PCPS Reading Endorsement Plan

Florida State Legislation requires that every district in Florida develop a District Add-On Plan to provide the required five (5) competencies (60 points each) that total 300 hours.

In an effort to make attaining Reading Endorsement a reality for our teachers, the Polk County Public Schools Professional Development Department, Teaching and Learning Department, along with the Florida Diagnostic and Learning Resources Department have joined together to offer all 5 of the Reading competencies in-house at no charge to Polk County Public Schools Employees.

The courses offer flexibility to work at your convenience during the week, but assignments and discussions do have specific due dates which are outlined in the course syllabus. Those dates must be followed to remain on track with the course pacing and avoid falling behind.

Participants do not have to be classroom teachers to be in the Reading Endorsement Courses, however much of the course content does require teachers to have student contact for assessment purposes and implementation of the problem-solving model.

Participants must complete Reading Competencies 1 – 4 before registering for Reading Competency 5. Competencies 1-4 can be taken in any order.

The courses are free to Polk County Public Schools employees and are funded through the Title II Federal Grant allocation.

  • Because PCPS offers all five competencies, employees may no longer be reimbursed for reading endorsement courses taken outside of PCPS.

Some charter school participants will incur a $336 fee. The courses offered through NEFEC and the Schultz Center have fees. Use the links below to contact those locations for fees and other information.

Competencies and PCPS Course Information

I need to take the courses, where do I begin?

Log into netCONNECT, search for a course by using the associated course number, and register for an open section.  Courses fill up fast so do not delay. After enrollment, courses will be provided through Moodle.

Competency 1: Foundations of Reading Instruction – 60 In-service Hours
Course number: 10377

Competency 2: Application of Research-Based Instructional Practices — 60 In-service Hours
Course number: 10378

Competency 3: Foundations of Assessment — 60 In-service Hours
Course number: 10379

Competency 4: Foundations and Applications of Differentiated Instruction — 60 In-service hours
Course number: 11469
Offered online through Teaching and Learning.  Click here for instructions. If you have questions about Competency 4 offered through Teaching and Learning, email Stephanie Eiland.

This course is also offered by FDLRS. Click here for instructions.   If you have questions about FDLRS equivalent course to Competency 4, email Jillian Traurig.

Both the Teaching and Learning course and the FDLRS course are offered free to Polk County Schools employees and satisfy the state requirements for Competency 4 of the Reading Endorsement.

Competency 5–Demonstration of Accomplishment
Course number: 10380

This course MUST be taken last. All others can be taken in any order – course requires a culminating practicum.

Competency 1 and 2 Combination
Course number: 13620
This course section will provide teachers with credit for BOTH Competency 1 and Competency 2 through an integrated course progression.

While completing classes, how do I check my progress towards course completion?

The courses are completed through the Learning Management System of Moodle.

  • Course assignments, discussions, and projects make up the course content for each competency.  Moodle has a grade book where marks and feedback will be received for each graded item of course work.
  • Each course has a syllabus that must be followed to complete courses.  Each course requires a passing grade and final projects, which are described in the syllabi.
  • When course work is finalized all participants must complete a netCONNECT survey for in-service points to be published to transcripts.


How do I know if I have already taken courses from Polk County Public Schools program?

Log into Net Connect and click on the transcript tab – then view your transcript in the General view tab and through the reading tab to verify courses already completed.

My school elected to implement hybrid tracks on campus. Does this mean I do not need to continue taking online courses towards completing the Reading Endorsement?

The hybrid track is an option campuses can elect to implement to give teachers a chance to earn reading endorsement in-service points through a hybrid model.  The hybrid model provides an opportunity for a portion of the course to be job embedded.

Continuing to take the online courses is a teacher decision which should be made based on the courses each individual teacher needs. To meet the requirements of state statutes teachers should plan their pathway accordingly.  Continuing to take classes online is recommended if you need to complete 3 or more of the competencies during the 2019 – 2020 school year and/or the school is not offering the classes you need.

Can I take more than one course at a time?

You can choose to take more than one course at a time. It is recommended you take 2 at the most. Competency 5 CANNOT be taken until Competencies 1 – 4 are completed.

I took Competency 4 through FDLRS, does it count for competency 4 of reading endorsement?

Yes, as long as you specific to FDLRS you are taking the course for Reading Endorsement credit. You cannot use the credit for both Reading endorsement and SWD – you must choose one or the other.

I took courses when the Reading Endorsement Program was divided into 6 competencies. How do I interpret what those courses count towards now on my transcript?

If you took courses when Reading Endorsement was a 6 course program, Flare 4 and 5 count together as coverage for Competency 4. If you took Flare 6 it is not equivalent to Competency 5 because it is only 30 points, so you would need to take Competency 5. Competency 5 can only be taken when Competencies 1 – 4 are completed.

I have Reading K-12 on certificate, do I still need the Reading Endorsement?

No. The statute requires teachers providing Tier 3 intensive reading intervention to be Reading Endorsed or Reading Certified. Reading K-12 on a certificate meets this requirement.

