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The Davis School Board gave final approval to a compromise career-ladder plan that will make the current merit pay evaluation system a component of an overall evaluation program.

The board voted on the plan that requires teachers to be evaluated on a single day after making an appointment with an administrator. It also allows the administrator to appear in class during a three-day period to take notes for a more informal evaluation.An earlier version of the plan had said that administrators would make the more formal evaluation without an appointment during the three-day period. The Davis Education Association had opposed the plan because they said the evaluation instrument, the Davis Education Evaluation Plan, requires a structured lesson plan and would be difficult to use in unscheduled "drop-in" classroom visits.

The informal evaluations will now be a "developmental tool" and will be used in discussions with the teachers, noting both areas of strength and areas for improvement, Betty Ashbaker, the district's director of in-service training, told the board.

The compromise was arrived at after numerous meetings over the past two weeks.

The new plan, with a budget of $4.5 million, also included modifications in several areas including adding senior "mentor" positions. More experienced teachers will assist less experienced teachers in improving their teaching skills.

The career-ladder system rewards teachers for their performance in the classroom. It also pays wages for seven preparation days and outside projects such as developing specialized curriculum.