Principal - November/December 2019 - 50

RAISING THE BAR

From Novice to Expert
in Three Years
New York district creates a
mentorship program to get new
principals up to speed faster
By Tamara Lipke and Bret Apthorpe

T

hat sink-or-swim feeling is never
more real than for new principals.
And in New York state, they not only
have to manage the incredibly complex
challenges typical of the principalship,
but they also must serve as change agents
for new teacher evaluation systems.
According to interviews and classroom observations performed as part
of a new superintendent's entry plan,
Jamestown (New York) Public Schools
lacked systems focused on improving
student achievement. Compounding
the problem for the suburban district
was the fact that half of its six principals were new, nontenured principals
with no prior principal experience.
The role of the principal in leading
change is critical, so it was imperative
for these novice principals to contradict Blair Mascall and Kenneth
Leithwood's 2010 research suggesting that new principals need at least
five years to have a lasting, positive
impact. Our new principals wouldn't
have five years, so we needed to find
a way to give them the capacity to be
successful within three.
Creating a Fast Track

The new superintendent and an
experienced school leader reviewed
the available research to identify the
features of a professional development program that could meet its
ambitious goals of principal success,
address identified gaps, and provide
a comprehensive platform of support
to new principals. From this, we created "The Mentoring Guidebook for
Principals and Mentors."

50

Principal n November/December 2019

The three-year guide builds
scaffolds around the skills and
knowledge required of highperforming principals, including
relationship-building, professional
development, school visitation, and
new-principal supports. The guide
also focuses on the instructional
leadership capacity-building
necessary for success.
For our principals to hit the ground
running, we intentionally put a culture of support in place that offered
frequent, measurable connections
with mentors. Vital to the success of
this effort was to bridge the researchbased best practices with real-world,
day-to-day issues that principals-
novice and mentor-face.
Recalling our own experiences
from the first day as a principal,
we outlined roles for the mentor
principal and new principal. New
principals must focus on leading
their buildings while simultaneously honing and expanding
leadership capacity. The mentor
coaches, listens, and reflects to

For our principals to hit
the ground running,
we intentionally put a
culture of support in place
that offered frequent,
measurable connections
with mentors.
assist the new principal in implementing systems and in managing
the instructional program within
their building as it connects to the
larger district system.
The mentors identified to work
with novice principals hadn't served
in this capacity previously. This program needed to support them, too,
and it offered mentors a starting point
from which to build a professional
relationship with their assigned novice
principal. Through breakfast and coffee meetings, shared school visitations,
and discussion, they fostered relationships and co-constructed learning.
www.naesp.org


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Principal - November/December 2019

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Principal - November/December 2019

from the editor
Snapshots
5 Things
Intertwined for Achievement
Planting the SEAD
Making PLCs a Plus
Measuring Up
Look Out for the Leader
Engagement Across the Generations
The Sum of Its Parts
Putting the “Fun” in Fundraising
NAESP 2019 National Distinguished Principals
In the Spotlight
Practitioner’s Corner
Raising the Bar
Principal’s Bookshelf
School Law
NAESP Partners & Advertiser Index
Speaking Out
Parents & Schools
Parents & Schools
Principal - November/December 2019 - Cover1
Principal - November/December 2019 - Cover2
Principal - November/December 2019 - 1
Principal - November/December 2019 - 2
Principal - November/December 2019 - 3
Principal - November/December 2019 - from the editor
Principal - November/December 2019 - 5
Principal - November/December 2019 - Snapshots
Principal - November/December 2019 - 7
Principal - November/December 2019 - 5 Things
Principal - November/December 2019 - 9
Principal - November/December 2019 - Intertwined for Achievement
Principal - November/December 2019 - 11
Principal - November/December 2019 - 12
Principal - November/December 2019 - 13
Principal - November/December 2019 - 14
Principal - November/December 2019 - Planting the SEAD
Principal - November/December 2019 - Making PLCs a Plus
Principal - November/December 2019 - 17
Principal - November/December 2019 - 18
Principal - November/December 2019 - 19
Principal - November/December 2019 - Measuring Up
Principal - November/December 2019 - 21
Principal - November/December 2019 - 22
Principal - November/December 2019 - 23
Principal - November/December 2019 - Look Out for the Leader
Principal - November/December 2019 - 25
Principal - November/December 2019 - Engagement Across the Generations
Principal - November/December 2019 - 27
Principal - November/December 2019 - The Sum of Its Parts
Principal - November/December 2019 - 29
Principal - November/December 2019 - 30
Principal - November/December 2019 - 31
Principal - November/December 2019 - Putting the “Fun” in Fundraising
Principal - November/December 2019 - 33
Principal - November/December 2019 - 34
Principal - November/December 2019 - 35
Principal - November/December 2019 - NAESP 2019 National Distinguished Principals
Principal - November/December 2019 - 37
Principal - November/December 2019 - 38
Principal - November/December 2019 - 39
Principal - November/December 2019 - 40
Principal - November/December 2019 - 41
Principal - November/December 2019 - 42
Principal - November/December 2019 - 43
Principal - November/December 2019 - In the Spotlight
Principal - November/December 2019 - 45
Principal - November/December 2019 - Practitioner’s Corner
Principal - November/December 2019 - 47
Principal - November/December 2019 - 48
Principal - November/December 2019 - 49
Principal - November/December 2019 - Raising the Bar
Principal - November/December 2019 - 51
Principal - November/December 2019 - Principal’s Bookshelf
Principal - November/December 2019 - 53
Principal - November/December 2019 - School Law
Principal - November/December 2019 - NAESP Partners & Advertiser Index
Principal - November/December 2019 - 56
Principal - November/December 2019 - 57
Principal - November/December 2019 - Speaking Out
Principal - November/December 2019 - 59
Principal - November/December 2019 - Parents & Schools
Principal - November/December 2019 - 61
Principal - November/December 2019 - 62
Principal - November/December 2019 - 63
Principal - November/December 2019 - Parents & Schools
Principal - November/December 2019 - Cover3
Principal - November/December 2019 - Cover4
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https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/NAESP/principal_wallacesupp_20180506
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