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Office of Educator Licensure

Emergency License Extensions for Educators Who Did Not Extend "Old" ESL & Special Education Licenses Prior to June 30, 2023

As announced on January 5, 2022, the Department allowed the extension of the emergency license to June 30, 2023. Most licenses had already been extended and the new date was reflected in ELAR on January 13th. Because federal law imposes requirements on educators who teach students with disabilities (SWDs) and English Learners (ELs), Special Education and ESL licenses were not included in the automatic extension.

To have these licenses extended to June 30, 2023, individuals had to apply for their first extension and demonstrate subject matter knowledge (SMK) in their respective field.

For individuals who received their Emergency license on or prior to December 12, 2021, and did not apply for an extension prior to June 30, 2023, you may still apply for an extension; however, the requirements to obtain an extension through June 30, 2024, are as follows:

Demonstration of Progress Towards Obtaining a License Since Earning the "Old" Emergency License.

An example of an academic teacher demonstrating progress for their first extension would be one of the following:

  • Attempted or passed the C&L test
  • Attempted or passed a required content test
  • Enrolling in an approved preparation program
  • Having completed coursework within an approved preparation program

For clarity on the meaning of "since obtaining the Emergency license", please see the following examples:

  1. Akeno obtained an Emergency license on July 25, 2020, in Early Childhood. He passed the Communication & Literacy Skills test on June 30, 2020. Although Akeno has passed a test that is required to obtain an Early Childhood license, since the Communication & Literacy Skills test was passed prior to when he obtained the Emergency license, that test will not be accepted as progress towards obtaining an extension.
  2. Martina obtained an Emergency license on August 1, 2020, in Chemistry. She passes the Chemistry MTEL test on September 23, 2022. Since Martina passed the Chemistry MTEL test after she obtained the Emergency license, that can be counted towards making progress towards an Emergency Extension.

How to Satisfy a Competency Review

A Competency Review is the process for determining whether the subject matter knowledge requirements for a license have been met in a field for which there is no subject matter knowledge test and elsewhere as required in the Regulations for Educator Licensure and Preparation Program Approval 603 CMR 7.00, using Department guidelines.

Competencies, also known as the "coverage of" requirements can be satisfied through the completion of a professional learning experience(s) that provided at least 10 hours of instruction specific to and completely covering a subject matter knowledge requirement. Competencies can be satisfied through completion of any one or combination of the following options: coursework, seminars, workshops, mentored employment, peer coaching, or Department approved assessments.

To better understand the competency review process and utilize templates to help satisfy competencies, please refer to the Competency Review Guide .

Educators that are currently employed in the role of one of the five special education licenses may want to satisfy the competency review through Structured Guidance and Supports (SGS). SG&S is a performance-based assessment process for teacher licensure candidates. The SG&S process and assessment takes place over a 150-hour field experience for the license sought and must be completed in accordance with Department Guidelines ; however, it can be done on-the- job with the support of your district and an appropriate mentor.

There is no deadline to apply for or qualify for an extension, however, "old" Emergency licenses issued on or prior to December 12, 2021, will have expired on June 30, 2023.

If an educator with an "old" Emergency license is unable to meet the requirements to obtain an Emergency license extension, the district can pursue a Hardship Waiver in order to employ that educator in the 2023-24 school year. School districts can begin applying for a Hardship Waiver for 2023-24 through ELAR as early as April 1, 2023. In addition to applying for the waiver, the district must submit evidence of having advertised the position, submit a list of all appropriately licensed candidates that applied for the job, and state the reasons they are not qualified and reasons the candidate is qualified.

Hardship Waivers

If an educator with an ESL or special education emergency license is unable to meet the requirements to obtain an emergency license extension, the district can pursue a Hardship Waiver in order to employ that educator in the 2022-23 school year. School districts can begin applying for a Hardship Waiver for 2022-23 through ELAR as early as April 1, 2022. In addition to applying for the waiver, the district must submit evidence of having advertised the position, submit a list of all appropriately licensed candidates that applied for the job, and state the reasons they are not qualified and reasons the candidate is qualified.

In some cases, this could be an additional waiver for an educator, for example, one who was employed under an emergency license this school year and in 2020-21 and was employed under a waiver in the 2019-20 school year. In such cases, in addition to the district submitting documentation regarding their effort to hire a licensed educator, the educator must demonstrate evidence of continuous progress towards licensure.

Additional Questions

If you have any additional questions about the extension of emergency licenses, please contact the Licensure Call Center at 781-338-6600. The Call Center is open each business day from 9am–1pm and 2pm–5pm.

Last Updated: July 25, 2023

 
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Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
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