James J. Sarto, Ed.S.
New Jersey Leader-To-Leader Program
NJL2L PROGRAM: STEP BY STEP
The New Jersey Department of Education revised its registration procedure for all new school district employees. We ask, before registering your candidate for NJL2L, you please go to this link to register your candidate for certification. When you complete this registration you will be directed to the New Jersey Leaders to Leaders (NJL2L) Link. Please click on this link to register your candidate for the NJL2L Program. Please note that all new administrative candidates must be registered on both sites. If you have any questions, please contact NJL2L at NJL2L@NJPSA.org or at 609-860-1200.
District Registration & Fees
The hiring district must register each new school leader online by clicking here and complete all required information for the online registration to be submitted. The District is responsible for the completeness and accuracy of all information. Upon submission, confirmation notice and a copy of the online District Registration Form are sent electronically to: (1) the District employee who submitted the District Registration Form to confirm receipt of registration and accuracy of all information; (2) the new school leader who was registered (hereafter, Resident) to confirm receipt of registration and check accuracy of all information; and (3) the New Jersey Department of Education (hereafter, NJDOE) for notification of District registration; and (4) the Foundation for Educational Administration (FEA/NJL2L Program (hereafter NJL2L) to begin the pairing process for Residents and mentors.
Residents are responsible for payment of $850 (as of July 1, 2019) for the NJL2L registration fees in accordance with district policies and contracts.
Beginning The Residency
All NJL2L Mentors must complete a twelve (12) hour (two (2) six-hour day, or three (3) four hour night) New Mentor Training Program before being paired with a resident. NJL2L Mentors are recertified annually through a one-day Mentor Recertification Program.
Following District registration and payment of the $850 registration fee, NJL2L will contact trained mentors to pair with each resident. The pairing is based on criteria that best matches each mentor’s professional and administrative experience with the particular circumstances of each resident’s position, for example: school type (i.e. elementary, middle, high school); community type (i.e. urban, suburban, rural); district Director position (i.e. special education, curriculum and instruction); and unique requirements of the specific position.
Within two (2) weeks of notification of pairing with their Residents, mentors are required to arrange an initial meeting with their Residents to complete all four (4) State-required documents and to obtain required signatures. Mentor will download each of the required documents as needed from www.NJL2L.org. A copy of the Resident’s resume is also required and must be attached to the Statement of Assurance.
State-Required Documents Include:
- Statement of Assurance
- Standard Residency Agreement
- Residency Plan (Year 1 & Year 2)
- Memorandum of Understanding
NOTE: The Residency Plan should be completed for BOTH Year 1 and Year 2. The District, Mentors, and Residents should retain copies of all documents for their records. The initial meeting between the mentor and Resident also provides an opportunity for them to determine if their pairing together appears to be suitable. If there are any concerns, either may request a pairing with a different mentor.
New Resident Orientation
- New Residents are required to attend the NJL2L Resident Orientation the first full month of their Residency. At this Orientation, the Resident will select a NJLA Cohort of three (3) Mandatory Professional Development sessions that meet throughout the first year of their residency.
- Mentors provide continual feedback in a trusting and supportive relationship that focuses on enhancing the Residents’ readiness for the challenges of their school leader positions, and supporting their continuing Professional growth to meet the State’s Standards for the knowledge, skills and personal dispositions required for effective school leadership.
- Mentors maintain an NJL2L Mentor Guide and Log, which includes:
- The Resident’s PSEL Reflection & Growth Tool progress
- State-required Formative and Summative Assessments
- Dates of conferences, on-site visits, Peer Support Group meeting, and other relevant activities
- Assessment Methods (i.e. observations, document reviews)
- Mentors/Resident hours include one-to-one contact time, school visitations, Peer Support Group meetings, Cohort professional development attendance, and phone contact, texting, and emails.
Peer Support Groups
- Each Resident will develop and maintain a Leadership Portfolio during the two-year Residency. The Leadership Portfolio will be used to systematically collect and organize evidence of Residents’ progress toward the completion of required Residency experiences, and their continuing professional growth.
- In accordance with State requirements, mentors will complete four formative assessments for each Resident during the two-year residency. The Formative Assessments will be at the end of 5, 10, 15, and 20 months. Formative Assessment Reports are based on the PSEL standards, mentor observations through visitations, Peer Support Group meetings, time requirements, and portfolio documentations, as well as other components of the program.
