Renewal FAQ's for Current Employees

Are you ready to renew your 5 Year Professional Certificate?

Review the 5-Year Professional Educator Certificate Renewal Checklist below.

Use the Checklist below to assist you with the process of renewing your 5-Year Florida Professional Educator’s Teaching Certificate.
(Note: Steps 1-5 must be completed prior to June 30th in order to renew your teaching certificate.)

  1. Obtain the minimum requirement of 120 in-service points of which 20 in-service points must be in Teaching Students with Disability. (Note: Access the FAQ’S to Renew Your 5-Year Professional Educator’s Certificate under the Methods of Renewal section of the District’s Office of Certification/Compliance/Substitute Services webpage.)
  2. Access the Staff Portal, click the Certification tab to complete and submit the Renewal Payment Form.
  3. Create a VERSA Educator Account and onboard.
  4. Review the step-by-step instructions on How to Complete the FLDOE Renewal Application.
  5. Submit the VERSA Renewal Online Application with the Florida Department of Education (FLDOE). (Note: Select District Affiliation: 53-Polk)

Send your additional questions/concerns to certhelp1@polk-fl.net (Secondary & K-8) or certhelp2@polk-fl.net (Elementary).

Do I have the proper amount of in-service points?

If you have four or less academic areas on your certificate, then you will need a minimum of 120 in-service points to include 20 in-service points (one semester hour) in teaching students with disabilities (SWD) per Senate Bill 1108 (SB 1108).
Note: Endorsements are not an academic area and do not require any in-service points towards renewal.

What are the methods of renewal I can use to renew my certificate?

All methods listed below must be completed within the validity period of your Professional Certificate being renewed.
The methods include:
In-service Points – A minimum of 120 in-service points is required for renewal for those who have four or less academic areas on their professional certificate. Endorsements are not academic areas and do not require in-service points.
College Credit – One 3 semester hour course is equivalent to 60 in-service points. A grade of at least ‘C’ must be earned in each college course used for renewal. A grade of ‘pass’ or ‘satisfactory’ is an acceptable grade. Course(s) used for certificate renewal must be completed at an accredited college or university.
Subject Area Exam – A passing score on a subject area exam for the subject added or reflected on the Professional Certificate is equivalent to 60 in-service points. Passing scores are automatically submitted to the DOE. Note: The subject area exam to obtain your initial Professional Certificate, cannot be used as a method of renewal.
National Board Certification – A valid NBPTS Certificate will renew the corresponding coverage on the Professional Certificate and is equivalent to 120 in-service points.
College Teaching Experience – A course taught at the college level at an accredited institution is the same as a course taken for renewal. Request that the registrar at your college/university submit a letter listing the prefix, number and name for each course, the number of semester hours earned by students in each course, and the dates the courses were taught. Teaching multiple sections of the same course.
Schools of Excellence– The substitution of 1 school year of employment within a School of Excellence May be used for 20 in-service points toward the renewal of a professional certificate, up to 60 in-service points in a 5-year cycle, pursuant to s. 1012.585(3).

How do I know if I met the SWD requirement per SB 1108?

Once you access your in-service record, any course that can be applied towards meeting the SWD requirement will have a notation of 1108 at the end of the title.

How do I retrieve my in-service record with Polk County?

Access NetConnect at this link to check your in-service record: https://polk.truenorthlogic.com/U/P/Tab/Home.

How do I register for FDLRS courses?

You will need to create an account with GoSignMeUp to register for FDLRS courses

Who do I contact if my FDLRS courses are not reflected on my NetConnect transcript?

If your FDLRS SWD points are not reflected on your NetConnect transcripts please contact Matthew Cobble for assistance.

How can I transfer in-service points from another Florida School District?

If you are transferring to Polk County from another Florida school district, request an In-service Teacher Education Transfer Record (Form OTE 206) from your former District.
• This form must be submitted electronically to: Patti.wilkins@polk-fl.net

What options are available for me to meet the SWD requirement?

