Pearl River Superintendent of Schools Dr. John Morgano announced during Tuesday's school board meeting that the New York State Education Department approved the district's Annual Professional Performance Reviews (APPR) plan.
"To my knowledge, we were the first in the county, the first in the area," Morgano said. "Our plan is a two-year plan. We don't have to do this again next year."
The district submitted its plan for state approval in late June. The state-mandated reviews of teachers and administrators had to be in place for the 2012-13 school year. In addition to planning the details of the evaluations, the district had to negotiate with the teacher's union because the existing contract did not allow for such evaluations.
Morgano joked that Director of Human Resources and Community Services Diana Musich would be looking forward to dealing with the plan again in two years, and then praised her efforts.
"I have to thank Diana for all of her good work in spending countless hours devising and developing the plan," Morgano said. "(Pearl River High School Principal) Bill Furdon, as head of the administrator's unit, his work in cooperating and helping us develop the plan. And Kevin O'Connor, as the president of the teacher's association. Without their cooperation, the plan would not have been approved in a timely manner."
Pearl River's teacher and administrators will be adapting to a number of changes this school year due to state mandates, including APPR and changes in the curriculum. Though Pearl River submitted its plan early on and is one of the first schools in the area to receive approval from the state, districts across New York were expected to implement APPR this year.
"Now comes the work of implementing our plan (for APPR)," Morgano said. "As I will tell the teachers on opening day, we are all in this together. We will figure it out. We have very good teachers, so I'm not concerned about this."