Educator Licensure Information

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NEW 12/16/22:

Emergency License Validity Extension 2023-2024

The Department is pleased to announce that in response to feedback from districts and due to continued staffing challenges, Commissioner Riley is extending the validity period of some "old" Emergency licenses through June 30, 2024 (an old Emergency license was issued between June, 2020 and December 12, 2021 and was originally valid until June 30, 2021 and subsequently extended two additional years to June 30, 2023).

In order to qualify for an extension, an educator would need to apply for the extension in ELAR and demonstrate progress towards obtaining a license since earning the emergency license. An example of an academic teacher demonstrating progress for their first extension would be:

Since obtaining the Emergency license, the educator has participated in an induction program provided by their school district and completed one of the following:

  • Attempted or Passed the C&L test
  • Attempted or Passed a required content test
  • Enrolling in an approved preparation program
  • Having completed coursework within an approved preparation program

For clarity on the meaning of "since obtaining the emergency license", please see the following examples:

  1. Scott obtained an Emergency license on July 25, 2020, in Early Childhood. He passed the Communication & Literacy Skills test on June 30, 2020. Although Scott has passed a test that is required to obtain an Early Childhood license, since the Communication & Literacy Skills test was passed prior to when he obtained the Emergency license, that test will not be accepted as progress towards obtaining an extension.
  2. Jacinda obtained an Emergency license on August 1, 2020, in Chemistry. She passes the Chemistry MTEL test on September 23, 2022. Since Jacinda passed the Chemistry MTEL test after she obtained the Emergency license, that can be counted towards making progress towards an Emergency Extension.

As a result of this change, modifications to ELAR (Educator Licensure and Renewal) will be made to reflect this new process and we will provide an update at a later date as to when the application process for an extension of these "old" Emergency licenses will be available. There will not be a deadline to be able to apply for or qualify for an extension, however, "old" Emergency licenses that are not extended will expire on June 30, 2023.

If an educator with an "old" Emergency license is unable to meet the requirements to obtain an Emergency license extension, the district can pursue a Hardship Waiver in order to employ that educator in the 2023-24 school year. School districts can begin applying for a Hardship Waiver for 2023-24 through ELAR as early as April 1, 2023. In addition to applying for the waiver, the district must submit evidence of having advertised the position, submit a list of all appropriately licensed candidates that applied for the job, and state the reasons they are not qualified and reasons the candidate is qualified.

Professional Teacher Status (PTS). Time spent working under an emergency license can count towards PTS if the educator obtains a provisional or initial academic license or a preliminary vocational license within two years of the date of issuance of the emergency license in the field and continues to work for the same employer under the newly acquired license.

  • For example, an educator who received an emergency license in the field of middle school math/science on July 1, 2020, has been teaching grade 8 science classes since the start of the 2020-21 school year, receives a provisional or initial license in middle school math/science by June 30, 2022, and continues to teach under that license for the same employer can count the two years taught under the emergency license toward PTS.
  • For example, an educator who received an elementary emergency license on July 1, 2021 and an early childhood emergency license on July 1, 2022 and has been teaching under both licenses receives provisional licenses in both fields on August 1, 2023. This educator would be able to count time spent teaching under the early childhood license (provisional license granted in 13 months — within two years), but not in elementary (provisional license granted in 25 months — after two-year period) toward PTS.

Additional Questions. If you have any additional questions about the extension of Emergency licenses, please contact the Licensure Call Center at 781-338-6600. The Call Center is open each business day from 9am–1pm and 2pm–5pm.

Applying For Emergency Extensions — Old Vs. New

In August, the Office of Educator Licensure indicated that the ability to apply for an extension of a "new" Emergency license would be operational in ELAR no later than September 29th. We are happy to announce that the ability to apply for the extension will be available in ELAR on the evening of Thursday, September 22nd.

Please see below for some of the differences between an "old" and "new" Emergency license and the process to apply for an extension for each.

  • An "old" Emergency license is one issued on/prior to December 12, 2021

    Individuals with an "old" special education or ESL license are eligible to receive a no-cost extension to June 30, 2023, by demonstrating the subject matter knowledge requirements for their respective field. The requirements to obtain one of the no-cost Emergency Extension licenses can be found at: Emergency Extension Requirements .

