Study Guide

Field 108: School Building Leader Part 2
Sample Performance Tasks

Sample Directions

For each of the assignments in this section, you are to prepare a written response and record it in the on-screen response box presented with each assignment. You should use your time to plan, write, review, and edit your response for each assignment. You must write responses to all of the assignments in this section.

Read each assignment carefully before you begin to work. Think about how you will organize each of your responses. You may use the erasable *notebooklet to make notes, write an outline, or otherwise prepare your response. However, your final response to each assignment must be typed in the on-screen response box presented with the assignment. Each assignment contains directions for the suggested length for an appropriate response. You may use the word-count feature in the lower left corner of the response box to monitor the length of your response.

Your response to the written assignment will be evaluated on the basis of the following criteria:

COMPLETENESS: The degree to which the response addresses all parts of the assignment

ACCURACY: The degree to which the response demonstrates the relevant knowledge and skills accurately and effectively

DEPTH OF SUPPORT AND UNDERSTANDING: The degree to which the response provides appropriate examples and details that demonstrate sound reasoning and reflects a strong understanding of the relevant knowledge and skills

Your responses will be evaluated on the criteria above, not on writing ability. However, your responses must be communicated clearly enough to permit valid judgment of your knowledge and skills. Your responses should conform to the conventions of edited American English. This should be your original work, written in your own words, and not copied or paraphrased from some other work.

Be sure to write about the assigned topics. You may not use any reference materials during the test. Remember to review your work and make any changes you think will improve your responses. You may work on the assignments in any order you choose, but be sure to finish all three assignments before the end of the test session.


*notebooklet: A small, hand-held erasable whiteboard

Assignment 2: Developing Human Capital

Use the information below and the five documents provided to complete the four tasks that follow.

You are the new school building leader at Brickman Elementary School. Brickman is located in a rural community and enrolls approximately 250 students in grades K–5. Student enrollment has remained fairly steady for more than a decade.

Your new school has a history of strong student achievement. Following the introduction of new and more rigorous state standards five years ago, students in most classes and grade levels have continued to show gains in performance on state and interim assessments. While you were preparing for your new position, you met with the superintendent, who praised the school's performance and stated her expectation that you would focus your efforts on building upon the school's prior successes. As the superintendent noted, "We are all very proud of the many accomplishments of Brickman's students and staff to date."

Brickman has a total of 13 classroom teachers, many of whom have been at the school for ten years or more. Staff turnover is relatively low, with two new teachers hired during the last five years to replace one teacher who retired and one who moved to another part of the state. Early discussions with the teachers in your building suggest strong teacher morale, along with a high level of commitment to ensuring effective, high-quality learning experiences for every child.

Recently, you reviewed student and teacher data from Brickman, as well as the results of a teacher survey administered last year.

Document 1

Student Performance Indicators for Brickman Elementary School

State Assessment Results for All Students
Grades 3–5 Two-Year Comparison

This table displays the percentage of students in all groups scoring at or above Level 3 ("meets proficiency standard").


State Assessment Results, by Grade and All Students
Grades 3–5 Two-Year Comparison

This table displays the percentage of students, by group, scoring at or above Level 3 ("meets proficiency standard").

Document 2

Teacher Evaluation Data

Composite Evaluation Scores: All Classroom Teachers (last year)

(as assessed through multiple measures, including a state-provided growth score or other comparable measure and locally selected measure of student achievement and other measures of teacher effectiveness)


Adjusted Mean Growth Percentile (MGP) for Grade 4 and 5 Teachers

Document 3

Excerpt of Teacher Observation Summary Data on Teacher Practice Rubric
for Teachers in Grades K–2

Document 4

Excerpt of Teacher Observation Summary Data on Teacher Practice Rubric
for Teachers in Grades 3–5

Document 5

Excerpt from Teacher Survey Results (last year)
(100% responded)


This assignment consists of four separate tasks. Task 1 addresses an immediate human capital issue. Task 2 addresses a long-term human capital issue. Tasks 3 and 4 address approaches to take with specific teachers.

Task 1

Based on the information provided and your understanding of school building leadership, what is the most pressing, immediate area to further develop human capital at Brickman Elementary and how would you address it? Explain why this action would be effective.

Be very specific in your answer, being sure to clearly identify area of need and describe the action you would take. Provide relevant evidence to support your response.

Your response should be approximately 100–200 words and may be in the format of your choice (e.g., paragraph, bulleted list).

