Year 1 Residency

Getting Started

NJL2L conducts ongoing Resident/Mentor Orientations. Mentors and their Residents are required to attend a one–day Orientation to obtain and discuss important information regarding State requirements for the Residency, and to begin to plan the Residency experience.

Residents are also required to complete online NJL2L Pre/Self–Assessments, which are aligned with the NJ Professional Standards for School Leaders and national Technology Standards for School Administrators (TSSA). All Residents will complete their pre/self–assessments on our site. Log–in names and passwords are located on the NJL2L confirmation email that is sent to each Resident upon their district’s registering them for the NJL2L Program. Residents are required to review their Pre/Self–Assessments with their Mentors to identify two to three professional growth targets for each State Standard, which will be used to inform professional growth planning for Residents as they move through the Residency. The Pre/Self–Assessment also establishes a baseline for the Resident to determine his/her professional growth at the end of the Year 2 Residency by comparison to a Post/Self–Assessment that will be taken at that time. In order to conduct this review with their mentors, Residents should save and examine their individual item responses for their self–assessments by printing out each screen as they take their assessments, or by printing out the self–assessment forms located in our downloads section after logging in by clicking on “Download Required Forms.”

Note: A resident must possess a New Jersey “Provisional Certificate” to be employed. This certificate is issued only when the statement of assurance, BOE resolution, resume, and $850 fee are received.

Year 1 PSEL (Standards) and Leadership Academy Professional Learning

The Year 1 Residency consists of the study of the PSEL (Professional Standards for Educational Leaders) that are aligned with the NJ Professional Standards for School Leaders.

The Standards are designed as guided inquiries that are intended to provide Residents with a deep understanding of:

  • the NJ Professional Standards for School Leaders and their implications for effective school leadership practice
  • their leadership knowledge, skills and personal dispositions as indicated by the NJ Professional Standards for School Leaders, and the implications for their continuing professional growth and effectiveness as school leaders
  • their district/school vision and goals for student learning, policies, programs, and needs related to the continuous improvement of schools, teaching and academic achievement for all students
  • the broader context in which they must function as school leaders, including federal and State regulations and the unique expectations and needs of their school, district and community–at–large
  • the internal and external forces that impact the teaching and learning process in their districts/schools, the specific barriers to effective teaching and learning, and the school leadership practices that have the potential to overcome these barriers and improve academic achievement for all students

Residents maintain an NJL2L Year 1 Residency Professional Portfolio and Activity Log. Mentors and Residents should review the standards and identify barriers to effective teaching and student learning in their districts/schools, determine possible actions by the Resident to address these barriers, and provide insights into their personal needs for continuing professional development.

Residents provide evidence of the impact of their actions on their professional growth, and on the identified barriers to improving their districts/schools and student achievement. Many of the activities within each Standard will likely be linked to activities in other Standards. As a result, the Resident will develop an understanding of the connectedness of the NJ Professional Standards for School Leaders and the interrelationship and interdependence of the conditions that impact student learning within his/her district, school and community–at–large.


Leadership Academy

NJPSA/FEA’s New Jersey Leadership Academy is designed to provide each first-year resident”foundational professional development” with a series of three workshops offered in a cohort model. The Academy will provide each resident a professional learning opportunity linked to the content of the core courses aligned to NJ standards. residents will be required to attend the three Academy sessions. In addition, each resident will participate in a one-hour “reflective learning session” following each leadership academy workshop. For more information regarding the NJ Leadership Academy, visit NJLA.



Mentors play a key role in guiding and supporting Residents as they plan their professional growth by developing questions and probes that further guide Residents into deeper levels of inquiry in the unique contexts of their districts/schools, and/or stimulate questions and probes through discussions with Residents that may evolve as they engage in their professional development and practice.

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 the Mentor Assessment Record, which documents the completion of mentoring requirements throughout the 24 month residency.

  • State–required formative and summative assessments
  • dates of conferences, on–site visits, and other relevant activities
  • assessment methods (i.e. observations, document reviews) used by Mentors to obtain and examine evidence of Residents’ progress and completion of required professional development
  • feedback provided to Residents related to their preparation and readiness to address their new school leader responsibilities, and the implications for their continuing professional growth

Mentors meet with their Residents a minimum of 25 hours during the Year 1 Residency, which includes one-on-one conferences, on–site visitations and observations, and Peer Support Group/Professional Collaboration meetings. It is expected that Mentor–Resident communication will be ongoing as needed via telephone and email.

