Superintendent’s Memo #056-12

State seal, Commonwealth of Virginia

COMMONWEALTH of VIRGINIA
Department of Education

February 24, 2012

TO:  Division Superintendents

FROM:  Patricia I. Wright, Superintendent of Public Instruction

SUBJECT:  Revised Guidelines for Uniform Performance Standards and Evaluation Criteria for Principals

On February 23, 2012, the Virginia Board of Education approved revised Guidelines for Uniform Performance Standards and Evaluation Criteria for Principals.  The guidelines and standards become effective on July 1, 2013; however, school boards and divisions are authorized to implement them prior to July 1, 2013.

The Board’s action was based on recommendations from a Work Group on Principal Evaluation established by the Virginia Department of Education.  The Work Group included principals, teachers, superintendents, a human resources representative, higher education representatives, a parent representative, and representatives from professional organizations (Virginia Association of Elementary School Principals, Virginia Association of Secondary School Principals, Virginia Association of School Superintendents, Virginia Education Association, Virginia School Boards Association, and the Virginia Parent Teacher Association), an expert consultant (Dr. James Stronge, Heritage Professor of Educational Policy, Planning, and Leadership, The College of William and Mary), and Department of Education personnel.

The Board is required to establish performance standards and evaluation criteria for teachers, principals, and superintendents to serve as guidelines for school divisions to use in implementing educator evaluation systems.  The Code of Virginia requires that (1) principal evaluations be consistent with the performance objectives (standards) set forth in the Board’s Guidelines for Uniform Performance Standards and Evaluation Criteria for Teachers, Administrators, and Superintendents and (2) school boards’ procedures for evaluating principals address student academic progress.

The Guidelines for Uniform Performance Standards and Evaluation Criteria for Principals set forth seven performance standards for all Virginia principals.  Pursuant to state law, principal evaluations must be consistent with the performance standards (objectives) approved by the Board:

Performance Standard 1: Instructional Leadership
The principal fosters the success of all students by facilitating the development, communication, implementation, and evaluation of a shared vision of teaching and learning that leads to student academic progress and school improvement.

Performance Standard 2: School Climate
The principal fosters the success of all students by developing, advocating, and sustaining an academically rigorous, positive, and safe school climate for all stakeholders.

Performance Standard 3: Human Resources Management
The principal fosters effective human resources management by assisting with selection and induction, and by supporting, evaluating, and retaining quality instructional and support personnel.

Performance Standard 4: Organizational Management
The principal fosters the success of all students by supporting, managing, and overseeing the school’s organization, operation, and use of resources.

Performance Standard 5: Communication and Community Relations
The principal fosters the success of all students by communicating and collaborating effectively with stakeholders.

Performance Standard 6: Professionalism
The principal fosters the success of all students by demonstrating professional standards and ethics, engaging in continuous professional development, and contributing to the profession.

Performance Standard 7: Student Academic Progress
The principal’s leadership results in acceptable, measurable student academic progress based on established standards.

The Code of Virginia requires that school boards’ procedures for evaluating principals address student academic progress.  The Board’s Guidelines for Uniform Performance Standards and Evaluation Criteria for Principals calls for each principal to receive a summative evaluation rating and that the rating be determined by weighting the first six standards equally at 10 percent each, and that the seventh standard, student academic progress, account for 40 percent of the summative evaluation.  The document provides guidance for incorporating multiple measures of student academic progress into principal performance evaluations.

The Guidelines for Uniform Performance Standards and Evaluation Criteria for Principals provide school divisions with a model evaluation system, including sample forms and templates that may be implemented “as is” or used to refine existing local principal evaluation systems. Properly implemented, the evaluation system provides school divisions with the information needed to support systems of differentiated compensations or performance-based pay.

The revised evaluation document is available on the Performance and Evaluation page on the Department of Education Web site.  The reference document, Research Synthesis of Virginia Principal Evaluation Competencies and Standards, is also posted on this site.  This site will also be used to post training and support materials for the new evaluation model as they are developed.
If you have any questions or need additional information, please contact Dr. Mark R. Allan, director of teacher licensure and school leadership, at Mark.Allan@doe.virginia.gov or (804) 371‑2471.

PIW/tc

c:   School Division Human Resource and Licensure Contacts
     Virginia College and University Deans, Directors, Vice-Presidents, and Provosts