Established in 2014, the purpose of Harmony Public Schools appraisal system, H-TESS, is to establish an environment of professional growth through ongoing support. It is comprised of three domains:
- Domain I - Instructional Quality
- Domain II - Student Growth and Achievement
- Domain III - Professional Roles and Responsibilities
Teachers and administrators work closely together to set goals, monitor progress towards those goals, and seek professional development in order to improve their instructional practice so that student learning is increased. Administrators visit teachers' classrooms throughout the year in order to provide feedback and support, and both teacher and student growth is measured on an ongoing basis.
Studies indicate the following: Teachers who receive "an induction program that includes mentoring, common planning times and continual support from school leaders on a steady basis are more satisfied with their jobs, get better ratings with their classroom teaching practices and are 'associated' with higher levels of student outcomes." The Problem Isn’t Teacher Recruiting; It’s Retention, by Dian Schaffhauser The Journal Transforming Education Through Technology, 7/7/14
The Harmony Public Schools Mentoring Program is designed to assign a mentor to all teachers who are new to the teaching profession, second year/returning teachers who still need support and those who transfer from another school district. Our goals for such teachers are as follows:
- To reduce the intensity of the transition into teaching.
- To support teachers with achieving high teaching standards of the HTESS (Harmony Teacher Evaluation and Support System) Framework.
- To increase the retention rate of new hires within our system.
Mentors and mentees are provided with a guidebook and professional development resources focused on teaching and learning, to assist them with collaborative efforts throughout the year. Mentee professional development focuses on instructional strategies to enhance their skills with classroom management, teaching, and learning. Mentor professional development emphasizes strategies for being an effective mentor and ways to support Mentees with their ongoing professional development. Face to face administrative training, webinars, and on-demand, personalized web-based professional development opportunities are just a few ways we support our teachers. We’re working hard to develop strong relationships and build the capacity of our teachers to become excellent teachers who positively impact student achievement.
To learn more about our mentoring program, please click on HPS Mentoring Guidebook;