Monday, October 7, 2013

Requests for APPR scores

Beginning this month, all parents/guardians will have the right to request Annual Professional Performance Review (APPR) quality ratings and composite effectiveness scores for their child's current year teacher(s) and principal(s).

To receive your child's teacher or principal evaluation score, parents and legal guardians must make a request in person, or in writing, starting October 15, on the district’s official Teacher/Principal Composite Score Request Form.

A district or building administrator will provide teacher/principal composite scores verbally to the parent or legal guardian during a scheduled appointment.

When making a request for teacher/principal scores please be aware of the following:
  1.  To obtain scores, parents/guardians must first submit an official request form.  (A separate form must be completed for each score requested.)
  2. At the time the request is made, clerical staff will ask for identification (i.e. driver’s license, passport, etc.) to verify the person making the request has legal guardianship of the student(s) and is therefore entitled to the teacher/principal effectiveness score. 
  3. Every effort will be made to schedule an appointment with the appropriate building/district administrator within seven working days of the request submission. 
  4. During the appointment, the administrator will provide the composite score verbally to the parent or legal guardian.
It is also important to note:
  • Parents/guardians may only request scores for the teacher(s) and/or principal of record for your child in the 2013-2014 school year.
  • Teachers will be notified when parents request their scores.
  • The law requires districts to “verify that any such request is a bona fide request by a parent or guardian entitled to review and receive such data.”
  • An appeal of the APPR by the teacher/principal will delay providing this information until such time as the appeal is decided.
  • You may request to receive the final rating and composite score for your child’s teacher(s) and/or principal, as well as an explanation of such ratings, in person or in writing.
  • The new evaluation system will not change current district practices for assigning students to teachers, and requests for such action will not be honored. 
  • Teacher/principal APPR information is not considered public information, and as such, is not subject to the Freedom of Information Law (FOIL).

More about APPR
APPR is the process by which teachers and principals are evaluated in New York State.  The purpose of evaluation is not punitive, rather it is intended to improve the quality of instruction in schools, and to encourage and promote improved student performance and readiness for college and careers.

APPR plans must meet strict state guidelines and are negotiated locally by the district’s employee labor unions.

Under state guidelines, APPR is based on classroom observations, student test scores, and a variety of achievement and assessment measures – many of which are decided at the local level. Teachers and principals across New York ultimately receive a number grade every year, which equates to an effectiveness rating.

In accordance with Education Law §3012-c, parents or legal guardians of a child in the Watervliet City School District have the right to obtain information related to the Annual Professional Performance Review of their child’s current teachers or principal. 

The district will accept requests to receive teacher or principal scores starting October 15, 2013.

Request forms and additional information below:

Parent Request Form (pdf)

Questions and Answers about APPR (pdf)

Parent Guide to the APPR (pdf)

NYS exam scores mailed: What it means for your child
Parents will receive individual student scores for the New York State English language arts and math assessments in grades 3-8 taken last spring with their child’s interim reports, which we expect to mail the week of Oct. 7.

These reports indicate the scores and performance level for your child on the given assessments. As a result of the transition to the new Common Core Learning Standards, state education leaders expected that student scores across New York would be significantly lower than the year before. You may find that echoed in your child’s score. The NYS Commissioner of Education asked school officials to assure parents that these latest proficiency scores “do not reflect a drop in performance, but rather a raising of standards to reflect college and career readiness in the 21st century.”

Watervliet educators encourage parents to reassure children that any test is just one measure—a snapshot in time—of academic progress. Students and parents should know that this is a new system for everyone, and the tests given last spring were more challenging than those taken by students in prior years. We do not interpret these lower test scores to mean that our students are not learning or that our teachers are not teaching.

While Watervliet school leaders continue to evaluate the results of the state assessments, we also consider them in the context of the larger purpose of education, which is to make sure that students have the skills, knowledge, and experiences required for college and career readiness.

Parents whose children received a Level 1 or 2 on the NYS math and/or ELA assessments will receive a separate letter from their child’s principal outlining the instructional plans or services that Watervliet has put in place to help build upon their child’s future success.

If you have questions, please contact your child’s principal. Additional information about Common Core, interpreting state test scores, what parents can do to help their children learn, and more can be found on the Parent & Family Resources web page on the State Education Department's EngageNY website.

Please be assured that we will continue to review and analyze data, identify areas for improvement, and  adjust instruction as necessary during the school year.

On behalf of our teachers, principals and staff, I promise you that we remain committed to our mission to educate, inspire and challenge every student, every day.

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