Oysterponds files teacher evaulation plan

JENNIFER GUSTAVSON FILE PHOTO | Oysterponds Superintendent Dick Malone said the district sent its teacher evaluation plan to the state for final approval today.

The Oysterponds Elementary School District filed its teacher evaluation plan at 11:05 a.m. today, according to Superintendent Dick Malone.

Mr. Malone said the district was able to separate a teacher evaluation plan from the labor contract negotiation process in order to meet a state-imposed deadline.

After the board’s meeting Tuesday night, Mr. Malone said the move will allow the district to submit its annual professional performance reviews plan, known as APPR, to the state for final approval.

“We’re planning to separate [the APPR plan] out from the negotiation process so that it’s not holding us back,” he said Tuesday night.

School districts stand to lose state aid if their APPR plans are not approved by today. When asked how much state aid the district is in danger of losing for non-compliance, Mr. Malone declined to specify.

“We haven’t gotten that far yet,” he said.

The state had signed off on APPR plans from all other North Fork school districts as of Wednesday morning.

State education department spokesman Jonathan Burman said staffers are “available around the clock” today to review submissions.

“We will review any plans as expeditiously as possible, but we will not sacrifice quality for speed,” Mr. Burman said in an interview last week.

When asked if there’s any leeway for school districts currently in contract negotiations with their unions, Mr. Burman said there will be “no exceptions.”

“The law doesn’t provide for that,” he said. “It’s as simple as that.”

The Oysterponds school board has been ironing out a new teacher’s contract to replace the agreement that expired June 30, 2011. Since the school board and teacher’s union have reached an impasse, officials said the matter is being mediated through the state’s Public Employment Relations Board.

Oysterponds union president Donna Dunne wasn’t immediately available Wednesday.

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