Patricia C. Burch
Executive Director of School and Educator Effectiveness
Programs and Initiatives
The Office of School and Educator Effectiveness supports the vision and mission of the Williamsburg County School District by supervising evaluative processes for all instructional employees. Educator effectiveness is supported by providing quality mentoring and guidance for all first year teachers and formal and informal evaluation programs designed to enhance the skills of all instructional employees.
In order to ensure that all students have access to high-quality teachers who are equipped with the tools they need as effective educators, we offer continuous systems of support for novice and experienced teachers and administrators. All certified teachers and special area educators are evaluated using the Expanded Assisting, Developing, and Evaluating Professional Teaching (ADEPT) Model. Every student in South Carolina schools deserves an effective teacher. Teachers deserve timely, purposeful feedback about their instructional practices to grow and develop as highly effective educators. The Expanded ADEPT Support and Evaluation System represents a significant step in the journey of improving teacher professional practice for the benefit of ALL students in South Carolina. ADEPT (Assisting, Developing, and Evaluating Professional Teaching) system has become a vital part of South Carolina’s overall teacher quality initiative. In addition to achieving the minimum score or better on appropriate examinations of both subject matter (content) and general teaching area, teachers are required to complete all ADEPT requirements to be eligible for a professional teaching certificate. Expanded ADEPT focuses attention on intended student outcomes, allowing educators to align and strengthen professional practice to support those outcomes.
Induction and Mentoring
The school district will provide an induction and mentoring program for all beginning classroom-based teachers, library media specialists, school counselors, and speech-language therapists in order to increase the effectiveness and promote the retention of novice educators. Through its induction and mentoring program, the district will provide assistance and support to beginning educators. The purpose of WCSD's mentoring program is to provide first year teachers and annual diagnostic teachers the opportunity for mentor-ship, guidance, and support throughout the year. Mentors are selected by their building level principal and are master teachers and have a conceptual understanding of teaching and learning.
During their first year of teaching, induction contract teachers receive comprehensive guidance and support from a school-based mentor, school administrators, and the Executive Director of School and Educator Effectiveness. Staff evaluative instruments are in place to ensure effective teaching and professional growth by promoting continuous improvement and encouraging educators to become reflective practitioners who are able to identify areas of reinforcement and refinement. Principals are evaluated using the Expanded Program for Assisting, Developing, and Evaluating Principal Performance (PADEPP).
From their first moments in South Carolina's schools, beginning educators are expected to be effective practitioners, facilitating and guiding the learning of their students even as they themselves continue to learn. Because expectations are high and the challenges are many for these novice professionals, quality induction programs that support and assist them through their early years in the profession are essential in promoting teacher retention, teacher effectiveness, and - most importantly - student learning. South Carolina is committed to developing, implementing, and sustaining effective induction programs in school districts statewide to ensure that beginning teachers become an integral part of the professional learning community, benefit from the coaching and support of a trained mentor, and continue to develop the skills necessary to positively impact student learning throughout their careers.
South Carolina is dedicated to developing, implementing, and sustaining programs statewide to ensure that beginning teachers understand what is expected of them, that they receive specific assistance from mentors as they transition into the profession, and that they become an integral part of a learning community that supports their continuous professional growth and development. South Carolina’s induction and mentoring initiative exists as a collaborative effort among the state’s school districts, the teacher education programs in the state’s colleges and universities, the SBE, the SCDE (through the Office of Educator Effectiveness and Leadership Development (OEELD)), and CERRA. Implemented by the individual school districts statewide, these induction and mentoring programs will have one overriding objective: to inform, encourage, and support beginning teachers for the purpose of improving the quality of teaching in the state, raising the level of student achievement and reducing the rate of attrition among our newest teachers.
The Expanded Program for Assisting, Developing, and Evaluating Principal Performance (PADEPP) Standards and Criteria play an essential role in South Carolina’s standards-based system. South Carolina has adopted rigorous standards for students, teachers, and school leaders. Current research consistently indicates that effective principals communicate and distribute leadership to engage all educators in realizing a vision for high quality teaching and improved student learning and growth. The purpose of ongoing assessment is to improve performance and effectiveness. The intention is for the process to be professional, supportive, collegial, transparent, and developmental in nature by enhancing the principal’s professional practice, knowledge, and skills throughout their careers.