West Side News

Board hears report on new teacher licensure


About 170 beginner teachers in the South-Western City School District are currently participating in the state's update licensure program.

South-Western school board members got a report Monday, Sept. 23, about the teachers' progress in the four-year Resident Educator Program, from Assistant Superintendent-Curriculum Patrick Callaghan and Deanna Lowers, coordinator of staff development.

The beginner teachers are mentored by veteran teachers thr-oughout the district during their first year in the program, Callaghan said.

There are 88 teachers involved in the first phase of the program this year, he said.

In year two, participants move into more one-on-one mentoring relationships with veteran teachers, Callaghan said.

Eighty-two teachers are participating in that second phase of the program this year, he said.

The third year of the residency program is designed "to allow independence," Lowers said.

Instead of a mentor, each teacher will be assigned to a testing facilitator who will guide them through the program's assessment component, she said.

The assessment includes six tasks the teachers must complete throughout the third year, with each task having a window of completion beginning in November and ending in April, Lowers said.

As part of their assessments, teachers will videotape lessons, submit assessment and student work, document their work with families and colleagues and analyze their classroom climate, she said. Teachers also will be asked to complete reflective writing assignments.

In year four of the Resident Educator Program, teachers will prepare for and take the summative assessment if they have not already done so in year three.

By the end of the fourth year, teachers who have successfully completed all the program's requirements including the summative assessment will be eligible to apply for a five-year professional license, Lowers said.

If they do not pass all aspects of the assessment by the end of the fourth year, teachers can apply for a one-year extension.

If they don't pass by that fifth year, teachers would have to complete additional course-work, supervised field experiences and/or clinical experiences in order to be eligible to retake the assessment, she said.