FAQ About DMPS & TLC

TLC GOALS and VISION

1. What are the goals of the Iowa Teacher Leadership and Compensation (TLC) System?
Division VII of HF 215 establishes a statewide teacher leadership system. The system is designed to accomplish the following goals:

  • Attract promising candidates to the teaching profession by offering competitive starting salaries and offering short- and long-term professional development and leadership opportunities.
  • Retain effective teachers by providing enhanced career opportunities.
  • Promote collaboration by developing and supporting opportunities for teachers in schools and school districts statewide to learn from each other.
  • Reward professional growth and effective teaching by providing pathways for career opportunities that come with increased leadership responsibilities and involve increased compensation.
  • Improve student achievement by strengthening instruction.*

2. What is the vision for the DMPS TLC system?
The DMPS vision is to recognize and reward Teacher Leaders’ contributions to instructional improvement and to expand their influence and numbers in helping peers refine and improve their practices in the classroom through job-embedded professional development.


FUNDING

1. How is TLC funded?
The legislation phases in the program over four years. In the first year, the 2013-14 school year, the Legislature has appropriated $3.5 million for planning grants for school districts. Following the planning year, $50 million will be available per year for the 2014-15, 2015-16, and 2016-17 school years for school districts to implement the teacher leadership and compensation system. When the program is fully implemented in the 2016-17 school year, the state’s contribution will be $150 million per year plus an annual growth factor (though participation in the system will be optional).

The Iowa Department of Education established criteria and a process for application and approval of locally designed teacher leadership and compensation plans. Districts submit their plans to the Commission on Educator Leadership and Compensation. The Commission will evaluate the applications and make recommendations to the Department on approval of local plans.  Funding is available for districts serving one-third of the students in Iowa to enter the system each year. The funding will be distributed on a per-pupil basis, which will be calculated by the Department of Management by dividing the allocation amount for FY2015 by one-third of the statewide total budget enrollment for FY2015 (this payment is estimated to be $310 per student for each district with an approved plan).

During the first year that a school district implements its approved plan, the money is paid through the $50 million allocation. In subsequent years, the Teacher Leadership Supplement (TLS) becomes a categorical funding stream included on the aid and levy worksheet. Districts are eligible to receive TLS funding when their plans for teacher leadership are approved by the Department of Education.*

2. What can TLC funds be used for?
TLC funding can be used to fund the salary supplements for teachers in a leadership role, to cover the costs for the time teachers in leadership roles are not providing direct instruction in a classroom, to cover the costs when teachers are out of the classroom to observe or co-teach with another teacher, to provide professional development related to the leadership pathways, and to cover other costs associated with the approved teacher leadership and compensation plan.*

3. How long is the funding for the Teacher Leadership and Compensation System scheduled to last?
The 2013 General Assembly appropriated $3.5 million in planning grants for the 2013-14 school year. The General Assembly also allocated $50 million per year for each of the 2014-15, 2015-16, and 2016-17 school years to support school districts selected to implement their Teacher Leadership and Compensation system. The funding is cumulative so that when the program is fully implemented in the 2016-17 school year, the State’s contribution will be $150 million per year, plus an annual growth factor. In the first year a school district implements its approved plan, payments flow from the $50 million allocation. In subsequent years, the Teacher Leadership Supplement (TLS) becomes a categorical funding stream included on the aid and levy worksheet.*


TEACHER LEADERSHIP ROLES

1. What TLC teacher leadership roles have been identified for DMPS teachers?
979 teacher leadership roles are included in the 2016-17 DMPS TLC system that fall into three levels: Coaches, District-Wide Teacher Leaders, and School-Based Teacher Leaders. Within each of these levels, multiple roles have been identified:

  • Coaches: Instructional Coaches, Special Education Support Teachers
  • District-Wide Teacher Leaders: District PLC Facilitators, Demonstration Classroom Teachers, and TLC Coordinators
  • School-Based Teacher Leaders: School Leadership Team Members, Innovation Classroom Teachers, and Mentors

Role

# per School

#   District-wide

District PLC Facilitators

85

Demonstration Teachers

51

Special Education Support Teachers

16

TLC Coordinators

2

TLC Coaches (63 Total)

  • Elementary
  • Middle School
  • High School
  • Districtwide Programs
  • Central Academy

1

1

2

1

1

Non-TLC (Existing) Instructional   Coaches/IB Coordinators (39 Total)

varies

School-Based Teacher Leaders

  • School Leadership Team (SLT) Members
  • Innovation Teachers

6-14

503

Mentors (serving 1st & 2nd   year teachers) – NEW

250

PLC Leaders, Demonstration Site Schools   of Rigor (NEW) at Findley, Howe, Lovejoy, Perkins, Weeks, North

  •   Elementary
  •   Middle School
  •   High School

58 total

7

15

15

2. What is the salary supplement for each TLC position?   How many additional contract days are there for each TLC position and what is the additional pay associated with these PD days?

