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Teacher evaluations now tied to Regents in Riverhead

Riverhead school board

The Riverhead school board has approved a new teacher evaluation plan for the 2016-17 school year.

This plan, known as Annual Professional Performance Review, has two requirements: a teacher observation element similar to the district’s previous model and a new student performance component based on Regents exams, said Christine Tona, assistant superintendent of curriculum and instruction.

High school and middle school teachers will receive scores based on how their individual students perform on the Regents exams in June to determine if students meet benchmark goals.

The district is still required to administer the state assessments for students in grades 3-8, although those scores won’t be used for APPR, Ms. Tona said.

Superintendent Nancy Carney said her administration is preparing a more comprehensive presentation on the new APPR guidelines and will discuss them further during a regular school board meeting in October.

“We feel like we have a plan everyone supports,” Ms. Carney said, adding that the plan has already been submitted to and approved by the state.

In December, the state Board of Regents, which drafts education guidelines for New York public schools, responded to high-stakes testing concerns by imposing a four-year moratorium on the use of student scores from required assessments to evaluate teachers and principals.

This year, for the first time since April 2013, when the state mandated the controversial Common Core standardized testing, the annual English Language Arts and math assessments were untimed and had fewer questions.

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Photo: The Riverhead school board at Tuesday’s meeting. (Credit: Nicole Smith)