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Alternative Evaluations

Q: Who is eligible to participate in Alternative Evaluation?

A: Teachers receiving a summative evaluation of “Distinguished” or “Proficient” on a traditional evaluation may participate in Alternative Evaluation in their subsequent evaluation cycle. However, if you did an Alternative Evaluation in your last cycle, you are still eligible to be able to do an Alternative Evaluation for your current evaluation process with your administrator’s agreement. Let your administrator know ASAP that you are interested in doing an alternative evaluation and ask them to submit your name to Human Resources if they agree.

Q: Do my evaluator and I have to agree together on Alternative Evaluation?

A: Yes, the contract requires that there be mutual agreement in order for an Alternative Evaluation to take place.

Q: What can I do for an Alternative Evaluation?

A: There are several options: e.g. Lesson Study, application for National Board Certification, or being an Induction Support Provider. You can also do a teaching Inquiry Project, where you study and refine your teaching practice as a way of improving instruction. If you want help thinking about what you should focus on, a good place to start is the PD goals for your school site: are you working on Math instruction? On Culturally Responsive Pedagogy? On parent engagement and communication? You can also think about curricula you’ve been wanting to improve, or students who need differentiation, or projects you and your colleagues have been dying to create.

Q: What is required of an Alternative Evaluation?

 A: The actual process depends on what project you choose--see page two for more information on some different projects. The main requirement, no matter your project, is a presentation of your process and findings to your grade level team, staff, SLC, or department in the Spring.  

Q: Can I do Alternative Evaluation every evaluation cycle?

A: See the first question--as long as your administrator agrees. They may want you to go through the formal evaluation process every other cycle, or they may be fine with you doing several alternative evaluations in a row.

Q: Can I do an Alternative Evaluation for the first evaluation cycle that I am a permanent employee?

A. Yes. If your administrator agrees.

Q: When do my evaluator and I have to make a decision on the Alternative Evaluation?

A: We recommend deciding as soon as possible. A conference between the teacher and the evaluator to complete the Professional Development Plan (Form A) and to specify an Alternative Evaluation is required by November 1st.

Q: Are there other resources available to assist me?

A: Colleagues at your school who have completed an alternative evaluation are the most valuable resource. At Berkeley High, the PD Coordinators will certainly have some ideas for what you could focus on.  

Alternative Evaluation Options

Inquiry Project

What is the purpose?

Teacher Inquiry Projects are a way for teachers to observe and analyze what is happening to their own classrooms in order to improve instruction. By collecting data on their questions, teachers can objectively examine and improve their practice. Effective teachers are natural researchers, constantly questioning the why and how of teaching and learning. Inquiry projects offer a more formal means by which we can investigate our craft.

How does this work?

1. Identify an issue or question.

  • What do you want students to learn?

  • How will you know if they have learned it?

  • What will you do if they have?

  • What will you do if they haven’t?

2. Form a hypothesis.

3. Check existing research on this issue.

4. Identify multiple data sources.

5. Collect, organize, and represent data.

6. Analyze the data and look for patterns.

7. Summarize findings/report conclusions.


Peer Observation

What is the purpose?

Peer observation can help you grow professionally through observations and debriefs with colleagues.

How does it work?

1. Find a colleague that is also interested in peer observation.

2. Have a pre-observation meeting to discuss what you are interested in learning about your classroom dynamic. Some examples include student participation, teacher/student talk time, student interactions, etc.

3. Observe each other for at least 45 minutes or an entire class period start to finish. Use a classroom observation note-taking tool.

4. Debrief.

5. Repeat another time during the year.

6. Share learnings with colleagues.

Lesson Study

What is the purpose?

Lesson study is a way for teachers to plan, observe and refine “research lessons” designed to bring to life their long-term goals for student learning and development. This model provides an ongoing method to improve instruction based on careful observation of students and their work.

How does this work?

1. Define the problem or issue.

2. Design the research lesson.

3. Try out the design.

4. Assess the design.

5. Revise the design.

6. Use the revised design.

7. Obtain peer feedback.

8. Share the results.

 National Board Certification

What is the purpose?

National Board Certification (NBC) measures a teacher’s practice against high and rigorous standards. The process is an extensive series of performance-based assessments that includes teaching portfolios, student work samples, videotapes and thorough analyses of the candidate’s classroom teaching and student learning.

 How does this work?

  1. Learn more at and

  2. Register on

  3. Join a support group.  You can contact BFT for information on any existing BUSD cohort groups.


TIP Support Provider

What is the purpose?

A support provider is able to work within a student centered culture of reflective practice and inquiry to move teaching and learning forward at every stage of the educational continuum.

How does this work?

  1. Become a support provider for a TIP eligible teacher.

  2. Reflect on the experience by completing a written document.


Updated 9.28.23