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Monday, December 1, 2014

Preparing for ELO 2015

Our team has been working hard on improvements to the Educator Licensing Online (ELO) system to make it easier for educators to apply and for our team to process applications.  We will have some updates coming in the next few weeks on these improvements.  We would also like to share successful strategies that districts used this past year to help support educators with applying.  If your district did something along these lines, please either comment below or email me at david.deguire@dpi.wi.gov.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Will SLOs/EE replace the need for PDPs?


Professional Development Plans (PDPs) are for licensing, which is a state-level function.  Student/School Learning Objectives are for evaluation, which is a local, district-level function.

While there are many commonalities between PDPs and Educator Effectiveness Plans (EEPs), there are important differences, too.  For a helpful diagram that compares and contrasts the plans, please see http://dpi.wi.gov/sites/default/files/imce/tepdl/images/PDPs-and-EEPs.png.

PDP Reviewer Expirations Will Be Extended

Because of continued technical issues with the new PDP Team training, we will be extending the expiration date for all current PDP Team members until June 30, 2016.  We are not sure how quickly we can make this update in ELO, but it will be done.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Collaboration on SLOs and PDPs

Research has shown that teacher collaboration in professional development can have a powerful positive impact on student learning (Fullan, 1999; Darling-Hammond & Richardson, 2009; Langer, 2000).  In fact, collaboration is a required component of Professional Development Plans (PDPs), which are part of the educator licensure process in Wisconsin.  Working as a team on Educator Effectiveness Plans (EEPs), as well as PDPs, can also allow for leveraging resources that are not available to individual educators.  The DPI recognizes the value and importance of collaboration in improving Educator Effectiveness and professional development and strongly encourages it.  The DPI also recognizes that individual educators do not have identical needs, background experiences, skills, or interests.  Therefore, writing PDPs to renew a license or EEPs for evaluation should not result in entirely collaborative products. 

Collaboration Opportunities:
Educators may collaborate in creating similar or even shared goals, objectives, and activities for their PDPs and EEPs, especially during co-teaching situations or when educators work as a team on their professional development.
  • For PDPs, collaborators may have similar/identical sections of Step II (description of situation, description of goal, rationale for goal, plan for assessing/document goal, and plan to meet goal).
  • For EEPs, collaborators may have similar/identical elements within Student Learning Objectives (SLOs) (baseline data and rationale, learning content and grade level, targeted growth, interval, assessment/evidence source(s)).

Independent Steps:
Educators should individually complete sections of PDPs and EEPs that ask educators to reflect on and document their own professional growth and the impact that their own growth has had on student learning.
  • For PDPs, educators will individually complete Annual Reviews (Step III) and Evidence of Professional Growth and Its Impact on Student Learning (Step IV).
  • For EEPs, it is likely that educators will have different students identified in their target populations, different growth paths for those goals, and different formative strategies based on the students' needs. Educators will create individual Professional Practice Goals and instructional strategies for their SLOs that match their own strengths, student population needs, and areas of growth (student growth and professional development). They will collect evidence that shows how their own instructional strategies and professional growth have impacted their students' learning.  Last, educators will make sure the adjustments they make to their SLOs and instruction at the Mid-Interval meeting and throughout the year match their own data, instructional strategies, strengths, and areas of growth.

This post can be found in guidance document form at http://tepdl.dpi.wi.gov/files/tepdl/pdf/Collaboration-Guidance.pdf

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

How do I get an emergency license for an educator who moves to Wisconsin and has not completed required tests?

You can't.  Emergency licenses can only be issued to educators who already hold a valid Wisconsin license.  The emergency license allows them to teach in a different subject area and/or grade level than their existing license.

Wisconsin used to issue one-year non-renewable licenses to out-of-state educators who had not completed our testing requirements.  That practice was stopped a few years ago because our legal counsel advised that neither statute nor rule provided authority to do so.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Renewing by PDP instead of credits

Educators who completed their prep program on or before August 31, 2004, (under PI 3) can choose to switch over to renewing with a PDP instead of six credits.  Many educators have found completing the PDP easier (and cheaper) than credits because it is based on what they are already doing and reporting in their jobs.  You do not need to do anything until you apply, and at that time you indicate that you completed a verified PDP, and the ELO system will search for an electronic verification from QEI or WECAN PDP.  You always have the choice between credits and PDP for each license cycle.

Licensing Update - 9/22/14

Here is a quick update on where we are in processing applications.  For each type of application, the date listed is the date we received applications on which we are currently working.

Initial Instate
  • Teacher: Aug 30
  • Administrator: June 23
  • Pupil Services: Aug 15

Renewals: June 19

Advancement: May 7

Out-of-State: May 15

1-year Extensions: July 20

Upgrade (1-year to 5-year): May 20

Emergency licenses: July 1

5-year Substitute: June 23

3-year Sub Permit: Aug 1

Monday, September 15, 2014

Why does my license have a different subject area/position code?

All subject and position codes were converted to four digits during the data migration from our old system to Educator Licensing Online.  In general, a 1 was added before the old teacher license numbers (e.g., the English teacher 300 license is now 1300), a 50 was added before the old administrator license numbers (e.g., the Principal 51 license is now 5051), and a 70 was added before all pupil services licenses (e.g., the School Guidance Counselor 54 license is now 7054).

