The T-PESS process incorporates a series of actions and activities that should be applied on an ongoing basis. While the T-PESS process results in the principal's annual summary assessment, it's better to think of it as an annual process of activities that help you both assess principal's actions, establish performance goals, collect and analyze information, and provide constructive feedback, improving the principal's quality and effectiveness as a school leader.
At the beginning of each year, an orientation is conducted with all principals to clarify the T-PESS rubric, along with the district’s expectations for practice and performance, timelines, materials, forms, and any additional rollout information. The orientation is an important step in the process, because it:
Using the Texas Principal Standards, TPESS Rubric, T-PESS Principal Guide, and data sources such as the campus needs assessment, campus improvement plan, district strategies and priorities, student and staff outcome data, and past feedback from peers and appraisers, the principal completes a data-driven self-assessment to identify the variances between actual and expected competence and performance. Begin with the “Developing” performance descriptors and move left towards the “Distinguished” column. The descriptors in the rubric clarify expected knowledge and skills and should be used to identify those actions and practices that are consistently performed at expected levels and those that require growth or present challenges. The principal should gain a clear idea of the highest-priority areas on which to base growth goals.
During initial implementation of the T-PESS rubric, principals use the self-assessment to identify professional growth goals which will strengthen leadership practices and student outcomes. It is essential that the goal-setting process prioritizes areas of development for the principal as a professional, independent of campus-related needs. Therefore, the primary goal is focused on the principal’s individual growth, while a second goal must be developed to address student growth on the campus. Although principals may choose to establish more than two goals, doing so is not required, and any additional goals should be considered carefully, so they do not to divert energies from the two required goals. In the second year and beyond, principals may use summative refinement areas and additional data to establish growth goals and revisit them at the beginning of the school year..
During this conference, the appraiser and principal discuss the self-assessment results, school and district priorities and plans, and any data or artifacts that proved useful in determining the growth goals. Once the goals have been established, it is important to discuss and agree on the data, evidence, and documentation that will be collected throughout the year in support of the goals, how periodic reviews and support will be conducted, and the criteria for success. This discussion may also include a review of the current context of the school and previous practice, as applicable.
Ongoing school visits are conducted to observe the campus environment, interact with the school community, gather evidence, coach, and provide actionable feedback regarding performance and practices in various contexts and settings. Increased frequency of those visits provides a comprehensive perspective on trends, patterns, and the extent of evidence. Those visits also provide an opportunity for the appraiser and principal to discuss strengths and challenges with the T-PESS process and practices.
When ongoing school visits are conducted, the mid-year conference then provides a platform to focus on the status of the goals and whether adjustments in actions need to occur to accomplish the goals. This midyear checkpoint is also used to formatively assess performance and practices using the T-PESS rubric. As a result of this meeting, the appraiser and principal should have a clear understanding of the principal’s current level of practice, the performance trajectory with rubric ratings, and actionable next steps to leverage leadership practices. The Mid-Year Conference is an extension of the ongoing dialogue between the appraiser and principal.
Because T-PESS is an evidencebased process, it is imperative that the appraiser and principal must collect and prioritize evidence throughout the year. Each indicator of the T-PESS rubric provides numerous examples of artifacts and evidence. The appraiser should be intentional about conducting school site visits to collect pertinent evidence, including the impact on systems, processes, teacher performance, student outcomes, and including the implications on the larger system.
Principals and appraisers synthesize their collected artifacts and evidence, to create a comprehensive view of the principal’s performance throughout the year. This brief summary is not intended as a portfolio, but rather a concise review of information that may be used as consideration for performance and ratings during the end-of-year conference. T-PESS evidence is collected using four comprehensive strategies:
The appraiser and principal review artifacts and evidence that was collected throughout the year and map the evidence to the goals and rubric. The artifacts and evidence inform goal attainment, and, with the principal’s input, decisions are made about final performance ratings using a preponderance of evidence. That information is further used to project and establish draft performance goals and performance refinements for the next school year as a cycle of continuous improvement. To finalize the annual process, the appraiser takes into consideration the information shared during the Endof- Year Conference, along with evidence collected throughout the year, to complete the T-PESS Summary Rating and Goal Attainment Form. Pursuant to local procedures, both the appraiser and principal sign and submit the required forms.
Note: Districts have multiple options when determining End-of-Year ratings. Ratings may be reported separately for each indicator of the T-PESS rubric and for each individual goal. If so, the weights below are not applicable.
For districts that opt to provide principals with an overall summative rating, the weights in the table below indicate how T-PESS components should be calculated based on a principal’s tenure on a campus. This phase-in process acknowledges that leadership impact is not fully assessed until the third year of a principal’s tenure on a campus. At that time, the principal has full ownership of student growth or progress results from that year onward.
Each year, you, as the appraiser, should ensure that an orientation is conducted for all principals you supervise. At this orientation, principals should receive a complete set of materials outlining the evaluation process, what is expected for their participation, an explanation of the timeline, and how their performance will be measured. By the end of orientation, they should be thoroughly familiar with T-PESS and all of the materials associated with it, including definitions and forms.
Using the T-PESS Rubric, the principal will complete a Self-Assessment that provides the opportunity for them to reflect on their ability to fulfill the Texas Principal Standards. In addition, the Self-Assessment helps them reflect on the challenges presented by their Campus Improvement Plans and how they'll address them, while also helping them set professional growth goals that are related to identified areas for personal improvement.
The Beginning-of- Year Goal Setting / Refinement Conference provides the opportunity for you and the principal to discuss several critical topics, including their Self-Assessment results, performance improvement goals, and alignment to the Campus Improvement Plans and district strategic priorities. It is good practice for you to run through a pre-assessment with the principal using the T-PESS rubric, considering the current context of the principal's school, community, and performance. Together, you will agree on the data, evidence, and documentation applicable to the principal's goals, so he or she can collect this throughout the evaluation cycle.
On an ongoing basis, you should visit the schools of principals you’re appraising to conduct informal meetings that add to your context and understanding of their performance.
This Mid-Year Conference will focus on the status of goal attainment and help you adjust the action plan as needed. You will also conduct a formative assessment of performance as it relates to the T-PESS rubric with the principal. This can be completed in writing or through verbal discussion of the rubric, pursuant with district policy decision. As a result of this discussion, principals should have a clear understanding of their performance trajectory, final effectiveness ratings, and whether they are on target to accomplish their goals.
Principals will synthesize their collected artifacts and evidence and any additional information they have gathered to create a comprehensive view of their performance throughout the year. This brief summary is not intended as a portfolio, but rather a concise review of artifacts, evidence, and information that can be used in consideration of their performance. They should provide you with this information before the End-of-Year Performance Discussion.
For the End-Of-Year Conference, you and the appraiser will meet to review and discuss the T-PESS evaluation process. You will have the opportunity to provide artifacts and evidence related to your goal(s) and any additional information that would assist in making an accurate assessment. With your input, a decision will be made about final performance ratings related to goal attainment.
You will also look forward with your appraiser to consider Goal Setting for the next school year and may even draft performance goals and discuss recommendations for performance improvement for the subsequent year. Additionally, you and your appraiser will consider your performance on the standards and indicators of the T-PESS rubric.
Your appraiser will take into consideration information shared during the End-Of-Year Conference along with evidence and artifacts collected throughout the year in order to complete the T-PESS Summative Assessment Form. You and your appraiser will sign and submit all required forms to complete the evaluation process, pursuant with local district procedures.