Skip to content

Case Study

Enhancing Teacher Support through Innovative Mentoring

How the Professional Development team at Brevard County Public Schools created a robust mentor program and support system for their new teachers.

Unlock Your District’s Potential

Brevard County Public Schools Hero Image

District Background

Brevard County’s Mentorship Drive: A Strategic Response to Growing Needs

Brevard County Public Schools, ranking among the top 50 largest school districts in the United States, oversees 84 schools and serves over 74,000 students with a dedicated staff of around 5,000 teachers.

The challenge:

In recent years, Brevard County has experienced a significant uptick in the hiring of teachers on temporary certificates — escalating from 50 to 300 within just four years. This increase underscored an urgent need to enhance support for educators lacking formal teaching credentials.

The solution:

In response to this challenge, the Professional Development team at Brevard set out on a mission to expand and refine their mentorship program. Their goal was to provide robust support and enhance the effectiveness of newly hired teachers.

This strategic improvement now addresses the growing demand for qualified educators and ensures the maintenance of high educational standards across one of America’s largest school districts.

Hear directly from the PD team below about Brevard’s innovative approach to mentorship and their ongoing efforts to adapt the program to meet the evolving needs of their staff.

Brevard County Mentoring: An Overview

What prompted the development of your mentor program for new teachers?

52% of our teachers that are in their first and second year are on a temporary certificate. So that means that they don’t have a formal education background, and they’re coming in with really no experience of teaching except for, themselves as a student.” – Bridget Reed, District Peer Mentor Lead

How does a teacher become a mentor at Brevard?

“In the state of Florida, to mentor a teacher on a temporary teaching certificate, you are required to take Clinical Educator Training (CET). We have a very robust training in our district because we really want to make sure that our mentors are competent, and they really know what they’re doing. We also offer a hybrid course to allow for more flexibility.” Lynnette Thorstensen, Professional Development Specialist

What does your mentoring program look like?

“Each school has one lead mentor who oversees the mentoring program and collaborates with the assistant principal or the principal who’s in charge of the new teacher induction program. We also offer these lead mentors a stipend.” – Lisa Stanley, Coordinator for Professional Learning Certificate Program

  • School Lead Mentor: $1,300
  • School Mentor: $650 – $975
  • One school lead mentor for every ten first and second-year teachers

The Qualities of an Outstanding Mentor Image

Source: Paula Rutherford
Bridget Reed Photo

“When you’re putting together your mentor program, you have to look at what makes a great mentor. Not every rock star teacher is a great mentor. They’ve really got to be an advocate, a role model, be grounded, and have passion.”

Bridget Reed
– District Peer Mentor Lead

What support do you offer your school-based mentors?

“We really work hand in hand. The first line in the school to supporting a new teacher is the school-based mentor and the mentor admin. But if it’s becoming too much, it comes to us, the next level of support. We tell our mentors, if you are spending a huge amount of time, 2 or 3 hours more than that a week, let us know. Then we come in to support those new teachers.” – Bridget Reed

School-based support Image

Real mentoring happens at the grassroots. It’s the teachers in the building teaching those new teachers, the administrators in that building. So, we celebrate them every single year. We bring in guest speakers, former teachers of the year for the state of Florida, all different kinds of authors. We want to thank them for everything they do.”

Lynnette Thorstensen
– Professional Development Specialist

What type of support do you offer mentees?

“We try to align it and tailor it with what’s going on in the school at the time. Our mentors go through everything with their mentees. We help them answer questions like ‘How do you build relationships with students? What materials do you need to have your first week? What are de-escalation techniques?’. We even look at our MTSS process and at students who need to be retained because talking MTSS is a foreign language to many of our new teachers, they don’t understand what that is.” – Lisa Stanley

School-based support:

School-based support Image

How do you continually refine your program?

Retention is our number one goal, so we do a lot of surveys to get feedback. We truly do take that information and tweak our programs and what’s being offered. We’ve worked really hard at looking at feedback and actually craft survey questions to get the right information.” – Bridget Reed

96.4% of mentees report Image

How does Frontline Professional Growth help bolster your program?

“Before Frontline, mentors would fill out mentoring logs and send them to us in the courier. We’d have to file every single one, all 1,200 of them. Now, all of our teachers have access to Frontline’s mentoring log, and we can see a really quick snapshot and understand what’s going on. We’re able to see at the school level if our mentors went over, for example, accommodations, reviewed classroom management, upcoming testing, etc. – Lisa Stanley

“In the resource library, we can connect Canvas so that we can design something as a course or even as an organization, and then make that available as a resource in the library. They’re available for anybody who wants to jump into it, so it makes it really simple for our mentees to be able to get to what they need.” – Lynnette Thorstensen

Lisa Stanley Photo

“Before Frontline, [mentors] would fill out logs at the end of the year and send them to us in the courier. We’d have to file every single one, all 1,200 of them.”

Lisa Stanley
– Coordinator for Professional Learning Certificate Program

The Results: Frontline Professional Growth + Brevard County Mentoring Program

Targeted mentoring programs, supported by robust educational technology like Frontline Professional Growth, can transform the entire teaching experience.

By focusing on the needs of new teachers and providing structured, supportive pathways to professional growth, Brevard County Public Schools has established a model that can be replicated in other districts aiming to improve their educational outcomes through enhanced teacher support systems.

  • Retention: The targeted support for new teachers resulted in improved retention rates, particularly among those on temporary certificates.
  • Enhanced Teacher Effectiveness: With better support from qualified mentors, new teachers were able to achieve higher levels of effectiveness in the classroom.
  • Positive Feedback: Mentors and mentees reported high levels of satisfaction with the structure and support provided by the program, highlighting the ease of use and accessibility of Frontline’s tools.