Educator Resources

Memos to the Field

THE STATE EDUCATION DEPARTMENT

THE STATE EDUCATION DEPARTMENT / THE UNIVERSITY OF THE NEW YORK / ALBANY, NY 12234

Executive Coordinator of the Office of Teaching Initiatives

Date: January 2004
To: Superintendents of Schools; BOCES District Superintendents; New York City Department of Education; New York State School Boards Association; New York State United Teachers; National Education Association; United Federation of Teachers
From: Joseph B. Porter
Subject: Amendment of Professional Development Plans to include Mentoring Programs--8 NYCRR §100.2. (dd)

At its November 2003 meeting, the Board of Regents adopted a regulation requiring school districts and BOCES to plan and implement mentoring programs for first-year teachers in their employ. This new regulation (8 NYCRR §100.2[dd]) complements a previously adopted regulation (8 NYCRR §80.3.4 [b][2] effective February 2, 2004) that requires all new teachers holding an initial certificate to complete a mentored teaching experience within their first year of employment as a teacher.

The new regulation specifically provides that:

  • A mentoring program must be included as a component of the professional development plan.
  • The purpose of the mentoring program is to increase the retention of new teachers and improve their ability to assist students to achieve consistent with the State learning standards.
  • The mentoring program must be developed consistent with Article XIV of the Civil Service Law (the Taylor Law). Any mentoring program components that fall within the purview of the Taylor Law must be collectively negotiated consistent with the law.
  • The mentor's role is to provide guidance and support to a new teacher. However, additional mentor responsibilities may be negotiated and reflected in a collective bargaining agreement.
  • If the mentor's role is limited to guidance and support, information emerging from mentoring activities and the mentoring relationship is confidential and may not be used to evaluate or discipline a new teacher. The regulation creates several specific exceptions to this confidentiality requirement:
    • Where an evaluative role for the mentor is stipulated contractually
    • Where withholding the information would pose a danger to the life, health, or safety of students or school staff,
    • Where information emerges that the new teacher has been convicted of a crime
    • Where information emerges that raises a reasonable question regarding the new teacher's moral character.
  • Defined components of the mentoring program include:
    • A mentor selection procedure which is published and available to district staff and the public upon request.
    • A locally defined role for participating mentors-including but not limited to, guidance and support.
    • Mentor training and preparation-including but not limited to such topics as adult learning theory, teacher development theory, elements of a mentoring relationship, peer coaching, and time management.
    • A defined set of mentor activities, such as modeling instruction, observation, and lesson planning with the new teacher, team teaching, peer coaching, and orientation of the new teacher to school culture.
    • A time allocation for mentoring activities, such as common planning time, release from instructional or non-instructional duties, before and after the school day or summer orientation sessions.
  • The district is required to maintain records on the mentoring program, specifically the names and teacher certificate numbers of beginning teachers served and their mentors; types of mentoring activities, and the number of hours of mentoring each beginning teacher received.
  • Exemptions. Teachers holding initial certificates who have two or more prior years of teaching experience do not need to be provided a mentored experience.

The full regulatory language is attached for your information. In addition, the Office of Teaching Initiatives (OTI) has developed various guidance materials on district-based teacher mentoring to assist school administrators, teachers, staff developers and other interested parties. Two of these documents, Guidelines for District-Based Teacher Mentoring Programs and a preliminary set of pertinent questions and answers, will be available soon on the Office of Teaching website. The OTI website located at http://www.highered.nysed.gov/tcert/ , currently contains information on many aspects of teacher mentoring and professional development, including mentoring models, print materials and will soon have a list of regionally-sponsored conferences dedicated to mentoring. Updates of questions and answers related to the mentoring requirements will also be posted on this website periodically.

In order to begin the implementation phase of the new mentoring regulation, we recommend that districts re-convene the district professional development committee (or a sub-group thereof) as soon as practicable, to ascertain the degree of alignment between the district or BOCES current teacher mentoring efforts and the provisions of the new regulation. Districts should make adjustments to planned programs accordingly and amend the district professional development plan to include the mentoring program component. Revised district professional development plans should be submitted to boards of education for approval by June 1 of the current school year. If there is no teacher mentoring effort currently underway, we suggest that you explore the various resources available in order to develop a knowledge base about mentoring; i.e. the OTI website, print materials, neighboring districts with mentoring programs, teacher centers, teacher organizations, colleges and universities, and regional conferences focusing on teacher mentoring.

Teacher Mentoring Requirement Development Timeline
July 2000 November 2003 December 2003 February 2, 2004 February 2, 2004 June 1, 2004
Amendment to Part 80 teacher certification requirements, including mentoring for new teachers, is adopted. Amendment to Part 100 district professional development plan requirements to include mentoring programs is adopted. Amended Part 100 regulation, including mentoring programs for new teachers goes into effect. Amendment to Part 80 teacher certification requirements, including mentoring for new teachers, goes into effect. First Initial classroom teaching certificates are issued, with requirement of mentored experience in the first year. Revised district professional development plans including mentoring programs submitted to boards of education for approval

For more information about this regulation and its implementation, contact the Office of Teaching Initiatives at 518-474-4661 or make use of the abovementioned website.

Thank you for your continuing cooperation.

Disclaimer: The information on this page is current as of the date of the memo and may be superceded by newer information.

Last Updated: August 25, 2009
August 25, 2009