Frequently Asked Questions


1. What is Q-Comp?

Q-Comp is a school improvement model that focuses on teacher effectiveness and student achievement.  It provides monetary incentives to reward teachers for working toward raising student achievement.

2. Why Q-Comp and why now?

In 2011 the Legislature passed Teacher Evaluation State Statute 122A.40 subdivision 5.   This law outlines the development, evaluation and peer coaching for probationary and non-probationary teachers.  The law states that a school board and the exclusive representative of the teachers for the district may develop an annual teacher evaluation and peer review process for teachers through joint agreement.  If they cannot agree then the district will implement the model developed by the State. The implementation of Teacher Evaluation is the 2014-15 school year. Our Q-Comp plan meets most of the requirements of the Teacher Evaluation law and by implementing the Q-Comp program we can access funding from the state to support the components in both plans. 


3. Who is going to observe me?

If you are a probationary teacher you will be evaluated three times a year for three years by an administrator.  If you are a continuing contract teacher you will be observed three times a year by a peer coach observer. Teacher evaluation requires a summative assessment every third year for continuing contract teachers.  One of the three observations in the third year will be done by an administrator. Peer coach observers are trained in cognitive coaching which uses Socratic questioning and teacher reflection to promote growth.


4. Does this replace steps and lanes?

No, The Q-Comp incentives represent additional compensation, above and beyond the current salary schedule.  As part of the Q-Comp plan, the word “STEP” will be replaced with the words “Performance Increment”. Lanes will remain the same.


5. Can I opt out?

No all licensed teachers are required to participate in Q-Comp.  There is a minimum requirement for part time teachers depending on their FTE.  All part time teachers are eligible to receive the full incentive if they complete 100% of the Q-comp requirements.   Scheduling conflicts for teachers working .4FTE or less will be reviewed on a case by case basis.


6. Is there a cap on the percentage of teachers who can earn a stipend?

No, there is money in the budget for every teacher to earn all three components of Q-Comp compensation.

7. When can I learn more about how Q-Comp works?

During fall workshop week Peer Coaches visit all sites with an overview presentation.  You can view the workshop week presentation in the "Resources" tab. 


 8. Why don’t we put this money into lower class size and hiring more teachers?

This money is specifically designated by the state for Q-Comp and can’t be spent any other way.  If the RFT votes down Q-Comp or the legislature decides to cut funding, this program will end. If the RFT votes down Q-Comp, annual evaluation and PLCs will continue under the new state requirements in 2014, but will not have money attached to it.  Q-Comp will support the new state statute.


9. I don’t teach in a “traditional” classroom, how will I be observed?

Many of our teachers are not in “traditional” classrooms.  You may be observed while you are facilitating a meeting, leading a professional development session for adults, or even participating in a due process meeting.  Your Peer Coach will help you set up a system/plan that would be able to align with the Q-Comp guidelines.


10. Will the teacher being evaluated receive partial compensation or is it an all or none proposition?  What about part-time employees?

Teachers are eligible for their different compensation targets.  In order to receive the full $1,801.00 compensation, a teacher must successfully meet the observation requirements (worth $1,600), meet the PLC goal (worth $200), and meet the building/program goal ($1). It is possible to receive partial compensation if one or more of the three targets aren’t met. (Example:  The building/program doesn’t meet the SMART Goal for reading or math, but the teacher meets the observations requirements and her PLC goal. That teacher would receive $1,800.00.


Part-time employee participation and stipends are prorated according to FTE, however if a part-time employee chooses to complete 100% of the Q-Comp requirements (3 observations, completion of a PGP and full participation in a PLC, they could receive the full stipend if they meet all their SMART goals.

11. Can a Peer Coach with no experience in my content/licensure/instructional level really effectively observe me?

Peer Coaches will have extensive training in cognitive coaching (8 six hour sessions) and inter-rater reliability (2 six hour sessions) in addition to observation training with district Administrators. Peer Coaches and Administrators will use the same rubrics. Cognitive Coaching is not evaluative or judgmental.  Peer Coaches observe, collect data, and use Socratic questioning to promote reflection on teacher practice. 


12. When do we receive compensation?

Every attempt will be made to have the final compensation as part of the June payroll period.  There may be a delay in awarding the stipends for building goals as we do not receive final reports from MDE prior to June 30th.


13. Can my Q-Comp stipend be applied to my High-5 salary for pension purposes?


14. If I serve in multiple buildings, which site goal will I use for Q-Comp?

If you teach in more than one building, you will decide which building’s site goal you want to use.  This decision will be made early in the school year.


15. How can all teachers support reading/math goals in site improvement plans in secondary schools?  How can specialists in elementary schools support reading/math goals?

Your building should have a plan on how you can work together, regardless of discipline, to improve such scores.  Your coaches and PLC Team Leads can also help in this area. However, we recognize that no individual teacher can single handedly achieve a site goal, which is why we chose to keep the amount of the site goal incentive small.


16. Are Peer Coaches observed? Do they receive the stipend?  Do they write goals? What about their site goal?

Peer Coaches are observed by the Q-Comp Coordinator/Administrator and a Peer Coach that is assigned to them.  They are eligible for the entire stipend. They write their own PLC goal as well as be a part of a site goal.


17. Who does the scheduling?

Peer Coaches will be largely responsible for their own weekly schedule.  Teachers assigned to each Peer Coach will be able to access calendars to request meetings and observations.


18. How long will a typical observation cycle take?

The entire observation cycle needs to occur within ten days.  The pre-observation conference will take 30 minutes and can be scheduled before/after school and during teacher prep.  The observation itself should be at least 45 minutes, but must be for the entire lesson. The post-observation conference may also take 30 minutes.


19. How do we go about setting up observations?  When will we know the details about this?

Your Peer Coach will meet with you during the first few weeks of school to give you information about how best to contact him/her to set up an observation cycle.  The rubrics and observation forms will be available this fall and training will be part of workshop week.