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 Educators (SPFE), the Educator Support Pathway pathway leads to the achievement of tenure for eligible positions under the teaching bargaining unit.  

    SPPS and SPFE 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 SPFE contract complete professional development through a cohort model that meets each year of probation. Foundational professional development areas in the collaborative cohort include:

    • Academic Language
    • Content Specific
    • Equity
    • Personalized Learning in a 1:1 Environment
    • Positive Climate and Culture
    • Universal Access

    SPFE offers a variety of professional development courses for members. As part of achieving tenure and based on their professional goals, probationary educators select an SPFE 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. Probationary employees will complete a self-assessment and can be asked to provide lesson/instructional plans.

    The conference following the observation is completed within 10 schooldays 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:

    Tailored Instruction/Services

    • 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 to meet 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 meet 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.


    Casey Ulrich

    Educator Support Pathway Contact






Educator Support Pathway for Tenure Date of 6/30/24