CTESS - At A Glance

CTESS Growth Cycle Phase 1

CTESS Growth Cycle For Career Educators

CTESS Growth Cycle For Provisional Educators

CTESS Overview for Teachers

1) Understand the Utah Effective Teaching Standards and the Canyons Academic Framework

Utah Effective Teaching Standards have been aligned with Canyons Core Expectations

pdfCSD Academic Framework

2) Orientation and Notification

Orientation takes place annually. It includes review of:
  • Standards, and framework
  • Student growth
  • Stakeholder input
  • The observation tools
CSD evaluation processes and timeline

3) Self-assessment – Professional Growth Plan

Each educator:
  • Completes a self –assessment by rating themselves on the standards in four domains – Planning, Instructing, Adjusting and Reflecting
  • Creates a professional growth goal and develops a plan for compiling evidence and accomplishing the goal
  • Sends self-assessment to supervisor for review via electronic platform

4) Beginning of the Year Conference

Supervisor reviews self-assessment, professional growth goal and plan, then communicates with each educator in a conference or email about:
  • Acceptance of the goal and plan
  • Suggestions for changes or additions
  • Any further feedback

5) September through May

  • Observations begin 15 calendar days after the orientation.
  • Feedback (face-to-face or electronic) given within 15 days of observation
  • Instructional Priority Observation Protocol (IPOP) used as the universal tool
  • Targeted observation tools provide feedback on specific aspects of best teaching practices (Classroom PBIS, Explicit Instruction, Opportunities to Respond, Explicit Vocabulary Instruction, Scaffolded Instruction, Instructional Rigor and Providing Feedback)
  • Non-provisional teachers observed (IPOP) at least twice for a minimum of 15 minutes each, additional targeted observations as needed
  • Provisional teachers observed (IPOP) twice by November 15th (rating and conference by Dec. 15th) and twice again by March 15th (observations, rating and conference) for a minimum of 15 minutes each, additional targeted observations as needed
  • Educators upload evidence to support progress made on their goal (2-3 pieces of evidence e.g. additional observation data, video reflection, lesson plans tied to observations)

6) Feedback

Additional data gathered on the electronic platform
  • Walk-throughs
  • Outside the classroom observations (collaboration meetings)
  • Lesson plans
  • Interactions with peers and community
  • Feedback (face-to-face or electronic) within 15 days of observation
  • Response to stakeholder input


7) End of the Year Conference

  • Review rankings (student achievement, summative evaluation, stakeholder surveys)
  • Review Professional Growth Plan
  • Review evidence to determine if goals were reached
  • Discuss next steps (pre-plan)


1. What is the purpose of educator evaluation in Canyons?

The purpose of evaluation in Canyons is to prioritize professional growth and support for all educators, retain and promote effective educators, and ensure that every student receives high-quality instruction every day.  With this purpose, the Canyons Teacher Effectiveness Support System (CTESS) has been developed to increase feedback to educators about instruction and increase the use of public practice applications by Canyons professional educators.

2. How will the three required components of evaluation be weighted?

The Utah State Office of Education has assigned to following weightings to the three components of educator evaluation for the state:

·      Assessment of Instructional Quality – 70%

·      Evidence of Student Growth – 20%

·      Response to Stakeholder Input – 10%
These weighting percentages are used to determine the final rating of Ineffective, Emerging/Minimally Effective, Effective, or Highly Effective. 

3. What will the evaluation schedule look like from year to year?

The Utah state law requires that every career educator be evaluated once a year and every provisional educator be evaluated twice each year.

·      For career educators, the rating they receive in Phase One of the CTESS cycle remains in place for the next two years, unless there are performance concerns.