Visit the FDLRS Website to view the list of courses that are available through the district to meet the SWD requirement. Be sure to follow the color legend for courses that meet the SWD Credit.
The FDLRS State Module of Teaching Students with Disabilities and PDA Effective Teaching Practices for Students with Disabilities: Focusing on the Content Areas are free online independent study modules that meet the SWD requirement. Visit: http://www.fl-pda.org/
• An ESE subject area exam(i.e., Exceptional Student Education K-12, Hearing Impaired K-12, Visually Impaired K-12 or Speech-Language Impaired K-12) passed during the validity period that corresponds with the ESE coverage on the certificate satisfies 60 in-service points and the credit for teaching SWD
• A valid NBPTS Exceptional Needs Specialist Certificate satisfies the teaching SWD requirement when the Florida Professional Certificate includes an ESE coverage
• An ESE College course completed during the validity period of your professional certificate may also be used to meet this requirement, if the course is approved through our district

Can an ESE college course completed during the validity period of my certificate be used to meet the SWD renewal requirement?

For course approval send an email to poinsetta.tillman@polk-fl.net with the following information: Course prefix & number, name of course, name of college, course description, and number of semester hours.
Note: Once courses are approved, access the certification tab under the Renewal XXX on the staff portal to upload a copy of the email approval for the course. Submitthe official transcript reflecting the approved course(s) to the certification office if not already on file.

Are excess in-service points/college courses earned in SWD credit bankable?

Yes, excess SWD credit earned during a professional certificate validity period that includes the 2014-2015 or later school year is eligible to be banked for future certificate renewals.

Are the following courses acceptable to meet the SWD requirement?

Unfortunately,the following courses are not acceptable—per the Florida Department of Education (FLDOE):
Gifted Education courses
American Sign Language courses (unless the courses are in teaching American Sign Language to the Hearing Impaired)

If my name changed during my renewal period what do I need to do to make sure it gets changed on my certificate?

While renewing your certificate, if your name is different on the application than what is showing at the FLDOE and your new name has been changed in SAP, then it will automatically be changed.

Important Reminders:
• In order to maintain your status as a full salaried teacher, you must hold a valid Florida teaching certificate.
• Keep a copy of all documents submitted to the Certification Office. Note The date of your submission, and create a file that contains a record of the email notifications that you receive from the Certification Office.
• Do not wait. All of the requirements for renewing your certificate must be complete and received in the Certification Office for processing no later than June 30th the year your professional certificate expires.

Renewal FAQ's for Previous Employees

What District Affiliation should I select within the FLDOE Renewal Application?

If you are not employed with a school district in the state of Florida, please select 100-FLDOE as your district affiliation within the FLDOE Renewal Application.

Do I have the proper amount of in-service points?

If you have four or less academic areas on your certificate, then you will need a minimum of 120 in-service points to include 20 inservice points (one semester hour) in teaching students with disabilities (SWD) per Senate Bill 1108 (SB 1108).
Note: Endorsements are not an academic area and do not require any in-service points towards renewal.

What are the methods of renewal I can use to renew my certificate?

All methods listed below must be completed within the validity period of your Professional Certificate being renewed.
The methods include:
In-service Points – A minimum of 120 in-service points is required for renewal for those who have four or less academic areas on their professional certificate. Endorsements are not academic areas and do not require in-service points. Contact patti.wilkins@polk-fl.net to submit your Polk County in-service points to the FLDOE.
College Credit – One 3 semester hour course is equivalent to 60 in-service points. Submit an official transcript to the FLDOE. (Photocopies are not official transcripts). A grade of at least ‘C’ must be earned in each college course used for renewal. A grade of ‘pass’ or ‘satisfactory’ is an acceptable grade. Course(s) used for certificate renewal must be completed at an accredited college or university.
Subject Area Exam – A passing score on subject area exam for the subject added or reflected on the Professional Certificate is equivalent to 60 in-service points. Passing scores are automatically submitted to the DOE. Note: The subject area exam to obtain your initial Professional Certificate, cannot be used as a method of renewal.
National Board Certification – A valid NBPTS Certificate will renew the corresponding coverage on the Professional Certificate and is equivalent to 120 in-service points. Upload a copy of your valid NBPTS Certificate to the FLDOE Renewal Application.
College Teaching Experience – A course taught at the college level at an accredited institution is the same as a course taken for renewal. Request that the registrar at your college/university submit a letter to the FLDOE listing the prefix, number and name for each course, the number of semester hours earned by students in each course, and the dates the courses were taught. Teaching multiple sections of the same course.
Schools of Excellence– The substitution of 1 school year of employment within a School of Excellence may be used for 20 inservice points toward the renewal of a professional certificate, up to 60 inservice points in a 5-year cycle, pursuant to s. 1012.585(3).