Role

Salary   Supplement

Additional   Contract Days for PD & Associated Add’l Pay

District PLC Facilitators

$600

3   days/$450

Demonstration Teachers

$2,500

3   days/$450

Special Education Support Teachers

$3,300

6   days/$900

TLC Coordinators

$7,000

30   days/$4,500

TLC Coaches (63 Total)

  • Elementary
  • Middle School
  • High School
  • Districtwide Programs
  • Central Academy

$3,300

6   days/$900

Non-TLC  Instructional Coaches/IB Coordinators

$3,300

6   days/$900

School-Based Teacher Leaders

  • School Leadership Team (SLT) Members
  • Innovation Teachers

$1,000

3   days/$450

Mentors (serving 1st & 2nd   year teachers) – NEW

$2,500

6   days/$900

PLC Leaders, Demonstration Site Schools   of Rigor (NEW) at Findley, Howe, Lovejoy, Perkins, Weeks, North

  •   Elementary
  •   Middle School
  •   High School

$3,300

6   days/$900

3. If an Instructional Coach is only released from the classroom 50%, do they still get the full salary supplement and additional contract days?
Yes.  TLC salary supplements for instructional coaches are the same for part-time instructional coaches and for full-time instructional coaches.

4. What are the basic duties of each of the TLC roles?

TLC Instructional Coaches (TLC) – New:  Support job-embedded professional development through collaborative and individual learning cycles (75%), school specific support (15%), data team meetings (5%), and instructional coach PD (5%).  TLC coaches utilize the common language of effective teaching practices articulated in the Instructional Framework to support implementation of district initiatives directed at strengthening instruction.

Non-TLC (Existing) Instructional Coach:  Provide leadership and support to a school in the areas of literacy and/or mathematics instruction and assessment.  Responsibilities include assisting with the implementation of best practices through demonstration of lessons, organizing and delivering professional development activities, and facilitating data teams/PLCs.  Each school has flexibility in how these roles are implemented. Most of the existing instructional coach positions work in elementary schools.

District PLC Facilitators: TLC Professional Learning Community (PLC) Facilitators plan and lead four focused learning sessions on school improvement initiatives on early-release Wednesdays as part of the district’s professional development system.  PLC Facilitators are 100% in the classroom with a salary supplement and additional contract days for training.

Demonstration Classroom Teachers:  TLC Demonstration teachers provide a laboratory for colleagues and school leaders to see best practices in action.  Core practices necessary for high-quality teaching and learning will be highlighted in demonstration classrooms across all content areas and grade spans.

  • Demonstration Classroom Teachers will model and debrief teaching practices with other practitioners.
  • Demonstrate reflective practice in classroom teaching, aligned to the Marzano Instructional Framework.
  • Serve as early implementers of new curriculum and technology.
  • Assist in developing instructional tools for teaching district curriculum.

Demonstration teachers will contribute to a video library of instructional practices for colleagues across the district to view.  Seeing the elements come to life in a classroom will support others in their growth and development. TLC Demonstration Teachers are 100% in the classroom with a salary supplement and additional contract days for training.

School-Based Teacher Leaders (100% in the classroom with a salary supplement and additional contract days for training):

  • TLC School Leadership Team Members serve on the School Leadership Team (SLT).
  • TLC Innovation Teachers positions support cultivation of innovation across the district. TLC Innovation Classroom Teachers identify an area of action research aligned to the Marzano Instructional Framework to improve or refine practice within the classroom.  Innovation Teachers share their learning with peers.

Mentors:  Mentors support job-embedded coaching and professional development to beginning teachers. Mentors may engage in co-planning, modeling, and co-teaching lessons; as well as observing, providing feedback, and coaching classroom instruction as appropriate. Mentors support implementation of district initiatives directed at strengthening core instruction through the common language of effective teaching practices articulated in the Instructional Framework. Teachers are 100% in the classroom with a salary supplement and additional contract days for training.

