Bryson ISD sees success with new evaluations

BRYSON – A new system for judging teacher performance is in its second year statewide and Bryson teachers are succeeding under it.

Principal Eric Wilson told board members at Monday night’s meeting the district is in the second year of the state program for judging teachers called Texas Teacher Evaluation and Support System (T-TESS), which goes into greater detail than the prior PDAS system. The scale still judges teachers on a 1-5 scale but is tougher on what judges look for in teachers.

“Coach (Jason) Briles and I underwent training on this and were taught what to look for,” Wilson said. “In the past a 3 would be average but in this program, a 3 rating is ‘rock star’ or very good with anything above that fabulous.”

Wilson and Briles split the school’s teachers up during the Fall semester and evaluated all of them, using the techniques they were taught. Across the board, the ratings were very good with Wilson’s group averaging a 3.05 and Briles averaging a 3.07.

Briles said understanding the rating scale and what it takes to get there is important to be able to rate teachers and be impressed with how well BISD teachers are doing. Wilson said two reasons behind the positive changes include not only the new system but also being part of the Manzano High Reliability School (HRS) program, which allows teachers and staff to experience lots of solid and informative professional development.

“The teachers are taking every opportunity to hone skills and it’s now paying off,” Wilson said.

In other news, an election for places 6 and 7 and a special election for Place 2 is scheduled for May 5. Board members Cliff Smith (Place 6) and Travis Thorne (Place 7) are up for reelection. Board Member Danny Guinn is filling the spot Laurie Kelley had but left last year after she moved out of the district. 

The special election for Place 2 will be for the remainder of Kelley’s unexpired term.

Board members were also honored with a dinner for all they do as part of School Board Appreciation Monday, which is January.  

Staff with members of the Family and Consumer Science Class prepared the meal and also acted as servers.

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