Mala Responds to Teacher Education and Mentoring (TEAM) Program Changes

On Wednesday, Nov. 8, 2017, the State of Connecticut State Board of Education issued changes to the Teacher Education and Mentoring (TEAM) Program.

Section 10-145o of the Connecticut General Statutes, effective Oct. 1, 2009, called for the establishment of the TEAM program for beginning teachers. EASTCONN provides regional and in-district professional learning support to districts implementing Connecticut's TEAM Program, in addition to managing the EASTCONN-developed, web-based accountability and data management system for TEAM.

EASTCONN Executive Director Gary S. Mala responded to the recently issued changes and commented on what districts can expect.

Q: How is EASTCONN responding to the changes to Connecticut’s TEAM Program?

A: EASTCONN is prepared to assist public school districts in Connecticut in managing changes to the TEAM program. We will continue to support superintendents in their efforts to provide a mandated new-teacher mentorship program using the existing TEAM process with slight modifications, including training mechanisms, online services and review processes.

Q: How will districts be informed of modifications or changes to the program or web-based management system?

A: EASTCONN is already collaborating with statewide partners to ensure effective communication on any modified processes. Partners include the RESC alliance, CAPSS, CAS and education associations (CEA, AFT).

Q: Are districts still required to participate in the TEAM program?

A: Yes. Pursuant to state statue, districts are still responsible for implementing the TEAM program in accordance with their teacher education and mentoring plan. EASTCONN will continue to support school districts in providing a mandated new-teacher mentorship program using the existing TEAM process.

We recognize the need for documentation on beginning teacher progress, and support the continued use of reflection papers and logged mentee-mentor interactions as vital elements of the process. Using the existing TEAM system, superintendents or their designee will continue to be able to verify completion of the mentorship program. This system will provide all resources necessary for fully informed decision-making.

Q: Is anything changing on the EASTCONN maintained, web-based TEAM system?

A: Not right now. Beginning teachers can continue to complete the 5 modules and write reflection papers. EASTCONN can manage readers and support out-of-district readers and provide an online workspace for beginning teachers, mentors, and administrators.

Q: Will districts lose any data previously stored in the TEAM online system?

A: No. Superintendents or their designee will have complete access to all artifacts historically available in the system.

Q: Will there be a fee to continue using this web-based system?

A: This program will be supported by a district subscription. Given sufficient participation, EASTCONN anticipates enhancements to the system that will be of great benefit to districts.

Some of these enhancements might include expansion of the online portal to provide peer and mentoring support for early and mid-career teachers; establishment of local points of contact and support through your local RESC; and integration of the existing portal with EASTCONN’s eOBSERVE, MEASURE SUCCESS, and FSE product suites, providing improved teacher observation record-keeping and enhanced observation calibration.

Q: Is training still available for mentors, reviewers and facilitators?

A: Yes. EASTCONN and/or other RESCs will continue to provide professional development for mentors and district facilitators.

Q: Who can people contact with more questions?

If you have questions concerning TEAM or changes to the program please contact the support team using this form.