The federal Education Department has awarded the Lucia Mar school district a $7.4 million grant to pay for added support and mentoring for teachers at six schools for five years.
Teachers could also earn bonuses under the program announced Thursday.
“It’s all about supporting our teachers by giving them a system that will give them coaching and feedback that we’re not able to provide right now,” Lucia Mar Superintendent Jim Hogeboom said.
Six schools with a certain percentage of students deemed to be in poverty will participate, as long as 75 percent of the teachers at those schools agree.
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They include Dana, Dorothea Lange, Fairgrove, Nipomo and Oceano elementary schools and Mesa Middle School.
Lucia Mar was one of three schools and districts in California, and one of 62 nationwide, to be awarded a grant from the U.S. Department of Education’s Teacher Incentive Fund.
The district is to use the money to launch a program dubbed TAP: The System for Teacher and Student Advancement program.
That program is designed to give teachers a way to frequently focus on professional development by providing time during the day for them to work with their peers and a mentor.
One teacher at each school would be made a master teacher and would work full-time with other teachers. Doing so is expected to open up six teaching positions.
Master teachers would receive an additional $10,000 and have their contract extended 20 days per year.
Two mentor teachers at each school would receive an additional $5,000 and have 10 extra days in their contracts, said Andy Stenson, the district’s assistant superintendent of curriculum.
Teachers would be eligible for $3,000 bonuses depending on whether they meet certain goals. Principals would also be eligible for bonuses.
The school board is expected to hold a special session Monday or Tuesday to officially accept the grant.
Then, Hogeboom said, he’ll start working to give teachers and administrators details about the program.
Rep. Lois Capps, D-Santa Barbara, state Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O’Connell and Kevin Statom, former president of Lucia Mar’s teachers union, all wrote letters supporting the district’s grant application.
Reach Cynthia Lambert at 781-7929. Stay updated on Twitter by following @SouthCountyBeat.