SENATE BILL 5657
State of Washington 52nd Legislature 1991 Regular Session
By Senators Thorsness, Rinehart, Johnson, Amondson, A. Smith and Erwin.
Read first time February 13, 1991. Referred to Committee on Education.
AN ACT Relating to family-school partnerships; amending RCW 28A.605.020 and 28A.405.100; adding new sections to chapter 28A.605 RCW; creating a new section; and making appropriations.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF WASHINGTON:
NEW SECTION. Sec. 1. The legislature finds that families and schools share responsibility for student success. The legislature further finds that student academic achievement, student attitudes and behaviors, and school climate are improved when families and schools work together as partners. The legislature intends to promote strong family-school partnerships that begin in the preschool years or before and continue through high school, are based on mutual trust and respect for family strengths, and enable families to play a meaningful, active, and supportive role in schools. The legislature finds that in addition to responsibility for their children's school attendance under chapter 28A.225 RCW, it is important for families to: Provide for children's health and safety; prepare children for school; teach family-life skills through the school years; and build positive home conditions that support school learning and behavior. It is important for schools to: Communicate with families about school programs and children's progress; vary the form and frequency of communications such as memos, notices, report cards, and conferences to improve all families' understanding of school programs and children's progress; and encourage family participation at school, in learning activities at home, and in school governance and advocacy.
Sec. 2. RCW 28A.605.020 and 1979 ex.s. c 250 s 8 are each amended to read as follows:
Every school district board of directors shall, after following established procedure, adopt a policy assuring parents access to their child's classroom and/or school sponsored activities for purposes of observing class procedure, teaching material, and class conduct: PROVIDED, That such observation shall not disrupt the classroom procedure or learning activity. This policy shall provide that parents are welcome in schools.
Sec. 3. RCW 28A.405.100 and 1990 c 33 s 386 are each amended to read as follows:
The superintendent of public instruction shall establish and may amend from
time to time minimum criteria for the evaluation of the professional
performance capabilities and development of certificated classroom teachers and
certificated support personnel. For classroom teachers the criteria shall be
developed in the following categories: Instructional skill; classroom
management, professional preparation and scholarship; effort toward improvement
when needed; the handling of student discipline and attendant problems; ((
interest in teaching pupils and knowledge of subject matter; and
communication with students' families or guardians taking into account
teachers' access to private telephone conversation areas.
Every board of directors shall, in accordance with procedure provided in RCW 41.59.010 through 41.59.170, 41.59.910 and 41.59.920, establish evaluative criteria and procedures for all certificated classroom teachers and certificated support personnel. The evaluative criteria must contain as a minimum the criteria established by the superintendent of public instruction pursuant to this section and must be prepared within six months following adoption of the superintendent of public instruction's minimum criteria. The district must certify to the superintendent of public instruction that evaluative criteria have been so prepared by the district.
Except as provided in subsection (5) of this section, it shall be the responsibility of a principal or his or her designee to evaluate all certificated personnel in his or her school. During each school year all classroom teachers and certificated support personnel, hereinafter referred to as "employees" in this section, shall be observed for the purposes of evaluation at least twice in the performance of their assigned duties. Total observation time for each employee for each school year shall be not less than sixty minutes. Following each observation, or series of observations, the principal or other evaluator shall promptly document the results of the evaluation in writing, and shall provide the employee with a copy thereof within three days after such report is prepared. New employees shall be observed at least once for a total observation time of thirty minutes during the first ninety calendar days of their employment period.
Every employee whose work is judged unsatisfactory based on district evaluation criteria shall be notified in writing of stated specific areas of deficiencies along with a suggested specific and reasonable program for improvement on or before February 1st of each year. A probationary period shall be established beginning on or before February 1st and ending no later than May 1st. The purpose of the probationary period is to give the employee opportunity to demonstrate improvements in his or her areas of deficiency. The establishment of the probationary period and the giving of the notice to the employee of deficiency shall be by the school district superintendent and need not be submitted to the board of directors for approval. During the probationary period the evaluator shall meet with the employee at least twice monthly to supervise and make a written evaluation of the progress, if any, made by the employee. The evaluator may authorize one additional certificated employee to evaluate the probationer and to aid the employee in improving his or her areas of deficiency; such additional certificated employee shall be immune from any civil liability that might otherwise be incurred or imposed with regard to the good faith performance of such evaluation. The probationer may be removed from probation if he or she has demonstrated improvement to the satisfaction of the principal in those areas specifically detailed in his or her initial notice of deficiency and subsequently detailed in his or her improvement program. Lack of necessary improvement shall be specifically documented in writing with notification to the probationer and shall constitute grounds for a finding of probable cause under RCW 28A.405.300 or 28A.405.210.
