted that prior to the board meeting, the Crookston Education Association approved the teacher evaluation program in "overwhelming" fashion. Davidson, a longtime high school English teacher before retiring a couple years ago, said the evaluation initiative simply puts in writing and requires things that "should have been done all along." If teacher evaluations had been conducted as they should have been for years in the school district, "It wouldn't be that much different than what we're approving today," Davidson said. "This will be enforceable."   

    The school principals will lead the evaluation process. "It formalizes and prioritizes this and gets principals actively involved," Superintendent Chris Bates said.   

    It's going to be a significant addition to the principals' duties, which is part of the reason why Bates noted earlier this summer the importance of having a full-time dean of students on staff at the high school, in the form of Josh Hardy, to assist first-year Principal Eric Bubna. In addition, at Highland School, Lon Boike will assist Interim Principal Chris Trostad by performing some part-time dean of students duties.       

    Davidson complimented everyone who worked together over the summer to craft the Teacher Development and Evaluation Peer Support Plan. "They worked really hard on it and were really focused," Davidson said.   

    Board member Phill Greer echoed those positive comments, saying he'd read through the new initiative over the weekend and liked what he saw.