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Ask Dr. WAC

Assistant Principals and Comprehensive Evaluation

Q. Dear Dr. WAC,

Are assistant principals required to be on the comprehensive evaluation as long as they are in that role? 

A.  I understand why someone might ask this question. The new TPEP rules connect provisional status to the comprehensive evaluation, and assistant principals are perpetually on a provisional-like status, even though there is no statute that refers to them using the term provisional. So let’s examine the rules themselves for guidance on this. 

TPEP rules, interestingly enough, made the default evaluation the focused evaluation, not comprehensive:

“…when a comprehensive evaluation is not required,…teachers and principals…are required to complete a focused evaluation.”

So, when is a comprehensive evaluation required?

  1. Provisional teachers
  2. Principals in their first three years
  3. Principals in their first year in a district (Items 2 and 3 are necessary because in the statutory definition of provisional, it only refers to teachers)
  4. Teachers and principals with the previous year’s rating of 1 or 2
  5. Teachers and principals every 4 years

These are all the exceptions to being on a focused evaluation.

In some cases throughout the TPEP WACs, the term principals is intended to include assistant principals. In other cases they are actually spelled out individually. This is the case in WAC 395-191A-190, which reads, “Minimum procedural standards Conduct of the focused evaluation: The conduct of the evaluation of principals or assistant principals must include, at a minimum, the following: …” Given this language, there can be no doubt that assistant principals should be on a focused evaluation whenever a comprehensive evaluation is not required.

Thanks for the question. Keep them coming in.