Frequently Asked Questions

Following are some of the most frequently asked questions (FAQs) about the ProTeach Portfolio performance assessment. More FAQs will be added over time, so keep checking back.

About the Assessment
Registration
The Entries
An Emphasis on Student Voice
Submissions
Scoring
Resubmissions
Fees & Payment Policies
Technical Help

About the Assessment

  1. What is the professional certificate, and who needs to earn it?
  2. How do I earn the professional certificate?
  3. What is the role of my Professional Growth Plan (PGP) in earning my professional certificate?
  4. What is the role of my Professional Growth Team (PGT) in earning my professional certificate?
  5. Are there any specific courses I must complete to earn my professional certificate?
  6. When can I start my ProTeach Portfolio?
  7. When can I apply for my professional certificate?
  8. How long do I have to earn my professional certificate?
  9. How long does the ProTeach Portfolio take to complete?
  10. How will I find time to complete the ProTeach Portfolio and teach?
  11. How does induction mentoring and support relate to the ProTeach Portfolio?
  12. As an experienced teacher from out-of-state, can I qualify for the Washington professional certificate without applying for the ProTeach Portfolio? What about reciprocity?
  13. If I have a residency certificate and am teaching out-of-state, can I work toward my professional certificate?
  14. What do I have to do to keep a valid professional certificate?
  15. Are classroom observations required as part of the ProTeach Portfolio?
  16. Is a master's degree required to earn the professional certificate?
  17. Can I earn the professional certificate by earning a master's degree instead of completing the ProTeach Portfolio?
  18. I am currently employed under a teaching contract, but my duties do not include working with students in my own classroom. Can I register for the ProTeach Portfolio?
  19. I am currently unemployed but have taught 2 years and accumulated 1.5 FTE (Full Time Equivalent). Can I register for the ProTeach Portolio and earn my professional certificate?
  20. I am currently unemployed. Can I "borrow" a classroom for the purpose of completing my portfolio?
  21. I teach in a non-traditional classroom. Do I need to do anything differently for my three entries?

Registration

  1. When does registration begin for the ProTeach Portfolio?
  2. How is my eligibility established so I can register for the ProTeach Portfolio?
  3. What do I need in order to register online?
  4. How do I register for the ProTeach Portfolio?
  5. What if I'm unable to complete the online registration and fee payment?
  6. I teach at a private school or a state agency providing educational services to children, and have a Washington residency certificate. Can I register for the ProTeach Portfolio?
  7. How much does it cost to register for the ProTeach Portfolio?
  8. Which submission deadline date should I choose?
  9. What happens if I register late?
  10. Is it possible to change my submission date after I have registered?
  11. How do I request nonstandard accommodations for a disability when registering?

The Entries

  1. How do I know I am addressing the criteria when I compose my entries?
  2. How should I start building my ProTeach Portfolio entries?
  3. How should I organize my work schedule?
  4. How should I make use of the rubric? I know it is part of the scoring system, but can it help me as I work on my portfolio?
  5. Is it acceptable for team teachers — both of whom are completing the ProTeach Portfolio — to submit shared materials such as lesson plans and handouts?
  6. Can I use my own permission form — rather than the Student and Adult Release Forms — to gain student and parent consent to include materials in my entries?
  7. Do I need to submit the Student and Adult Release Forms I collect?
  8. Is there a maximum character limit to the entries?
  9. Why does the ProTeach Portfolio online character counter display a count different from my word processing program?
  10. Are there penalties for accidentally answering a question in the wrong place or including a student's name or the name of my school?
  11. Where can I turn for guidance in building my portfolio, if I need it?
  12. Why do I need to complete the Needs Assessment for Entry 1?
  13. Entry 1 asks for process and content goals related to the Essential Academic Learning Requirements (EALR) or Grade Level Expectations (GLE). Are the content goals meant to be goals for our students?
  14. Where in Entry 1 do I include the Professional Growth Activities Log?
  15. What activities should be included in the Professional Growth Activities Log?
  16. If I reference books as resources for professional development, should I cite them?
  17. Can I choose more than 3 goals to work on?
  18. I do not have students of diverse backgrounds. How can I show cultural sensitivity in Entry 2?
  19. How does the School/Class Profile Form differ from contextual information requested in Entry 2 and Entry 3?
  20. What kind of evidence should I use to address the rubric for Entry 2, Criterion 1c, which states that I must demonstrate that students have an adequate and effective voice in classroom norms?
  21. In Textbox 1.2.2, can I type my written response in Word table format?

