West Goshen earns award for TAP implementation
Posted: 03/14/2012 at 1:15 am
By: Marlys Weaver-Stoesz
Goshen Community Schools began the TAP program in every school building partially in response to the state’s requirement to have a defined teacher evaluation program.
TAP focuses on continually developing quality teachers in order to impact student academic achievement. Teachers in schools with TAP undergo a series of classroom observations and group and individual coaching on instructional strategies from what TAP calls “master and mentor teachers” at each school building. The system also works to maintain quality teachers and attract new teachers by offering a number of professional opportunities and benefits.
At the 12th National TAP Conference in Los Angeles last Friday and Saturday, school leaders learned that West Goshen Elementary had earned a TAP School of Promise Award. The award is given to four schools in the nation for efforts in the early stages of implementing TAP. The award also comes with $5,000 to be used for reaching TAP goals.
According to a release from the National Institute for Excellence in Teaching (NIET), which oversees TAP, NIET officials chose to honor West Goshen because of the strong leadership of Principal Alan Metcalfe and West Goshen’s leadership team. West Goshen’s leadership quickly established and began carrying out roles and responsibilities, according to the release, and Metcalfe is especially involved in the school’s work with TAP.
Tamra Ummel, Goshen’s executive director of elementary education, talked about administrators’ time at the National TAP Conference during the Goshen School Board meeting Monday.
“Obviously, the West Goshen award was just the highlight of the weekend, but I think it speaks highly” of the hard work going on with TAP in all Goshen schools,” Ummel said.
Jane Troup, Goshen School Board member, also shared about what she had heard from teachers about TAP.
Several teachers have told her that TAP has been the hardest thing they’ve ever done, but that they’ve never enjoyed teaching more, she said.
Administrators also shared at the meeting that State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Bennett is coming to Goshen in April to specifically see TAP in action in a few schools.
To implement the system, Goshen is receiving federal Teaching Incentive Fund grant, in partnership with the Indiana Department of Education, the Center of Excellence in Leadership of Learning and the NIET.