Dirigo principal lauds teacher evaluation plan

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DIXFIELD — Dirigo Elementary School Principal Charles Swan told Regional School Unit 56 directors Tuesday that the recently instituted teacher evaluation system is time-consuming but eventually will be better than the previous one.

The Performance Evaluation and Professional Growth plan is the same one developed when RSU 56 was part of RSU 10, more than a year and a half ago, Swan said. Because of a Maine Department of Education law, schools had to create improved plans that were agreed upon by employees.

Included in the standards are teacher observation, growth plans, evaluation and a resource library. Marzano’s Art and Science of Teaching is the set of standards used for teaching, Swan said.

Asked how they liked the system, Swan said it takes more time. However, the method they used before was “random in a lot of ways, loose in some ways, because it was more subjective,” he said.

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He said he was OK investing the time in it because he knew the end product would be better.

Dirigo High School Principal Michael Poulin told directors that the evaluation process started at the beginning of the year.

“It’s a pretty aggressive plan in regard to the three classroom visits (to observe the teachers),” he said, adding that he did like the system.

In other business, Superintendent Pam Doyen said the board’s Future Search workshop over the weekend was attended by 70 people who had positive comments about it. Members of the community discussed the present and future needs of the district and how it could excel while being fiscally responsible to Dixfield, Peru, Canton and Carthage. Attendees said they liked being able to air their views, Doyen noted.

The board also:

• Hired Special Education teacher Taryn Merry for Dirigo Elementary School, where she completed her student teaching in 2015 and was a long-term substitute teacher there also; and

• Hired Travis Magnusson as boys varsity basketball coach at Dirigo High School and Joanne Weston and Jay Nicholson as co-winter athletic director assistants.

mhutchinson@sunmediagroup.net

Special Education teacher Taryn Merry was hired by the RSU 56 board Tuesday night for Dirigo Elementary School. (Marianne Hutchinson/Rumford Falls Times)

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