An Emphasis on Student Voice

  1. What is student voice?
  2. Why is there an emphasis on student voice?
  3. What are the reform efforts designed to do?
  4. Is this a new focus in teacher practice for the professional certificate?
  5. I teach students with severe disabilities. How can I show student voice?
  6. Do the 3 focus students in Entry 3 need to be the same as those used in other entries?
  7. When talking about my teaching and assessments in Entry 3, do I always have to do so in the context of the 3 focus students or can I speak generally about the whole class?
  8. Am I limited to just 1 learning target, instructional strategy and assessment per focus student?

Submissions

  1. Can I submit a video recording as part of my evidence?
  2. What if my examples of student voice are contained in pictures or videos that resulted from art or drama coursework?
  3. As a music teacher, written tests and projects are not part of my normal curriculum. Most of my assessment artifacts are in the form of recordings and videos of students playing and singing. What should I do?
  4. How will I know what student work to submit?
  5. I teach kindergarten. What if the student work I submit looks like it came from a 5-year-old?
  6. Should I include names of any students, parents or school officials in my submissions?
  7. How should the written commentary be composed — in bullet points, prose, etc.?
  8. What if I want to strengthen my writing skills? What do you recommend?
  9. Which file types are permitted to be uploaded as artifacts?
  10. How do I attach artifacts?
  11. Can I include a PowerPoint presentation as evidence? If so, how many slides may I submit?
  12. If I include a double-sided document in evidence, does each sheet count as 1 page or 2?
  13. If I want to submit pictures, can I place more than 1 on a page?
  14. Can I submit more than 1 newspaper article on a page?
  15. Can I use an artifact to extend my commentary?

Scoring

  1. How will my entries be scored?
  2. Who will be scoring my entries?
  3. Will I receive a score on each of my entries?
  4. Why would only 1 criterion in an entry receive an NS (nonscorable) instead of a score?
  5. Why would all criteria in an entry receive an NS?
  6. When will I be notified of my scores?
  7. Where can I find an explanation of the scoring process?
  8. What should I do if I can't access my online score report?
  9. Is a printed version of my score report available?
  10. Will I receive feedback from the scorers who scored my entries?
  11. What is the passing score and possible score range for the assessment?
  12. Can I pass the assessment with fewer than 12 scores?
  13. What if I think 1 or more of my scores was reported incorrectly?
  14. What is score banking?
  15. How much time do I have to request a rescore of an entry(ies)?

Resubmissions

  1. If I do not achieve a passing score, can I resubmit an entry(ies)? How do I decide which entry(ies) to resubmit?
  2. When will my resubmitted entries be scored?
  3. Will scorers know my scores from previously submitted entries?
  4. What happens if I don't score as well on a resubmitted entry?
  5. How are resubmission scores reported?
  6. I received an NS on one or more criteria and must resubmit. Can I resubmit the same commentary that I included in my original submission?
  7. I have chosen to resubmit Entry 1 and would like to readdress the same professional growth goals that I used in my initial submission. Is that permissible? If I keep the same or some of the same goals, must I choose all new professional growth activities?
  8. I plan on resubmitting Entry 2. Must I change everything in my response?
  9. If I decide to resubmit Entry 3, must I present all new information? What about the artifacts? Must they also be new?
  10. Will I be able to edit my previous written response online in order to prepare my resubmission?

Fees & Payment Policies

  1. What are the fees for the ProTeach Portfolio?
  2. When do fees need to be paid?
  3. How can I pay my fees?
  4. What if I can't pay my fees right away?
  5. I registered for the ProTeach Portfolio, but now need to cancel my registration. Can I get a refund?
  6. Are there situations in which I'm not entitled to a refund?
  7. I teach at a private school or a state agency providing educational services to children, and have a Washington residency certificate and want to register for the ProTeach Portfolio. Are there special/additional fees for me?
  8. Are there any circumstances that would entitle me to a reduction of my fees?