How do I retrieve my in-service record with Polk County?

Access NetConnect at this link to check your in-service record: https://polk.truenorthlogic.com/U/P/Tab/Home.
Note: If you do not have access to NetConnect you will need to login as a guest user to register for a course. Guest Login

How do I register for FDLRS courses?

You will need to create an account with GoSignMeUp to register for FDLRS courses.

Who do I contact if my FDLRS courses are not reflected on my NetConnect transcript?

If your FDLRS SWD points are not reflected on your NetConnect transcripts please contact Matthew Cobble for assistance.

What options are available for me to meet the SWD requirement?

Visit the FDLRS Website to view the list of courses that are available through the district to meet the SWD requirement. Be sure to follow the color legend for courses that meet the SWD Credit
The FDLRS State Module of Teaching Students with Disabilities and PDA Effective Teaching Practices for Students with Disabilities: Focusing on the Content Areas are free online independent study modules that meet the SWD requirement. Visit: http://www.fl-pda.org/
• An ESE subject area exam (i.e., Exceptional Student Education K-12, Hearing Impaired K-12, Visually Impaired K-12 or Speech-Language Impaired K-12) passed during the validity period that corresponds with the ESE coverage on the certificate satisfies 60 in-service points and the credit for teaching SWD
• A valid NBPTS Exceptional Needs Specialist Certificate satisfies the teaching SWD requirement when the Florida Professional Certificate includes an ESE coverage
• An ESE College course completed during the validity period of your professional certificate may also be used to meet this requirement, if the course is approved by the FLDOE.

Can an ESE college course completed during the validity period of my certificate to be used towards renewed?

Contact the FLDOE for ESE college course approval.

Are excess in-service points/college courses earned in SWD credit bankable?

Yes, excess SWD credit earned during a professional certificate validity period that includes the 2014-2015 or later school year is eligible to be banked for future certificate renewals.

Are the following courses acceptable to meet the SWD requirement?

Unfortunately, the following courses are not acceptable—per the Florida Department of Education (FLDOE):
Gifted Education courses
American Sign Language courses (unless the courses are in teaching American Sign Language to the Hearing Impaired)

Renewal FAQ's for Charter Employees

Do I have the proper amount of in-service points?

If you have four or less academic areas on your certificate, then you will need a minimum of 120 in-service points to include 20 in-service points (one semester hour) in teaching students with disabilities (SWD) per Senate Bill 1108 (SB 1108).
Note: Endorsements are not an academic area and do not require any in-service points towards renewal.

What are the methods of renewal I can use to renew my certificate?

All methods listed below must be completed within the validity period of your Professional Certificate being renewed.
The methods include:
In-service Points – A minimum of 120 in-service points is required for renewal for those who have four or less academic areas on their professional certificate. Endorsements are not academic areas and do not require in-service points. Contact patti.wilkins@polk-fl.net to submit your Polk County in-service points to the FLDOE.
College Credit – One 3 semester hour course is equivalent to 60 in-service points. Submit an official transcript to the FLDOE. (Photocopies are not official transcripts). A grade of at least ‘C’ must be earned in each college course used for renewal. A grade of ‘pass’ or ‘satisfactory’ is an acceptable grade. Course(s) used for certificate renewal must be completed at an accredited college or university.
Subject Area Exam – A passing score on subject area exam for the subject added or reflected on the Professional Certificate is equivalent to 60 in-service points. Passing scores are automatically submitted to the DOE. Note: The subject area exam to obtain your initial Professional Certificate, cannot be used as a method of renewal.
National Board Certification – A valid NBPTS Certificate will renew the corresponding coverage on the Professional Certificate and is equivalent to 120 in-service points. Upload a copy of your valid NBPTS Certificate to the FLDOE Renewal Application.
College Teaching Experience – A course taught at the college level at an accredited institution is the same as a course taken for renewal. Request that the registrar at your college/university submit a letter to the FLDOE listing the prefix, number and name for each course, the number of semester hours earned by students in each course, and the dates the courses were taught. Teaching multiple sections of the same course.
Schools of Excellence– The substitution of 1 school year of employment within a School of Excellence may be used for 20 inservice points toward the renewal of a professional certificate, up to 60 inservice points in a 5-year cycle, pursuant to s. 1012.585(3).

