Coaching FAQs

These are some of the most commonly asked questions about our coaching programs.

Questions about TPE Teachers

Who is a TPE teacher?

During years 2 and 3, non-tenured teachers are classified by the PA Department of Education as Temporary Professional Employees and are rated on a biannual basis. Year 1 non-tenured teachers are classified as TPEs, although they are only rated ONCE a year.

Questions about Consulting Teachers

Who is supported by Consulting Teachers within PAR (Peer Assistance and Review)?

  • PAR is mandatory for all non-tenured new teachers. New teachers are teachers in their first year of employment with the School District who are not tenured in Pennsylvania.
  • Tenured teachers who have been rated unsatisfactory in the previous school year
  • Teachers in Special Observation Status (SOS)
  • Teachers requesting voluntary support

What do Consulting Teachers do?

CTs provide job-embedded support by creating student-centered goals paired with teacher-centered action steps focusing on areas of growth within the Danielson Framework for Teaching.

Do Consulting Teachers provide professional development in schools?

No, CTs provide professional development ONLY to teachers they support.

What is the PAR panel and what do they do?

The PAR Program is led by a Panel comprised of eight (8) members, four (4) of whom are selected by the Federation (Philadelphia Federation of Teachers) and four (4) of whom are selected by the School District.

The Panel makes all discretionary decisions regarding the Professional Growth System (PGS), including: determining eligibility for the PAR Program; monitoring the overall progress of teachers participating in PAR; making retention recommendations for new teachers and tenured teachers participating in PAR; creating and monitoring processes of the PGS.

How many formal observations do teachers in PAR receive?

New, non-tenured or tenured teachers rated as unsatisfactory in previous year & SOS: One formal observation will occur. Preferably, towards the end of the rating cycle (i.e. April or May) to allow maximum time for growth.

Voluntary Support: Formal observations should be aligned with the teacher’s PGS status for the year.

Refer to pages 10-13 of the PGS manual for voluntary PAR participation criteria.

When can informal observations occur for teachers in PAR?

Informal observations can occur at any time.

What happens if a teacher in PAR is not meeting standards?

Coaching plans are created with the Consulting teacher and Participating teacher to track growth. Mid-year Intensive Support Plans (ISP) are created. These are standards aligned goals that are identified, clear, specific, supported, and monitored by Consulting Teachers.

Can teachers in the PAR program be dismissed from the District?

The PAR Panel will make a recommendation that a new or unsatisfactory rated teacher is retained, retained with additional coaching support, or dismissed. This decision comes at the teacher’s completion of the PAR program.

The PAR Panel will determine if an SOS teacher is rated satisfactory or unsatisfactory.

The PAR Panel does not make any recommendations for voluntary participants in PAR.

Questions about Academic Coaches

Who do Academic Coaches support?

Academic Coaches support Needs Improvement (NI) rated teachers and teachers receiving additional support after exiting the PAR program.

How long to Academic Coaches provide support for?

Academic Coaches support teachers who have received additional support after exiting the PAR program for 5 months (September-January), with the possibility of supporting these teachers for the entire school year. NI rated teachers receive support for one rating period and are required to complete a Performance Improvement Plan (PIP). For more information about the PIP process, please access the PIP FAQ document.

Do Academic Coaches provide a recommendation at the end of their support?

No. Academic Coaches do not give a recommendation at the end of their support.