July 18, 2019

Plan III Process for Administrators

DATE: 12-20-2012

September 2005

Plan III

Supported-growth Cycle

Plan III is designed to support an experienced educator holding a Level II license who is struggling to meet district standards and expectations.  The priority is for timely improvement, in accordance with a timeline for improvement developed by the educator and administrator.  It is important to note that an educator in Plan III is not on probation; conversely, an educator on probation is not in Plan III.

  1. Purposes of Plan III

Plan III has three purposes:

  1. To identify when an educator is having difficulty meeting—or is not performing up to—district standards and expectations.
  2. To support an educator in meeting district standards and expectations.
  3. To clarify expectations regarding the need to improve one’s performance and to make the educator aware of subsequent steps that will be taken if improvement is not shown.

  1. Person responsible for determining Plan III status

The supervising administrator, using his/her best professional judgment, is the person responsible for determining whether or not an educator will be assigned to Plan III.

  1. Criteria for Plan III status

Criteria for assigning an educator to Plan III include the following:

  • Any “unsatisfactory” rating by the administrator regarding one or more of the district’s standards for professional educators.
  • Lack of adequate and timely progress in moving from “basic” to “proficient” regarding one or more of the standards, as determined by the supervising administrator.
  • Lack of an adequate and timely response by the educator to a decline in performance from “proficient” to “basic” regarding any standard, as determined by the supervising administrator.
  • Other significant concerns that a supervising administrator may have regarding an educator’s performance or professionalism.

  1. Plan III timeline for improvement

  • Within two weeks following assignment to Plan III, the educator and the administrator shall arrange a mutually convenient meeting to discuss the outcomes the educator must demonstrate to return to Plan II and to develop a timeline for improvement. The timeline shall set reasonable goals and deadlines, including a schedule (of not less than once each marking period) when the educator and administrator will meet to review progress.  The plan for improvement should be as specific as possible to assist the educator in meeting the district’s expectations.   

  • The first time that an educator is in Plan III, the timeline for improvement shall not exceed one calendar year.  At the conclusion of the timeline, one of three decisions must be made by the principal (see Part E, Outcomes of Plan III).

  • If the decision is made at the conclusion of the first timeline to have the educator continue in Plan III, or if the educator is assigned to Plan III for a second time in his/her tenure with the district, then the extended or second timeline should, if at all possible, conclude prior to the next time of reappointment by the School Board.  At the conclusion of the extended or second timeline, a decision must be made either to move the educator to Plan II or to place the educator on probation.  

  • When an educator has already been in Plan III twice, the supervising administrator who has a concern that would otherwise trigger the Plan III process may place the educator on probation immediately, especially if the concern is similar to that which triggered a previous Plan III.

  • Plan III documents will stay at the school level, unless the educator is placed on probation and/or action must be taken by the superintendent.  The supervising administrator will inform the superintendent whenever an educator moves into or out of Plan III.

  • An educator in Plan III must remain in Plan III even if the educator is assigned to a different position or school, at which point the educator’s evaluation documents would be forwarded to the new supervising administrator.

  1. Outcomes of Plan III

At the conclusion of the Plan III timeline, the supervising administrator must decide which of the following three options is most appropriate:

  1. The educator, having demonstrated adequate improvement, returns to Plan II.
  2. The educator, having made a modicum of progress, remains in Plan III.
  3. The educator is placed on probation.

  1. Relationship of Plan III to the Plan II process

While in Plan III, the priority is for the educator to focus his/her efforts on successfully completing the timeline for improvement.  The administrator and educator may decide either to set aside the goals in the educator’s PGP until the improvement plan has been completed or to incorporate the improvement plan as part of the educator’s PGP.   In either event, it is important that the priorities for improvement are clear and that the educator is not burdened with an unreasonable number of goals to accomplish.  

While in Plan III, the educator must meet with and receive feedback from the supervising administrator on a regular basis (at least once each marking period); however, at the discretion of the administrator, the educator may also receive peer coaching and/or feedback from peers, as in Plan II.

  1. Relationship of Plan III to probationary status

  • Probation is a process prescribed by the Negotiated Agreement (Article VII); therefore, the provisions of the Negotiated Agreement control the probationary process.  On the other hand, Plan III is a component of the district’s professional development and evaluation system which is intended to assist an educator from ever reaching probationary status (refer to “Purpose of Plan III”).  Therefore, an educator who is in Plan III is not on probation.  

  • Conversely, an educator on probation is not in Plan III.  Rather, an educator on probation is subject to the conditions of probation and the criteria for removal from probation.  Nevertheless, the conditions and criteria regarding probation are likely to incorporate elements of the PD&E process (e.g., the standards for professional educators, the professional growth plan, and/or the timeline for improvement).     

  • Although a lack of adequate improvement while in Plan III could possibly result in an educator’s being placed on probation, assignment to Plan III is not a prerequisite for being placed on probation.  In other words, a supervising administrator may place an educator on probation for just cause without first assigning an educator to Plan III, depending on the severity of the administrator’s concerns.

  1. Appeals regarding Plan III:

Because Plan III is not the same as probationary status, an educator may grieve assignment to Plan III only to the extent that the educator’s rights have been violated in terms of the provisions of the Negotiated Agreement.  However, an educator may submit, for inclusion in his/her school-based evaluation file, a written statement of his/her concerns regarding decisions made by the supervising administrator as part of the Plan III process.  Furthermore, an educator assigned to Plan III may discuss concerns regarding his/her status with the superintendent.

Should the educator choose not to participate collaboratively in the Plan III process, then the administrator must decide at that point which of the aforementioned Plan III outcomes is most immediately applicable.

Link to Google Doc of Plan III Process