Mentoring Programs for First-Year Teachers | Policy 6213

Effective February 2, 2004, all new teachers in the School District/BOCES holding an initial certificate must complete a mentored teaching experience within their first year of employment as a teacher. Also effective February 2, 2004, the Fonda-Fultonville Central School must incorporate the design and planning of such mentored experiences for all first-year teachers in its employ into the District/BOCES Professional Development Plans.

The purpose of the mentoring program is to provide support for new teachers in order to ease the transition from teacher preparation to practice, thereby increasing the retention of teachers, and to increase the skills of new teachers in order to improve student achievement in accordance with the New York State learning standards. The Professional Development Plan shall describe how the District will provide a mentoring program for teachers who must participate in a mentoring program to meet the teaching experience requirement for the professional certificate as prescribed by Commissioner’s Regulations.

The mentoring program shall be developed and implemented consistent with any collective bargaining obligation required by Article 14 of the Civil Service Law (i.e., the Taylor Law); however, Commissioner’s Regulation does not impose a collective bargaining obligation that is not required by the Taylor Law.

In accordance with Commissioner’s Regulations, the Professional Development Plan shall describe the following elements of the mentoring program:

a) The procedure for selecting mentors, which shall be published and made available to staff of the Fonda-Fultonville Central School District and, upon request, to members of the public;
b The role of mentors, which shall include but not be limited to providing guidance and support to the new teacher;
c) The preparation of mentors, which may include but shall not be limited to the study of the theory of adult learning, the theory of teacher development, the elements of the mentoring relationship, peer coaching techniques, and time management methodology;
d) Types of mentoring activities, which may include but shall not be limited to modeling instruction for the new teacher, observing instruction, instructional planning with the new teacher, peer coaching, team teaching, and orienting the new teacher to the school culture; and
e) Time allotted for mentoring, which may include but shall not be limited to scheduling common planning sessions; releasing the mentor and the new teacher from a portion of their non-instructional duties; and providing time for mentoring during Superintendent conference days, before and after the school day, and during summer orientation sessions.

Confidentiality of Mentor-New Teacher Interaction

The information obtained by a mentor through interaction with the new teacher while engaged in the mentoring activities of the program shall not be used for evaluating or disciplining the new teacher unless:

a) Withholding such information poses a danger to the life, health, or safety of an individual including, but not limited to, students and staff of the school; or
b) Such information indicates that the new teacher has been convicted of a crime, or has committed an act which raises a reasonable question as to the new teacher’s moral character; or
c) The Fonda-Fultonville Central School District has entered into an agreement, negotiated pursuant to Article 14 of the Civil Service Law whose terms are in effect, that provides that the information obtained by the mentor through interaction with the new teacher while engaged in the mentoring activities of the program may be used for evaluating or disciplining the new teacher.

Exemptions to above Mentoring Requirements

Pursuant to Commissioner’s Regulations, teachers holding initial certificates who have two (2) or more prior years of teaching experience do not need to be provided a mentored experience as enumerated in this policy.

Recordkeeping Requirements

The Fonda-Fultonville Central School District shall maintain documentation of the implementation of the mentoring program described in the Professional Development Plan for at least seven (7) years from the date of completion of the mentoring activity; and it shall be available for review by the State Education Department. Such documentation will include the information enumerated in Commissioner’s Regulations.

The FFCS Mentoring Plan was approved by the District’s Board of Education on July 26, 2004.

Education Law Sections 3004 and 3006
8 New York Code of Rules and Regulations (NYCRR)
Sections 52.21(b)(3)(xvi) and (xvii), 80-3.4(b)(2),
80-5.13, 80-5.14, and 100.2(dd)

Adopted 09/27/04