Sample Response to Task 1

(193 words)

The most pressing concern is moving teachers rated "Basic/Developing" (Teachers F and K) into the "Proficient/Distinguished" category so the school can build on its success. Last year two teachers, one each in grades 2 and 4, were rated "Basic/Developing." Without appropriate professional support, these teachers might not grow, resulting in instruction that yields little or no growth in student achievement. To address this concern, I would focus on components in which they are having difficulty, including establishing a culture of learning and using assessment in instruction. Growth in these targeted areas may have a positive effect on other domains, resulting in improved overall ratings in the future.

I would include targeted professional development and in-service opportunities in these areas in both teachers' Teacher Improvement Plans. I would also conduct targeted observations and provide evidence-based feedback on areas in need of improvement. Both developing teachers have strengths that can be leveraged to achieve improvements in areas of need. I would pair each teacher with an effective or highly effective colleague for peer coaching. In addition, these teachers, as well as their colleagues, may benefit from schoolwide emphases on collaboration and analysis of assessment data.

Analysis of Response

The response demonstrates strength in the following Performance Characteristics.

Completeness: The degree to which the response addresses all parts of the assignment

The response completely addresses all elements of the task. The immediate human capital development need is identified as providing support for teachers who are rated "basic" or "developing." A specific course of action is laid out and a rationale is presented in terms of effect the action will have on student learning and other domains of teacher performance. Evidence from multiple sources is cited, including teacher evaluation ratings, observation ratings, and survey responses.

Accuracy: The degree to which the response demonstrates the relevant knowledge and skills accurately and effectively

The response accurately identifies specific teachers—the two rated "basic" or "developing"—as well as particular areas in which the identified teachers need further development. The response describes targeted professional development and in-service opportunities to improve teachers' effectiveness while building upon existing strengths. The response also suggests school-wide analysis of assessment data, which will have a positive effect on these specific teachers, as well as on their peers.

Depth of Support and Understanding: The degree to which the response provides appropriate examples and details that demonstrate sound reasoning and reflects a strong understanding of the relevant knowledge and skills

The response makes extensive use of multiple data sources to substantiate points regarding the most pressing need, demonstrating deep understanding of the situation in the school. The strategies outlined in the response both address the immediate need and frame it in the larger context of total staff growth and student learning. For this reason, the response links the specific assignment to the overall mission of a school building leader.

Task 2

Based on the information provided and your understanding of school building leadership, what are the two most important actions you can take to make long-term human capital improvements at Brickman Elementary? Explain why these actions would have long-term benefits.

Be very specific in your answer, being sure to describe clearly the actions you would take. Provide relevant evidence to support your response.

Your response should be approximately 100–200 words and may be in the format of your choice (e.g., paragraph, bulleted list).

Sample Response to Task 2

(180 words)

First, I would expand opportunities for meaningful collaboration. Only 48% of teachers report actively working with other faculty at their grade level; only 41% collaborate outside their grade levels. I would make greater collaboration a priority and adjust teaching schedules to include common planning time. This step would reduce teacher isolation and create opportunities for collaborative activities such as analyzing student work and discussing instructional practice. The ultimate goal would be to see the school grow into a professional learning community.

Second, I would leverage the skills and knowledge of high-performing teachers to strengthen instruction schoolwide. Nine teachers are rated "Proficient/Effective" and two are "Distinguished/Highly Effective," providing a built-in resource for professional development. Highly ranked teachers could lead formative assessment discussions, increasing the percentage of staff who routinely analyze formative assessment data to inform instruction. "Distinguished/Highly Effective" teachers could also help establish a peer-coaching program, benefiting all teachers and developing more teacher-leaders. These approaches extend professional learning for skilled teachers while reinforcing the school's instructional goals. I would also encourage leadership by providing ongoing professional development opportunities and other incentives.

Analysis of Response

The response demonstrates strength in the following Performance Characteristics.

Completeness: The degree to which the response addresses all parts of the assignment

The response completely addresses all elements of the task. Two actions are outlined—expanding opportunities for collaboration and leveraging the skills and knowledge of high-performing teachers—and rationales are provided to explain how and why each action would improve teacher performance and develop human capital over the long term. Evidence is cited from the teacher survey and teacher evaluation ratings.

Accuracy: The degree to which the response demonstrates the relevant knowledge and skills accurately and effectively

The response accurately analyzes data provided in the documents. An overview of the scenario and documents, in particular the Teacher Observation Summary Data and the Teacher Survey Results, indicate a need for meaningful collaboration among staff and for leadership from high-performing teachers. Additional recommendations for ongoing professional development to nurture teacher leadership are also likely to yield long-term human capital improvement.