PLC Leaders, Demonstrations Site Schools of Rigor:  These PLC Leaders provide leadership for school PLCs who are engaged in the Demonstration Site Schools of Rigor work. The position provides the school leadership with additional support to carry out the critical function of effective PLCs focusing on rigorous standards-based teaching and learning in all phases – planning, delivery, reflection, and adjustment. PLC Leaders are 100% in the classroom with a salary supplement and additional contract days for training.


INSTRUCTIONAL COACH ROLES

1. How will TLC Instructional Coaches be allocated? 

Role

# Per School

TLC Instructional Coach – Elementary School 1
TLC Instructional Coach – Middle School 1
TLC Instructional Coach – High School 2
TLC Instructional Coach – Smouse 1
TLC Instructional Coach – Ruby Van Meter 1
TLC Instructional Coach – Central Academy 1
TLC Instructional Coach – Scavo 1
TLC Instructional Coach – District-Wide Programs/Orchard Place 1 shared

2. What are the TLC instructional coaching positions and their roles?
Instructional Coaches (TLC) – New:  Support job-embedded professional development through collaborative and individual learning cycles (75%), school specific support (15%), data team meetings (5%), and instructional coach PD (5%).  TLC coaches utilize the common language of effective teaching practices articulated in the Instructional Framework to support implementation of district initiatives directed at strengthening instruction.

Existing Instructional Coach:  Provide leadership and support to a school in the areas of literacy and/or mathematics instruction and assessment.  Responsibilities include assisting with the implementation of best practices through demonstration of lessons, organizing and delivering professional development activities, and facilitating data teams/PLCs.  Each school has flexibility in how these roles are implemented. Most of the existing instructional coach positions work in elementary schools.

3. How would the Instructional Coach position look different than a SIL position in regards to data teams?
The role of the TLC Instructional Coach is structured to provide time for learning cycles (75%), school specific support (15%), data team meetings (5%), and instructional coach PD (5%).

4. Instructional Coaches don’t evaluate teachers, do they?
No.  Instructional Coaches focus on supporting the growth and development of teachers.  Instructional Coaches engage in co-planning with teachers, modeling instruction, and co-teaching lessons; as well as observing, providing feedback, and coaching classroom instruction.  This includes coaches and teachers working together to develop coaching plans, goals, and measures of success.

5. Are the TLC Instructional Coach roles full-time or part-time?
TLC Instructional Coach positions will be 50-100% out of the classroom.  Based on the feedback received from the focus group and the advisory committee, schools wanted flexibility to decide if positions would be full or part time.  Schools will be allocated FTEs. For example, if an elementary is allocated 1 FTE and decides to have two teachers serve as the instructional coach and share a classroom or interventionist position, both teachers will receive the salary supplement and additional contract days for training.  We want encourage teachers to stay in the classroom…not leave!

6. Schools have 1 or 2 FTEs or TLC Coaches that may be released for their coaching role between 50-100% of the time.  Does this mean that, for example, a school with 2 FTEs could employ 4 staff members coaching 50% of the time?
Yes, but keep in mind that TLC coaches will be responsible for helping support teachers in their personal growth and development via learning cycles using the common language of effective teaching practices articulated in the Instructional Framework.  If they are less than 100% released, their ability to engage in this will be limited to certain times of the day and certain staff.

7. How will the roles of the TLC Instructional Coaches be structured?
Their role is structured to provide time for learning cycles (75%), school specific support (15%), data team meetings (5%), and instructional coach PD. Learning cycles include the development of coaching plans, goal(s), and measures of success.  TLC instructional coaches engage in co-planning, modeling, and co-teaching lessons; as well as observing, providing feedback, and coaching classroom instruction.

8. What are learning cycles?
Learning cycles include the development of coaching plans, goals, and measures of success.  Through learning cycles, TLC coaches support teachers through co-planning, modeling, and co-teaching lessons; as well as observing, providing feedback, and coaching classroom instruction.

9. Are teachers required to participate in collaborative or individual learning cycles with an instructional coach?
No.  Initially, we will be identifying teams of people or individuals who are willing to participate in order to support their growth and development as a teacher.


DISTRICT-WIDE TLC ROLES

1. Are the PLC Facilitator roles new?
No.  PLC Facilitators will continue to be identified at the district level to facilitate district PLCs.  PLC Facilitators continue to be 100% in the classroom.

2. What is the role of the Demonstration Classroom Teacher?
Demonstration classroom teachers are identified at the district level in partnership with school principals.  Demonstration teachers will represent a variety areas of expertise across grade level bands and content areas such as core, vocal music, band, art, physical education, world languages, CTE, and drama.

