Induction for School Leaders

1. Provide mentoring for new school leaders.

2. Provide a complete and individualized induction program for new school leaders.


1. Provide mentoring for new school leaders.

    Why It Is Important
    • Principals rank mentor programs among the most important components of the induction process.
    • Formal, intentional, high-quality mentoring for school leaders helps make them more effective more quickly.

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    Ensure that mentors for new school leaders are selected on the basis of quality criteria and trained in both school leadership and coaching/mentoring.
    • Mentors should be selected on the basis of experience and interpersonal skills, not solely on the basis of availability or seniority.
    • Be mindful that the mentor relationship takes time and energy to develop and nurture when assigning mentors to more than one mentee, particularly when the mentor also is a school leader.
    • Encourage mentors to be sensitive to the new complexities of the school leader’s position as well as their mentee’s stages of learning.

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    Ensure that school-leader mentoring is standards based and aligned with Ohio's licensure standards.
    • Ensure that school-leader mentoring is aligned with leadership standards, specifically the Ohio Standards for Principals and theLeadership Development Framework essential practices.
    • Ensure that mentors and mentees are informed of goals and expectations of the mentor relationship at the start of the program (e.g., time commitment, confidentiality).
    • Ensure that the program is intentional and not busywork for the mentor or new school leader.
    • For individuals seeking an alternative Ohio principal license, ensure that, as per Ohio law, they have been assigned a mentor who holds a standard principal license or certificate and who has served in the capacity of principal.

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2. Provide a complete and individualized induction program for new school leaders.

    Why It Is Important
    • The principalship is an increasingly complex position. A carefully designed induction program can provide new school leaders with a solid foundation and can foster the development of positive and productive relationships within and outside of the school site.
    • The principal position can be isolating, particularly for new principals who have not worked in the school or the district. Even the most experienced and qualified candidates must go through an acclimation process in order to learn the nuances of the particular position.
    • Although most of the research on induction programs is anecdotal, schools and districts can look to induction strategies used in other locations in order to develop an appropriate model that addresses their particular goals and challenges.
    • By including an orientation to the district (or community school), an introduction to school processes such as budgeting, and an introduction to undocumented policies in the school, the LEA can help new school leaders more quickly become effective leaders.

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    Coordinate induction through school- and district-based resources, outside providers, university partnerships, and regional and state supports.
    • Involve a variety of resources and partnerships in a proactive and systematic manner.
      • Ensure that the induction process is coordinated and purposeful as opposed 
        to fragmented, particularly when a combination of sources within and outside the LEA are used.

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    Provide supports that are tailored to the school leader's school setting, individual strengths and weaknesses, and career stage.
    • Tailor induction to the school leader’s particular needs by including the unique traits of the school setting, as well as the principal’s skills, limitations, and prior experiences. New school leaders may need support in carrying out leadership and managerial functions of the position.
    • In the case of new principals who have previously served as assistant principals and received some relevant on-the-job training, recognize that they likely will require significant support in their new role.
    • For principals who are new not only to the principalship and the specific school or district but also relatively new to the field, provide additional, intensive support in the initial phases.
    • Provide new school leaders the opportunity to observe other school leaders within the school to learn the “unwritten rules” of the particular school setting.

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    Encourage new school leaders to participate in cohort-based peer support groups, study groups, and/or visitation programs.
    • Include opportunities to observe principals or other school leaders from other schools.
    • Foster peer relationships through online correspondence and discussion boards when face-to-face meetings are not possible.

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Last Modified: 4/9/2013 4:15:53 PM