How do I know if I met the SWD requirement per SB 1108?

Once you access your in-service record, any course that can be applied towards meeting the SWD requirement will have a notation of 1108 at the end of the title.

How do I retrieve my in-service record with Polk County?

Access NetConnect at this link to check your in-service record: https://polk.truenorthlogic.com/U/P/Tab/Home.

How do I register for FDLRS courses?

You will need to create an account with GoSignMeUp to register for FDLRS courses

Who do I contact if my FDLRS courses are not reflected on my NetConnect transcript?

If your FDLRS SWD points are not reflected on your NetConnect transcripts please contact Matthew Cobble for assistance.

How can I transfer in-service points from another Florida School District?

If you are transferring to Polk County from another Florida school district, request an In-service Teacher Education Transfer Record (Form OTE 206) from your former District.
• This form must be submitted electronically to: Patti.wilkins@polk-fl.net

What options are available for me to meet the SWD requirement?

Visit the FDLRS Website to view the list of courses that are available through the district to meet the SWD requirement. Be sure to follow the color legend for courses that meet the SWD Credit
The FDLRS State Module of Teaching Students with Disabilities and PDA Effective Teaching Practices for Students with Disabilities: Focusing on the Content Areas are free online independent study modules that meet the SWD requirement. Visit: http://www.fl-pda.org/
• An ESE subject area exam (i.e., Exceptional Student Education K-12, Hearing Impaired K-12, Visually Impaired K-12 or Speech-Language Impaired K-12) passed during the validity period that corresponds with the ESE coverage on the certificate satisfies 60 in-service points and the credit for teaching SWD
• A valid NBPTS Exceptional Needs Specialist Certificate satisfies the teaching SWD requirement when the Florida Professional Certificate includes an ESE coverage
• An ESE College course completed during the validity period of your professional certificate may also be used to meet this requirement, if the course is approved by the FLDOE.

Can an ESE college course completed during the validity period of my certificate to be used towards renewed?

For course approval send an email to poinsetta.tillman@polk-fl.net with the following information: Course prefix & number, name of course, name of college, course description, and number of semester hours. Note: Once courses are approved, access the certification tab under the Renewal XXX on the staff portal to upload a copy of the email approval for the course. Submitthe official transcript reflecting the approved course(s) to the certification office if not already on file.

Are excess in-service points/college courses earned in SWD credit bankable?

Yes, excess SWD credit earned during a professional certificate validity period that includes the 2014-2015 or later school year is eligible to be banked for future certificate renewals.

Are the following courses acceptable to meet the SWD requirement?

Unfortunately, the following courses are not acceptable—per the Florida Department of Education (FLDOE):
Gifted Education courses
American Sign Language courses (unless the courses are in teaching American Sign Language to the Hearing Impaired)

If my name changed during my renewal period what do I need to do to make sure it gets changed on my certificate?

While renewing your certificate, if your name is different on the application than what is showing at the FLDOE and your new name has been changed in SAP, then it will automatically be changed.

Important Reminders:
• In order to maintain your status as a full salaried teacher, you must hold a valid Florida teaching certificate.
• Keep a copy of all documents submitted to the Certification Office. Note The date of your submission, and create a file that contains a record of the email notifications that you receive from the Certification Office.
• Do not wait. All of the requirements for renewing your certificate must be complete and received in the Certification Office for processing no later than June 30th.