The REACH rating system impacts every teacher in district-run schools. Although evaluation always produces anxiety, the information below will help you prepare and ensure your rights are respected.
Table of Contents
There are currently five REACH rating categories which are detailed in the CPS REACH Teacher Evaluation Handbook which is on this page and the CPS Knowledge Center. (Once logged on to kc.cps.edu, hover over the “REACH” tab and then click on “Guidance and Best Practices.”)
The five rating categories are as follows:
- Category A: Teachers and librarians whose students are primarily in elementary grades 3-8 and who teach the core tested subjects of English, Reading and Math. REACH rating is based on: 70% Professional Practice (observations and Domain 4), 10% REACH Performance Tasks (growth on EOY from BOY), and 20% value-added (from NWEA test results of students in their class(es).
- Category B: Teachers and librarians whose students are primarily in elementary grades Pre-K to 2. REACH rating is based on: 70% Professional Practice (observations and Domain 4), and 30% REACH Performance Tasks (growth on EOY from BOY on two tasks).
- Category C: Teachers and librarians whose students are primarily in elementary grades 3-8 and who teach the non-core/non-tested subjects such as Science, Social Science, Fine Arts, and Physical Education. REACH rating is based on: 70% Professional Practice (observations and Domain 4), and 30% REACH Performance Tasks (growth on EOY from BOY on two tasks).
- Category D: Teachers and librarians whose students are primarily in high school grades 9-12. REACH rating is based on: 70% Professional Practice (observations and Domain 4), and 30% REACH Performance Tasks (growth on EOY from BOY on two tasks).
- Category E: Counselors, clinicians, and educators on the Educational Support Specialist REACH Framework. REACH rating is based 100% on Professional Practice (observations, clinician case reviews, and Domain 4).
REACH Rating Cut Scores:
Excellent: 340 – 400
Proficient: 285 – 339
Developing: 210 – 284 (emerging Developing=210-250, developing Developing=251-284)
Unsatisfactory: 100 – 209
Summary Reports & Ratings
CPS releases final summative REACH summary reports for the previous school year on the RLS website sometime every fall. CTU will notify members as soon as possible once it is confirmed that the REACH summary reports have been released for the year.
There are three kinds of REACH summary reports:
- Informational reports are for educators who will not receive a final rating because they received an “Inability to Rate” or did not work enough days in the previous school year to receive a final rating.
- Interim reports are for tenured educators for whom the previous school year was year 1 of a biennial evaluation plan. This report will show them their REACH results from year 1 only and not contain a final rating.
- Final reports are for untenured educators and tenured educators for whom the previous school year was year 2 of a biennial evaluation plan. This report will contain a new a final summative REACH rating.
Once the final summative REACH ratings are released, those educators who receive a final report and rating may be able to file a grievance and/or appeal.
- The grievance process to challenge their final summative REACH rating based on procedural errors. The grievance window for REACH ratings will be open for 45 school days after the final ratings are released. Please use the Grievance Checklist (available on this page) to assess what procedural errors occurred and contact your CTU Field Representative who you can find here: www.ctulocal1.org/reps
- The appeals process to challenge an Unsatisfactory or emerging Developing final summative REACH rating based on the content of observation and Domain 4 scores, per contract Article 39-9. The appeals process will be available for 30 calendar days (10 days to file Intent to Appeal and 30 days to file Evidence for Appeal) on the RLS website for those eligible to appeal. The CTU will hold workshops soon after ratings are released to help members file appeals.
Additionally, tenured educators who receive a final summative Developing REACH rating will be required to co-create a Professional Development Plan with their evaluator within 30 school days of the release of the ratings.
Finally, tenured educators who receive a final summative Unsatisfactory REACH rating will be required to co-create a Remediation Plan with their evaluator and an assigned Consulting Educator within 30 school days of the release of ratings. Once a plan is created, the educator will begin the 90 school day remediation period per contract Article 39-8.
Rating Grievance Process
After educators receive a final summative REACH rating, educators who experienced procedural errors in the evaluation process can work with their CTU Field Representative to potentially file a grievance to challenge the validity of their rating. Educators have 45 school days, starting the day after final ratings are released on the RLS website, to file a grievance with the help of their CTU Field Rep.
To prepare for filing a grievance, educators should compile all related evidence and documentation, type up a timeline of their relevant evaluation experience and contact their CTU Field Representative. Please refer to the updated CTU Grievance Checklist on the Teacher Evaluation page of the CTU website to identify whether evaluation procedures were followed during your evaluation plan.