Depth of Support and Understanding: The degree to which the response provides appropriate examples and details that demonstrate sound reasoning and reflects a strong understanding of the relevant knowledge and skills

The response demonstrates a logical connection between long-term human capital issues and specific, teacher-related data. The response focuses first on the teacher survey to identify needs that can be effectively addressed through school building leader-initiated actions. The response then uses evidence from teacher ratings and observation data to identify teachers who have strengths that can be leveraged to support their peers' professional growth and development.

Task 3

Based on the information provided and your understanding of school building leadership, describe how you would ensure that Teacher K develops into a more effective teacher. Explain why.

Be very specific in your answer, being sure to describe clearly how you would ensure Teacher K's development. Provide relevant evidence to support your response.

Your response should be approximately 100–200 words and may be in the format of your choice (e.g., paragraph, bulleted list).

Sample Response to Task 3

(197 words)

I would meet with Teacher K to review performance and set goals for improvement. I'd first ask K to reflect on each domain and self-identify areas for growth, engaging K in analyzing performance and participating fully in the improvement process. At the meeting, we'd discuss areas for growth while identifying strengths to leverage. For example, K is proficient in "demonstrating knowledge of content" and "communicating with students." These proficiencies can support improvement in components where K faces challenges, in particular "setting instructional outcomes" and "using assessment in instruction."

We would then develop a Teacher Improvement Plan that sets goals for K's two "Unsatisfactory" components, targets one "Basic"-rated component in each domain for improvement, and establishes a timeline to guide the process. Between benchmarks, I would conduct observations and conferences. K could benefit from focused pre-conference conversations with me or a peer coach to clarify instructional objectives and plan ways to assess student learning in progress. I would also ensure K has needed resources, including in-service and mentoring/coaching from proficient/distinguished teachers. At the end of the timeline, I would conduct a summative observation, which Teacher K and I could use to discuss and implement plans for future growth.

Analysis of Response

The response demonstrates strength in the following Performance Characteristics.

Completeness: The degree to which the response addresses all parts of the assignment

The response completely addresses all aspects of the task. The response identifies specific steps to take in working with Teacher K and describes why each step is important. Information from the teacher evaluation ratings and observation data, such as specific areas of strengths that can be leveraged to support improvement in areas in need of growth, are included as evidence.

Accuracy: The degree to which the response demonstrates the relevant knowledge and skills accurately and effectively

The response accurately interprets the teacher evaluation and observation data to identify Teacher K's instructional strengths and areas of need. The actions outlined in the response, including holding a meeting to review performance and set goals, developing a Teacher Improvement Plan, implementing the plan with observations and conferences, and providing support from a highly effective peer, are all highly appropriate for human capital development.

Depth of Support and Understanding: The degree to which the response provides appropriate examples and details that demonstrate sound reasoning and reflects a strong understanding of the relevant knowledge and skills

The response demonstrates strong understanding of the knowledge, skills, and responsibilities of a school building leader with regard to human capital development. An accurate interpretation of Teacher K's needs is combined with a clear understanding of the appropriate steps for supporting the improvement of a developing teacher. The response includes specific details that define the role of the school building leader in addressing a teacher's areas of needs and developing, implementing, and following through with a Teacher Improvement Plan.

Task 4

Based on the information provided and your understanding of school building leadership, what professional growth opportunities would you suggest for Teacher H? Explain why.

Be very specific in your answer, being sure to describe clearly the opportunities you would suggest for Teacher H. Provide relevant evidence to support your response.

Your response should be approximately 100–200 words and may be in the format of your choice (e.g., paragraph, bulleted list).

Sample Response to Task 4

(187 words)

H is an effective teacher demonstrating proficiency in three of four domains. I would ask H to reflect on Teacher Observation data and identify strengths and areas of need. Then, at a meeting to review performance and set goals for future growth, I would focus with H on the Classroom Environment domain to identify strategies for improvement. Some strategies that helped H gain proficiency in other domains may be useful. For example, H could leverage strengths in "communicating with students" and "using questioning and discussion" to improve performance in "establishing a culture for learning."

H should include growth in a higher-rated domain in a long-term improvement plan. The goal would be to help H continue growing, even in areas of proficiency. In-service and mentoring opportunities are also important. Pairing H with Teacher I, a "Distinguished" teacher in the same grade, could yield significant benefits, including preparing H to mentor other teachers. I would support H's ongoing professional growth by conducting observations and providing evidence-based feedback. To promote improvement in reflecting on teaching, I would guide H through a reflective process to determine strategies for improving student achievement.

