Based on the questions the Alliance officers and staff were hearing from campuses about the new instructional coach position established by SAISD, the Alliance took several questions to the October 11, 2011 Consultation meeting. Administration’s responses are as follows to the questions raised:
Question: How are the instructional coaches assigned to teachers?
Response: The instructional coaches who report to the LEDs are assigned based on several indicators including principal recommendations, academic achievement (TAKS), new teachers to the profession, TAKS results, high
discipline referrals, ERG info (student growth), teachers new to a grade level
or subject area, or observations made by principals that indicated concerns
with instruction. Teachers were rank ordered based on these multiple measures.
The principal was supposed to explain to the teacher the rationale for his/her
selection. Instructional coaches at high schools wanted to speak with teachers
first before the principal explained this rationale, in order to establish rapport with the teacher. Teachers could also request assistance from an
Question: What are the job duties/responsibilities?
Response: The purpose is to coach and support the teacher. The purpose is to also provide professional development as requested by principals or central office. They are to meet every other Friday with the LED. Otherwise, they are to be out at the campuses. The goal is to help the teacher grow. The role is to coach, not to direct.
Question: How long do instructional coaches provide the support to any given teacher?
Response: The minimum amount of time is 9 weeks, but it could be longer. It is between the coach and teacher to decide at the end of the 9-week period. The relationship is between the coach and the teacher.
Question: To whom will the instructional coaches be reporting their observations?
Response: The observations are between the teacher and the instructional coach and will not be given to the principal. The coach does report to the LED, but generally, the information will not be shared from the LED to the principal, unless there is a safety issue, unethical behavior, etc.
Question: Are the observations confidential between the teacher and instructional coach?
Response: Yes. The information will also go to the LED. If the teacher is not responsive, that could be communicated to the principal.
Question: What communication has been sent to teachers about instructional coaches?
Response: Principals were supposed to communicate about the position. The Alliance recommended that there be more complete, widespread communication to all teachers about the instructional coach position and role.