  • A "new" Emergency license is one issued on/after May 26, 2022

    The Office of Educator Licensure has been granted the ability to reissue the Emergency license as of May 26, 2022 ("new" Emergency License) and this "new" Emergency license can be extended up to two additional years. New Emergency licenses and extensions to these licenses may be applied for through ELAR). "New" Emergency Extension license applications are currently available in ELAR and cost $25.

Submitting an Application for an "old" Emergency Extension License After September 22, 2022

As a result of modifications to ELAR in support of the "new" Emergency Extension license applications, ELAR is no longer able to accommodate submission of an online application for the "old" Emergency Extension license. Thus, an individual who did not apply in ELAR to extend their "old" Emergency ESL or Special Education license between January and September 22, will need to submit a paper application.

                       Youtube clipart - ClipArt Best - ClipArt Best      DESE YouTube Channel                     

*NEW* Updated 5/18/22

The Department is Authorized to Reissue the Emergency License.

Please use this link for more information and to review the requirements guidebook and FAQ.

The new Emergency License can be extended up to two additional times so long as the individual is making progress towards obtaining a license. 

Emergency License Validity Extension 2022-2023

On January 5, 2022, DESE released new guidance regarding an extension to the validity of an Emergency License. Please use the above link for specific information.

The resources below are provided to assist you in maintaining and renewing your Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education License. If you have any questions, please contact the Office of Educator Licensure or Stacey Gottfried at x10232.

All MPS educators are responsible for maintaining their license. Employment is contingent upon:
    1) receipt of a valid license for the position for which you have been appointed, and
    2) maintaining a valid license, in accordance with State Law.

You can apply for your license through your ELAR account. It is very important for you to be familiar with your ELAR account which houses your demographic data, education, license information and status, as well as other important documents that have been scanned into your file such as correspondence from DESE, MTEL test scores, etc. 

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Office of Educator Licensure

Educator License Types and Guidelines

Educator Licensure Informational Videos

RETELL & SEI Endorsement Information

Accessing and Managing Your ELAR Account

Uploading Transcripts to your ELAR Account

How to Upload Document to ELAR: A Step by Step Guide 

Extending An Initial License Video

Moving from an Emergency License to a Provisional or Initial License Video

Verification of School Based Employment/Induction and Mentoring Form

1.  Print and complete the Verification of School Based Employment/Induction and Mentoring Form     
2.  Once completed, send to Central Office, attn: Stacey Gottfried
3.  The form will be signed and returned to you
4.  Upload the form to your ELAR Account

It is strongly recommended that when communicating with the Licensure Evaluator over the phone, you should carefully document the details of the conversation (date, name of Licensure Evaluator you are speaking with, details of the conversation, etc.) in case you need to refer back at a later date. 

Individual Professional Development Plan (IPDP) Information

Educators are required to develop Individual Professional Development Plans that are consistent with the educational needs of the school and/or district and enhance their ability to improve student learning.

The following resources are provided to educators to assist in the development or review of an Individual Professional Development Plan:

District Improvement Plan which include school plan.

For more information, please refer to Guidelines for Reviewing, Approving, and Endorsing Individual Professional Development Plans.
Sample IPDP Templates & Resources:

Steps for Changing Your Name 

There are 3 steps to change your name on your MPS devices and systems.

1. ASPEN:  
If your name has changed, you need to update your ELAR profile and license. Please complete and submit the Name Change Form (along with proof of name change - copy of marriage certificate, social security card, driver's license, etc.) and submit these documents to the Office of Educator Licensure via the methods stipulated on the form.

In addition, notify Stacey Gottfried of the change so that Aspen and our files can be updated once DESE has made the name change. Please note that the name that appears on your DESE License must match your name in Aspen.

2. PAYROLL & BENEFITS: Notify Lisa Yaroshefski in the Business Office of your name change for payroll purposes.

3. Contact the HELP DESK to submit a request to change your email address or network login.

page last updated 3/31/22

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