Riverhead school officials present teacher, administrator evaluation plan

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01/09/2013 7:00 AM |

JENNIFER GUSTAVSON PHOTO

Riverhead school officials presented the district’s new standards for teacher and principal evaluations, a state-mandated task the teacher’s union president described as “monumental,” but something the  district should be “proud” of.

During the school board’s regular meeting at the high school auditorium, about 10 people listened as officials explained the district’s new teacher and principal annual professional performance reviews, known as APPR.

The school board unanimously approved a resolution Tuesday to adopt it. The state has imposed a Jan. 17 deadline on school districts to have an approved plan in place or the district will lose state aid.

Riverhead’s assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction, Lois Etzel, who served on a committee made up of teachers and administrators tasked with coming up with the plan, said not all school workers will have to take part in the new evaluation system.

Although most teachers and all seven principals will have to receive the evaluations, she said the state has excluded some school workers, such as substitute teachers, speech pathologists, psychologists, social workers and librarians.

The evaluation system will consist of four categories: “highly effective,” “effective,” “developing,” and “ineffective.”

Using a mathematical formula, a teacher’s or principal’s score is determined by coupling classroom observations and student assessments.

Riverhead Central Faculty Association union president Barbara Barosa said during the meeting the amount of time teachers and administrators put into creating the plan was “monumental,” adding that the district should be “proud.”

“It’s a very complicated plan,” she said. “It’s not intended to be so. We had to adhere to what the state said we had to make. There are lots of conversion charts…It’s going to be a very interesting procedure for teachers, as well as administrators to administer.”

Ms. Barosa said she believes the state is requiring students to take too many tests, a system she also believes isn’t an equitable way to measure classroom performance.

“Kids are a whole lot more than a test score,” she said. “Teachers are a whole lot more than a test score.”

Now that the district has adopted the plan, Ms. Barosa said revisions are expected to be made as the implementation process unfolds.

“We put a lot of effort into this and it’s not over yet,” she said. “We’re hoping it gets more simple as we go forward.”

Copies of the report weren’t immediately available.

jennifer@timesreview.com

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