The future of the Jamestown Public Schools District holds massive changes.
The JPS board included the approval of the long-awaited annual professional performance review plan at Tuesday's Board of Education meeting. It has been a long journey since the state's mandate that schools implement a teacher/principal evaluation system. The district navigated negotiations with each group's union and has finally come to an agreement that must now be submitted to the state for approval.
Daniel Kathman, superintendent of schools, recognized the change's significance.
"Its an extraordinarily complex, rich and important process," he said. "In the end, the bottom line goal is to improve student learning. So as long as we keep that as our focus and motivation, it will be a very positive improvement to our kids and our teachers."
Details of the plan will be included in a weekend edition of The Post-Journal.
The board also voted to appeal on the district's behalf to Gov. Andrew Cuomo regarding recent legislation that has been brought to his desk.
Joe DiMaio, board president, read the district's letter to the governor.
"This ill-conceived, onerous legislature grants tenure-status seniority rights to non-competitive and labor classes of employees," he began. "Districts would be forced to base hiring decisions on seniority, and not the actual needs of the students."
According to the letter, the bill would eliminate the collective bargaining process between school districts and unions, simply instituting mandates in place. Similar legislation has been vetoed by the governor's predecessors on these grounds.
The district's hope is for the governor to reject this bill.
"Our advisers from NYSSBA, the state school board association, has recommended that schools boards voice their displeasure at the prospect of an even more restrictive employment circumstance, making it more difficult for us to be adequately flexible in how we deploy the staff," Kathman added.