School board agrees to require mentoring program for teachers

School board agrees to require mentoring program for teachers by David Lias The Vermillion School Board agreed to follow the suggestions of the school district�s instruction committee and require that new teachers to the district participate in a kindergarten through grade 12 mentoring program.

�We�re asking that all teachers who are new to the district take part in the program,� said Liz Hogen, the school�s curriculum director.

The mentors in the program would be tenured teachers who are nominated by their peers or who express an interest in serving in that capacity.

The mentors for the program will be asked to complete a mentoring or supervision course and/or to participate in a district study group regarding mentoring. Participants in the study group have the option of taking it for one pass/fail credit from the University of Sioux Falls. The district will pay for the credit for all teachers who are willing to serve as mentors for the district.

All teachers who agree to participate in the mentoring program will be obligated to �open their doors� to new teacher observations. Hogen said that new teachers may have their mentors come in to observe them if they choose to, but this will not be mandatory.

Goals are to be collaboratively written by the new teacher and mentor after the first nine weeks. The mentoring program will not be tied to the new teacher�s formal evaluation.

Mentors and new teachers will have a scheduled meeting time once a week for the first nine weeks. After that time, they will meet at least once a month. A meeting including mentors, new teachers and administrators will be held each semester.

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