Certification

Comsewogue School District Professional Development

Certification/Professional Developement/175 Hours
The Comsewogue Professional Development Team has put in place an easy system for documentation of credit hours, My Learning Plan, (MLP).  This program will allow Administration to print a comprehensive accounting of the hours you accrued over a five year period for the State that clearly stipulates you are in compliance.
A teacher who received an Initial Certificate in/after 2004 will have to meet the necessary requirements for certification:
1) Valid Initial Certificate
2) Masters Degree, within five years of receiving their initial certification
3) 3 years paid full-time teaching experience
4)12 graduate credits in your certification subject area
5) 1 year Mentored Experience
6) Child Abuse Identification Workshop
7) School Violence Intervention and Prevention Workshop
8) Fingerprint Clearance
9) Citizenship Status
Then a teacher can begin tracking their professional development (175) hours.  Each Teacher has five years to accrue a required (175) professional development hours and must complete these (175) professional development hours every five years for the rest of their teaching career.
There are many different forums that the State will recognize as acceptable and each District has to stipulate, in their Professional Development Plan, which are acceptable to them.  Here at Comsewogue you can accrue hours by documenting faculty meetings (1 hour), department meetings (1 hour), Superintendant’s Conference Days (6 hours), Union Conference days (6 hours), Professional Day activities (6 hours) and all Comsewogue facilitated in-service sessions.  You can of course document any graduate level courses or in-service courses.  Remember that 3 credit courses count for 45 professional development hours.   All of these hours count toward your (175) professional development hours and are easily documented in MLP.
MLP should also be used to document your mentor/mentee hours.  At the end of your first year the District will present you with a certificate you can present to the State stating that you completed an approved mentoring program.
Lastly, all classes that you take for credit to move across the salary columns are also easily tracked using MLP.  These classes require 45 hours of class time for you to receive 3 credits on the salary scale.  You must accumulate 15 credits, the equivalent of 225 professional development hours, to move across one column on the salary scale.  All teachers must also continue to complete the District paperwork to get credit for coursework.
Please remember that a teacher can only begin accumulating their (175) professional development hours after they receive their Professional Certificate.  Hours accumulated before one receives the Professional Certificate do not count towards the first 175 hours.  A Teacher can apply for their Professional Certificate in two ways, either directly through New York State or through Eastern Suffolk BOCES.  The first step in the process requires one to go to www.nysed.gov and follow the instructions to set up an individual TEACH Account.  When establishing the TEACH Account one may choose to have all their pertinent information directed to Eastern Suffolk BOCES.  The State will charge $100.00 to apply for the Professional Certificate and there is an additional $25.00 charge to register with BOCES.  In my opinion, the extra charge is worthwhile because BOCES will keep a record of your account and they process the Certificates much quicker than the State.  Eastern Suffolk BOCES can also be reached by phone and Patchogue is much closer to Comsewogue than Albany.  To call BOCES, dial 631-289-2200 and ask for the Certification Department.
YOU AND YOU ALONE, ARE RESPONSIBLE TO ALWAYS BE CERTIFIED!
Check out the following two very informative web sites and complete each step of your process as soon as you can.
www.nysut.org   When you get to the NYSUT homepage you will see different categories on the left.  Choose Pre K – 12 Education under Professionals Center and then choose Certification under the Credentials section.
http://www.highered.nysed.gov/tcert/faq.htm  This is the New York State Education Department Office of Teaching Initiatives web site.  Here you will find many different links to answer certification questions.

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