3. What is the role of the TLC Coordinator?
Two TLC Coordinator positions will be funded by TLC – one to support elementary Instructional Coaches and one to support secondary Instructional Coaches.  Coordinators will orchestrate the implementation, facilitation, and evaluation of the TLC plan to insure the plan is implemented with fidelity and integrity.


SCHOOL-BASED TEACHER LEADERS

1. What are School-Based Teacher Leaders?
Currently, most school-based teacher leadership opportunities are informal; the TLC plan will enable the district to recognize Teacher Leaders’ contributions and provide additional training.  Two school-based roles will be formalized through TLC –Innovation Classroom Teacher and School Leadership Team Member.

2. What is the role of the Innovation Classroom Teacher?
Innovation Classroom Teachers conduct action research within the classroom and share learning with peers to inform school improvement strategies and goals.

3. What is the role of the School Leadership Team Member?
A responsibility of an instructional coach is to serve on the school leadership team. The TLC School Leadership Team Member position provides additional opportunities to identify other individuals within the building to serve as school-based teacher leaders with an associated salary supplement.


TLC RENEWAL AND HIRING PROCESS

1. What is the process for renewing current TLC positions?
All current TLC team members will be emailed a form to complete expressing your interest in renewing your position(s) for the 2016-2017 school year.  This is not a guarantee of position. Team members will meet with evaluators to review survey data and artifacts.  Evaluator will determine renewal by June 15th, 2016.

2.  What is the process for applying for open or new TLC positions?
All open and new positions will be posted on Applitrack by April 27th.  Applicants will have until May 20th to submit their applications and have references completed.  Positions will be determined by June 15th, 2016.

3. Are there special requirements for TLC positions?
Applicants must have at least three years of teaching experience and at least one year of teaching experience with the Des Moines Public Schools.  This includes the 2015-16 school year. 

4. When we go into Applitrack to work on the application will it prompt us for a resume and cover letter?
You can ignore this prompt as they are not required and will not be looked at as part of the TLC hiring process.  If you apply for other positions, however, a resume and cover letter will be needed. 

5. If I am working towards a master’s degree, but don’t have it.  Should I check “yes” or “no?”
Check “yes” if it is the only one of the desired traits you have, but keep in mind the degree will need to be completed by the fall of 2016.  A master’s degree isn’t a requirement. 

6. How many years of experience are required for TLC positions?
Applicants must have at least three years of teaching experience and at least one year of teaching experience with the Des Moines Public Schools.  This includes the 2015-16 school year.

7. Can teachers apply for multiple positions?
Yes.  THIS IS A CHANGE FROM LAST YEAR.  Teachers may be hired for TWO (2) TLC positions.

8. If our school district already has teacher leader positions (e.g. mentors, instructional coaches), will they have to go through a selection process if we are approved to enter the system?
Yes. The legislation requires a rigorous selection process for placement into and retention in teacher leadership roles. Because the legislation is very detailed in the requirements of the process, existing teacher leaders will need to complete the selection process. The process must include: the use of measures of effectiveness and professional growth to determine suitability for the role; a selection committee that includes teachers and administrators who shall accept and review applications for assignment or reassignment to a teacher leadership role and shall make recommendations regarding the applications to the superintendent of the school district; an annual review of the assignment to the leadership role by the school’s or school district’s administration.*

9. Do teachers who are selected for a leadership role need to reapply for that role each year?
Yes. School districts, however, have some discretion in the format of the reapplication/renewal process. Teacher leadership roles are designed to be annual assignments. According to the legislation, teachers in leadership roles are required to complete “an annual review of the assignment to a teacher leadership role by the school’s or school district’s administration. The review shall include peer feedback on the effectiveness of the teacher’s performance of duty-specific to the teacher’s leadership role. A teacher who completes the time period of assignment to a leadership role may apply to the school’s or the school district’s administration for assignment in a new leadership role, if appropriate, or for reassignment.” Districts could design a streamlined renewal process for teachers in leadership roles as long as the process meets the requirements of the legislation stated above.*

10. Is an annual review required for teacher leaders and, if so, does the review require peer feedback?
Yes. The legislation requires an annual review of a teacher’s assignment to a leadership role by the school’s or school district’s administration. The review must include peer feedback on the effectiveness of the teacher’s performance of duty specific to the teacher’s leadership role. Peer feedback should come from the teachers served by the teacher leader. Feedback from the other district teacher leaders could also be included.*

11. Will teachers hired for these positions be required to reapply each year?
TLC legislation requires an annual review of a teacher’s assignment to a leadership role by the school’s or school district’s administration. The review must include peer feedback on the effectiveness of the teacher’s performance of duty specific to the teacher’s leadership role. Peer feedback should come from the teachers served by the teacher leader. Feedback from the other district teacher leaders could also be included.


