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Mentor Grant Program

Announcement

The application window for the Mentor Program Grant is now closed. Click here to view a list of grant recipients.

Overview of Mentor Program

The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted education across our country. Like the learning disruption for students, beginning teachers have also been impacted by inconsistencies in learning environments and meaningful feedback. Just as students may have a "learning gap," our teacher candidates and early educators have their own "learning gap." Some preservice educators were unable to have adequate clinical residency experiences because of quarantine rules or impacts. New to the profession (probationary) teachers may have been completing their student teaching experience in the spring of 2020 when it was cut short by the initial COVID closings. Then those same preservice teachers were hired for the first time in the 2020-21 school year and did not have quality mentorship, instructional modeling, additional professional learning, or feedback and support on their instruction.

To ensure the pipeline of educators stays stable and continues to grow, strong mentorship and coaching supports must be put in place. Our preservice and new to the profession teachers must have high quality and talented mentors they can turn to as they grow and develop. According to the 2020 NEA Policy Playbook, there are “numerous studies [that] demonstrate that the implementation of comprehensive induction cuts new teacher turnover rates in half…Comprehensive induction is a sound investment to address teacher recruitment and retention.” Researchers Richard Ingersoll and Michael Strong state that “support and assistance for beginning teachers [has] a positive impact on three sets of outcomes: teacher commitment and retention, teacher classroom instructional practices, and student achievement.” Research shows that high-quality mentor programs include training and support for mentor teachers, intentional policies and practices for identification and placement with mentors and aligned practices /standards for the mentoring content.

This grant will serve as an opportunity for districts to build, enhance, and strengthen mentoring programs to ensure beginning teachers have all the support necessary to build instructional capacity and effectiveness in the classroom. 

 


Mentor Program Grants

This grant program exists to:

  • Deepen mentoring programs at the local level, specifically targeting pre-service mentoring programs for student teachers/clinical residencies and new to the profession (probationary) teachers in their first 3 years of teaching.
  • Broaden the skills of mentor teachers to maximize mentor/mentee relationships and build instructional capacity.

Only applicants that specifically address both purposes identified for funding will be considered.

Eligible Applicants:

School districts, the Charter School Institute (CSI), and Boards of Cooperative Services (BOCES) are eligible to apply for this opportunity.

Each district grantee may choose to partner with an educator preparation program(s) of their choice, as applicable. A district may include an authorized charter school in their application, but charter schools may not apply on their own.

Allowable Use of Funds:

A District/BOCES that receives a grant under the program shall use the monies to:

  • Serve preservice educators through clinical residencies or student teaching AND/OR serve educators in their first 3 years of teaching (probationary teachers);
  • Develop, implement, and/or expand a 2-year mentoring program;
  • Select and develop mentors based on well-articulated criteria;
  • Develop collaborative structures and articulated roles for mentee, mentor, and other support team members for the mentee (i.e., grade level/department colleagues, staff development teachers, consulting teachers, supervisor/evaluators, etc.)

Allowable services or activities include:

  • Beginning teacher workshops, training, and professional development opportunities that are specifically designed for beginning teachers during their first years in the classroom
  • Workshops and training for mentors on the skills of effective mentoring
  • Opportunities for mentors to meet with one another to share successes and trouble-shooting strategies to continue mentor's professional development

Funding may be used for:

  • Expenses incurred in creating and managing the mentorship program
  • District FTE to develop and facilitate mentor program
  • Mentor stipends
  • Mentee stipends, including stipends for pre-service and in-service educators in the program
  • Substitute costs for classroom leave time for mentors and mentees
  • Materials/supplies necessary for mentor program content delivery

Review Process and Timeline:

Applications will be reviewed by CDE staff and peer reviewers to ensure they contain all required components. Applicants will be notified of final award status no later than Friday, May 13, 2022.

Note: This is a competitive process – applicants must score at least 63 points out of the 90 possible points to be approved for funding. Applications that score below 63 points may be asked to submit revisions that would bring the application up to a fundable level. There is no guarantee that submitting an application will result in funding or funding at the requested level. All award decisions are final. Applicants that do not meet the qualifications may reapply for future grant opportunities.

Submission Process and Deadline:

Completed applications (including all required elements outlined below) must be submitted through the online application form by Monday, March 28, by 11:59 pm.

Within the online application, applicants will complete Part IA with their applicant information and upload attachments as described in the Required Elements section below.

Incomplete or late applications will not be considered. If you do not receive an email confirmation of receipt of your submission from the application system within 24 hours after the deadline, e-mail CompetitiveGrants@cde.state.co.us.

Application materials and budget are available for download on the Mentor Program webpage.

Informational Webinar

An informational webinar was hosted on February 23. A copy of the slides can be downloaded here. A recording of the webinar can be accessed here.


Application Assistance

Program Questions:

Contact Kristin Kipp

Educator Development Consultant

Or call 720-765-5665

Fiscal-Related Questions:

Contact Tricia Miller

Or call 303-877-2154

Application Process Questions:

Contact Mandy Christensen

Or call 303-866-6250