Customer spotlight: Willamette Leadership Academy

‘We knew that using Perform would be the easiest way for us to put together a robust system for evaluations that aligned with Oregon’s regulations’

When House Bill 2186 passed in Oregon, leaders at Willamette Leadership Academy (WLA), a public charter school that uses a military structure for behavior management, needed an automated performance evaluation solution to help them meet the new performance evaluation requirements … and they knew exactly where to look.

“Almost everybody in the state was using Perform,” said Maj. Jeremy Coombs, principal of the high school. “So, we knew that using Perform would be the easiest way for us to put together a robust system for evaluations that aligned with Oregon’s regulations.”

Using Perform — PeopleAdmin’s appraisal management solution designed for K-12 schools — Coombs is implementing a plan that is both compliant and actively encourages the professional development of teachers.

“The plan is to have myself or one of my other administrators do walkthroughs about five times a month and then do formal observations once a month and formal evaluations twice a year,” Coombs said. “We’ll also have some of our teachers do quick walkthroughs of each other, and, at the beginning and end of the year, they’ll look at their student learning goals and their performance to see what they need to adjust.”

With 18 teachers employed at WLA, five walkthroughs per month is ambitious, but Perform makes the process much easier.

“I go through with my iPad, and I just use the digital form,” Coombs explained. “It’s quick and easy.”

The ability to tailor each form by position type is part of what makes documentation in Perform simple, while still providing enough constructive feedback for meaningful evaluations.

“It was easy to build and customize the forms. Teachers are all evaluated based on the same set of teacher forms, and educational assistants are evaluated based on their own set of forms,” he said. “The forms are easy for both the administrators and the instructors to understand. They’re able to sit down, discuss everything and have necessary conversations.”

Before implementing Perform, the performance management process at WLA wasn’t nearly as productive.

“It was incredibly informal. It was just writing out what teachers did well, what they could improve upon. Everyone had their evaluation at the end of the year, if they got one,” Coombs said. “Now, it’s very formal. Perform even sends out an email when a form needs to be reviewed and signed or something else needs to get done. It’s nice to have that automatic reminder.”

In addition to delivering a solution that meets the school’s needs, PeopleAdmin support helps Coombs ensure things continue operating with military precision.

“Anytime I couldn’t figure out how to do something, I’d go to the Chat support. The person who helped me was always really nice,” Coombs said. “They just walk me through the process, show me what to do, and I have it working within a few minutes.”

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