The Kings Park School District is setting the pace and example for the new teacher evaluation requirements, not only coming in ahead of deadline, but also as one of only two school districts on Long Island with approved APPR plans.
Only 10 schools in New York have approved plans with a January 17, 2013 deadline looming. State Education Commissioner John B. King, Jr. announced that he has approved and posted ten model teacher and principal Annual Professional Performance Review, Kings Park being one of them. The plans were submitted as required under the revised teacher and principal evaluation law passed earlier this year.
"These districts and their teachers and principals should all be commended for their hard work and commitment to excellence in completing this important task,” said King in a statement.
Kings Park came in ahead of the state deadline when it approved its plan back in a special meeting held in July.
“I think we knew what our time lines were. We’ve been working diligently to meet the time line,” said district superintendent Susan Agruso who said the district has been working on it since December.
The district brought in a former superintendent to help with the process of gathering information, filing paperwork and meeting deadlines as well as the meetings between teacher representatives and the administration.
The meetings were with school administration and teacher representatives. Kings Park Teacher’s Classroom Teachers Association president, Jim Pappas, said the meetings were cordial and productive.
“We got it done. It was a lot of work, a lot of decisions to be made,” said Pappas. “The process so far has been very amicable.”
Agruso said she was aware that a lot was at stake.
“We realized the sanctions were too severe if we didn’t get it done,” said Agruso. “I think all groups, district and union worked very hard to address concerns.”
Both Pappas and Agruso agree that the goal was to be accurate when evaluating a teacher.
“If a teacher is outstanding we want it to reflect that. If a teacher is in need of development, they will get support,” said Pappas.
“We want to set standards, but protect our teachers," said Agruso. "If you have a teacher who cannot meet expectations, we want to offer the tools to help them, but at the same time we need to maintain high standards.”
The state requires that districts have approved teacher and principal evaluation plans by January 17, 2013 in order to receive their 2012-13 state aid increase. King, in a statement, warned districts to be mindful; the comprehensive approval process is labor and time intensive.
“We are very proud of work did. Other schools can use the plan as a basis and hopefully help other schools that haven’t gotten approvals yet,” said Agruso.
To see a list of New York schools and their APPR status, click here.
To see a copy of Kings Park's evalutation plan click here and in the photo gallery section of this article.
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