Technical Help

  1. What if I need technical support or have questions about how the website works?
  2. How often should I save my work?

About the Assessment

What is the professional certificate, and who needs to earn it?
The professional certificate is the second-tier certificate for teaching in Washington. If you hold a residency certificate, you must obtain a professional certificate before your residency certificate expires.

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How do I earn the professional certificate?
You must meet or exceed the ProTeach Portfolio passing score as set by the Professional Educator Standards Board (PESB) and take a course on issues of abuse. These are the only requirements. NOTE: All candidates for the professional certificate are required to complete a course on issues of abuse. This requirement may have been met during your course work for the residency certificate. Courses on issues of abuse are regularly offered by the Educational Service Districts (ESDs) in your region. To identify your ESD, visit the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) website.

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What is the role of my Professional Growth Plan (PGP) in earning my professional certificate?
The PESB determined the PGP is crucial to a teacher's demonstration of the professional certificate 3 standards and 12 criteria. As a result, WAC 181-79A-030 was revised to define the PGP as the document that identifies the specific competencies, knowledge, skills and experiences needed to meet the standards set forth in WAC 181-79A-207. Further, the PESB determined that a PGP is prepared by the candidate for the professional certificate in collaboration with members of the professional growth team.

Using the 3 standards and 12 criteria to develop and implement this plan, new teachers can begin to assemble a body of artifacts. For a suggested format of the PGP, visit the PESB website.

The PGP should not be included in your ProTeach Portfolio submission. It is a suggested guideline for the preparation of your portfolio materials.

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What is the role of my Professional Growth Team (PGT) in earning my professional certificate?
The Professional Growth Team – for the purpose of renewal of the professional certificate – is a team comprised of the individual renewing the certificate and a minimum of 3 colleagues, all of whom hold a current educator certificate, chosen by the individual.

Please be prepared to identify at least 3 members of your PGT at the time of registration for the assessment.

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Are there any specific courses I must complete to earn my professional certificate?
All candidates for the professional certificate are required to complete a course on issues of abuse. This requirement may have been met during your course work for the residency certificate. Courses on issues of abuse are regularly offered by the Educational Service Districts (ESDs) in your region. To identify your ESD, visit the OSPI website.

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When can I start my ProTeach Portfolio?
You must hold a valid Washington residency certificate. You may begin your ProTeach Portfolio at the beginning of your third year of service if you have accumulated at least 1.5 FTE. However, because all information about the ProTeach Portfolio is available free-of-charge online, you can begin your preparation by reviewing the standards, criteria and assessment instructions at any time.

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When can I apply for my professional certificate?
If you meet the ProTeach Portfolio passing score and have completed 2 full years of service accruing at least 1.5 FTE, you may apply for your professional certificate.

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How long do I have to earn my professional certificate?
The residency certificate timeline shows the length of residency certificates.

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How long does the ProTeach Portfolio take to complete?
You can choose the length of preparation time by carefully selecting your date of registration. Examine the assessment calendar carefully. The day you choose to register defines the amount of time you will have to prepare your portfolio. Your preparation time could be as little as 8 weeks or as long as 14-1/2 months, depending on when you register and which submission deadline date you choose.

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How will I find time to complete the ProTeach Portfolio and teach?
Time management can be a challenge. The process was designed with 2 considerations in mind to help address this issue:

  • Any authentic, classroom-based activities that reflect effective teaching and support a teacher's everyday work are eligible for submission to ProTeach Portfolio.
  • In developing the ProTeach Portfolio, the development team considered how the assessment could be completed with the most efficient use of time on the part of the candidate.

