NCIPP created program descriptions for three innovative districts with induction and mentoring programs targeted at beginning special education teachers. Program descriptions were the result of extensive interviews with mentors, beginning teachers, principals and program administrators, as well as program data analysis and videos of mentoring sessions.
The Special School District of St. Louis County provides a comprehensive multi-layered induction program specifically designed for beginning special education teachers. District-based instructional resource teachers, school-based mentors and IEP buddies collaborate to support beginners. Beginners also participate in professional development tailored to his/her specific instructional needs. The program includes two academies for a total of five years of support for a beginner.
The Cincinnati Public School District provides a one-year induction and mentoring program for beginning teachers. Beginning teachers are assigned a consulting teacher who acts as both an evaluator and a mentor during the beginner's first year. Beginners also attend frequent professional development sessions designed to help align the district's standards to specific content and grade levels.
The Olathe Unified School District induction program implements multi-leveled mentoring combined with professional development. District-based instructional resource teachers work with building-level mentors to support beginning special education teachers. On-going professional development, specific to special education, for both the beginners and mentors ensure continuous learning assessed through a standards-based evaluation.