Beginning Teacher Support and Assessment (BTSA)

BTSA, Beginning Teacher Support and Assessment is a statewide program aimed at nurturing and guiding newly credentialed teachers through their first few years of teaching. BTSA assumes that no matter our experience and strengths, we all want to continue improving our teaching and student performance over time. Based on nearly two decades of research, the BTSA program is organized around experiences teachers work on to improve their own practice and student performance.
      BTSA uses CFASST (California Formative Assessment System and Support System for Teachers) as its "curriculum". It is a series of on-going inquiries and observations that provide opportunities for continual self-assessment and feedback. It is not summative, nor is it a form of external evaluation. Instead, it provides a chance for self-analysis and growth, a good habit to continue to work on throughout a teaching career.
CFASST stresses the following:
  1. Knowing students in your class well
  2. Assessing students' current understanding of subject matter
  3. Planning lessons to meet all students' needs
  4. Examining student work to inform teaching practices
  5. Selecting and designing appropriate assessments
  6. Using analysis of student work to plan future teaching
  7. Using evidence to inform reflection and decision-making

What does SMMUSD's BTSA program offer?

  1. District Salary Units
    This year, if you fully participate in BTSA, you can earn 4.5 units. Once you move over one salary group, this can translate into thousands of dollars in salary over time.
  2. If you hold an out-of-state credential and qualify, out-of-state credentials can be cleared in-district instead of traveling to a university for coursework.
    If you hold a California Clear credential, BTSA provides opportunities to complete and keep easy record of the 150 required hours of professional development needed to renew your clear credential every five years.
  3. One-on-one support and peer network opportunities
  4. Orientation to district and site priorities which are aligned with BTSA work
    The BTSA process is an excellent precursor for National Board Certification which is also based on a formative assessment system.
    BTSA's emphasis on California Standards for the Teaching Profession (CSTP) prepares teachers for the principal's formal evaluation system that is currently being revised to be based on these professional standards.
  5. Release time/sub days provided by substitutes or support providers to allow for observations of other teachers and other professional development activities
  6. Resources each year of BTSA in order to implement an individual goal (Individual Induction Plan/IIP)
  7. Working conditions advocacy
    BTSA leadership teams communicate with and meet with each site administrator several times each year to further improve each BTSA participant's working conditions. We work on creating optimal conditions such as limiting additional duties.
  8. Provide reflective opportunities to build your teaching practices which will benefit you and your students

If you would like more information, please contact SMMUSD's BTSA Coordinator:
Susan Samarge 310-450-8338 x346

Links you might find useful:
California Commission on Teacher Credentialing,
California Content Standards and Frameworks,
California State Department of Education,
Los Angeles County of Education,