By ASHLEY AMASON
The Walton County School District received notification moments before its May 17 school board meeting that it is one of 13 high-performing school districts in the state, one of only five to earn the honor for five consecutive years.
The Walton County School Board unanimously approved the redesigned teacher and principal evaluations required under Senate Bill 736. These evaluations base half of teachers’ and administrators’ evaluations on student learning gains and half on a model being developed within the school district which will be sent to the Department of Education for approval by June 1.
The model is predicted to require principals and assistant principals to rate teachers’ performance numerous times throughout the school year based on a points scale which rates performance as unsatisfactory, needs improvement, effective, and highly effective. Evaluation areas range from planning and preparation to classroom management and instruction. Performance pay is not associated with the ratings until the 2013-’14 school year, at which time those who receive effective or highly effective ratings will receive performance pay adjustments as part of their annual salaries.
District employees with a professional services contract or continuing services contract who return on July 1 have the option to select the district’s existing salary schedule or the performance pay salary schedule. Anyone with an annual contract hired from July 1, 2011 forward automatically goes to the performance pay salary schedule. No money is tied to salary schedule until the 2013-’14 school year and its base pay will be negotiated between the union and district.
The motion to petition the city of Defuniak Springs to abandon portions of Park Avenue, Hill Street, and Georgia Street, carried. All three streets intersect the Walton Middle School campus and are current thoroughfares outside of school hours. Hill Street and Georgia Street run north-south by the softball complex and cafeteria, and Park Avenue runs east-west by the classrooms and gymnasium.
A workshop will be held at the Tivoli Complex in DeFuniak Springs May 31 at 5 p.m. to discuss the student code of conduct and student progression plan.