Thursday, September 23, 2010

Q-Comp Observations, Sweet Tweets, Absentee Voting, and Committees

Q-Comp and Observations:  For this week’s update, here are some more specifics on the observation part of the proposal.  The three observations will focus on the part of your work that includes your day to day student contact and how that affects the goal you set for yourself.  For most of our members that is Domain IV of our current Performance Assessment System (PAS) - Instruction. 

For the first year, we are proposing that the standard for success be reaching a Basic, Proficient, or Distinguished level on all components of that domain (no Unsatisfactory ratings) by the end of the year.  The next year, we propose that at least 3 of the 5 components be proficient or distinguished, followed by reaching proficient or distinguished in 4 of the 5 components the third year and thereafter.  We felt that we would need a couple of years to make sure we were consistent with our evaluations and we all understood the plan well before implementing the more rigorous standard.

Sweet Tweets:  The back page of our monthly newsletter this year will include quick good news notes about our members (who’s started a band, who’s gotten an award, who’s been in the news, who’s a third generation Anoka Hennepin teacher, etc.).  If you have a bit of good news to share about yourself or a colleague, email Lee Anne Clauer at

Absentee Voting:  Absentee voting is now open in Minnesota for the general election.  You may cast an absentee ballot in person, at your county auditor's office and in many cases your city or township clerk's office. This option is available on weekdays during business hours. In addition, the county auditor's office must be open for absentee balloting from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on the Saturday before the election and until 5 p.m. on the day before the election. If you are going to be out of your precinct on election day, visit for more information on how to vote absentee either by mail or in person.

Committees:  One of the roles of the AHEM President is to appoint our members to district committees.  Currently, there are openings on the Calendar Committee (creates next year’s district calendar for the School Board to approve), Health Insurance Advisory Committee (provides feedback to the district about our health insurance plan), and the Middle School Program Evaluation Committee (this group is working to evaluate our middle school courses and structure).  If you are interested in serving on these or other committees, email me at

Friday, September 17, 2010

Contact Info, Q-Comp, and Neutrality Policy

Now that we have a couple weeks under our belt, we will be starting our weekly updates from AHEM.  My goal is to keep them short and current, so here we go:

Contact Us:  The best ways to contact the AHEM office is to call 763.421.9110 or email  This way, we can route your message to the person who can handle it best.  You can also visit our website at for information. If you have a contract question, idea or question about our programs, need support, or aren’t sure who to call about a work related issue, please contact us – we are ready to help.

Q-Comp:  As our application winds its way through the process, we are beginning to get more questions on the specifics of the proposal.  The most common questions center around peer evaluators.  Look for an article with more details about those positions coming at the end of the month in our newsletter, The Update.  We have also received questions about the budget for the plan.

Q-Comp Budget Information: Q-Comp is funded by state at a rate of $169 per student with our district having the option to levy an additional $91 per student.  Q-Comp funds can only be used for the costs of plan, with no more than 5% being administrative costs.  We developed our budget assuming that every participant will receive the full financial incentive.  The entire cost of a program of this size will be about ten million dollars.  As always, email us at with your Q-Comp questions.

Neutrality Policy:  Over the past year, there has been increased attention on our district’s neutrality and bullying polices as they relate to our gay and lesbian students. Last year, at a Meet & Confer, our members asked the school board for clear guidance and staff development on how to implement these policies and make sure all of our students feel safe and valued.  The district responded with some new training and resources.  This is a good time to check in and see if we feel we are getting what we asked for.  Do you feel the training and resources were helpful?  Do you have any questions about our neutrality or bullying policies?  Is there more that needs to be done?  Let us know at

Thank you for reading and have a terrific week!