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District to implement new faculty induction program

Eshan Singh / The SPOKE

By Eshan Singh, Co-Copy Editor

Beginning in the 2024-25 school year, all faculty members who are newly employed by the district will  undergo a modified induction program, with the exceptions of aides and paraprofessionals.

TESD changed the program in response to the Pennsylvania Department of Education extending the mandated length of induction from one year to two, in addition to mandating other changes to the process.

“We’ve been required by the state to provide an induction program for a very long time,” said Dr. Wendy Towle, director of curriculum, instruction, staff development and planning. “It’s been modified slightly (before) but not a big change like this one.”

The district’s staff development advisory committee is responsible for designing the induction program. When the department changed the requirements, the committee decided to remake the induction process instead of just extending it.

The state also requires that the program includes culturally responsive practices, structured literacy training and increased focus on professional ethics. Culturally responsive practices involve delivering instruction that includes multiple perspectives and looks at each student as an individual with specific needs. Structured literacy focuses on the foundational skills that are part of reading instruction, such as phonics, vocabulary and comprehension.

Biology teacher Sabrina Bates joined the district in summer 2023 and received a mentor to help her transition to Conestoga as part of the current one-year induction program. Bates feels that the new two-year process will be beneficial to teachers as they will have a mentor for another year.

“Having those extra supports will help prevent teacher burnout because they’ll have more resources available to them,” Bates said.

Towle said that the district faces some logistical issues with managing the new program but feels optimistic overall.

“One of the biggest challenges is that every year now, we will basically be running two separate induction programs: one for the people who are in year one and one for the people who are in year two,” Towle said. “But I think what we came up with in the end is really excellent.”

Eshan Singh can be reached at [email protected].

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About the Contributor
Eshan Singh
Eshan Singh, Co-Copy Editor
Eshan Singh is a sophomore and Staff Reporter for The Spoke. He currently writes for the Opinion section but has previously written for the Sports section. He is also a member of the Conestoga Investment Club and Model UN.