The establishment of a probationary period shall not be deemed to adversely affect the contract status of an employee within the meaning of RCW 28A.405.300.
(2) Every board of directors shall establish evaluative criteria and procedures for all superintendents, principals, and other administrators. It shall be the responsibility of the district superintendent or his or her designee to evaluate all administrators. Such evaluation shall be based on the administrative position job description. Such criteria, when applicable, shall include at least the following categories: Knowledge of, experience in, and training in recognizing good professional performance, capabilities and development; school administration and management; school finance; professional preparation and scholarship; effort toward improvement when needed; interest in pupils, employees, patrons and subjects taught in school; leadership; communication with students' families or guardians; and ability and performance of evaluation of school personnel.
(3) Each certificated employee shall have the opportunity for confidential conferences with his or her immediate supervisor on no less than two occasions in each school year. Such confidential conference shall have as its sole purpose the aiding of the administrator in his or her professional performance.
(4) The failure of any evaluator to evaluate or supervise or cause the evaluation or supervision of certificated employees or administrators in accordance with this section, as now or hereafter amended, when it is his or her specific assigned or delegated responsibility to do so, shall be sufficient cause for the nonrenewal of any such evaluator's contract under RCW 28A.405.210, or the discharge of such evaluator under RCW 28A.405.300.
(5) After an employee has four years of satisfactory evaluations under subsection (1) of this section, a school district may use a short form of evaluation. The short form of evaluation shall include either a thirty minute observation during the school year with a written summary or a final annual written evaluation based on the criteria in subsection (1) of this section and based on at least two observation periods during the school year totaling at least sixty minutes without a written summary of such observations being prepared. However, the evaluation process set forth in subsection (1) of this section shall be followed at least once every three years and an employee or evaluator may request that the evaluation process set forth in subsection (1) of this section be conducted in any given school year. The short form evaluation process may not be used as a basis for determining that an employee's work is unsatisfactory under subsection (1) of this section nor as probable cause for the nonrenewal of an employee's contract under RCW 28A.405.210.
NEW SECTION. Sec. 4. (1) The family-school partnership program is established in the office of the superintendent of public instruction. The program shall be designed to help interested parties develop family involvement programs, including those that are part of a school involvement program under chapter 28A.615 RCW. The program shall:
(a) Compile, maintain, and disseminate descriptions of promising family and community involvement programs that have been evaluated for their effectiveness;
(b) Develop models for:
(i) Programs in the areas of family involvement at school, in learning activities at home, and in school governance and advocacy, with special attention to involving all families regardless of ethnicity, home language, economic status, or educational background;
(ii) Enhancing teachers' communication with students' families or guardians under RCW 28A.405.100;
(iii) Enhancing administrators' communication with students'
families or guardians under RCW 28A.405.100;
(iv) Assessing family and community involvement and incorporating them as goals for school improvement in the self-study and accreditation process under RCW 28A.320.200;
(c) Provide consultation to recipients of grants under section 5 of this act; and
(d) Foster public-private efforts to publicize the benefits of family involvement in education.
(2) As part of the family-school partnership program, the superintendent of public instruction shall report to the legislature by December 1, 1991, on the feasibility and estimated impact of creating a state-wide toll-free telephone number to provide information to families on open enrollment, family involvement, and other education issues.
(3) The superintendent of public instruction may contract for services. The superintendent is encouraged to create a team of educators, parents, and family involvement experts to assist the superintendent in carrying out all or part of the duties under this section.
NEW SECTION. Sec. 5. (1) The superintendent shall grant funds to school districts, from moneys appropriated for this purpose, for schools or districts to plan and implement family involvement programs, including those that are part of a school involvement program under chapter 28A.615 RCW. The criteria for grant awards shall include: (a) Demonstration of a commitment by families, teachers, and administrators to collaborate in the project; and (b) an evaluation component that includes information on the success of the project in involving families of at-risk students and families with limited English proficiency.
(2) School districts may conduct the family involvement projects or may enter into contracts with nonprofit organizations that have a demonstrated ability to successfully implement a family involvement program.
(3) The superintendent shall compile the information reported by the projects and submit an evaluation of the grant program to the legislature by December 1, 1992.
NEW SECTION. Sec. 6. Sections 4 and 5 of this act are each added to chapter 28A.605 RCW.
NEW SECTION. Sec. 7. (1) The sum of two hundred fifty thousand dollars, or as much thereof as may be necessary, is appropriated for the biennium ending June 30, 1993, from the general fund to the superintendent of public instruction for the purposes of section 4 of this act.
(2) The sum of seven hundred fifty thousand dollars, or as much thereof as may be necessary, is appropriated for the biennium ending June 30, 1993, from the general fund to the superintendent of public instruction for the purposes of section 5 of this act.