REFERENCES for TLC POSITIONS

1. Can the supervisor reference be a district-wide supervisor?
To be considered a supervisor the person must be in your current supervisory chain and have evaluative responsibilities over the work you do, which for a teacher would normally be the principal or vice principal. A SIL is also an evaluator and can be counted as a supervisor. District Curriculum or an ELL coordinator are not evaluators and would not be considered as a supervisor. After much discussion it was determined these references cannot be both.  If you are an administrator and an evaluator you are a supervisor.  If you are a teacher or a counselor you are a colleague.

2. Is a reference letter required or is it just a reference survey?
A reference letter is not required. Just the reference forms which are preloaded in Applitrack.  They will be sent automatically to those individuals you select once you’ve submitted your application.

3. Does the reference from the administrator need to be from an administrator I am currently working with?
Yes, the administrator reference should be someone who is currently you supervisor.

4. Does the supervisor reference need to be the person who evaluates me or can it be any administrator that I work with?
Any of them but it would make more sense to have someone who can speak to your skills and need to be part of the supervisory chain of your building.

5. If you apply for two difference coaching positions, such as the Technology Integration Coach and the Induction Coach, would you have two different recommendation surveys (references)?
No, the surveys are the same but you would have two different interviews.

6. Are references weighted differently between the supervisor and colleagues?
No, they are weighed the same.

7. Could you have more than three references?
No.  Three total which includes 1 current supervisor; 2 current colleagues.

8. Do existing coaches need to provide references if they are only applying for the TLC salary supplement?
Yes.  Any existing coach who is applying for the TLC salary supplement must provide 3 references:  one from your current principal/supervisor and two from current colleagues.  There is no interview requirement for existing coaches.

9. I am currently applying for other DMPS positions outside of the current TLC openings and want to keep the references for those positions.  How do I ensure that I have separate references for TLC?
These situations will be handled on a case by case basis by Jennifer Hahn.  Please email Jennifer Hahn (Jennifer.hahn@dmschools.org) and she will work it out with you.

10. In addition to a reference from a supervisor (my principal), the application requires two references from current DMPS colleagues.  Depending how supervisor and colleague are defined, could a SIL qualify as a colleague in light of references required for this application?
Since a SIL is in an administrative or supervisory role they are more apt to be supervisor reference.  The point here is that teachers and administrators are supposed to be equally involved in the process. By having a SIL write a Colleague reference, you are essentially taking that privilege away from a teacher.

11. It was indicated in today’s meeting that references would simply need to submit answers on the online questionnaire; they would not be required to write a letter of reference.  The application, however, provides a spot to provide attached letters of reference.  I simply wanted to be clear of the expectations here – are they only required to answers questions online?
Correct.  The person writing the reference will receive an email once you have submitted your application. They will complete the form and it will automatically be uploaded into Applitrack.  No additional letters will be looked at or scored.


ELIGIBILITY for TEACHER LEADER POSITIONS

1. Are school counselors eligible to participate in a school district’s teacher leadership and compensation plan?
The focus of the Teacher Leadership and Compensation System is on strengthening the content instruction and pedagogical skills of classroom teachers. If a counselor meets the requirement to be eligible for a teacher leader role (i.e. holds a valid teaching license, has three years of teaching experience and one year of experience in the district), then they could apply for a teacher leader role.*


TLC and PEER REVIEW

1. What is the intersection between the TLC system and the peer review legislation from 2012?
Under Iowa Code section 284.8(1), school districts are required to conduct annual, rather than every third year, reviews of non-probationary teacher performance. The first and second years of such reviews will be “conducted by a peer group of teachers.” The Iowa General Assembly specifically prohibited peer reviews from being used as the basis for recommending that a teacher be placed in an intensive assistance program. As such, the peer review is intended for the purposes of coaching and improvement. For school districts implementing a teacher leadership and compensation plan, there is an opportunity to include peer review into the roles and responsibilities of their teacher leaders. Model teachers, mentor teachers, and instructional coaches are all examples of teacher leader roles that could be involved in the peer review process.*

* Language taken directly from Iowa Department of Education TLC System documents