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Elwood Close to Teacher Evaluation Plan

Details on the Annual Professional Performance Review (APPR) for teachers could be announced by the end of the school year; Northport plan in place.

Schools Superintendent Peter Scordo said this week that he hopes an agreement can be reached with the teachers union on the process by the end of June. Under new state guidelines, by Jan. 17, 2013 or risk losing an increase in state aid.

“We’re looking at the end of the school year,” Scordo said, adding that he’s been meeting with the teachers union at least once, if not twice, every week to discuss the details.

Under the state guidelines, 80 percent of the evaluation specifics must be bargained collectively at the local level, including observations which comprise 60 percent of the grade, and 20 percent based on student achievements on tests selected on a local level. The balance of twenty percent is based on state test scores.

Of the 60 percent based on observations, 31 percent would be based on classroom observations conducted by principals or administrators, with at least one unannounced observation. The remaining 29 percent, which is subject to collective bargaining, could be based on a combination of things, including observations by independent trained evaluators, student portfolios, and/or student and parent feedback.

Teachers would receive a rating of ineffective, developing, effective, and highly effective. Those rated ineffective in the 40 points under student achievement could not receive a developing, effective or highly effective score overall. A teacher who receives an ineffective rating must receive support and training to improve. Two consecutive ineffective ratings could lead to dismissal. The appeals process must be bargained collectively.

In neighboring , teachers approved an APPR process as part of a new four-year contract on May 15. Elwood’s current contract runs through the end of June 2014.

Under the Northport agreement, teachers who receive an “ineffective” rating would have ten days to appeal in writing to the Superintendent’s designee who would have ten days to respond. The affected teacher could then ask for a review by one outside expert chosen by a panel of three people selected by the District and UTN. The panelists will be selected in rotating order; if a panelist is unavailable, the next listed panelist will be chosen. The District pays for the cost of the review, which will be completed within ten days. There will be no hearing, and the review will be based only on the originally appear, the Superintendent’s initial determination, supporting papers submitted by the teacher and/or a response to the appeal by the teacher’s evaluator.

The Superintendent would consider the expert’s findings and recommendation and would issue a determination within ten days. The decision would not be grievable, arbitrable, or reviewable. However, failure of either party to abide by the process can be grieved.

Teachers who receive a rating of “highly effective”, “effective” or “developing” cannot appeal, but can write a written response to their rating which will be filed with the APPR. Non-tenured teachers are not allowed to appeal any aspect of their evaluation or terms of an improvement plan.

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