The district pays $500 per administrator who participates in the program. There is no cost during years when the district uses the SAI program as its mentoring program of record, but does not have a participating new administrator.
SAI will assign mentors based on several factors. We will make every effort to match individuals from similar size schools/districts in geographic proximity and in similar positions. Generally, mentors will be practicing administrators from outside the district. We make it a practice to avoid assigning a mentor who is the formal supervisor of the mentee. Although specific requests are considered, there is no assurance they will be honored.
Legislation regarding mentoring for new principals and superintendents is different from mentoring for purposes of converting a license.
Legislation requires that principals and superintendents new to their position participate in an approved mentoring program, which SAI offers.
Other new administrators like central office leaders or assistant/associate principals are not required to participate in a formalized, approved mentoring program. However, many new APs hold an initial license; and to convert their initial license to a professional administrator license, they do need to have been mentored. This type of mentoring can be informal. For example, the administrative team in the district can provide in-house support through team meetings, individual conversations, and coaching for the new AP such that the AP’s supervisor is confident they have satisfied performance of the Iowa Leadership Standards and signs their application to convert the AP’s license from an initial to a professional administrator license.
Note that should the AP decide at some point to pursue a principalship or superintendency, they would need to complete a formalized mentoring program like the one offered by SAI even if they participate in SAI’s formal mentoring program as an AP. Participation as an AP doesn’t “count” toward the mentoring required for new principals or superintendents.