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How does induction mentoring and support relate to the ProTeach Portfolio?
Although the emphasis in the first 2 years of teaching is on Standard 1: Effective Teaching, new teachers can begin looking toward the professional certificate 3 standards and 12 criteria as a foundation for analysis and reflection in their teaching practice as they are receiving induction mentoring and support. During induction, new teachers must keep their Professional Growth Plan (PGP) current, making revisions as necessary and appropriate. The PGP is the document that identifies the specific competencies, knowledge, skills and experiences needed to meet the 3 standards and 12 criteria set forth in WAC 181-79A-207.

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As an experienced teacher from out-of-state, can I qualify for the Washington professional certificate without applying for the ProTeach Portfolio? What about reciprocity?
Currently, reciprocity agreements cover only the first level of certification, not the second-tier level. There has been a reciprocity agreement with Oregon. However, Oregon has made changes to their Continuing Teaching License; therefore, review of the reciprocity agreement is currently underway. As an experienced teacher from out-of-state, you are required to meet or exceed the passing score of the ProTeach Portfolio in order to earn your professional certificate.

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If I have a residency certificate and am teaching out-of-state, can I work toward my professional certificate?
Yes. A teacher can work on the portfolio even if he/she is not working with Washington students.

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What is the status of my professional certificate? What do I have to do to keep a valid professional certificate?
For information on the status of your professional certificate and how to keep it current, please go to OSPIís website.

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Are classroom observations required as part of the ProTeach Portfolio?
No, observations are not required.

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Is a master's degree required to earn the professional certificate?
No.

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Can I earn the professional certificate by earning a master's degree instead of completing the ProTeach Portfolio?
No. You must complete the ProTeach Portfolio. However, colleges and universities may include work toward the ProTeach Portfolio within a master's program.

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I am currently employed under a teaching contract, but my duties do not include working with students in my own classroom. Can I register for the ProTeach Portfolio?
Yes; however, the ProTeach Portfolio requires you to show a positive impact on student performance. Many of the activities may be challenging — but not impossible — for you to complete if you do not have regular access to and responsibility for students in the classroom.

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I am currently unemployed but have taught 2 years and accumulated 1.5 FTE (Full Time Equivalent). Can I register for the ProTeach Portolio and earn my professional certificate?
Yes. The PESB has determined that your employment status will not affect earning your professional certificate once you have accumulated the required 1.5 FTE in at least 2 years of service.

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I am currently unemployed. Can I "borrow" a classroom for the purpose of completing my portfolio?
Yes, you can borrow a classroom to complete your portfolio.

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I teach in a non-traditional classroom. Do I need to do anything differently for my three entries?
No. The requirements of each ProTeach Portfolio entry enable teachers in a wide variety of situations and settings to respond successfully. Entry 2 and Entry 3 are specific to the classroom situation. Entry 2 requires that the candidate involve students in formulating procedures and rules. It also requires having students relate their own personal experiences to the classroom learning. Both of these requirements can be addressed by ProTeach Portfolio candidates regardless of their setting. For example, teachers who work in an online environment still have opportunity to involve students in the above mentioned areas. Another entry requirement is involvement with parents and community. Depending on the setting (e.g., residential care, detention facility), families may look different, but there still will be guardians with whom the candidate can interact. For Entry 3, candidates must choose 3 focus students and develop appropriate learning targets. The entry requires that the candidate work in various areas to help their 3 focus students reach their learning targets. The key is making sure the learning targets are appropriate to the students — their development levels, their behaviors and their personal situations. Regardless of the setting, all candidates can choose learning targets that fit their students. ProTeach Portfolio candidates are assessed on how well they address the needs of their students within each setting; they are not assessed on the setting in which they teach.

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Registration

When does registration begin for the ProTeach Portfolio?
Registration for the ProTeach Portfolio is open and available every day of the year, all year long.

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How is my eligibility established so I can register for the ProTeach Portfolio?
As approved by the PESB, eligibility to register for the ProTeach Portfolio is established when you have taught for a minimum of 2 years and accumulated at least 1.5 FTE. Annually on October 1, teacher employment data are reported by school districts to the OSPI. Verification of teacher eligibility occurs through daily data feeds between the ProTeach Portfolio registration website and OSPI. If your record is correct with the state, verification of your eligibility should be immediate at the time of registration. Follow the instructions on the screen if you receive an ineligible/exceptions message when you attempt to register. Use this downloadable form to help you correct your record with the state.

