Each Head Start teacher shall attend not less than 15 clock hours of professional development per year. Such professional development shall be high-quality, sustained, intensive, and classroom-focused in order to have a positive and lasting impact on classroom instruction and the teacher’s performance in the classroom, and regularly evaluated by the program for effectiveness.
For purposes of this subsection, the term “mentor teacher” means an individual responsible for observing and assessing the classroom activities of a Head Start program and providing on-the-job guidance and training to the Head Start program staff and volunteers, in order to improve the qualifications and training of classroom staff, to maintain high quality education services, and to promote career development, in Head Start programs.
The Secretary may establish a program of fellowships, to be known as “Head Start Fellowships”, in accordance with this subsection. The Secretary may award the fellowships to individuals, to be known as “Head Start Fellows”, who are staff in local Head Start programs or other individuals working in the field of child development and family services.
The fellowship program established under this subsection shall be designed to enhance the ability of Head Start Fellows to make significant contributions to programs authorized under this subchapter, by providing opportunities to expand their knowledge and experience through exposure to activities, issues, resources, and new approaches, in the field of child development and family services.
Head Start Fellowships shall be awarded on a competitive basis to individuals (other than Federal employees) selected from among applicants who are working, on the date of application, in local Head Start programs or otherwise working in the field of child development and children and family services.
Except as otherwise provided in this paragraph, Head Start Fellows shall not be considered to be employees or otherwise in the service or employment of the Federal Government. Head Start Fellows shall be considered to be employees for purposes of compensation for injuries under chapter 81 of title 5. Head Start Fellows assigned to positions located in agencies specified in paragraph (3)(A)(i) shall be considered employees in the executive branch of the Federal Government for the purposes of chapter 11 of title 18 and for purposes of any administrative standards of conduct applicable to the employees of the agency to which they are assigned.
The Secretary shall promulgate regulations to carry out this subsection.
Not later than 1 year after May 18, 1994, the Secretary, in consultation with appropriate public agencies, private agencies, and organizations and with individuals with expertise in the field of children and family services, shall develop model staffing plans to provide guidance to local Head Start agencies and programs on the numbers, types, responsibilities, and qualifications of staff required to operate a Head Start program.
Each Head Start agency and program shall create, in consultation with an employee, a professional development plan for all full-time Head Start employees who provide direct services to children and shall ensure that such plans are regularly evaluated for their impact on teacher and staff effectiveness. The agency and the employee shall implement the plan to the extent feasible and practicable.