I have a master’s in reading. Do I still need the Reading Endorsement?

Teacher’s that have earned a master’s in reading must also take the Reading K-12 Subject Area Exam (SAE), and apply to have the certification added to their certificate after receiving passing scores on the Reading K-12 SAE. Once Reading K-12 has been added on to a teaching certificate, the requirement has been met.

What if I am not scheduled to teach Intensive Reading? Am I still required to earn the Reading Endorsement?

The district is required to report to the state the students receiving Tier 2 and Tier 3 reading intervention instruction. Beginning school year 2020-2021 the state will identify teachers as out-of-field if they are assigned to teach Intensive Reading to a student requiring Tier 3 intensive reading intervention and are not Reading Endorsed or Reading Certified. Please keep in mind the district course progression require all secondary Tier 3/Achievement Level 1 students to be scheduled into Intensive Reading.

How are Tier 3 students identified?

Tier 3 students are identified by Multi-tiered Systems of Support/MTSS Tier 3 and/or level 1 Florida Standards Assessment English Language Arts score. Please keep in mind a student may begin receiving Tier 3 intensive reading intervention any time within the school year as determined by the school’s MTSS team. Tier 2 and Tier 3 students are reported to the state during state reporting periods through a data element in Focus.

How do I know if I graduated from a Florida approved teacher education program?

The link to Florida approved teacher education programs is here. Colleges and universities with approved programs are listed. Select the college/university link to view the list of approved programs.

How does graduating from a Florida approved teacher education program help me with obtaining the Reading Endorsement?

Florida approved teacher programs may include content that covers reading competencies 1-4 and some may include content covering reading competency 5. Please know the state must evaluate and issue or identify outstanding reading competency requirements for any teacher not earning all five reading competency courses through Polk County Public Schools Reading Endorsement program.

Teachers that graduated from a Florida approved teacher program in 2006 or later to apply to add the Reading Endorsement to their certificate. Why is this the first step?

Each college and university with a Florida approved teacher program has submitted their programs of study to the state and the state has determined which of the college course(s) meet the content requirements of specific reading competency courses. Only the state is able to evaluate college transcripts to determine what coursework meets which reading competencies. Submitting an application to add the Reading Endorsement to a teaching certificate provides the state the opportunity to evaluate your transcript and officially determine which competencies, if any, remain outstanding. If the state determines all reading competency courses have been satisfied through college coursework, the state will issue an updated teaching certificate with the addition of the Reading Endorsement. The district reading endorsement team members, using the official Statement of Status of Eligibility (SOE), are able to provide appropriate support to teachers when selecting and enrolling in reading competency courses that still need to be taken to complete the Reading Endorsement requirements. Is there a cost associated with add-on applications for teachers that graduated from a Florida approved teacher program in 2006 or later? Yes, there is a $75 fee to add the Reading Endorsement to a teaching certificate. The $75 application fee will be paid directly to the FLDOE at the time the application is submitted. Please know if the state does not issue the Reading Endorsement, then the teacher will receive a Statement of Status of Eligibility (SOE) that identifies the requirements (outstanding competencies) needing to be met. The SOE is valid for three years and the teacher will not have to reapply if the requirements are met and documented at the FLDOE prior to the SOE expiration date.

Why should I pay the $75 now before I complete the reading endorsement courses?

This recommendation is only for teachers that have graduated from a Florida approved teacher education program in 2006 or later and may have competencies 1-4 embedded in their programs of study. Paying the $75 now ensures teachers ONLY take the outstanding competences identified by the state. Without an official Statement of Eligibility status, there is no guarantee on which competencies remain outstanding and teachers may take more course than required by the state to earn the Reading Endorsement. Please remember the $75 is the cost of adding on a certification. And if the $75 is paid up front, the teacher has three years to complete the requirement before an additional fee is required to add on the endorsement.

If I teach intensive reading intervention to a student identified as Tier 3 and/or having earned an achievement level 1 on the ELA FSA and I do not currently have a Reading Endorsement or Reading Certification, will I be required to sign an Agreement to Earn the Reading Endorsement?

Teachers providing intensive reading intervention must be Reading Endorsed or Reading Certified beginning school year 2020-2021. Teachers providing intensive reading intervention in 2020-2021 that are not Reading Endorsed or Reading Certified must sign an Agreement to Earn the Reading Endorsement and earn at least six hours or the equivalent of at least 120 in-service points toward the Reading Endorsement within a 12 month period from the anniversary date on the Agreement to Earn and each 12 months thereafter until all requirements are completed and they have added the Endorsement to their certificate. The teacher may be subject to displacement or termination if he/she is out of compliance.

Do I receive in-service points OR credit for EPI course completion?

EPI awards 60 in-service points for Competency 2 when the program is completed. No in-service points nor ESOL credit can be assigned for partial completion of the program. ESOL credit (not in-service points) are awarded for Cross Culture and ESOL Curriculum.