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What do I need in order to register online?
You need only 2 items to register: 1) your Washington residency certificate number and 2) a method of online payment (e.g., credit card, e-check). Your eligibility will be instantly verified at the time of your registration. Once it is verified, you can proceed to create a username and password for access to your personal ProTeach Portfolio website.

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How do I register for the ProTeach Portfolio?
Go to "I'm ready to sign up now!"

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What if I'm unable to complete the online registration and fee payment?
Customer service representatives at the ProTeach Portfolio Contact Center can assist you with registration any time between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. (Pacific Time), Monday through Thursday, and between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. (Pacific Time) on Friday. However, payment for all ProTeach Portfolio fees must be made online.

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I teach at a private school or a state agency providing educational services to children, and have a Washington residency certificate. Can I register for the ProTeach Portfolio?
Yes. You may complete the registration process in the same way as public school teachers and must meet the same eligibility requirements.

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How much does it cost to register for the ProTeach Portfolio?
See Fees.

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Which submission deadline date should I choose?
You should choose the submission deadline date you believe will give you enough time to complete your portfolio to the best of your abilities. You should consider personal and professional demands when making this choice. We recommend giving yourself 2 years to complete the ProTeach Portfolio before your residency certificate expiration date. Use the first year to collect evidence and build your portfolio and the second year to submit (and potentially resubmit) any entries. The ProTeach Portfolio assessment calendar offers 2 submission deadline dates — January 31 or June 28 — for each registration window so you have the option of completing your ProTeach Portfolio quickly or taking more time, depending on the date of your registration.

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What happens if I register late?
If you register any time within the last 2 weeks of a registration window, you will be assessed a late fee of $125. This is necessary because of the hiring commitments made for the scoring session.

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Is it possible to change my submission date after I have registered?
Yes, you can change your submission date to the latter of the two deadline dates within your registration window for a fee of $75. Please see the Fees section for more information.

Under special circumstances, ETS will review requests to change to a later submission date outside of a candidateís registration window. Please call or e-mail our Contact Center and they will inform you of what evidence would need to be submitted in order to support your request for an extension.

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How do I request nonstandard accommodations for a disability when registering?
Nonstandard accommodations are available for candidates with disabilities who meet the requirements set forth by ETS, in alignment with the federal Americans with Disabilities Act standards.

To request nonstandard accommodations, you must apply through ETS and have the accommodations approved prior to submission of your portfolio. You can apply for an accommodation by completing the application found in this instruction guide and following the application submission requirements included therein.

Candidates who are seeking nonstandard accommodations for a disability also must select "Intend to seek accommodations?" in the "My Profile" section of their Washington ProTeach Portfolio account.

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The Entries

How do I know I am addressing the criteria when I compose my entries?
Answer the guiding questions within the entries, which are based on the 3 standards and 12 criteria. Continually check your written commentary against the 4-point rubrics.

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How should I start building my ProTeach Portfolio entries?
Begin by reading through the entry directions to get a sense of how your ProTeach Portfolio will be built. Then begin with Entry 1. In this entry, you will use a Needs Assessment to examine your practice and develop your goals for professional growth. These goals will likely impact the strategies and activities that are applied in Entries 2 and 3. In other words, the Needs Assessment in Entry 1 provides a basis for what should be done in the other entries. For more information, see Getting Started.

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How should I organize my work schedule?
After reviewing the entry directions, develop a timeline working backward from the submission deadline date in order to set an entry completion schedule. For more information, see Getting Started.

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How should I make use of the rubric? I know it is part of the scoring system, but can it help me as I work on my portfolio?
Absolutely! Keep the rubric for each entry nearby as you work. When you finish a draft of an entry, read the rubric and ask yourself whether you have provided adequate evidence that addresses each bullet. Ask a trusted colleague to serve as your scorer and give additional feedback.