Peer Support/Professional Collaboration Groups

Peer Support/Professional Collaboration Groups are organized within regions/counties across the State to enable Residents from various districts to meet with other Residents and engage in discussions related to their Residency and job-related experiences as new school leaders. Peer Support/Professional Collaboration Group meetings provide a “team mentoring” approach that capitalizes on the range and depth of experience and expertise of the mentors, who will organize and facilitate the Peer Support/Professional Collaboration Group meetings.

Peer Support/Professional Collaboration Groups meet on a regular basis during Year 1 and Year 2 of the Residency for a minimum of 10 hours each year.

Residents complete individual Peer Support/Professional Collaboration Group Reflections following each meeting to stimulate personal reflection on discussions with their peers and mentors, their continuing professional growth, and implications for their school leadership practice.

Peer Support Groups will also engage in ongoing communication and online discussions throughout the Residency.

Leadership Portfolios

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 and completion of required Residency experiences, and their continuing professional growth.

The Leadership Portfolio will be organized to include categories for each of the New Jersey Professional Standards for School Leaders to ensure that evidence is collected for each State Standard.

Leadership Portfolios will be reviewed on a regular basis by Mentors, who are required to examine the evidence provided by Residents related to progress toward and completion of Year 1 and Year 2 Residency requirements.

Year 1 Formative Assessment of Residents

In accordance with State requirements, mentors complete four Formative Assessments for each Resident during the Year 1 Residency (at the end of 5 and 10 months). Formative Assessment Reports are based on the mentor’s ongoing observations, formal conferences and interactions with the Resident throughout the Year 1 Residency, and the mentor’s review of evidence related to the Resident’s:

  • progress toward, completion, and impact of the Year 1 Professional Learning Experiences
  • demonstration of essential leadership knowledge, skills and personal dispositions for effective school leadership practice, as indicated by the New Jersey Professional Standards for School Leaders
  • professional growth in the leadership knowledge, skills and personal dispositions, as indicated by the New Jersey Professional Standards for School Leaders

The mentor holds a formal conference with the Resident to review each Formative Assessment Report and provide feedback related to his/her continuing professional growth and progress in meeting Residency requirements.

The signed original of the Formative Assessment Report is submitted by the mentor to the NJL2L Program Coordinator within two weeks of each formative assessment period. NJL2L transmits all Formative Assessment Reports with original signatures to the NJDOE. A copy of all Formative Assessment Reports are retained by NJL2L in the Resident’s file. Residents keep a copy for their records.

Note: All assessments and interactions between the Mentor and Resident are confidential. Formative Assessment Reports will not be provided to the Resident’s school district or any agency or individual without the written request and consent of the Resident.

Planning for the Year 2 Residency

As the Resident engages in the Year 1 under the guidance of his/her mentor, identification of areas for continuing professional growth and barriers to effective teaching and student learning in his/her district/school will evolve and form the basis for further development of the Year 2 Residency Plan.

At the end of Year 1, following the second Formative Assessment by the mentor, the Resident expands his/her Year 2 Residency Plan in consultation with his/her mentor.

The Year 2 Residency Plan focuses on a job–embedded Action Research Project and specific actions planned by the Resident to:

  • address at least two barriers to effective teaching and student learning in his/her district/school that were identified in the Year 1 study of the ISLLC Standards
  • participate in professional development activities that address his/her professional growth targets and support actions planned by the Resident to address identified barriers to effective teaching and learning in his/her district/school. These learning opportunities will be chosen from the menu of workshops offered at FEA, including LEGAL ONE.
  • planning for Year 3, following the Residency, when the Resident will be required to meet the State’s professional development requirement for all school leaders

Note: The three leadership academy workshops (year 1) and the one PD workshop (year 2) are provided by FEA at no additional cost to the resident. The $800 registration fee covers the cost of these workshops.\Mentors meet with their resident a minimum of 29 hours during the year 2 residency, which includes one-on-one visitations and observations, and peer support groups/professional collaboration meetings.

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. The Resident may only begin his/her Action Research Project following approval of his/her mentor. The Action Research Project is expected to be completed prior to the Summative Assessment at the end of 24 months of Year 2 of the Residency.

Year 1 NJL2L Formative Program Evaluation

All Residents and Mentors are required to complete an online NJL2L Year 1 Program Evaluation at the end of Year 1, 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.