January 2013 Issue
December 20, 2012

Short takes: APPR plans make headway

Source: NYSUT United

While headlines focus on districts struggling to meet a Jan. 17 deadline to have an Annual Professional Performance Review plan in place, State Education Department officials reported in mid-December that 679 out of 713 school districts had submitted negotiated APPR plans. Of the 679 submitted, SED had approved 358 and returned 242 plans for mostly technical revision.

NYSUT staffers continue to help local union leaders with technical issues.

Districts face a Jan. 17 deadline for SED approval, or risk losing this year's state aid increase.

Rochester part of pilot

The Rochester City School District is one of 10 in the nation that will participate in a three-year pilot program to expand student learning time.

Rochester Teachers Association President Adam Urbanski said participating schools and teachers volunteered to join the pilot. Teachers who work more than is contractually required will be compensated.

"We fully recognize that some teachers have competing and compelling obligations that may preclude their participation," Urbanski said. The flexible or additional time is intended to offer students more access to arts and music, sports, social and emotional supports, and individualized academic enrichment, Urbanski said. It is also intended to give teachers more time for collaboration, planning and professional development.

"We are partnering with the district in this venture because it is being developed in a way that respects the collective wisdom of teachers and offers the potential for benefiting students," Urbanski said. "It's an opportunitity for teachers to help rethink and redesign the school day."