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Is it acceptable for team teachers — both of whom are completing the ProTeach Portfolio — to submit shared materials such as lesson plans and handouts?
Often in team-teaching situations, there is overlap of materials. This is not a problem; you may submit some of the same things. However, the written commentary that discusses the evidence must be different from that of your team-teaching partner(s).

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Can I use my own permission form — rather than the Student and Adult Release Forms — to gain student and parent consent to include materials in my entries?
No. The PESB Assistant Attorney General directed PESB staff to have participants get parent permission for use of student materials. The Attorney General's office approved these 2 forms and they must be used for the inclusion of any student or adult work in your entries. The forms need not be submitted but must be filed with your records. Random audits of Student Release Form and Adult Release Form records may be conducted.

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Do I need to submit the Student and Adult Release Forms I collect?
No. You must collect those forms and retain them for your records, but do not submit them with your portfolio. When you register, your electronic signature is your guarantee that you will be in possession of completed and signed Student and Adult Release Forms at the time you submit your portfolio.

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Is there a maximum character limit to the entries?
Yes. Entry 1 and Entry 2 have a character limit of 21,000 characters each. Entry 3 has a character limit of 24,000 characters. A character is counted by every letter, every punctuation mark and every space you type. As you are typing your written commentary online, an automatic counter will be visible on your screen to show you how many characters you have used out of the allowable number of characters. You will not be able to submit any entry that exceeds the maximum character limit. Therefore, you may need to edit your response before submitting.

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Why does the ProTeach Portfolio online character counter display a count different from my word processing program?
Character counts in word processing programs vary widely based on the software used and elements such as typeface, font size, kerning, margins, etc. To ensure fairness for all candidates, the ProTeach Portfolio online authoring system automatically standardizes all type that is input into the system, guided by a 12-point non-proportional font, standard 1-inch margins and double-spaced line height. The online character counter is a helpful tool that appears onscreen as you type your entries within your private, secure website. It is the only official ProTeach Portfolio character counter for your entries.

Keep in mind that the character count guideline per entry is intended to be an outside limit — not a target. The substance of your evidence should be able to be communicated within the maximum character count limit, and you should not assume that a longer entry equals a better entry.

If you wish to print your entries for review by a candidate support provider, you can copy and paste your work from the ProTeach Portfolio online authoring system into a word processing document. This approach enables you to take full advantage of the online tools built specifically to help you prepare your entries online over time.

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Are there penalties for accidentally answering a question in the wrong place or including a student's name or the name of my school?
Scorers are trained to collect evidence wherever they find it, as long as it has been included with that particular entry. You should not intentionally include a student's name or the name of your school, but points will not be deducted if it accidentally appears.

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Where can I turn for guidance in building my portfolio, if I need it?
A number of support provider groups are available to assist you in the building of your portfolio. Go to http://assessment.pesb.wa.gov/assessments/proteach/proteach-support-providers for a list of support providers.

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Why do I need to complete the Needs Assessment for Entry 1?
The Needs Assessment is used to examine your practice and develop your goals for professional growth. These goals impact the strategies and activities that are applied in Entries 2 and 3.

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Entry 1 asks for process and content goals related to the Essential Academic Learning Requirements (EALR) or Grade Level Expectations (GLE). Are the content goals meant to be goals for our students?
No. You are focusing on the content areas of student learning; however, the purpose of the Needs Assessment is for you to identify 3 goals for your professional growth.

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Where in Entry 1 do I include the Professional Growth Activities Log?
The Professional Growth Activities Log (PGAL) needs to be attached to textbox 1.3.1. The 2 pages that are required for the PGAL are not included in the artifact limit for Entry 1.

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What activities should be included in the Professional Growth Activities Log?
The Professional Growth Activities Log should list activities that helped you obtain the needed knowledge to address your selected goals.

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If I reference books as resources for professional development, should I cite them?
Yes. Simply include the author and title; no formal citation is needed.

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Can I choose more than 3 goals to work on?
No. The directions stipulate 3 goals. This gives you an opportunity to discuss the goals in depth and provide an appropriate amount of evidence.

