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Texas Teacher Evaluation and Support System



The T-TESS Rubric

The T-TESS Rubric includes 4 Domains and 16 Dimensions. T-TESS domain and dimension rubrics include specific descriptors of practices and 5 performance levels; Distinguished, Accomplished, Proficient, Developing, and Improvement Needed.


  • Standards and Alignment
  • Data and Assessment
  • Knowledge of Students
  • Activities


  • Achieving Expectations
  • Content Knowledge and Expertise
  • Communication
  • Differentiation
  • Monitor and Adjust

Learning Environment

  • Classroom Environment, Routines and Procedures
  • Managing Student Behavior
  • Classroom Culture


  • Professional Demeanor and Ethics
  • Goal Setting
  • Professional Development
  • School Community Involvement


Teacher Handbook

What is T-Tess?

T-TESS strives to capture the holistic nature of teaching – the idea that a constant feedback loop exists between teachers and students, and gauging the effectiveness of teachers requires a consistent focus on how students respond to their teacher’s instructional practices. For those reasons, each of the observable domains in T-TESS focuses on teachers and students rather than separating them out into separate domains. Ultimately, T-TESS is a process that seeks to develop habits of continuous improvement, and the process itself best leads to that outcome when appraisers and teachers focus on evidence-based feedback and professional development decisions based on that feedback through ongoing dialogue and collaboration.

T-TESS includes three components:

  • Goal-setting and professional development plan
  • The evaluation cycle (including: pre-conference, observation, post-conference)
  • Student growth measure

PISD Annual T-TESS Evaluation Cycle Requirements

PISD appraises teachers using the Texas Teacher Evaluation and Support System (T-TESS) in accordance with law and administrative regulations.

District teachers shall be appraised annually. Teachers who are eligible for less frequent evaluations in accordance with law [see DNA(LEGAL) and (LOCAL)] shall be appraised in accordance with the provisions below. 

In addition to meeting the eligibility requirements in state rules, to be eligible for less-than-annual evaluations under the T-TESS, a teacher shall:

  1. Be employed on an educator term contract;
  2. Hold SBEC certification;
  3. Be assigned in his or her certification area; and
  4. Have been employed by the District for at least five years.

Eligible PISD teachers shall be appraised every two years. During any school year when a complete appraisal is not scheduled for an eligible teacher, either the teacher or the principal may require that an appraisal be conducted by providing written notice to the other party.

Teachers who wish to be considered for a Teacher Incentive Allotment (TIA) designation must have a full appraisal during their capture year.

PISD operates T-TESS on an annual school calendar. A full appraisal for a school year term includes one 45-minute observation scoring all observable domains and a formal conference; two 15-minute partial walk though observations with written and verbal feedback; two unscored 3-minute spot observations; and a summative evaluation conference at the end of the year including goal setting and the development of a professional development plan.