Peer Assistance and Review (PAR)
At the start of the 2013-14 school year the Salt Lake City School District (SLCSD) embarked upon an exciting new venture in collaboration with the Salt Lake Education Association (SLEA) to implement a Peer Assistance and Review (PAR) Program. The PAR program is designed to promote effective instruction by providing intensive support to teachers, whether they have newly entered the profession or are veteran teachers needing to increase their effectiveness. Currently the PAR Program is chaired by Logan Hall, an appointed facilitator, who organizes meetings and serves as the primary contact for PAR Consulting Teachers and the PAR Panel. James Tobler, SLEA President, and Mozelle Orton, SLCSD Executive Director of Human Resource Services, are co-directors for the PAR program.
The PAR program is a reflection of the Salt Lake City School District and the Salt Lake Teachers Association’s joint understanding and commitment to improving the quality of teaching in Salt Lake City. It is a manifestation of the recognition that both parties, as well as all staff, share a joint interest in identifying, supporting, developing and retaining quality educators in Salt Lake City Schools. The program will continue to be implemented in a collaborative model, acknowledging both parties share and own the responsibility for the overall quality of teaching staff. It represents a distinct cultural change not just in the sense of a labor and management collaboration, but also in terms of their professional teaching philosophies.
Current highlights of the program include:
- Five full-time Consulting Teachers have been selected and trained to provide: intensive mentoring, classroom support, and evaluation; working with all novice (1st year) elementary and secondary teachers.
- Expert Consulting Teachers help with professional growth planning, classroom setup, lesson planning, management strategies, model and co-teaching.
- Shannon King, Aleisha Boehm, Amber Callister, Lindsay Gish, and Meghan Keswick were selected, from among the district’s many experienced and highly effective teachers, to be the PAR Consulting Teachers.
- Consulting Teachers also work with career status teachers who are in need of additional support to increase their effectiveness.
- A panel of 3 SLEA teacher leaders and 3 administrators have been appointed to direct and support the work of the consulting teachers and the PAR program. Panel members are Cathy Bigler, Valerie Gates, Ashlee Ekins, Pam Pedersen, Heather Newell, Nathan Elkins.