School districts are encouraged to develop teacher mentoring programs for teachers new to the profession or district, including teaching residents, teachers of color, teachers with special needs, or experienced teachers in need of peer coaching.
The Professional Educator Licensing and Standards Board must make application forms available to sites interested in developing or expanding a mentorship program. A school district, a group of school districts, or a coalition of districts, teachers and teacher education institutions may apply for a teacher mentorship program grant. The Professional Educator Licensing and Standards Board, in consultation with the teacher mentoring task force, must approve or disapprove the applications. To the extent possible, the approved applications must reflect effective mentoring components, include a variety of coalitions and be geographically distributed throughout the state. The Professional Educator Licensing and Standards Board must encourage the selected sites to consider the use of its assessment procedures.
At a minimum, applicants must express commitment to:
(1) allow staff participation;
(2) assess skills of both beginning and mentor teachers;
(3) provide appropriate in-service to needs identified in the assessment;
(4) provide leadership to the effort;
(5) cooperate with higher education institutions;
(6) provide facilities and other resources;
(7) share findings, materials, and techniques with other school districts; and
(8) retain teachers of color.
Applicants are required to seek additional funding and assistance from sources such as school districts, postsecondary institutions, foundations, and the private sector.
New and expanding mentorship sites that are funded to design, develop, implement, and evaluate their program must participate in activities that support program development and implementation. The Professional Educator Licensing and Standards Board must provide resources and assistance to support new sites in their program efforts. These activities and services may include, but are not limited to: planning, planning guides, media, training, conferences, institutes, and regional and statewide networking meetings. Nonfunded schools or districts interested in getting started may participate. Fees may be charged for meals, materials, and the like.