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New Rye Superintendent Responds to State Mandates

RYE, N.Y. – Rye City School District’s new superintendent, Frank Alvarez, outlined five broad areas to be addressed during the 2012-12 school year Tuesday night, including student achievement and methods of measuring how effective teachers are.

Alvarez said the district is preparing for a year that will be “different on a number of levels” at his first Board of Education meeting since he officially began his position in July. “Several state mandates are forcing us to think about what we do in a very different way,” he said.

Alvarez said the district will build a series of action plans and strategies in late fall based on the concepts of student achievement, teacher effectiveness, fiscal responsibility, community engagement and creating a culture of caring. Alvarez said the latter area comes out of the Dignity for All Students Act, which took effect July 1. The act seeks to provide students with an environment free from harassment and bullying.

“The district is focusing around an objective that we termed a culture of caring, and it’s how do we get all students to really pay attention to issues of social responsibility, but also for individual students, issues of social and emotional health,” said Alvarez. “We also know that by doing so, those things will impact on student achievement long term.”

This year, the district will implement the state-mandated Annual Professional Performance Review, a process to increase accountability of administration and teachers. Teachers will be graded on areas such as student growth throughout the year.

“We want to be as effective as we can be as teachers and leaders and we will continue growing,” said Mary Anne Evangelist, the interim assistant superintendent for curriculum and development. At the end of the year of review, both teachers and principals will be graded on a scale rating them as ineffective, developing, effective or highly effective.

Evangelist said the performance reviews are in line with Alvarez’s core goals of student achievement and teacher effectiveness.

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