Clover Park School District (CPSD) was awarded a $139,500 Beginning Educator Support Team (BEST) grant to help beginning teachers grow in their profession. Only seven Washington state school districts out of 38 that applied were awarded grants. The awards will be used by the district for hiring, orientation, mentoring, professional development and assessment for teacher growth.
All new CPSD teachers have a mentor. The grant money will pay for release time for the teachers to meet with their mentors and pay for mentor training.
“Despite the funding challenges of recent years, Clover Park School District has made comprehensive support for beginning teachers a priority through the Teacher Residency Induction program,” said Debbie LeBeau, superintendent. “This program can be likened to the first four years of a doctor’s medical residency which includes intense on-the-job learning and training. This grant will help us train mentors to help coach and retain new teachers.”
Clover Park’s grant application focused on:
- Enhancing its orientation of all first-year teachers;
- Providing well-trained, carefully-selected and well-matched mentors;
- Continuing to provide quality professional development for beginning teachers;
- Providing release time for mentors to observe and provide feedback to beginning teachers; and
- Providing mentors with ongoing professional development.
The BEST grant program was established by the 2009 state Legislature.