Certification

Level I to Level II

  • Pennsylvania has two levels of certification.  The initial certificate, Level I, is valid for six service years, during which time you must complete established requirements.  Upon completion of those requirements, a Level I may be converted to a Level II certificate.  If not converted, the initial Level I certificate lapses, and you may not be employed in a Pennsylvania public school.

    If you have been teaching in Pennsylvania on a Level I certificate for three to six years and have earned 24 post-baccalaureate credits, you may be eligible to apply for a Level II certificate assuming the following conditions are met: 

    • Six of the 24 post-baccalaureate credits must be associated with your area(s) of certification and/or must be designed to improve professional practice
    • You must have three years of satisfactory service on a Level I certificate, verified by the chief school administrator of the employing school entity
    • You must have completed a PDE induction program verified by the chief school administrator of your employing entity

    For specific questions and more information concerning what service counts toward a Level II certificate, please reference the links below:  

    PDE Level II Questions and Answers

    CSPG 7 Level II (Permanent) Certification

    HOW TO APPLY FOR LEVEL II CERTIFICATION

    Your application for Level II certification must be submitted through the TIMS Educator Online Certification System.

    • Login to TIMS, complete your application online and pay the required fee (note: if using TIMS for the first time, register by clicking the link in the lower left corner).
    • Submit any required documentation directly to PDE (i.e. cover sheet and official transcripts).
    • Ask your supervisor to complete the PDE 427 Instructional I to Instructional II Assessment and submit it to Human Resources.
    • Once Human Resources receives the completed and signed PDE 427 Assessment, we will certify your work history and completion of Induction in TIMS.
    • Once your Level II certification is issued, email Human Resources (leboeufa@slsd.org) so we may update your personnel file. PDE does not notify the school district.

    Please contact the Human Resources Department with any questions regarding certification.

     

  • A temporary professional employee, whose work has been certified as satisfactory during the last four months of the third year of service, shall be recognized as having tenure.

    • Three full calendar years of service are required to attain tenure.
    • The three years of service must be within the same PA school district.
    • Leave time and long-term substitute time do not count towards tenure.
    • Level II certification is not required to acquire tenure. 


    What is tenure?
    Under the Public School Code, tenure is a status enjoyed by professional employees that provides enhanced protection from termination of employment and layoffs. Temporary and professional employees attain tenure, and become professional employees, upon successful completion of a three-year probationary period. 24 P.S. § 11-1108.

    Do teachers acquire tenure in all public school entities?
    Yes, except with regard to charter school employment. Tenure rights extend to all professional employees working in school districts, intermediate units, and vocational-technical schools. 24 P.S. § 11-1121, 9-963(e), 18-1850.1(b)(9). Temporary professional employees on leave of absence from a school district to teach at a charter school can count that time toward tenure eligibility only at the discretion of the school district from which they are on leave. Tenured professional employees on such leave retain certain rights with respect to the school district from which they are on leave, but their tenure does not provide protection with respect to their employment by the charter school. 24 P.S. § 17-1724-A.

    Once teachers earn tenure, is that status transferable if they decide to take employment in another school district?
    Yes. Under the current law, a teacher needs to earn tenure only once in Pennsylvania, and thereafter holds that status in all Pennsylvania school districts in which they are hired. 24 P.S. § 11-1108.

    What is the length of the probationary period temporary professional employees must serve to earn tenure?
    Teachers must now serve a probationary period of three years, and have received a satisfactory rating during the last four months of the final year. 24 P.S. § 11-1108(b)(2). Prior to 1996, the probationary period was only 2 years.

    Must all of the required probationary period for tenure be served at the same school district?
    Yes. 24 P.S. § 11-1108; Official Opinion of the Attorney General No. 73-1, 61 Pa. D.&C.2d 770 (Jan. 8, 1973).

    Does a teacher have to be working during the entire probationary period to acquire tenure?
    Yes. In Pookman v. Upper St. Clair Twp. School District, 483 A.2d 1371 (Pa. 1984), the Pennsylvania Supreme Court explained the probation period’s purpose is to ensure both school districts and non-tenured employees “have the benefit of having a full two year period in which to perform and in which to have that performance observed and critiqued.” The court’s reasoning applies with equal force to the present three-year probationary period.

    Does service as a substitute teacher count towards the probationary period needed for tenure?
    No. Kielbowick v. Ambridge Area School Board, 668A.2d 1128 ( Pa. Cmwlth. 1995).

    Can a temporary professional employee obtain tenure by working only part time for the entire three-year probationary period?
    Yes. Nothing precludes part time teachers from acquiring tenure, so long as they were employed as temporary professional employees and performed satisfactorily during the requisite probationary period. States v. Punxsutawney Area School District, Teacher Tenure Appeal No. 10-85, School Law Information Exchange, Vol. 23,No. 73 (1986).

    If a temporary professional employee completes the requisite probationary periods, do they automatically acquire tenure?
    Temporary professional employees automatically become tenured professional employees when their work has been certified as satisfactory by the superintendent during the last four months of their probationary period with that school district. Notice of the attainment of this status shall be sent to the secretary of the school district, recorded in the records, and written notification sent to the employee. After attainment of this status, a temporary professional employee must be tendered a regular professional employee contract. 24 P.S. § 11-1108(b)(3).