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					                                                                           STATE OF ALABAMA
                                                         DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION

                                                                                                                                                   Joseph B. Morton
                                                                                                                                                  State Superintendent
                                                                                                                                                      of Education

   State Board
   of Education             June 20, 2007

Governor Bob Riley          MEMORANDUM

                            TO:              City and County Superintendents
 Randy McKinney
      District I
 President Pro Tem
                            FROM:            Joseph B. Morton
                                             State Superintendent of Education
    Betty Peters
     District II
                            RE:              Alabama Teacher Mentoring Program
 Stephanie W. Bell
    District III

                            The newly funded Alabama Teacher Mentoring (ATM) program will be fully
  Dr. Ethel H. Hall         implemented statewide during the 2007-2008 school year. Research indicates that
     District IV
   Vice President
                            a well-planned and well-implemented mentoring program reduces teacher attrition,
      Emerita               reduces recruitment and retention costs to local schools, and increases student
                            achievement. However, the statewide implementation of such an important
    Ella B. Bell            program often engenders many questions. I would like to respond to several
    District V
                            questions that have already been raised.

 David F. Byers, Jr.
    District VI
                            Local Education Agencies (LEAs) with mentoring programs already in place that
                            meet the guidelines (not requirements) found on page two of the attached
    Sandra Ray
    District VII            document should not discontinue using their locally developed programs nor is it
   Vice President
                            necessary for personnel to attend additional training. Statewide there are a
                            number of high-quality teacher mentoring programs already in place that are
Dr. Mary Jane Caylor        tailored to the specific needs of individual LEAs. Please accept my congratulations
                            on the outstanding work that you have already accomplished. The intent of the
    District VIII

                            ATM program is to facilitate the development of such programs in all LEAs that may
 Joseph B. Morton
                            not have had the time or resources to develop a comprehensive new teacher-
   Secretary and
 Executive Officer
                            mentoring program. However, even existing programs in LEAs may benefit from
                            the training, and personnel from the districts are more than welcome to attend any
                            training they desire.

                            For those LEAs that are developing this new level of support for new teachers,
                            there are training opportunities referenced in the attached document for both
                            mentor liaisons and mentors. I anticipate that all LEAs with existing mentoring

                       GORDON PERSONS BUILDING  P.O. BOX 302101  MONTGOMERY, ALABAMA 36130-2101  TELEPHONE (334) 242-9700  FAX (334) 242-9708  WEB SITE:
City and County Superintendents
Page 2
June 20, 2007

programs will have individual mentors assigned to new teachers prior to the first
day of school. I encourage LEAs that are developing their programs to assign
individual mentors to new teachers as quickly as possible and to involve teachers in
the process of choosing who will be mentors. Our statewide goal is to have all
individual mentors in place and working with new teachers as soon as possible,
even before school begins, but no later than the end of August 2007.

For any LEA that does not have individual mentors in place by the first day of
school, please provide induction support for new teachers until they are matched
with their individual mentors. The induction program should provide insight into
the culture and climate of the school and routines or practices that may be specific
to that school. A similar induction program should be provided to teachers,
regardless of their experience, who transfer into the school.

The FY 2008 Education Budget provides $3,950,000 for the mentoring program.
Based on last year’s number of new teachers to Alabama education, we believe this
will cover the $1,000 amount to be paid to each mentor per mentee to which
he/she is assigned. The funds for payment to the mentors will not be available
until after October 1, and it may well be November or December before all mentors
are paid. The Education Budget calls for mentors to be paid in up to two
payments. If funds are available, we hope to pay all mentors in one payment. A
copy of the actual Education Budget language is also attached for your review.

The ATM program is a big step forward for all Alabama schools. For some schools
it will mean the start of a whole new level of support for new teachers. For others,
it will simply provide state funding for an existing mentoring program. We know
we are rushing this to try and get this program instituted by the beginning of
school or as soon thereafter as possible, but we believe you will go the extra mile
with us to make this overdue funding for such a vital program a success
immediately. If you have any additional questions about the ATM program, please
contact Dr. Tony Thacker at (334) 353-4810 or at