Massena’s teacher evaluation plan approved by state ahead of deadline
Wednesday, January 9, 2013 - 2:51 pm

MASSENA -- Massena Central School District has received word that the district's teacher evaluation plan has been approved by the state.

Superintendent Roger Clough has been informed that the district’s Annual Professional Performance Review Plan (APPR) meets the criteria outlined in Education Law and has been approved for the 2012-13 school year.

The district had submitted its plan in early November, and while the approvals had been taking about six weeks, the approaching approval deadline Jan. 17, many more plan submissions and holiday breaks are likely to have slowed the process.

The state Education Department contacted the district on Friday, Dec. 21 requesting minor changes in the language of their plan.

"We had a five-minute phone call on the 21st to make certain we added certain words in and fixed a couple of expressions," said Clough.

"Unfortunately, that was the last day of school before the Christmas break. We immediately made the changes, but were too late to catch everyone who needed to sign the document. We had to wait until our staff returned after New Year's to collect the required signatures."

The district submitted the modified plan on Thursday, Jan. 3.

"The SED representative had told us to expect a quick turnaround and not to worry that our plan would somehow miss the deadline. We are pleased to have the official notification that all is set and we can move ahead implementing this plan," said Clough.

The Annual Professional Performance Review Plan for teachers and principals is new this year, and required a significant amount of preparation by administrators and faculty alike.

It is part of the Race to the Top initiative by the federal government and the states to measure progress in public school education with more testing of students and evaluations of professional staff to get a measure of competence and effectiveness.

Schools that do not meet the Jan. 17 deadline risk losing out on some state aid.