Analysis of Response

The response demonstrates strength in the following Performance Characteristics.

Completeness: The degree to which the response addresses all parts of the assignment

The response completely addresses the task, providing specific professional growth opportunities for Teacher H and explanations why each is important. In addition, the response identifies the strongest aspects of the teacher's practice along with areas in need of professional growth. The response is supported with evidence from teacher evaluation ratings and observation data.

Accuracy: The degree to which the response demonstrates the relevant knowledge and skills accurately and effectively

This response accurately evaluates Teacher H's proficiencies and areas of need. Appropriate steps for the school building leader to take, including conducting observation and following up with evidence-based feedback to nurture the teacher's growth, are also outlined. In addition, the response uses performance and observation data to pair Teacher H with a distinguished teacher in the same grade for mentoring.

Depth of Support and Understanding: The degree to which the response provides appropriate examples and details that demonstrate sound reasoning and reflects a strong understanding of the relevant knowledge and skills

The response demonstrates a thorough understanding of the role of the school building leader. For example, data from the teacher evaluation ratings and observation summaries are analyzed, and that analysis is used to support specific steps to promote Teacher H's continuing professional growth and development. The response further demonstrates a depth of understanding by acknowledging the importance of working from a strengths-based perspective to continue the growth of a teacher who is already proficient in a majority of areas.


Assignment 3: Family and Community Engagement

Use the information below to complete the task that follows.

You have recently been hired as the school building leader of High School A, a 9–12 high school in a large suburban district. Due to budget cuts and an ongoing decline in student enrollment at the secondary level, the district consolidated its two high schools into one at the end of the prior school year. With the consolidation, your enrollment for the upcoming year will be 4,000 students, of which 1,000 students are from the now-closed High School B. Additionally, over 40 staff members from the closed school will now be transferred to your school, including 3 assistant principals, 30 teachers, 4 counselors, and other staff.

Prior to the beginning of the new school year, you met with the superintendent to discuss the status of the school consolidation and to identify issues that you will need to address as school building leader. During this meeting you learned that High Schools A and B used to be arch rivals in sports and that the demographics of the two buildings differ substantially. High School A, the remaining school, offers 15 Advanced Placement® classes and is viewed by the community as the better high school, with 95% of students graduating (60% with a Regents Diploma with Advanced Designation) and approximately 90% of students going on to college. The now-closed High School B did not have similar academic success. High School B offered only 4 Advanced Placement® classes and had a 75% graduation rate, with 20% of graduates earning a Regents Diploma with Advanced Designation and less than 50% of students going on to college.

Over the summer, you reviewed survey data from each high school to better understand how families perceive the schools. You noticed that the response rate from High School A was 60% and the response rate from High School B was 35%. The results of the surveys are summarized below.

You also were visited by families and community members from both schools who expressed concerns about the transition. Concerns included the increased distance and commuting time that transferred students will incur (up to 30 additional minutes for some students), class size/crowding issues, and the effect of the consolidation on the school's athletic program. In addition, parents from High School A, the higher-achieving school, are concerned that the transferred students are less academically oriented and that teachers will need to "slow down" the pace of instruction to re-explain content or to address behavioral issues.

As a result of the conversations over the summer, you recognize the fragility of the now-consolidated high school and pledge to find ways to unite and advance both learning and partnerships in the new school community.

Based on the information provided, respond to each of the following prompts. Be very specific in your answers, citing evidence from the scenario as appropriate.

  1. What are two important issues you anticipate may occur as your blended school opens?
  2. Explain why and how it would be beneficial to involve families with regard to these issues.
  3. What actions would you implement to work with families to address each issue you identified in Part A? Explain why these actions would be effective.
  4. What additional challenges might your actions create and what are some ways you could manage those challenges?

Your response should be approximately 400–500 words and may be in a format of your choice (e.g., paragraphs, bulleted list).

Sample Response to Assignment 3

(423 words)

I anticipate that different achievement levels at Schools A and B create a potential for conflict at the newly consolidated school. Some School A parents/guardians do not believe School B students can meet rigorous academic standards. The difference in graduation rates in the two schools supports this concern. Teachers and students may share this belief, which could have a negative effect on achievement for School B students. A second issue is the reluctance of School B families to involve themselves in school activities. Only 35% of families from School B responded to last year's family perception survey, showing that more than half of School B parents/guardians were disengaged from their school. Of those responding, fewer than half reported feeling “quite a bit” welcome. These families could become disenfranchised.

