Act 48 Questions & Answers
APOLLO-RIDGE SCHOOL DISTRICT
ACT 48 Questions & Answers
1) Where can I find information on Act 48 Requirements?
The Pennsylvania Department of Education has a Question and Answer page on their website discussing Act 48 credits as it relates to maintaining your teaching certificate. The link to this website is given below:
2) Who is responsible for ensuring that I meet all of my Act 48 requirements?
The short answer is - you are. Each individual is responsible for accumulating the necessary 180 hours of Act 48 credit within each of their own 5 year windows. Individuals may track their Act 48 progress using their Pennsylvania Professional ID Number on the PERMS (Professional Education Record Management System) website, operated by the Pennsylvania Department of Education. The link to the PERMS website is below:
3) What is the school's role in helping me to meet my Act 48 hour requirements?
The Apollo-Ridge School District is an approved Act 48 provider as determined by the Pennsylvania Department of Education. With this designation we are able to approve and record Act 48 hours for individuals who participate in activities promoted and conducted by qualified school district personnel or their designee's, so long as those activities qualify under Act 48 guidelines. The guidelines for allowable Act 48 Professional Education Activities may be found within the Act 48 Professional Education Plan Guidelines. The link to these guidelines, posted on the Pennsylvania Department of Education website, is provided below:
4) Will I earn all 180 Act 48 hours simply by attending all of the Professional Development days offered by our district?
Most likely, no. Typical Professional Development days provide approximately 6 hours of Act 48 approved activities. Since under the current bargaining agreement there are four professional development days per year, one may expect to earn approximately 120 Act 48 hours over a 5-year span if they attend all sessions. Please keep in mind, however, that the number of Act 48 hours earned may vary for any particular day or year. It is always the responsibility of the individual to ensure that their certificate remains "active" by meeting all Act 48 requirements.
5) Does the school offer additional opportunities to earn Act 48 hours?
Over the course of the school year some individuals may have opportunities to earn additional Act 48 hours. These opportunities are not typically offered on a regular basis, but when appropriate to the needs of the district. In the past, hours have been awarded for attending training using new technolgies, attending after in-school or after-school training sessions on best practices, data analysis, and alignment of curriculum to state academic standards to cite some examples. Last summer, the district offered free professional development to those who volunteered in technology training and teacher leadership. As opportunities to attend professional development activities within the district become available, they will be announced appropriately in the respective buildings.
Act 48 credit hours may not be awarded for attending faculty meetings, mentoring or serving as a cooperating teacher, or participating in activties that are not "new learning."
6) If I attend a graduate class, workshop, or other professional development activity offered outside of Apollo-Ridge, who records my hours with the Department of Education?
First, be certain that the organization providing the training is an approved Act 48 provider. If so, they are responsible for reporting your activity to the Department of Education. Most likely the will have a form or other paperwork for you to fill out to be granted Act 48 credit. If not, be sure to ask the instructor how to ensure that your training is properly documented and recorded to receive Act 48 credit.
7) Is there anywhere that offers free professional development that qualifies for Act 48 credit?
Yes. The Pennsylvania Department of Education has a website called PA Professional Education that free online professional education programs of study provided by Learning Sciences International. These are free, self-study courses that are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to eligible Pennsylvania educators. The link to this site is provided below: