PDPs & IPDPs & Signatures, oh my!

Just how many signatures are required to get a licensed renewed? And how many PDPs again? Let’s take a quick look at the required signatures on the IPDP.

Educators who hold a professional license are required to apply to renew the license every five years. Starting from the day the licensed is issued, educators must complete certain requirements before applying to renew. These include developing an Individual Professional Development Plan (IPDP) and completing Professional Development Points (PDPs).

As always, the Massachusetts Teachers Association has you covered with an IPDP form you can use to write your goals, collect your signatures and tally up your PDP activities. The MTA forms include the current PDP distributions and other links for licensure renewal. You can download copies of the forms here or see your local president to request a print copy.

But MTA members know what is required and how to save their documents, amirite? As a quick reminder, here are the basic steps in the renewal cycle:

Prof Lic Renewal

The regulations changed in 2017 to change the distribution of PDPs and reduce the number of required signatures on a IPDP.

Only TWO signatures are required for educators who are employed under a license. The first signature is required after the Individual Professional Development goals are drafted and the final signature is required prior to applying to renew. That is it.

But you don’t have to take our word for it. You can read the regulations here and here.

(Underlining is ours, the words are from the regulations)

603 CMR 44.05: Approval of Individual Professional Development Plans

(1) In accordance with M.G.L. c. 71, § 38G, educators working in a Massachusetts public school must obtain approval of their proposed Individual Professional Development Plans from their supervisors. Licensed educators working in schools other than Massachusetts public schools are encouraged to seek such approval.

(a) Approval for proposed Individual Professional Development Plans shall be from the educator’s direct supervisor or an appropriate designee. In most instances, this will mean that the plans of teachers and other educators who report to the principal will be approved by the principal, a principal’s plan will be approved by the superintendent of schools, and a superintendent’s plan will be approved by the chairperson of the school committee.

(b) Professional development activities shall be identified by the educator and supervisor during the development of, and review of, the Individual Professional Development Plan in order to better support student achievement. Approval of a plan shall be based on whether the 80% of the PDPs in the plan that are subject to supervisor approval are consistent with the educational needs of the school and/or district and whether the plan is designed to enhance the ability of the educator to improve student learning.

(c) Supervisor approval is not required to renew any additional licenses under which the educator is not employed.

(d) Educators working in Massachusetts public schools must obtain initial approval of their professional development plans pursuant to 603 CMR 44.05 (1) within six months of issuance of the license to be renewed.

(e) Approval of Individual Professional Development Plans shall not be unreasonably withheld. In the event that a plan is rejected by a supervisor, teachers and other educators who report to the principal may seek review of the denial from the superintendent of schools, principals may seek review from the school committee chairperson, and superintendents may seek review from the Department. An educator may then seek additional review from the Department, according to the provisions of 603 CMR 44.10.

(2) A supervisor shall review the professional development plan of any educator new to the district or school within three months of the educator’s beginning employment in the new position. A supervisor may require an educator to amend the plan or may withdraw approval for a plan that had been previously approved, provided, however, that any PDPs that were earned consistently with an approved plan shall be deemed approved in applying for license renewal. Any PDPs that are earned prior to the approval of a plan may be subject to disapproval, if in the opinion of the educator’s supervisor, the PDPs are not consistent with the educational improvement goals of the school and/or district.

(3) Prior to applying to renew a Professional license, educators shall obtain a signature from a supervisor. A supervisor’s signature will indicate that the supervisor has reviewed the log of professional development activities maintained by the educator to ensure that the reported activities are consistent with the approved Individual Professional Development Plan. The educator remains responsible for the final accounting of PDPs applied towards license renewal. An educator whose supervisor refuses to sign an Individual Professional Development Plan may follow the review procedures set out in 603 CMR 44.05(1)(d) and 44.10.

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