Action Research Project Proposal
- By the end of Year 1, the Resident submits the required Action Research Project Proposal to his/her mentor for review, feedback, and approval. This will be a job-embedded project that focuses on the PSEL standards.
The Resident may only begin his/her Action Research Project following approval of his/her mentor.
The Action Research Project is expected to be complete prior to the Summative Assessment at the end of twenty-three (23) months of the two-year Residency.
The Action Research Project will be shared in a Powerpoint presentation to their Peer Support Groups at the end of the Year 2 Residency.
Summative Assessment of Residents
- Verification of the Resident’s completion of all Year 1 and Year 2 Residency requirements
- Assessment of the Resident’s job-embedded Action Research Project
- Assessment of the Resident’s professional growth during the Year 1 and Year 2 Residency
- Recommendation for Standard Principal Certification
- The signed original Summative Assessment Report will be submitted by the mentor to the NJL2L Program Coordinator within two (2) weeks of the required Mentor/Resident Conference. (See attached Summative Assessment Form Checklist)
The Mentor’s Summative Assessment requires that the Mentor rate the Resident’s overall performance based on State-approved criteria that are aligned with the PSEL standards, and make the following recommendations to the State Board of Examiners for Standard Principal Certification:
NJL2L will transmit the Summative Assessment Report to the NJ Department of Education.
“Approved” for Certification – This rating should result in issuance of Standard Principal Certification; however, the District is under no obligation to retain the Resident even though he/she has received a favorable recommendation for certification.
“Insufficient” progress manifested – This rating means that the Resident will not be issued Standard Principal Certification, but may continue employment and the Residency for up to one year under provisional certification. The District is under no obligation to retain a Resident with this rating, although it may choose to do so.
“Disapproved” for Certification – This rating means that the Resident will not be issued Standard Principal Certification, may not be retained in the district, and will not be permitted an extended time period as a Resident or seek future employment under provisional certification.
NOTE: All assessments and interactions between the Mentor and Resident are
CONFIDENTIAL. Formative and Summative Assessment Reports will not be
provided to the Resident’s school district or any agency or individual without the written consent of the resident.
Planning for Year 3: New Jersey’s Professional Development Requirement
At the end of the Year 2 Residency, under the guidance of his/her mentor, The Resident prepares to address New Jersey’s professional development requirement for all school leaders, which was waived during the two-year Residency and will be required in Year 3 of employment.
In accordance with the New Jersey Professional Standards for Educational Leaders (PSEL’s), all school leaders must identify one or more professional development goals and develop a three-year Professional Growth Plan (PGP), which is based on a self-assessment that is aligned with the NJ PSEL standards.
The professional development goals and PGP must be approved by the school leader’s superintendent and be directly linked to improving teaching and student achievement.
At the end of three years, the superintendent certifies fulfillment of the PGP to the NJDOE based on evidence presented by the school leader, and the school leader’s professional development goals and PGP which will be modified as needed for the next three-year professional development cycle.
Year 2 NJL2L Program Evaluation
- All Residents and Mentors are required to complete an online NJL2L Year 1 & Year 2 Evaluation at the end of Year 2, which will provide data related to NJL2L program design and implementation to inform continuous program improvement. A sampling of participating Districts will also be included in the annual program evaluation.
Interruption of Residency
If a Resident changes districts and/or positions during the 2-year Residency period, he/she will continue the Residency program for Standard Principal Certification without interruption and with the same mentor unless circumstances require a change of mentor.
NOTE: If the Resident is appointed to a position requiring an administrator certification, he/she must begin a new Residency for standard school administrator certification and time completed and fees paid during the Principal Residency cannot be applied to the School Administrator Residency.
If a Resident takes a district-approved leave of absence during the 2-year Residency period, he/she will be put on hold with no fees returned. In the event the leave of absence exceeds two years, the Resident will be required to begin the NJL2L program from the beginning including all documents and fees.
If a Resident is dismissed or otherwise removed from his/her position by the district during the 2-year Residency period, no fees will be returned unless requested. In the event the Resident does not obtain a position requiring a principal certification after two years, the Resident will be required to begin the NJL2L program from the beginning including all documents and fees, when a new position is obtained.
If the Residency is interrupted for any of the above reasons, the District is required to notify NJL2L as soon as possible in writing indicating the effective date(s). NJL2L will notify the NJDOE.
Interim and Acting positions are not eligible for the NJL2L Program