Frequently Asked Questions
What is out-of-field?
Out-of-field means that you are teaching a subject for which your current certification is not recognized as appropriate for the assignment.
Long definition and example:
- You are out-of-field when you are teaching a subject for which your current certification is not recognized as appropriate. For example: A teacher with physics (but not mathematics) on his/her certificate is teaching out-of-field when s/he is teaching mathematics.
- You must hold a certificate in a subject area in order to be placed out-of-field in another subject area.
- You must sign an agreement to earn at least six semester hours toward this out-of-field certification each year you teach out-of-field or pass the Florida Department of Education Subject Area Examination (see: Educator Certification http://www.fldoe.org/edcert/) for the out-of-field assignment.
- How can I be put out-of-field?
Your principal must request the out-of-field assignment and receive approval from Human Resources. School districts are required by the State of Florida to employ appropriately certificated people when possible. Since this is not always possible, we sometimes must exercise the out-of-field option.
- What is an Agreement to Earn?
An Agreement to Earn is a legal document which represents a professional commitment to meet the stipulations of the agreement within the agreed-upon time.
- When I sign an Agreement to Earn, am I obligating myself to earn full certification?
No. You are obligating yourself to earn six semester hours toward appropriate certification each year you teach out-of-field or pass the Florida Department of Education "Subject Area Exam (SAE)" for the out-of-field assignment. This obligation ends when you are assigned back in-field or you earn the appropriate certification for the out-of-field assignment.
- Are the rules different for an out-of-field assignment during extended year (summer school)?
No. The rules regarding out-of-field are the same.
- How long do I have to complete my required six semester hours or to pass the Subject Area Exam?
You have one calendar year from the date you begin the out-of-field assignment to present evidence of completed course work or passing score on the Florida Department of Education "Subject Area Exam (SAE)".
- May I use previous college credit to meet an Agreement to Earn?
No. The college credit must be earned after your out-of-field assignment begins.
- If I have no certificate, may I sign an agreement to earn one and be placed out-of-field? No. In order to be placed out-of-field, you must be eligible for a Florida Educator's certificate.
- What is Experience Credit?
- Teachers are granted experience credit for all verifiable and effective full-time public, private, charter, and college experience. Additionally, the teacher must have held a four year college degree during the period of employment.
- Speech Language Pathologists are granted experience credit for all full years of therapy with children. If the teaching assignment changes during employment with the district, experience credit will be rescinded.
- Teachers hired in the following assignments may be eligible for work experience in lieu of teaching experience: Health Science, Law Enforcement, Firefighters, and Food Production with Quantity Food Certification. Up to 7 years of experience credit may be given based on full-time experience in these fields. This experience credit may only be applicable in the assignments listed above. If the teaching assignment changes during employment with the district, experience credit will be rescinded.
- Teaching Experience- When is it granted? Is it retroactively paid?
- Upon completion of employee processing, experience credit is sent to the Human Resources office for eligibility verification.
- Experience credit received and verified within the first 90 days of employment will receive retroactive payment.
- Experience credit received and verified after the first 90 days of employment will receive credit from the time of receipt with no retroactive payment.
- Requests for experience credit will be reviewed by Human Resources to determine the appropriate compensation level.
- Experience Credit Forms- When can they be submitted? Who completes the form?
- The experience credit for is a component of electronic onboarding packet.
- The new employee completes the form online. The form will be electronically forwarded to the former school district and then to our Personnel Services department.
- Does the School District of Hillsborough County pay additional salary for advanced degrees?
- HCPS does not pay additional salary for advanced degrees earned prior to employment with our district. Current Salary Schedules
- Hillsborough County offers an Educational Recognition Supplement (ERS) for active permanent employees earning an advanced degree in his/her content area while being actively employed with the district. This is a supplement payable once a year for a total of 4 years. Payment is made in the fall after receiving an overall effective evaluation from the previous year. To be considered, an active instructional employee must submit official transcripts confirming the advanced degree (Master’s degree or higher) to the Human Resources office. Advanced degrees in Educational Leadership are not eligible.
