An informal and partial pilot of the Knowledge and Skills-Based Pay system completed last month provided valuable information for its development committee, but when the daunting task of creating the progressive pay and evaluation system will end is still unclear.
KSBP development committee member Kelly Stanford updated the Steamboat Springs Board of Education on the system's progress during a School Board meeting Monday night and admitted the time needed to create and implement a successful plan is unpredictable.
"It takes longer than we could have expected," Stanford said. "The further we get into doing this, the more complicated we realize it is."
Some members of the development committee, which consists of district teachers and administrators, are more optimistic of the KSBP timeline than others, Stanford said. Some hope to have the system ready for a vote by the end of this school year.
School Board members, Superintendent Donna Howell, Stanford and Steamboat Springs Education Association executive board member Brad Kindred agreed that maintaining momentum for the developing system is necessary for its survival.
Too much work has been put into KSBP to let it fizzle and die, Stanford said.
Momentum must be balanced with ensuring the final system is sound in all areas, Kindred said.
"Don't roll it out until it's looking good, because it won't even get on the road," he said, adding that KSBP is an oft-discussed topic in every staff room in the district.
Teachers, support staff and the School Board must approve a final KSBP system before it can be implemented.
The system, for which a pay scale already is approved, is being designed to pay teachers and staff based on their performances in classrooms or their particular areas of employment. District employees will move up or down the pay scale depending on the results of individual evaluations.
The School Board says the plan will help the district attract and maintain top-level teachers, and most district employees welcome the possibility of reaching higher salary levels in a shorter period of time than typically obtainable under traditional teacher pay scales.
An informal pilot of the teacher-specific KSBP system ended in late October with positive results, Stanford said. The goal of the pilot was to see what kind of portfolios teachers will assemble based upon how the guidelines for that section of the evaluation are written. Part of a teacher's evaluation will involve a portfolio consisting of, among other items, lesson plans and student work.
The KSBP development committee hopes to begin a formal pilot in January. Committee members typically work 10 to 15 hours a month on the system, Stanford said.
"We thank you," Fisher told Stanford and other committee members. "We know this is important stuff."
Nutritional Services Director Roberta Gill presented the School Board an update on the support staff's version of KSBP, which is closer to completion because it doesn't require the complexity of the teacher-based system.
A seven-week pilot for three of the seven support staff departments will begin in December.
In other School Board news:
n District Accountability Committee chairwoman Deb Jansen presented the School Board with audit team reports for the 2002-03 school year and individual school goals for the 2003-04 school year.
n A group of about 10 people, many of whom are parents of Steamboat Springs High School football players, voiced their support for head coach Mark Drake to the School Board. Drake, whose resignation is effective at the end of the first semester, has said he's being forced out of the district after more than 30 years of employment. The School Board said Monday it can't comment on the specifics of the situation because it's a personnel issue.
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