As the consolidated school opens, it will be important to engage families from both schools in order to form positive relationships, set a tone, and establish a model of working together. The concern demonstrated by School A parents/guardians and disengagement by School B parents/guardians must be addressed by bringing families together. Involving families from both schools will demonstrate that this is a "new" school. Staff and students should be aware that parents/guardians from both schools are reaching out and encouraging other parents/guardians and students. The traditional sports rivalry between the schools will likely be resolved as parents/guardians form shared commitments.

My first action to address these issues would be to conduct outreach to School B families. In advance of the beginning of the school year, I would hold a series of meetings with School B parents/guardians to discuss expectations for student achievement, hear their concerns, and encourage their involvement in the consolidated school. Outreach will be necessary to engage these families in school activities. Finally, as the consolidated school opens, I would hold an open meeting for all families to ask questions and offer input and assistance. This would give all parents/guardians opportunity to participate from the beginning.

Additional challenges may result from involving families to this extent. There may be tension between families from School A and School B, especially for parents/guardians heavily involved in the sports rivalry. Additionally, School A families, students, and staff may continue to feel resentment related to the consolidation. To manage these challenges, I plan to continue holding open meetings and working with the transition team, not only to develop positive relationships but also to be responsive, understanding, and proactive about problems. Recognition of new relationships and excellent work will also be important to ensuring a harmonious school environment.

Analysis of Response

The response demonstrates strength in the following Performance Characteristics:

Completeness: The degree to which the response addresses all parts of the assignment

The response fully addresses each of the prompts. Two significant issues are identified and substantiated with evidence drawn from the scenario and data. The response also establishes the importance of engaging families with regard to these issues and identifies actions the school building leader can take to address the identified issues. Finally, additional challenges are anticipated, as are responses to those challenges.

Accuracy: The degree to which the response demonstrates the relevant knowledge and skills accurately and effectively

The response accurately identifies two areas of potential conflict, drawing on the scenario and survey data. The importance of family engagement is accurately explained, including the recognition that School B parents/guardians could become disenfranchised and that the sports rivalry is a potential concern. The response outlines an appropriate course of action for the school building leader to follow, including outreach to the School B community. All actions are supported by an accurate analysis of and examples from the scenario. Identified challenges represent a logical interpretation of the scenario and survey data. Ongoing meetings and proactive responses to issues as they emerge are appropriate and have the potential to be highly effective.

Depth of Support and Understanding: The degree to which the response provides appropriate examples and details that demonstrate sound reasoning and reflects a strong understanding of the relevant knowledge and skills

The response demonstrates a thorough understanding of the role and responsibilities of the school building leader in the situation established by the scenario, including conducting outreach, building relationships, creating partnerships, and shepherding all stakeholders through the consolidation process. Overall, the response reflects a highly effective application of knowledge and skills related to family and community engagement. The response demonstrates sound reasoning throughout, including strong rationales for all proposed actions and sufficient and relevant examples.


Performance Characteristics

The following characteristics guide the scoring of responses to each assignment.

COMPLETENESS The degree to which the response addresses all parts of the assignment
ACCURACY The degree to which the response demonstrates the relevant knowledge and skills accurately and effectively
DEPTH OF SUPPORT AND UNDERSTANDING The degree to which the response provides appropriate examples and details that demonstrate sound reasoning and reflects a strong understanding of the relevant knowledge and skills

Score Scale for Assignment 2

Scores will be assigned to each response to the assignment according to the following score scale.

Score Point Score Point Description
3The "3" response reflects a thorough command of the relevant knowledge and skills.
2The "2" response reflects a general command of the relevant knowledge and skills.
1The "1" response reflects a limited or no command of the relevant knowledge and skills.
UThe response is unscorable because it is unrelated to the assigned topic or off-task, unreadable, written in a language other than English or contains an insufficient amount of original work to score.
BNo response.

Score Scale for Assignment 3

Scores will be assigned to the response to the assignment according to the following score scale.

Score Point Score Point Description
4The "4" response reflects a thorough command of the relevant knowledge and skills.
3The "3" response reflects a general command of the relevant knowledge and skills.
2The "2" response reflects a limited command of the relevant knowledge and skills.
1The "1" response reflects little or no command of the relevant knowledge and skills.
UThe response is unscorable because it is unrelated to the assigned topic or off-task, unreadable, written in a language other than English or contains an insufficient amount of original work to score.
BNo response.