The Malverne School District is close to finalizing its new state-mandated evaluation plans for its teachers and principals.
At Tuesday night's meeting, the Board of Education unanimously approved its Annual Professional Performance Review (APPR) plans, one for its teachers and one for its principals, but the former still requires approval from the Malverne Teachers Association. The New York State Department of Education is requiring all school districts have these plans, which require student performance to be part of all teachers' evaluations, in place by Jan. 17, 2013 or risk losing state aid.
To meet this deadline, the NYS DOE had asked school districts to submit their completed APPR plans for approval by July 1, promising they'd receive a response by Sept. 1 if they did. However, the majority of school districts throughout New York State, Malverne included, were unable to comply.
The district's adminstrators and faculty had already been working for several months on crafting its plans, but needed more time.
"It's an entirely new animal," Florence Frazer, the district's attorney, told residents at the Oct. 9 meeting. "The state did not offer guidelines or regulations in a timely fashion and yet it was the sort of thing that had to be done yesterday."
Frazer explained that although the board has reached a memorandum of agreement with the MTA, the plan still must be approved by the teachers union and could undergo some changes, which she expects would be minor. "At this point, we are 98 percent completed and are very pleased with the result," she said. "I'm hopeful it will go through smoothly ... Everybody is cooperating."
In addition to the plans, the board also approved 12 lead evaluators, who will conduct the reviews and thus, had to undergo training.
A big part of the new evaluation plan, Deputy Superintendent Richard Banyon explained, is that all teachers have to create Student Learning Objectives (SLOs) if their class doesn't have a state assessment at the end of the year.
"The supervisors and administrators are working feverishly with teachers to create these SLOs that we want our students to achieve by the end of the year," Banyon added.
The district is also wrapping up its baseline testing, another new requirement this year linked to APPR. For the first time, students in all grades had to be subjected to standardized local assessments at the beginning of the school year and they will do the same at the end of the year with some intermediate testing along the way, Banyon explained.
This is to "show growth of the students from September to May and also identify areas where they may need help in the areas [English Language Arts] and Mathematics," he added.
Check back tomorrow for more coverage of the Oct. 9 Malverne school board meeting including a look at why your tax bills may have gone up more than the tax cap.