Professional Practice Resources

  • Each type of licensed professional served by the SSP system has a custom framework that reflects DPS expectations for effective performance in that role. The framework to measure Professional Practice for SSPs contain indicators that are grouped into five expectations that align closely with the five Quality Standards from the Colorado Department of Education SSP system. Together they cover direct services to students and impact on overall school teams. The frameworks were developed in collaboration with a design team of SSPs and DCTA during a pilot of the system during the 2013-14 school year. After rolling out the system across DPS during the 2014-15 school year, the behaviors within each indicator in the frameworks have been extensively revised to ensure clarity and consistency. 

    Conversation Trackers

    SSPs should receive Beginning-of-Year, Mid-Year and End-of-Year conversations throughout the year, in addition to ongoing meaningful feedback conversations based on observation and/or other review of their performance. In the absence of a central online system for tracking these conversations, we have created this conversation tracker to help you keep your notes organized throughout the year. After each conversation please ensure both SSP and evaluator have a copy of the file to refer back to, and to inform the ensuing conversations. At the end of the year, you will provide ratings and comments in Infor HR on the SSP’s performance.


    Observation and Final Rating Trackers


    Observations in Whetstone Observation Tool

    Whetstone is the new, collaborative observation and coaching tool for educators, inclusive of Teachers, Specialized Service Providers and School Leaders. This new tool includes enhanced communication and analytic features that make documentation and sharing simple, while helping educators work together to make progress toward their goals.  

    Whetstone is available at

    Training resources are found by searching "Whetstone" in Schoology and within Whetstone itself under the "Learn" menu on the top toolbar.

    As SSP roles and school building contexts are highly varied, the beginning-of-year conversation should be used to establish the most effective and comprehensive methods and frequency for an evaluator to observe and provide feedback to an SSP. Generally, evaluators of SSPs should expect to observe SSPs two times throughout the school year. Observation and data collection could include:

    • Observing the employee while providing services or during meetings with other staff.
    • Observing a student that receives direct services.
    • Review of documentation.
    • Conversations with the employee, staff, students or student’s family.
    • Other methods as agreed to – for ideas refer to the Sources of Evidence list in the Framework for each indicator.