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I do not have students of diverse backgrounds. How can I show cultural sensitivity in Entry 2?
Consider things such as life experiences, prior knowledge, abilities and gender as well as ethnicity and race. Think about the individuality of each student and how your knowledge of that student informs your instruction.

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How does the School/Class Profile Form differ from contextual information requested in Entry 2 and Entry 3?
The School/Class Profile Form requests general information to provide the scorer with an understanding of your general teaching context. The contextual information requested in Entry 2 and Entry 3 provides an opportunity to include more specific information about your classroom and school.

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What kind of evidence should I use to address the rubric for Entry 2, Criterion 1c, which states that I must demonstrate that students have an adequate and effective voice in classroom norms?
The evidence should show how your students contribute to a safe, supportive, respectful and productive learning environment. Examples could include but are not limited to notes from discussion, written responses to questions and summaries of small group discussions that show the ways in which your students participate in the procedures, protocols and rules of your classroom.

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In Textbox 1.2.2, can I type my written response in Word table format?
Textboxes do not accept Word table format. Instead, you can type your response in a list format that includes the activity, the start and end dates and reflection on the connections between the proposed professional goals activities and the new skills knowledge and/or abilities. For an example of how you can compose your written response, review Textbox 1.2.2 in the Library of Examples.

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An Emphasis on Student Voice

What is student voice?
The ProTeach Portfolio calls for reflection and feedback from the learner both on their learning and on their learning process (use of students' perspective). Each entry will contain your written commentary as well as artifacts from your teaching practice, including teacher and student work samples in student voice or evidence of learning from the student perspective. That is, the learning process should be demystified for students so they can take an active role in their learning and, as a result, achieve higher-quality outcomes. An essential way to determine this engagement is through student voice. Student voice is a particular type of evidence or artifact that refers to evidence of learning from the students' perspective(s). The term "voice" is not meant to imply that this evidence must be oral or even verbal.

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Why is there an emphasis on student voice?
Personalizing student learning statewide is fundamental to achieving our state reform goals of providing a quality education for each student and closing the achievement gap. Washington has been engaged in education reform since 1993. Considerable time has been spent understanding and identifying how to incorporate student voice in teacher practice and student learning.

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What are the reform efforts designed to do?
The reform efforts are designed to increase the capacity of our teachers to stimulate the mind and increase the potential of each of our students. Teachers must connect their teaching to their learners' frame of reference and help them connect their new learning to what they bring to the classroom. A focus on student voice enables personalized learning, in which each student must be engaged if instruction is to have a positive impact on student learning.

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Is this a new focus in teacher practice for the professional certificate?
Student voice was embedded in the 3 standards and 12 criteria for the professional certificate in approximately 2002.

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I teach students with severe disabilities. How can I show student voice?
Evidence of student voice for students with severe disabilities can be documented by summarizing learner responses that show intentional effort toward reaching the learning target. Students with limited communication skills may indicate engagement through the use of communication boards, pointing, head nods, self counts or other modes of response. Evidence should include information about the environmental or teacher cues that preceded the response as well as the relationship of the student's actions to the learning target.

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Do the 3 focus students in Entry 3 need to be the same as those used in other entries?
No. However, for Entry 3, be sure to select 3 students who are different from one another in their social status (e.g., single-parent family, low socioeconomic status) and behavior (e.g., gregarious, docile, sullen, active, questioning) and whose performance allows you to provide a wide variety of evidence of how you foster learning for a diverse population.

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When talking about my teaching and assessments in Entry 3, do I always have to do so in the context of the 3 focus students or can I speak generally about the whole class?
Write about the focus students when the questions specifically ask about them. If questions (e.g., certain questions on technology) do not specifically mention "focus students," you may discuss your work with all students.

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Am I limited to just 1 learning target, instructional strategy and assessment per focus student?
You may discuss as many targets, strategies and assessments as you feel are necessary to adequately answer the guiding questions.

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Submissions

Can I submit a video recording as part of my evidence?
No. Original evidence must be scanned and submitted electronically via your private, secure ProTeach Portfolio website. Video and audio evidence will not be accepted.

