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Q&A on the Issues

Certification during COVID-19

New York Teacher
Teachers attend a certification class
Jonathan Fickies

Due to the many disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the New York State Education Department has introduced measures to provide emergency certification, alternative  options and has extended some deadlines for educators. We’ve gathered information about these changes and have answered some frequently asked questions that UFT members may have about state certification procedures during COVID.

Reregistration with the state

Who is required to reregister with the New York State Education department? How often do educators need to reregister?

Educators who hold one or more of the following certificates must register with the New York State Education Department every five years:

  • Permanent certificate in the classroom teaching service.
  • Professional certificate in the classroom teaching service.
  • Level III Teaching Assistant certificate.

Educators who are required to reregister must have “Registered–Active” status to practice in an applicable school.

It was impossible for me to complete 100 CTLE hours due to the pandemic. Can I receive an extension to fulfill my CTLE hours?

Teachers who hold professional certificates and Level III paraprofessionals who were unable to complete 100 CTLE hours during their initial five-year registration period can apply for a conditional registration via their New York State Education Department TEACH account. A conditional registration grants an extension of an additional year to complete the requirements. You can request a conditional registration beginning six months before your registration expiration date.

When applying, you must state that you have not completed all the CTLE hours required and commit to completing them during the conditional registration period. Conditional registration cannot be extended or renewed again without good cause. See the State Education Department website for conditional registration instructions.

I hold a permanent teaching certificate and am not required to complete CTLE credits. Do I also need to reregister with the state?

Yes. You must still reregister with the State Education Department every five years. Your State Education Department TEACH account should show the expiration date for your current five-year period, which should be the last day of the month prior to the month of your birthday. You can reregister as early as six months before your expiration date. See the State Education Department website for reregistration instructions.

I am not currently teaching in a school, but I hold either a permanent, professional or Level III teaching assistant certificate. Do I also need to reregister with the state?

Yes. You can choose “inactive” status during the reregistration process, which signifies that you are not currently teaching in a school-based position. See the New York State Education Department website for reregistration instructions.

Emergency COVID-19 certificate

The emergency COVID-19 certificate and extension allow candidates for some state certificates to work in a New York State public school or district for two years while taking and passing the required exam(s) for the certificate or extension sought due to delays brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic. See the State Education Department website for certificate requirements.

How do you apply for the emergency COVID-19 certificate or extension, and what is the deadline to apply?

To apply for this certificate or extension, select “Emergency COVID-19” as the certificate type during the application process in your State Education Department TEACH account. Candidates must apply for the emergency COVID-19 certificate or extension on or before Sept. 1, 2022, in the same title as the nonemergency certificate or extension.

How long will the emergency COVID-19 certificate and/or extension be valid?

Both the emergency COVID-19 certificate and extension are valid for two years.

I previously applied for an emergency COVID-19 certificate or extension. Do I need to reapply or has the deadline been extended?

Individuals who applied for the emergency COVID-19 certificate prior to Sept. 14, 2021, will automatically have their certificate requirement deadlines extended to Sept. 1, 2022.

Related Topics: Certification, Coronavirus