Wednesday, November 9, 2016

What Can I Count for ISBE License Renewal?

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Questions about this topic come in every week. I’m happy to help, but please remember that license renewal is a process overseen by the State of Illinois through its Regional Offices of Education. School districts like ours, colleges and universities, etc., are Professional Development Providers, among others. We do not run the program or make the rules. We can help interpret the rules and communicate, but most issues surrounding certificate renewal and PD Credit will be best handled by ISBE's Licensure Division or the ROE (309-345-3828 or 309-734-6822). 

It is the responsibility of the holder of an Illinois Professional Educator License to read and understand ISBE’s Rules on License Renewal, which were updated during the 2014- 2015 school year. LICENSE HOLDERS SHOULD NEVER STOP COLLECTING AND RECORDING PD CREDITS IN ELIS, even after you have collected “enough” credits for your renewal cycle, in case some are denied! 

AFTER the rule change, a lot of the items that we were all used to counting for license renewal were removed by ISBE. Here are answers to the many questions I’ve received just this week regarding changes that have happened after the 2014-2015 changeover:   

  • District 205 can offer PD Credit for TRAINING activities only.
  • If District 205 doesn’t sponsor the activity, we will not issue credit for it.
  • District 205 will not issue credit retroactively for activities. Approval must be secured for the training activity a minimum of 2 weeks in advance, with a specific request for the awarding of PD Credits.  
  • College Coursework can be converted to PD Credits at the rate of 15 PD Credits per Semester Hour.  
  • Completing Mandated PD is an ISBE requirement. District 205 cannot issue PD Credit for ISBE-mandated PD.
  • Committee membership, work teams, etc., do not fall within the definition of the term “training.” Therefore, District 205 can not issue PD Credit for that. ISBE has expressly stated that PD Credit cannot be used as a reward for getting work done.
  • Being a Mentor is no longer an approvable activity. “Receiving Mentoring Services” can be, but this phrase refers to a teacher-remediation scenario, not being a new teacher in a School or District. PD Credit for such an activity in District 205 will only be issued by Human Resources - I am not involved in Teacher Evaluation or Remediation in any way.
  • “Supervising a Student Teacher” is approvable only if the institution that assigns the pre-service teacher provides training to the supervising teacher on their expectations prior to the assignment. At that point the college or university providing the training would issue the credit, not District 205. If you hosted a student teacher during the 2014-2015 school year or prior, see the document above. Beginning with the 2014-2015 school year, the act of hosting a student teacher does not count for PD Credit.
If you have received PD Credit for the above activities under previous rules (before 2015) and are counting it during your current renewal cycle, you’re fine. It will not be allowable for any renewal cycle that starts over after April 2015. 

It has always been the license holder’s responsibility to enter PD Credit in the ELIS system. Someday that may be automatic, but for now that is an individual habit to develop and maintain. Additionally, evidence of your attendance at the training, etc., must be retained. Evidence includes any agendas and handouts that were provided during the training. Documentation can be paper or electronic (computer files or digital scans of paper documents). 
These items can all be confirmed on the ISBE License Renewal website or by calling the Regional Office of Education at 309-345-3828 or 309-734-6822. Further questions about what can/cannot be counted for License Renewal can also be answered by calling the ROE.   

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