FAQs: School Counselor Evaluation

School Counselor Standards

Development of the School Counselor Evaluation System

School Counselor Evaluation System Requirements

Evaluators and Frequency of Evaluations


School Counselor Standards

    Who was involved in writing the school counselor standards?

    Ohio school counselors, members of the Ohio School Counselor Association (OSCA), higher education, school administrators, and staff members from the Ohio Department of Education (ODE) worked collaboratively to develop the Ohio School Counselor Evaluation System.

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    When were the school counselor standards adopted by the State Board of Education?

    The State Board of Education approved the Ohio School Counselor Standards in October 2015.  

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    Where can I find the Ohio Standards for School Counselors?

    The Ohio Standards for School Counselors document is available online. 

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Development of the School Counselor Evaluation System

    How were the districts and schools chosen to be in the pilot?

    The Ohio Department of Education made an announcement about the Ohio School Counselor Evaluation System Pilot and how to apply for it in a November 2015 edition of the weekly electronic newsletter EdConnection. Districts that completed the application were invited to participate in the pilot. Urban, rural, suburban, online charter and career-tech districts, both large and small, participated. The department made adjustments to the Ohio School Counselor Evaluation System based on feedback from the pilot. 

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    Was there a pilot of the evaluation system?

    Thirty-two districts took part in a pilot for the Ohio School Counselor Evaluation System in winter 2015-2016. Pilot participants completed a one-day training to support knowledge and obtain materials for implementation. Participants used the state’s evaluation model and rubric during the pilot, then offered feedback that shaped revisions.

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School Counselor Evaluation System Requirements

    When do districts have to implement the Ohio School Counselor Evaluation System?

    Local boards of education must adopt their own standards-based school policy that conforms to the state framework no later than Sept. 30, 2016. Implementation will begin for the 2016-2017 school year. The policy will become operative at the expiration of any collective bargaining agreement covering school counselors employed by the board that is in effect Sept. 29, 2015, and shall be included in any renewal or extension of such an agreement.

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    Where can the Ohio Revised Code and the Evaluation State Framework be found?

    Each school counselor will be evaluated according to Ohio Revised Code and the Evaluation Framework for School Counselors, which is aligned to the Ohio Standards for School Counselors.

    Ohio Revised Code 3319.113 is located here.

    You can find the State Board of Education’s Evaluation Framework for School Counselors here.

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    What are the required forms?

    There are no required forms. Local education agencies must align to the standards, state framework and performance rubric.

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    Can a district design its own school counselor rubric?

    Yes, however, a district will need to demonstrate that the local instrument aligns with the Ohio Standards for School Counselors and State Board of Education approved framework. If a district chooses to design its own rubric, the district must complete the alignment tool found in the Electronic Teacher and Principal Evaluation System (eTPES). 

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    How were the contents of the rubric determined?

    The scope of work of the Ohio School Counselor Evaluation Writing Team during 2015-2016 included extensive study of model evaluation systems throughout the country. The team examined the systems of West Virginia, Florida, New Jersey and Missouri in designing the rubric. The writing team used the Ohio Standards for School Counselors as the foundation for determining areas to include in the rubric – and from this work, they developed the rubric. National experts then conducted multiple reviews. The team and the department refined the rubric using input from the national experts and the pilot districts.

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    Do all standards on the rubric have to be evaluated?

    Yes, because school counselors are required to demonstrate their ability in all areas identified by the standards as well as their ability to produce positive student outcomes using metrics.  

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    How can school counselors and administrators use the state’s evaluation model to focus professional development choices?

    At the beginning of the school year, the school counselor may complete a self-assessment using the Ohio Standards for School Counselors to provide a complete picture of his or her school counseling practice.  The school counselor will complete a professional growth plan or have an improvement plan. In these plans, areas for professional development should be identified. Additionally, the evaluator should offer area(s) of reinforcement and refinement during coaching and conferencing. These areas of reinforcement and refinement will guide improvement and professional development.

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    Are the pre-conferences and post-conferences required?

    No, they are considered best practice.  Both the standards and the evaluation system are intended to provide useful feedback and support as school counselors grow and learn professionally. Growth comes from the conversations about practice between observer and school counselor.  It is important to note that during the years in which high-performing school counselors are not fully evaluated, the board shall conduct at least one observation and one conference.

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    Must observations be announced?

    Districts have the flexibility to determine whether observations are announced or unannounced.

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    Does the evaluator have to script during the observation?

    Scripting is not required but may be beneficial.  Scripting is a tool used by the evaluator to capture evidence. This evidence is needed and important to use when assigning a rating to the observation. As the evaluator becomes more familiar with the evaluation system, the evaluator will likely develop his or her own methods for collecting evidence during the observation. 

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Evaluators and Frequency of Evaluations

    What is the required training for evaluators?

    All evaluators in Ohio, regardless of the evaluation system they use, are identified at the local level and will have to complete the one-day OSCES training conducted by state trainers. Educational service centers will offer this training beginning June 2016. Register through SAFE in the STARS system or by contacting your local educational service center.

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    How frequently are school counselors evaluated?

    School counselor evaluations shall occur annually except as otherwise appropriate for high-performing school counselors. The annual evaluation process will consist of two formal observations of 30 minutes each, informal observations and demonstration of metrics of student outcomes.

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    What is the process for less frequent evaluations for high-performing school counselors?

    The board may evaluate each school counselor who received a final summative rating of accomplished on the most recent evaluation once every three school years, as long as the metric of student outcomes, for the most recent school year for which data is available, is skilled or higher on the evaluation rubric. 

    The board may evaluate each school counselor who received a final summative rating of skilled on the most recent evaluation once every two school years so long as the metric of student outcomes, for the most recent school year for which data is available, is skilled or higher on the evaluation rubric.

    During the years in which high-performing school counselors are not fully evaluated, the board shall conduct at least one observation and one conference.

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    If a school counselor receives a rating of accomplished or skilled in one local education agency and moves to another, does the rating follow the school counselor?

    The rating entered in the electronic Teacher and Principal Evaluation System (eTPES) for a school counselor conducted in one district does not follow the school counselor to a new district. The school counselor will need to have a full annual evaluation in their first year of employment in the new district.

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Last Modified: 5/2/2016 1:19:26 PM