On behalf NYSUT and NYSSCA this document provides clarification on the application of the new teacher evaluation requirements to school counselors. This information is provided in response to questions from school counselors received by both organizations.
1. Are school counselors considered "classroom teachers" under the new Annual Professional Performance Review (APPR) law and regulations?
Pupil personnel service providers (school psychologists, school social workers and school counselors) are not covered by the new APPR requirements. Under the new law, classroom teachers must be evaluated. The regulations define a classroom teacher as a teacher in the classroom teaching services as defined in Section 80-1.1 of the Commissioners Regulations. Section 80-1.1 specifically excludes pupil personnel service providers from the definition of classroom teaching services.
2. Are school districts required to conduct annual professional performance reviews of pupil personnel service providers, including school counselors?
While school counselors are excluded from the new APPR requirements for classroom teachers, school districts must continue to conduct annual evaluations in accordance with the criteria described in the school districts or BOCES APPR plan, according to Section 100.2(o) of the Regulations. School districts/BOCES are not required to make any changes to the evaluation criteria for 2012-13 or thereafter.
3. School districts are required to include an approved teacher practice rubric in its APPR plan. Must this rubric be used for the evaluation of pupil personnel service providers?
School Districts must include a teacher practice rubric agreed to by the district and the local teachers union, in its APPR plan. This rubric is relevant to the evaluation of classroom teachers and not pupil personnel service providers. The new law does not require school districts to use a rubric to assess the evaluation criteria for school counselors.
4. Are school counselors required to include measures of student growth using a student learning objective process in their evaluations?
Only classroom teachers with none or less than fifty percent of their assigned students participating in the 4¬8 grade ELA and Math state assessment are required to have student learning objectives. School counselors and other pupil personnel service providers are not required to include any measures of student growth and/or achievement in their annual evaluation.
School counselors are encouraged to reach out to their local association regarding their annual professional evaluations. Local leaders should contact their Labor Relations Specialists for additional information on this topic. Additional information is also available on the NYSSCA’s website at www.NYSSCA.org or email APPR@NYSSCA.org or GovernmentRelations@NYSSCA.org. Be sure to check the NYSUT website, www.nysut.org, for updates on APPR.