Rating Appeals Process
Every fall the CTU holds a REACH Appeals Workshop to help members begin the appeals process and connect with CTU staff who can further assist them. Look for an email information or contact your CTU Field Representative for the dates for the current school year.
Tenured educators who receive a final summative emerging Developing (score of 210-250) rating, tenured or untenured educators who receive an Unsatisfactory rating, or educators laid off out of seniority order who received an Unsatisfactory or Developing (score of 210-284) rating have the right to appeal their rating. The rating appeal process is made available on the RLS website immediately after final ratings have been released every fall. CPS emails educators who are eligible to appeal with information about the appeals process.
There are two parts of the Unsatisfactory appeals process and each has a specific deadline:
- Educators have 10 calendar days (starting the day after ratings are released on RLS) to file an Intent to Appeal on the RLS website, and
- Educators have 30 calendar days (also starting the day after ratings are released on RLS) to upload Evidence for the Appeal including documentation to the RLS website to complete the appeal.
Both parts of the process must be completed in order for the appeal to proceed and be reviewed.
Educators completing the appeal are also reminded to make sure to “opt-in” to allow the CTU access to their appeals and rating information on RLS so that CTU staff can more fully represent them in the appeals process.
Professional Development Plans
Tenured educators who receive a final summative REACH Developing rating for the previous school year will be assigned an annual evaluation plan for the current school year and are required by state law to co-create a Professional Development Plan (PD Plan) with their evaluator in order to improve their scores during the current school year. The PD Plan process is not the same as the remediation process for tenured educators who receive an Unsatisfactory rating. The PD Plan must be co-created within 30 school days of the release of the final summative ratings for the previous school year.
CPS emails educators and their evaluators about the start of the Professional Development Plan writing process. This email should include the template for the actual Professional Development Plan. Pages 62 and 64 of the SY 17-18 CPS REACH Teacher Evaluation Handbook review the main guidelines about PD Plans. Delegates and PPC members should work to ensure that tenured teachers who receive a Developing rating have the opportunity to co-create their PD Plan before they are observed this year for REACH purposes.
Tenured educators who receive a summative Unsatisfactory REACH rating and are still in their position must begin a 90 school day Remediation process now that the ratings are available on the RLS website. Evaluators have 30 school days to both assign educators their Consulting Educator and the educator, evaluator and Consulting Teacher/Educator and to meet to discuss and create the Remediation Plan.
CPS emails educators and their evaluators about the start of the Remediation Plan writing process. This email should include the template for the actual Remediation Plan. Pages 63-64 of Handbook reviews the main guidelines about Remediation Plans. To see contract language about the remediation process, please see Article 39-8 (page 165).
Tenured educators who receive an Unsatisfactory rating should prepare for the remediation process by examining their areas of weak observation scores and identifying or beginning professional development in those areas. CTU members with high previous ratings will act as Consulting Educators and work with our tenured brothers and sisters who receive an Unsatisfactory rating during the remediation process to help them complete the remediation process successfully. The educator, with the help of the consulting educator, must execute the plan, be observed by their evaluator at a mid (after 45 school days) and end (after 90 school days) point and needs to remediate to Proficient (at least 285) at the end of the 90 school day remediation period.
Preliminary Professional Practice Summary/Score Explanation
In July or August every year, CPS makes available to all REACH-evaluated educators their Preliminary Professional Practice Summary/Score (PPPS: which includes only observation and Domain 4 scores) for their current evaluation plan on the Reflect and Learn website (RLS: https://reflectandlearn.cps.edu/).
Members who will not receive a new final summative REACH rating (tenured educators for whom the previous school year was year 1 of a biennial plan) and those who will receive a final rating on the RLS website this fall (all untenured educators and those tenured educators for whom the previous school year was year 2 of a biennial plan), will be able to access their PPPS on the RLS website.
This PPPS is a number out of 4.00 which makes up 70% of the rating for teachers and librarians and represents 100% of the rating for clinicians, counselors, and educators on the Educational Support Specialist (ESS) framework.
Teachers and librarians (due to receive a final summative REACH rating for the previous school year) can multiple the PPPS by 70% to determine how many points toward their rating they will receive from observations and Domain 4. They can also estimate their REACH Performance Task score if they know the total number of students who took both BOY and EOY tasks and, of those students, how many showed growth on EOY. Value-added scores cannot be estimated.
Clinicians, counselors, and those on the ESS framework (due a final summative REACH rating for the previous school year) simply multiply their PPPS times 100 and this number out of 400 will indicate their rating.