APPR Hardship Waiver – SED Addresses SAANYS’ Questions
On June 15, SAANYS sent the attached e-blast summarizing important actions taken at the June 13-14 Board of Regents meeting, including the establishment of a new hardship waiver provision related to the independent observer requirement for §3-12-d APPR Plans.
Below, you will note follow-up questions posed by SAANYS to SED in black, with SED responses provided in blue. We hope that you will find this update information helpful. We will continue to keep you updated.
SAANYS: When will information be released regarding Hardship Waiver application procedures?
SED: We are drafting a Q&A document and developing the form as we speak and we hope to have the Q&A document posted on the 3012-d landing page on EngageNY by next week. In the meantime, anyone with questions should email EducatorEval@nysed.gov and a response will be provided within a day or two. The Waiver application will be available through the NYSED Business Portal (http://portal.nysed.gov) in the same location as the complete APPR plan.
SAANYS: Although the regulatory revisions say that “a school district may apply to the Department for a hardship waiver on an annual basis,” are such waivers also available to BOCES?
SED: Yes. Section 30-3.2(g) of the Rules of the Board of Regents states that any references in the APPR regulations to district will apply to school districts and BOCES unless otherwise stated.
SAANYS: Should school district and BOCES continue to negotiate for APPR Plans that are fully compliant with §3012-d, with the understanding that implementation will be adjusted based on the approved hardship waiver?
SED: That’s correct. The complete APPR plan that is currently in the portal must be completed and it must include a process for conducting observations/school visits by independent evaluators in the event that a district/BOCES does not apply for a waiver or chooses not to renew that waiver in future school years. For any year in which the waiver is in effect, its terms will supersede the information in the APPR plan related to the Observation/School Visit categories.
SAANYS: The regulatory revisions say that “once the waiver is approved by the Department it shall be considered part of the school district’s APPR plan for such school year.” Therefore, after approval of the hardship waiver, must the district/BOCES apply to the Department for an amendment of their APPR plan or will it be done automatically by the Department?
SED: This will be done automatically and no material changes will be needed. When the waiver is approved, it will be posted on the Department’s website along with the approved plan and the school year for which the Waiver is active will also be identified. If a district does not renew the waiver, then the Department’s understanding is that all of the provisions of the approved APPR plan will be in effect, including the information provided in Tasks 4 and 9 of the approved plan that describe the process for observations/school visits by independent evaluators.
One final note. SAANYS has received a number of inquiries regarding the date by which §3012-d APPR Plans must be submitted to SED in order to ensure approval by September 1. When we last spoke to Commissioner Elia, she said that there may be a bit of wiggle room on the date by which districts must submit their §3012-d APPR plans to SED in order to be approved by September 1. She did not provide us with a precise revised later date. I would recommend that you shoot for July 1 (the original due date), with a drop-dead submission target of Friday, July 8. We are still engaging members of the legislature in order to delink the §3012-d APPR Plan requirement from increased state aid, and we will know one way or another tomorrow, when the legislative session is scheduled to end.