·      Provisional teachers will be in Phase 1 of the CTESS cycle for 3 yeras. The rating they receive in the first cycle in Phase 1 will provide the feedback and access to coaching support needed to increase performance on any skills that are found to be deficit. Teachers will have time to work on these skills prior to the next cycle of evaluation in Phase 1. The rating they recieve in the second cycle of evaluation is their final rating for the year. Provisional teachers will complete 2 cycles in each of their three provisional years. The following graphic shows the phases and cycles of the CTESS system. Provisional teachers remain in Phase 1 for three years:

4. What are the standards for performance included in the CTESS process?

CTESS is grounded in 12 standards developed by aligning the 2012_USOE_Teacher_Standards.pdf and the Canyons Academic Framework to Support Effective Instruction.  The CTESS Standards represent the essential ingredients for high quality instruction that defines teacher effectiveness. For organizational purposes, the standards have been grouped into four domains. This graphic shows the 12 standards in 4 domains:

5. How was the Canyons Teacher Effectiveness Support System (CTESS) process developed?

Nationally, school districts have been scrambling to adhere to state and federal mandates that define teacher evaluation. The Canyons District’s Joint Educator Evaluation Committee (JEEC), which includes principals, teachers, and parents (4 of each), studied current policy, research, and reported data about educator evaluation from around the country to made recommendations.  These recommendations were then translated into observation protocols and planning templates.  All administrators, and many teachers and coaches, participated in piloting of the protocols and templates to provide feedback that lead to numerous improvements to the system.
Teacher surveys have provided a wealth of information and continue to guide refinements to CTESS. Administrators provide feedback to the administrator over evaluation development on an ongoing basis. It is anticipated that refinements will continue to be made in  the 2015-16, 2016-17, and 2017-18 school years. These changes are made in order to increase support and decrease complexity of the system to achieve the goal of providing Canyons teachers with the support they need to be effective educators. Remediation and support, not dismissal, is the goal of CTESS. Educators who are willing to improve their practice based on the feedback they recieve will be offered coaching support to help them achieve their goals. CTESS was developed with this in mind. 

6. What will the Canyons Teacher Effectiveness Support System (CTESS) process look like?

The CTESS process includes:

·      A yearly self-assessment - teachers develop yearly team and individual goals based on each school’s Continuous School Improvement Plan.

·      Classroom observations - All teachers will be observed while instructing each year using the Instructional Priorities Observation Protocol (IPOP).

                 o   Career teachers in Phase One will be observed twice (minimum).

                 o   Career teachers in Phase Two and Three will be observed once (minimum) each year.

                 o   Provisional teachers will be observed four times (minimum) in each of their three provisional years.

·      Documentation of lesson planning (Lesson Plan Template), effective classroom practices (IPOP), collaboration and teaming (Meeting Participation Checklist).

·      Response to Stakeholder Input – each year, educators will analyze their survey data from students and parents and write an action statement.

·      Student Growth – the Utah State Office of Education will generate a student growth percentile for each teacher based on SAGE scores or Student Learning Objectives.

·      Growth and Support - The process is focused on growth and provides educators with actionable feedback. If an educator receives a lower rating on a standard, they will receive specific feedback on how to increase their effectiveness in that standard. Coaches are available in every school to assist teachers in their improvement efforts. 

7. How will student growth be measured?

Following state recommendations there are three ways that student growth will be measured. For tested subjects and grades, the SAGE assessment and median student growth percentile, or MSGP, will be utilized. Tested subjects and grades include:

  1. English language arts grades 3-11
  2. Math grades 3-8 along with Secondary Math I, II, and III
  3. Science grades 4-8 plus Biology, Chemistry, and Physics.

For untested subjects and grades, educators will measure student growth through Student Learning Objectives (SLOs) or Rate of Improvement (ROI). For more information on these measures of student growth please view screencasts 4) Student Growth Part 2 and 5) Stakeholder Input.

8. Why and how will student input be collected for the stakeholder input portion of the evaluation process?

Research indicates that well crafted student surveys are reliable and valid predictors of student achievement and valuable sources of feedback to improve teaching. During Spring 2014 many teachers in Canyons volunteered to pilot student surveys. After receiving feedback from teachers, administrators, and students, separate surveys for early elementary, upper elementary, and secondary students were finalized. Each survey has been statistically analyzed to ensure its reliability and validity. The process for collecting surveys has not yet been finalized.