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Coronavirus/COVID-19

Performance Assessment for Leaders (PAL)

The staff at the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education are aware that the spread of COVID-19 has raised many unknowns for educators. We are in the process of analyzing the impact of school closures on licensing for candidates who have been in the process of finishing PAL.

Please know that PAL scoring is still operational at this time. If candidates have completed a tasks or tasks, they may be submitted by the next PAL scoring deadline, 5/21/2020, to receive a score by 6/18/2020.

For candidates who have nearly completed a task, the decision to submit should depend on where the candidate is in the submission process. The PAL Candidate Handbook Download Word Document should serve as a helpful reference for those considering this decision. Each candidate should assess what they have already completed and what remains. It is possible that what they have left might not require them to be in a school setting and they can provide compelling evidence through what they have already accomplished, or that they could complete the final steps virtually. We recommend that candidates assess where they are in the task completion process to see if they would be able to meet the requirements with what they have completed. Candidates should not submit incomplete tasks. The requirements within the evidence rubrics have not changed at this time; please see the PAL Candidate Handbook Download Word Document.

In addition, many of the PAL tasks include requirements that can be completed in a virtual setting. For example:

  • In PAL Task 2, the professional learning group might be conducted in a virtual setting, supporting individual teachers as they try out new practices or take steps to improve existing instructional practices and share their experiences with the group might be based on virtual lessons.
  • In PAL Task 4, submissions with virtual working groups and family/community engagement events may be used.

In both of these cases, the handbook does not state that small working groups or family/community engagement events must occur in person. If a candidate is able to have an event virtually that still meets the guidelines in the rubric, then they could choose to move forward that way.

PAL Task 3 requires that PAL candidates upload two videos, among other things. The two videos include: 1) a classroom observation and 2) a feedback session focusing on that classroom observation where both the PAL candidate and the observed teacher are visible. On a temporary basis, candidates may submit videos of virtual classroom observations and/or feedback sessions conducted virtually. If a candidate is working with a teacher who has a previously recorded classroom observation, the candidate may base their feedback on that previous recording as long as it fulfills the requirements for PAL videos. Candidates must submit a recording of both the classroom and the feedback session, whether they are virtual or not, as they are critical elements for PAL. All confidentiality rules still apply and virtual feedback sessions must still ensure that both the PAL candidate and observed teacher are visible in the recording.

Please continue to check the PAL website and the DESE website for more information on this rapidly evolving situation.

Last Updated: April 13, 2020

Contact Us

Parents and guardians questions can be directed to COVID19K12ParentInfo@mass.gov

District and school staff's questions can be directed to: Reopeningk12@mass.gov

MTEL questions can be directed to TestHelp@doe.mass.edu

Questions related to educator licensure in Massachusetts, please call the Licensure Call Center: 781-338-6600, Hours: Monday-Friday 9am–1pm & 2pm–5pm.

Helene Bettencourt
Associate Commissioner
Phone: 781-338-3120

 
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Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
75 Pleasant Street, Malden, MA 02148-4906

Voice: (781) 338-3000
TTY: (800) 439-2370

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