Step 4: Formative Assessment

  • Formative evaluations and assessments* are designed to support the growth of all educators and to hold them accountable for meeting the needs of their students.  All teachers will receive a formative assessment or evaluation midway through their plan.

     A formative should show where the educator stands relative to the four Standards of Effective Teaching, the educator’s progress toward achieving the Student Learning and Professional Practice goals set at the beginning of the plan, and anything to work on next. A formative assessment is also what is used to change an educator to a more or less directed plan if concerns have emerged or performance has improved significantly.

    *Note: For two-year plans, the mid-point assessment is referred to as a formative evaluation and happens at the end of the first year. However, all elements of this process remain the same.


    • The formative is directly informed by the artifacts that educators submitted and the classroom observations that evaluators conducted. 

    • Educators may reply in writing to an assessment/evaluation within five school days of receiving the report in order for the comments to be saved in VectorEvals+PD.

    • The formative artifact submission deadline for educators on Developing and Self-Directed plans is at least two weeks prior to the formative to ensure evaluators have sufficient time to review them. 


    • Formative Assessments are most valuable when they encourage ongoing conversations, prompt reflection, and gauge the need for targeted support for the teacher or their team.

    • Evaluators are expected to give concrete and actionable feedback to educators for making improvements to their practice.  

    • The formative should also be used to take stock of gaps in evidence that might prevent the writing of a well-informed summative evaluation

    • Feedback and prescriptions are most valuable when delivered in a timely manner. This allows the educator to make thoughtful changes to practice rather than rushed changes that do not lead to sustained improvements.

Next Steps

  • Mid-year assessments set a foundation for how to proceed for the rest of the year. It clarifies to the educator how they are doing and what to work on, and to the evaluator what to look for in their performance for the rest of their assigned plan.  


  • Formative Assessment Resources: 

    Criteria for Writing Strong Evaluations  NEW!
    Outlines the best practices for the components and quality indicators for writing evaluations and links to examples and further guidance.