Also, the numeric license types and grade/developmental levels are no longer used.  These are now just text (e.g., Professional Educator License).

Friday, September 12, 2014

Can a Life License become invalid?

Yes.  Under PI 34, Life Licenses remain valid as long as the educator during the past five years has either been regularly employed by a school district or taken six semester credits.  For more information, please see the guidance document at http://dpi.wi.gov/files/tepdl/pdf/Life-License-Guidance.pdf.

Invalid Life Licenses can be reactivated by completing six semester credits.  If you just want to substitute teach, you can apply for a five-year substitute teacher license, which does not require any continuing professional development.  Application directions are at http://tepdl.dpi.wi.gov/licensing/elo-initial-sub-wi-tips.

Monday, September 8, 2014

ELO Tutorial Videos

Since the launch of Educator Licensing Online (ELO) in January, we have found that two areas that have proven troublesome for educators are creating a WAMS ID and, for educators who already hold a Wisconsin license, onboarding.  We posted two short how-to videos on YouTube to help in these areas:

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Can licensed educator work as special ed aide?

Q: We have hired someone who has a counselor license but will be working as a special education aide.  Can they work with the counselor license, or do they need to apply for a special education aide license?

A: An educator with a valid teacher, administrator, or pupil services license can work in a special education program aide position with their current license and be considered Highly Qualified.

Licensing Update

This went out to District Administrators this morning:

Dear District Administrator:

As your school year begins, we want to provide a quick update on educator licensing that may assist with questions we are currently receiving from school districts. We will continue to process license applications as quickly as possible. We appreciate all your efforts to ensure your educators are appropriately licensed. Please do not hesitate to reach out to us with questions or for assistance.

School districts are reminded that educators who applied by June 30, 2014 at 11:59 p.m. for license renewal are considered “timely applications,” and Wis. Stat. 227.51 (2) ensures their licenses remain current until DPI completes the processing of their application. Additional information on "timely" application has been posted to our webpage.  License applications are processed in the order in which they are received. We are currently processing license renewal applications received June 9, 2014. Initial In State license applications, from candidates completing educator preparation programs, have been processed through August 13, 2014. Please reference our Educator Licensing Online (ELO) web pages for important ELO updates, answers to frequently asked licensing questions, and guidance on checking license status. The License Look Up  provides current information on every Wisconsin licensed educator.

Best wishes on a successful school year.

Mike Thompson, PhD

Deputy State Superintendent

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Who can teach middle school algebra for high school credit?

The class must be taught by a teacher who is licensed to teach the subject in the high school grades. This means the teacher’s content area license must include the grade or developmental level for high school (e.g., early adolescence to adolescence, early childhood to adolescence, grades 6-12, grades 7-12). Prior to the implementation of PI 34, there were licenses in a specific content area issued where the teacher could teach through grade 9 (e.g., grades 1-9, 5-9, 6-9 or 7-9).  Teachers who hold one of these licenses can teach 9th grade curriculum for high school credit to pupils in grades 7 and 8 in their specific content area. Please note: a teacher who only holds a regular/elementary education license in grades 1-8 or at the middle childhood to early adolescence (MC-EA) level does not hold the appropriate license to teach high school curriculum to students in grades 7-8.  Also, there no longer is an option to add a specific license in grades 1-9. These teachers would need to return to an approved program to seek a content license at the early adolescence to adolescence level.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

My license renewal has not been approved yet

When an educator submits a complete and accurate renewal application by June 30th, Wis. Stat. 227.51 (2) provides that the educator’s existing license does not expire until the DPI completes the processing of the renewal application.

Due to the compressed window for renewal applications (March 31 - June 30) and it taking extra time for us to help educators apply in the new ELO system, we are running about a month behind where we were last year at this time in approving renewals.  It is currently taking around 10 weeks.

If we need any additional documents, we will contact you.

To check the status of your application, please see the directions at http://tepdl.dpi.wi.gov/licensing/check-status. 

What happens if I did not apply for my renewal by June 30th?

If you did not apply for your license renewal or advancement on or before June 30th because you either had not completed your professional development requirement or did not yet have documentation, your options depend on your situation.  Please click on the scenario that is closest to yours:
  1. My five-year Professional Educator license expired June 30, and I completed my 6 credits prior to June 30th, but my transcript is not yet ready.
  2. My one-year Initial Educator License extension expired June 30th, and I am still finishing my PDP.  It will be verified this summer (between July 1 and August 31).
  3. My one-year Professional Educator License extension expired June 30th, and I am still finishing my six credits or PDP.  I will be done this summer (between July 1 and August 31). 
  4. My five-year Initial Educator License expired June 30th, and I am still finishing my PDP.  It should be verified this summer (between July 1 and August 31).
  5. My five-year Professional Educator License expired June 30th, and I am in a class finishing my six credits.  The class will finish this summer (between July 1 and August 31).

Available ELO Applications

We have been rolling out new applications in the Educator Licensing Online system since we launched in January.  There are not many left, so the end of the rollout is in sight!  For a quick update on applications that were released over the summer, go to http://tepdl.dpi.wi.gov/licensing/summer-2014-transactions.

Because not all applications were available by June 30th, we are considering "timely application" to be within one month of the release date.  That is also listed on the page above.