Hamburg Central School Board members plan to meet Friday morning to approve the teacher evaluation plan, just seven days before the plan has to be approved by New York State.
Friday’s special meeting will take place only if teachers approve the plan Thursday, Superintendent Steven A. Achramovitch said Tuesday night.
School districts must have an approved evaluation plan in place by Jan. 17, or they will lose their share of this fiscal year’s increase in state aid. Achramovitch has said the aid for Hamburg, which is one of the last districts in the state to submit a plan, is about $450,000.
The district submitted the unsigned plan Friday to expedite the process, Board Vice President Thomas Flynn said in a statement at Tuesday’s School Board meeting.
“It has been the intention of the district to wait until our plan was fully approved by the Hamburg Teachers Association and the Board of Education, however, as the time frame narrowed, the initial submission could not wait any longer,” he said.
The superintendent told The Buffalo News that the state will not formally review the unsigned plan, and wants the final, approved version.
“We’re hoping everything goes through, we’ll submit Friday morning again,” Achramovitch said. “I’m hoping that they’re looking at it. My feeling is they have it, they’re looking at it, and they’ll be ready for comments as soon as I submit it.”
The state has said it will expedite reviews, but that it usually takes four to six weeks to evaluate a plan.
A committee of administrators and teachers has been working on the plan for months, and another committee put finishing touches on the plan in late December.
School Board member Holly Balaya urged teachers to consider the plan. She said if union members are not happy with it, they should change it next year.
“It’s new to all districts,” she said. “Have faith and try and realize … unfortunately, we’ve come down to a deadline and if we don’t pass this, we’re in trouble.”
Board member Sally Stephenson said once language is put into a contract, it will be difficult to change it, but Achramovitch said the teacher evaluation plan is effective only for this school year, and then the language expires.
The board approved the evaluation plan for administrators Tuesday night.
The Annual Professional Performance Review, or APPR, governs how teachers and principals are evaluated under new state requirements. On the 100-point evaluation, 60 points are determined through more traditional, subjective means, primarily classroom observations; 20 points on student growth on state assessments; and 20 points on measures of student growth that are determined by the local district.
Teachers Association President John Mrozek said teachers will meet this afternoon to discuss the final plan, and ballots will be cast during school Thursday.
If the union does not approve the plan, the superintendent said, “I think we’ll go back to the table and figure out what we have to do next.”