The French River Education Center (FREC) is a private, non-profit education, training, and support agency serving school districts in Worcester County, Massachusetts. As part of their commitment to support member districts, FREC has provided the TeachPoint Educator Evaluation Solution to 25 member districts since 2012. Nearly 5,000 educators across those districts currently use TeachPoint. In 2017, FREC also added the TeachPoint online Professional Development Tracking Solution for its members.
Prior to FREC’s purchase of the TeachPoint Educator Evaluation Solution, most of its member districts were using paper and pencil forms to do their observations, which was laborious and difficult to manage. The old system for evaluation cost districts a lot of time, energy, and resources. And it wasn't being used to help teachers do their job better. They were looking for a solution that would help them better manage the evaluation process when they selected TeachPoint.
TeachPoint has had a significantly positive impact on teaching and learning in the districts FREC serves. Ricci Hall, Executive Director of FREC, shared that principals from the member districts find that TeachPoint has helped them solve a lot of problems. Notably both principals and teachers have been able to better organize their work related to evaluations and professional development by more easily keeping track of observations and managing professional development offered within the school. In addition, teachers find that TeachPoint helps them chart their regular progress, keep track of their forms, upload their data, and work toward a positive evaluation at the end of the year, all within one online system.
From an administrative perspective, superintendents like that they can monitor the evaluation process for their entire district through the TeachPoint evaluator and administrator dashboard. Superintendents are able to easily review if principals are on track with providing feedback and evaluations, and can also make sure that evaluations are targeted toward their district goals.
Hall also shared his firsthand experience on the success he found using TeachPoint in his former role as a principal at one of the member districts. According to Hall, the system was intuitive to use and made it easy to organize all of his evaluations, which allowed him to focus most of his time working individually on important instructional conversations with teachers. Hall explained, “I think using the online forms in TeachPoint allowed us to have a common language and common understanding of what good teaching was. And that saved a lot of time. We were able to use material from the rubric and the observation tool to really hone our work together. I found that the communication and the ability to collaborate with teachers increased significantly because I was able to have that common language with them.”
FREC continues to expand the use of TeachPoint through the implementation of the Professional Development Tracking Solution. Their goal is to eventually make FREC’s PD opportunities more readily available to educators through TeachPoint. Hall believes that this will help make PD more targeted to the needs of the teachers by better connecting PD with the evaluations and the growth that the teachers personally need.