Educator Support Pathway - Achievement of Tenure
The SPPS Educator Support Pathway is designed to support and provide feedback for educators as they undertake the important work of public education. The Educator Support Pathway provides professional learning opportunities that deepen educators’ abilities to personalize learning and create safe, equitable learning environments for all. Designed by Saint Paul Public Schools and Saint Paul Federation of Teachers (SPFT), the Educator Support Pathway pathway leads to achievement of tenure for eligible positions under the teaching bargaining unit.
SPPS and SPFT are committed to providing tenure-track educators with the support they need to succeed. This commitment is rooted in the following beliefs:
- When aligned with state, district and school goals, quality professional development and assessment enhance educator effectiveness, build educator confidence, and increase learner achievement.
- Collaboration and ongoing support from peers and administrators are vital to educator effectiveness and morale.
- A system that supports excellence in instructional/professional services strengthens SPPS capacity to attract, develop and retain high quality professionals.
- Adequate time and resources are necessary for effective professional assessment and development.
According to MN Statute 122A.41, the probationary period for tenure-track educators is three years. A probationary educator must complete at least 120 days of teaching/professional service during each year of the probationary period. Days devoted to parent-teacher conferences, educator workshops, other professional development opportunities, and days of absence do not count as days of service.
Robust Professional Development
Tenure-track educators who are governed by the SPFT contract complete professional development through a cohort model that meets twice each year of probation. Foundational professional development areas in the collaborative cohort include:
- Academic Language
- Content Specific
- Racial Equity Development
- Personalized Learning in a 1:1 Environment
- Positive Climate
- Universal Access
The St. Paul Federation of Teachers (SPFT) offers a variety of professional development courses for members. As part of achieving tenure and based on their professional goals, probationary educators select an SPFT course (20 - 30 hours) to take during the second year of probation. Educators may start a course during year one.
Mentoring and Coaching
Educators participate in the Mentor Mentee Program during their first year of probation unless they are participating in mentoring/coaching from a department-specific program (e.g., school social workers or nurses). SPPS requires all tenure-track classroom teachers to participate in the Peer Assistance and Review (PAR) program; most will work with a PAR educator during their second full year of employment. Related service teams, content areas, and departments may also have mentoring and coaching that occurs during probation for differentiated support.
Feedback, Collaboration, and Reflection
Probationary educators receive at least three evaluations in each of the three years prior to earning tenure. Each of these evaluations is summative up to that point of the school year and is based on more than a single observation. The evaluator can decide if the observations are announced or unannounced and if a pre-observation conference occurs. Evaluators may ask the probationary employee to complete a self-assessment and provide lesson/instructional plans.
The conference following the observation is completed within 10 school days of the observation but preferably sooner. According to MN Statute, the first evaluation must be within 90 days of the start of employment; Human Resources recommends within 45 days. The first evaluation for an employee beginning at the start of the school year must be completed prior to December 15, with the second evaluation by February 28 and the third by April 15.
Probationary educators participate in Teacher Development and Evaluation (TD&E). Each year of probation, educators complete an Individualized Growth and Development Plan and reflections for Student Engagement and Student Achievement. Educators can access the TD&E Schoology group for details and resources.
Equitable Learning Environments
As a result of the Educator Support Pathway, educators will effectively utilize the Personalized Learning Essentials to create safe, equitable learning environments for all:
- Build relationships and offer/support culturally relevant learning opportunities that incorporate multiple racial perspectives.
- Customize their instructional strategies and/or professional practices using a range of information about individual learners.
- Provide learners with multiple pathways for meeting standards.
Student Voice and Choice
- Learners pursue interests and opportunities that are racially and culturally relevant.
- Learners join with educators in directing their educational experiences.
- Learners make decisions about the means and methods by which they address standards.
Engagement in a Technology-Rich Learning Environment
- Flexible learning environments facilitate collaboration and extend beyond the classroom.
- Technology is used to facilitate creativity and innovation; communication and collaboration; critical thinking and problem solving; and research.
Educator Support Pathway Contact
Amy Steele | firstname.lastname@example.org
Educator Support Pathway for Tenure Date of 6/30/21
Educator Support Pathyways (listed below) are based on job titles and a projected tenure date of 6/30/2021. Educators with projected tenure dates of 6/30/19 and 6/30/20 should reference the section further down.
Teachers on Special Assignment (TOSA) follow coursework that correlates to their MN license.