The New Teacher Center (NTC) of the University of California at Santa Cruz, an organization that has trained thousands of mentors for the public school system since 1988, has developed a program specifically for day schools – the Jewish New Teacher Project (JNTP).
Launched in 2003/04 as a pilot program, JNTP worked with Jewish day schools in the metropolitan New York area and trained a cadre of mentors who worked with novice teachers. Ongoing evaluation led to the development of two primary mentor models: a visiting mentor servicing novice teachers in a variety of regional schools, and in-house mentors who build the capacity for novice teacher support within a single school.
In 2007/08, the fifth year of the program, the pilot entered a new phase, which included a much larger number of schools (42), the incorporation of a distance-learning component, and the inclusion of other funding partners to increase the program’s capacity. This year, expansion in the NY/NJ area continued with 49 schools included. A gradual roll out of the program began in Washington/Baltimore, South Florida and three individual schools in other cities joining through distance learning. The goal is to continue steadily adding schools and cities as demand and funding permit until a majority of day schools in North America are involved in the program.