When Mark MacLean became superintendent of the Merrimack Valley and Andover School Districts in New Hampshire four years ago, he wanted to find an online solution for teacher evaluation that could also link to professional development.
After some research with his leadership team, MacLean found TeachPoint, which offers a Professional Development Tracking Solution that also enables districts to link ongoing professional development with its Educator Evaluation Solution. MacLean decided to use the Evaluation Solution on its own for one year before adding the PD Tracking Solution.
“The best thing about TeachPoint solutions is the fact that we can customize them,” MacLean says. “The team behind TeachPoint has a great entrepreneurial spirit, and its focus on continual product development ensured that it met the needs of our districts.”
Before engaging with TeachPoint, MacLean says the methods to track and analyze PD and evaluations were analog, paper-based processes.
“We used a combination of spreadsheets, and some forms that come in triplicate and have carbon-copy sheets in the middle of them,” MacLean says. “It was a paper shuffle, but with TeachPoint, we can be much more efficient. TeachPoint enables us to do away with that paper shuffle.”
Ease of use
“One of the great things about TeachPoint is that the user interface is very intuitive,” MacLean says. “Teachers can sign up for district-sponsored PD events inside the TeachPoint platform and it automatically enrolls them in the PD session. There is also an automatic sign-in process when teachers attend a professional development event.”
The Individualized Professional Development Plan (IPDP) for all district teachers is done directly in TeachPoint, where teachers create their goals that become embedded tags.
MacLean says the tagging system allows PD experiences to be categorized, analyzed and revisited over the course of a teacher’s IPDP, which lasts three years and links to their state recertification.
“TeachPoint has been a great platform for teachers and administrators to collaborate and rally around professional development,” MacLean says.
MacLean says the TeachPoint PD Tracking Solution removes cumbersome paperwork and makes information about professional development opportunities more accessible to educators across the district.
“It has significantly reduced opportunity costs because we have people spending less time tending to analog procedures,” MacLean says. “Staff can focus on professional development. It’s a more streamlined and efficient way.”
MacLean says that implementing TeachPoint has changed professional development and teacher evaluation conversations, which now focus less on process and more on results, pedagogy, teacher improvement and setting up success. Teachers and administrators work together on assessment, communication and instruction using both TeachPoint solutions.
“Now there is a relationship between supervision, evaluation and professional development,” MacLean says. “We use the tagging system from a teacher’s Individualized Professional Development Plan, and use the rubrics that we set up for supervision and evaluation, to look at results and use them to inform future goals.”