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Building Teacher Leadership Capacity to Support Beginning Teachers

The New Jersey Department of Education is pleased to announce the recipients of discretionary grant funds for the program entitled Building Teacher Leadership Capacity to Support Beginning Teachers. Initiated and overseen by the Office of Professional Development, this grant seeks to create opportunities for new approaches to meeting the needs of novice and aspiring teachers that will inform state policy on beginning teacher support. The goals of the grant align with other key state initiatives seeking to strengthen teacher preparation and practice that encompass raising the quality of candidates seeking to enter the profession; making initial teacher preparation more rigorous and practice-relevant; increasing teacher retention through more effective supports during the initial years; and improving equity in the distribution of effective teachers across the state.

Through a competitive application and selection process, the following six partnerships between institutes of higher education and high-need school districts/charter schools have been chosen to receive approximately $200,000 each in funding for Year One of a three-year grant:

  • Kean University, partnering with:
    • Plainfield Public Schools
    • Scotch-Plains Public Schools
  • Montclair University, partnering with:
    • Elizabeth Public Schools
    • Benedictine Academy
    • Philip's Academy
    • St. Mary's School
  • Rider University, partnering with:
    • Freehold Borough Public Schools
    • Franklin Township Public Schools
    • Princeton University Program in Teacher Preparation
    • Learning Forward New Jersey
  • Rowan University, partnering with:
    • Bridgeton Public Schools
  • Stockton University, partnering with:
    • Somers Point Public Schools
    • Mainland Regional High School
  • The College of New Jersey, partnering with:
    • Pace Charter School of Hamilton
    • Hamilton Township School District

The specific goals for Year One of this grant program are to:

  • Develop a high quality program of professional learning to prepare teacher leaders to serve as mentors to novice in-service teachers, as cooperating teacher mentors to pre-service student teachers, and as supporters of other teachers needing assistance;
  • Implement mentor training for a cadre of teacher leaders who will then be able to serve as mentors in Year Two and subsequent years;
  • Create and implement high quality professional learning opportunities for district and school leaders and School Improvement Panel members to increase support to beginning teachers; and
  • Work with school district/charter school partners to examine and upgrade their mentoring programs and other policies and practices that support beginning teachers.

This grant is federally supported through the Improving Teacher Quality Partnership (ITQP), Title II, Part A Subpart 3 of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB), P.L. 107-110 and will fund three years of program development and implementation, from September 1, 2015 through June 30, 2018. Each of the Year One recipients will be eligible to apply for a continuation grant in Years Two and Three, pending ongoing attainment of stated goals and objectives and receipt of federal funds.

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