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Prince William County Teacher Induction Program

School Division: Prince William County

Number of Students: 88000

Number of Teachers in Division: 6250

Name of Teacher Induction Program: PWCS Connect

Program Overview:

Prince William County Public Schools developed PWCS Connect, an induction and mentoring program designed to meet the needs of newly hired professional educators. Since its inception, PWCS Connect has undergone significant revisions and data has shown continuous improvement in program survey data over the last 10 years. During the 2015-16 school year, 88% of respondents were satisfied or very satisfied with the support provided by their mentors, and 92% of respondents were satisfied with the relationship with their mentor.

The mentor and induction program has been custom-designed to meet the needs of educators in Prince William County Schools, as well as the induction standards set forth by the New Teacher Center. Drawing from research on mentoring, induction, and effective professional learning, the practice of the New Teacher Center, and feedback from our Division stakeholders, best practices have been aligned with the vision and culture of our School Division and the Standards and Guidelines provided by the Commonwealth of Virginia.

We to be responsive to feedback and are focused on a continuous cycle of improvement to meet the current needs of our new professional educators. The revised PWCS Connect process includes these components:

  • PWCS Connect orientation
  • Enhanced Lead Mentor and Mentor training and support
  • Embedded professional development with a focus on “just in time” areas of focus
  • Specialized professional learning to better address the needs of career switcher educators and Visiting International Faculty as they transition into the classroom
  • Multiple sources of feedback throughout the year to inform and sustain program practice
  • Collaborative mentoring

This approach allows the staff of the Office of Professional Learning to provide job-embedded training to support the work of Educator Support Teams in the schools. As school-based capacity develops, personnel from mentor teams can be used to assist with training and coaching in schools in the implementation phase. Our Division continues to grow, adding an additional 1,000 students this year. The continued roll out of this crucial component of mentor development relies on the learning and experiences of those schools whose support systems are sustaining the needed support of new educators.

By sustaining the professional learning and practice of our lead mentors, mentors and the development of our program, we are providing the following:
  • A systemic plan to strengthen the instructional practice and professional efficacy of beginning and experienced educators.
  • The development of a professional culture of collaboration and shared responsibility.
  • Establishment of a school community that supports professional learning for all educators in a nururing and responsive learning environment.
  • Endorsement of collegial and facilitative participation of administration with shared decision-making and leadership.
  • Establishment of a school-based mentor team that provides a structure for scaffolding, the induction of beginning teachers.

 
 

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