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Harrisburg

Evaluators and Teachers Stay Organized with the User-friendly Design and Organized Platform of EvaluWise

 

District Background

Scott Dewar is the High School Principal at Harrisburg District in Harrisburg, Illinois. His colleague Natalie Fry is the Intermediate School Principal on the East Side of the District. Their district is rural, with about 2,000 students, and they evaluate about 145 staff. They have been using EvaluWise for the past three years.

Challenges

Evaluations at Harrisburg used to be written using word processor. It took a lot of time after the evaluation, often hours, just to compile the feedback into the correct format. Not to mention, scheduling follow-up meetings with teachers.

With their previous analog system, artifacts were compiled by teachers and presented to evaluators in hand-made portfolios.  Evaluators were with taking home cumbersome binders – filled with photos and papers – and flipping through hundreds of pages of artifacts. That evidence had to be paired to the rubric, which proved to be difficult and time consuming.

Another challenge to the workload of administrators is that they often navigate complicated websites and software programs to do their work. The principals commented on the design and user-friendly interface of EvaluWise. Administrators do not get confused or distracted by the design, which allows them to concentrate on the task at hand.

How EvaluWise Helped

“EvaluWise has totally streamlined our evaluation process,” said Mr. Dewar. “Especially when our teachers upload their artifacts, our jobs are unbelievably easier.”

The days of doing things twice are over. As soon as an evaluator is done scripting within EvaluWise, they send that teacher an email from the tool itself. The post-conference feedback is shared as soon as the teacher’s lesson is over. The instantaneous feedback helps accelerate the evaluation process, and for the evaluator, they get a lot of time back.

Ms. Fry added on, “With EvaluWise, we look for quality over quantity. Teachers can hone in on one or two pieces of evidence that make their work shine, and I appreciate not having to lug those portfolio binders home.” With EvaluWise, administrators and evaluators can log on and access the artifacts at home, at work, or wherever they go. The digital portal is essential for time management.

Evidence-based evaluation models require districts to enter in percentages for professional practices and student growth. With EvaluWise, if those percentages should change from one year to the next, the figures can be adjusted within the platform. Evaluators no longer have to do the math, because EvaluWise calculates the percentages. Evaluators like being able to focus on the observation.

“When new teachers are hired, they’re often overwhelmed at the amount of new information they must absorb. When it comes time for the EvaluWise training, they understand it just fine, and we are glad that this is the case. It’s another compliment to the design of the platform.”

“Once our teachers started to use the software, and take advantage of its functionality, they love it!”  said Mr. Dewar

 

Results at Harrisburg District

The thoughtful design of the platform has made us better evaluators

  • Once evaluators pair evidence with a component, they get a summative report to know if they are lacking any evidence. They can email the teacher to prepare them for future observations. This allows evaluators to give teachers ideas for how to incorporate those specific pieces into the next point of observation.

Focusing on what matters

  • Since evaluators script within the tool, they can focus on specific rubric components. This allows them to give more thoughtful feedback.

A great resource for teachers to look back on.

  • Teachers can upload artifacts and store them within EvaluWise. The evaluator gives feedback for how to improve it. By conferencing with them for the next year, we can document growth within the platform.

The time saved allows us to invest in other facets of the educational experience

  • According to Mr. Dewar, “Despite the financial limitations in our district, our superintendent is progressive. He saw how investing in this time saving software would benefit us in the long run. Now we can spend more time and energy improving curriculum and student involvement, because we’re not behind a door, typing up our evaluation notes.”