Independent Evaluator Hardship Waiver (Education Law §3012-d)

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Pursuant to Education Law §§3012-d(4)(b)(2), the Teacher Observation/Principal School Visit Category of an educator’s annual evaluation must include a subcomponent based on observations/school visits by an impartial independent trained evaluator or evaluators selected by the district.

The corresponding provisions of Subpart 30-3 of the Rules of the Board of Regents maintain this requirement but also allow a rural school district, as defined by the Commissioner in guidance, or a school district with only one registered school pursuant to section 100.18 of the Commissioner’s regulations to apply to the Department, on an annual basis, for a hardship waiver from this requirement, in a timeframe and manner prescribed by the Commissioner, if due to the size and limited resources of the school district, it is unable to obtain an independent evaluator within a reasonable proximity without an undue burden to the school district.

In such cases, a second observation/school visit shall be conducted by one or more evaluators selected and trained by the district, who are different than the evaluator(s) who conducted the observations/school visits required to be performed by the principal/supervisor or other trained administrator.

At its June 2016 meeting, the Board of Regents amended sections 30-3.4 and 30-3.5 of the Rules of the Board of Regents related to the Observation and School Visit Categories of APPRs completed pursuant to Education Law §3012-d to allow districts and BOCES to apply, on an annual basis, for a hardship waiver from the requirement for a second observation/school visit by an impartial independent trained evaluator, commencing with the 2016-17 school year if they believe compliance with this requirement will create an undue burden for certain enumerated resources.

Independent Evaluator Hardship Waiver Application

Both the Rural/Single Building School District Independent Evaluator Waiver application and the Undue Burden Independent Evaluator Hardship Waiver are available on NYSED’s Application Business Portal. Please note: This application must be completed online through the NYSED’s Application Business Portal.

Independent Evaluator Hardship Waivers must be renewed on an annual basis. Renewal applications must be submitted by February 1 of the school year for which the waiver will be in effect.

Rural/Single Building School District Independent Evaluator Hardship Waiver Frequently Asked Questions
The Independent Evaluator Waiver FAQ for rural/single building school districts was created as a guide for the field, specifically tailored and organized for completing this waiver application as it relates to the implementation of Education Law §3012-d. The goal of the document is to make relevant answers to common questions more accessible while districts and BOCES review and submit their waiver applications.

The Undue Burden Independent Evaluator Hardship Waiver Q&A for all school districts/BOCES is available for the downloadable resources section of this page.

Downloadable Resources

Resources may contain links to sites external to the EngageNY.org website. These sites may not be within the jurisdiction of NYSED and in such cases NYSED is not responsible for its content.