Guidance for Student and Educator Support Specialists

On October 30, 2013, Sarah Barzee, Chief Talent Officer of the Connecticut State Department of Education (CSDE), issued an update on the 2013-14 Connecticut Educator Evaluation and Support System, which contained guidance for student and educator support specialists. That update included the following information:

The CSDE Talent Office is striving to support districts with the successful implementation of Connecticut’s Educator Evaluation and Support System. Educators who do not have traditional classrooms but serve a “caseload” of students may require additional consideration regarding implementation. As such, the CSDE convened a widely representative stakeholder group, the Student and Educator Support Specialist (SESS) Workgroup, to explore implementation options and provide guidance for these educators.

The SESS Workgroup developed a number of white papers and sample student learning objectives (SLOs) in order to provide specific guidance for the following disciplines: English language learner (ELL) educators; social workers; school psychologists; library media specialists; school counselors; speech and language pathologists; mathematics and English language arts coaches; transition coordinators; and special education teachers. These white papers and sample SLOs are designed to guide administrators in conducting evaluations for individuals from these specific disciplines as part of a comprehensive evaluation and support system.

It is important to note that SESS educators are only a subset of educators who serve students in non-tested grades and subjects (NTGS). Educators in these nontested grades and subject areas are those who do not have a state assessment specific to their grade or subject area. Although world language teachers are not considered SESSs, they did collaborate with their ELL colleagues, who are SESS educators, to develop a white paper to support a common understanding about moving students forward in a target language. Please note that there are separate sample SLOs featured in the guidance documents for ELL educators and world language teachers. Multiple sample SLOs for various grades and subject areas are currently available on the System for Educator Evaluation and Development (SEED) Web site. Additional sample SLOs will be available in the coming weeks.

In addition to the white papers and sample SLOs, an adapted version of The Common Core of Teaching (CCT) Rubric for Effective Teaching was developed for use with some SESS educators. Specifically, this adapted rubric was identified for use with school psychologists, speech and language pathologists, comprehensive school counselors and school social workers. While these disciplines have agreed that the CCT/SESS adapted rubric may appropriately assist an evaluator in examining their practice, the groups have recommended that the CSDE consider the use of nationally developed and vetted rubrics created by their respective national organizations that adhere to national standards and align to the Connecticut CCT. The school psychologist work group has included, within their guidance document, a draft rubric aligned to their national standards for review and consideration as determined appropriate by the district.

The CCT/SESS adapted rubric is available as a resource for use by Connecticut school districts. Although not required, the alignment of the CCT/SESS adapted rubric to the CCT Rubric for Effective Teaching will benefit evaluators as they engage in professional dialogues across all content areas.

All guidance documents including the white papers, the sample SLOs and the rubric are currently available on the SEED Web site at