SantaCruz/Silicon Valley New Teacher Project

New Teacher Project mentors talkingIntroduction

The Santa Cruz/Silicon Valley New Teacher Project (SC/SVNTP) is a collaborative effort between the Santa Cruz County Office of Education and approximately thirty-one school districts and five charter schools in Santa Cruz, Santa Clara and San Benito counties.

The primary goal of this consortium is to provide a program of support and assessment in which the advancement of skills and knowledge is a continuous flow from preservice through the first years of teaching and beyond.

The Program’s model assists and supports Participating Teachers as they enter the teaching profession through two years of induction. The focus is to improve Participating Teachers’ classroom practice, to ensure student academic success, and to develop reflective teachers who are responsive to the diverse, cultural, social, academic, and linguistic backgrounds of all students.


SC/SVNTP goals are to:

  • Provide advisement and assistance to qualified Participating Teachers so they may complete requirements for their California Professional Clear Credential
  • Develop teacher capacity as defined in the California Standards for the Teaching Profession (CSTP)
  • Use formative assessment practices to inform support and guide teacher professional development
  • Direct support toward improving student achievement
  • Document teacher professional growth over time
  • Model and encourage ongoing self-assessment and reflection
  • Foster collaboration and leadership among teachers
  • Build partnerships with district stakeholders to support Participating Teachers in their work with students

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Key Elements of Participating Teacher Support

1. New Teacher Project Mentor (Advisor, Support Provider)

Participating Teachers have weekly on-site contact during and after school hours with a Mentor, who is an exemplary veteran teacher released full-time specifically to support a small group of teachers. Mentors observe and coach Participating Teachers during their first two years in the classroom, offer emotional support, assist with short and long-term planning, design classroom management strategies, teach demonstration lessons, provide curriculum resources, facilitate communication with the site administrator and parents, and provide assistance in regards to requirements for earning a Professional Clear Credential. Release time can be arranged by the Mentors to provide time for Participating Teachers to observe veteran teachers. Mentors maintain confidentiality and do not share any evaluative information with department chairs or site administrators.

2. Formative Assessment System

Participating Teachers and Mentors collaboratively assess teaching practice in relation to the California Standards for the Teaching Profession (CSTP). Professional goals, analyses of student work, observations, lesson plans and weekly Collaborative Assessment Logs guide professional development and support activities. Together, the Mentor and Participating Teacher complete an Individual Learning Plan (ILP)

3. Professional Development for Participating Teachers

Based upon the California Standards for the Teaching Profession (CSTP), professional development is designed to:

  • Build a support network and ongoing professional dialogue amongst Participating Teachers
  • Assist teachers with meeting the needs of a culturally and linguistically diverse student population
  • Focus on content and pedagogy in classroom practice