In order to assure a high quality of teacher performance to advance the instructional programs of the district schools, a program for teacher evaluation will be utilized.

Teachers will be evaluated at least once each semester during the first three years of their contract. Teachers in their fourth contract year or beyond will be evaluated at least once every year.

When evaluating teachers in the District, all of the State of South Dakota minimum evaluation requirements and aligned with the Danielson framework shall be used by the District. However, if approved by the South Dakota Department of Education, the District may (a) use a model of professional practice other than the Danielson framework to evaluate its teachers and (b) choose not to use student learning objectives (SLO) as a measure of student growth. If the Board chooses to use the options provided in § 24:57:02:03, it must apply on forms provided by the department, which must be received by the Department by January 31stbefore the school year in which the district intends to implement the alternative evaluation model.

The evaluation process is based on the minimum professional performance standards established by the South Dakota Department of Education and which:

  • Evaluates teachers using multiple measures;

  • Serves as the basis for programs to increase professional growth and development of teachers; and

  • Includes a plan of assistance for any teacher in his or her fourth year or more of teaching whose performance does not meet the district’s performance standards.

The formal evaluations will be written and will be discussed by the evaluator and the teacher. Copies of the written document will be signed and dated by both parties and incorporated into the personnel files of the teacher. The signature of the teacher does not indicate approval or disapproval of the evaluation, but that the evaluation has been read and discussed.

Pursuant to state law, any record or document, regardless of physical form, created by the District in connection with the evaluation of certified staff constitutes personnel information and is not open to inspection or copying.

Nothing in a teacher’s evaluation may diminish the School Board’s right to renew or not renew a teacher’s contract.

The Board acknowledges that the evaluation procedure is a subject of mandatory bargaining with the teachers’ recognized bargaining unit representative. However, the establishment and identification of the evaluation criteria is not subject to mandatory bargaining and the Board has the sole authority for establishing such evaluation criteria, subject to any applicable state and federal laws and regulations that may limit such authority.