- How many total years of experience will an employee receive?
- Any (Florida Retirement System (FRS) or any other state retirement system) newly hired or rehired retiree may be eligible for up to 5 years of creditable teaching experience upon being hired/rehired to the school district.
- Any applicant who has taken a distribution through an investment plan offered through the Florida Retirement System or any other state retirement system is considered a retiree and may be eligible for a total of 5 years of creditable teaching experience upon being hired/rehired to the school district.
- What is required for ESE (Exceptional Student Education) and ESOL (ELL) in the State of Florida?
- ESE teachers are required to obtain both ESE certification and the appropriate area content certification determined by the course code of the individual teacher schedule.
- Teachers in the State of Florida are required to fulfill an ESOL obligation determined by the coursework taught.
Note: Teachers hired out of field will be provided a timeline for completion of required out of field assignment.
- How are teachers evaluated in Hillsborough County?
- Hillsborough County Public Schools (HCPS) promotes student achievement by helping teachers excel in the classroom. Teacher effectiveness is the most influential, controllable factor affecting student achievement. Our goal is to promote effective teaching in every classroom. We intend to elevate the teaching profession by supporting teachers’ professional development and helping teachers excel as professionals. We believe that by helping teachers excel, students will achieve more; and when students achieve more, our entire community benefits.
- We will support teacher development in two main ways: Job-embedded Professional Development and Evaluation.
- Job-embedded Professional Development: The evaluation process is both formative and summative. Through classroom observations, administrators can help teachers identify areas to reinforce in order to improve practice. Classroom observation and evaluation results may be used to help teachers set training and professional development paths that support the continuous improvement of their practice. Furthermore, teacher observation and evaluation ratings may be aggregated at the school level to help identify systemic gaps and needs, and to support and drive school improvement planning.
- Evaluation: The evaluation of teacher performance is based on multiple measures of effectiveness:
a. Principal / School Administrator
b. Student Achievement Data -
By considering input from student achievement data and observations, we gain a more comprehensive picture of a teachers practice. We can, therefore, achieve a fair and substantive evaluation. We can also improve our ability as a district to support our students' growth by capturing and implementing best practices from outstanding teachers.
- A teacher evaluation is comprised of two components: A Value Added Measure (VAM) and a Written (Principal) Evaluation. The section below defines these components of the annual evaluation.
- Value-Added Measure (40%):
- In partnership with Education Analytics, a nonprofit organization with expertise in statistical analysis, Hillsborough County Public Schools uses a customized value added measure model to assess the impact of each teacher upon his or her students’ achievement. The value added measure score for each teacher is based on three (3) years of data and comprises 40% of a teacher’s overall annual evaluation This measure is a statistical model that uses a variety of variables to estimate the expected one-year learning growth of each student. The growth expectation estimate is then compared to actual growth, as measured by relevant course and content assessments. In order to measure a teacher’s impact on student achievement, the model controls for variables that are outside the teacher’s control, such as past years’ learning growth trajectory, special needs, age, and mobility. In doing so, the teacher’s impact on student growth can be isolated and calculated.
- Written Evaluation (60%):
- Principals evaluate teachers based on information gathered from both formal and informal observations, as well as other supporting elements that demonstrate professional practice and responsibilities. Principals evaluate all of the components in Domains 1, 2, 3, and 4 of the evaluation rubric.
- Value-Added Measure (40%):
- HCPS Evaluation Rubric foundation: Charlotte Danielson Framework for Teaching
The Charlotte Danielson Framework for Teaching encompasses the foundational ideas on which the observation process is based, and it guides how HCPS defines effective teaching. Many schools and districts across the nation and around the world use this framework to help define effective teaching. The framework offers a description of practices that, based on research and empirical evidence, have been shown to promote student learning.