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What if my examples of student voice are contained in pictures or videos that resulted from art or drama coursework?
You are not limited to written samples only. Pictures are acceptable; just add captions that explain the student activity in the picture(s). Video may not be included as evidence.

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As a music teacher, written tests and projects are not part of my normal curriculum. Most of my assessment artifacts are in the form of recordings and videos of students playing and singing. What should I do?
In addition to photographs with captions, a colleague or administrator could observe a class and you can use that observation in written form as evidence if it describes the student(s) as they work. You can also videotape part of a class, have an administrator/colleague watch the recording and provide written feedback based on what the students are doing, and then submit that as evidence.

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How will I know what student work to submit?
The student work you submit should address the guiding questions for each entry. The student work can be used to provide a response to the question. It should be appropriate to what you are teaching and for what the entry is asking. Reflective pieces written by students (student voice) often provide strong evidence.

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I teach kindergarten. What if the student work I submit looks like it came from a 5-year-old?
This is appropriate. Materials should be what the students in your class are producing to address the goals you have set as well as the guiding questions. Scorers are trained to view materials based on the context of the teaching situation. Make sure that your student work is legible.

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Should I include names of any students, parents or school officials in my submissions?
No. Students should be referred to as "Student A," "Student B," etc. Colleagues can be referred to as "my teacher partner" or "my principal" instead of using names. The same policy refers to any other adults included in your submission (e.g., "parent of Student A").

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How should the written commentary be composed — in bullet points, prose, etc.?
Choose the writing style you prefer. Scorers are trained to score on the basis of the evidence submitted, not on the quality or type of writing. What is important is that you clearly communicate your ideas as related to the guiding questions and the submitted student work and artifacts.

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What if I want to strengthen my writing skills? What do you recommend?
The entries in your ProTeach Portfolio require 3 kinds of writing: descriptive, analytic and reflective. There are obvious essential differences between descriptive, analytic and reflective writing. As you compose your written commentary, keep these differences in mind. See Entry Development and Writing Guidelines.

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Which file types are permitted to be uploaded as artifacts?
The permitted file types are .doc, .docx, .xls, .xlsx, .ppt, .pptx, .pdf, .jpg, .gif, .png, and .txt. files. Any other file type, including audio and video files, will NOT count as artifacts and will NOT be scored. Files should be one page each and no larger than 1 MB each.

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How do I attach artifacts?
Attaching artifacts is a three-step process:

  1. Upload files to a library
  2. Attach the files to a particular text box or set of text boxes
  3. Verify that the link to the document is "active" so that the document will be seen by scorers

Step 1 – Uploading Files to the Library
When editing an entry, look for the section labeled "Attach Artifacts" below the last textbox for the entry. Click on the Browse button and find the document to be uploaded. Then click the Upload button. Upload as many documents as you may need. All uploaded documents will be listed at the end of each entry, regardless of whether they were uploaded when working on Entry 1, Entry 2 or Entry 3.

Note 1: You do not have to reference all uploaded files, and there is no limit on the number of files you are permitted to upload to your library. However, only 12 files may be attached to your written commentary.
Note 2: It is recommended that you use short, but recognizable, filenames as the characters used to name a file are included in the overall character count for the entry. With the exception of hyphens and underscores, any special characters included in filenames will be converted to underscores when files are uploaded.

Step 2 – Attaching Uploaded File(s) to Your Submission
In order for the uploaded document to be read by scorers, it must be referenced (attached) within the written commentary entered in a textbox. From the floating toolbar, drag and drop the artifact you would like to add into the written commentary of the textbox to which it relates.

Note 1: The same file may be used in multiple textboxes. However, it MUST be dragged and dropped into each text box in which it is referenced if you want the scorers to refer to the file.
Note 2: When referring to artifacts in your commentary, it is helpful to scorers if you provide a lead-in sentence that helps connect the artifact to the written commentary.

Step 3 – Verify the link to the file is active and can be seen by scorers
In order to verify that the artifact link is live, open the "View Entry" screen. You are now seeing what scorers will see when they score your portfolio.

The artifact should appear in the text as an "active link" (i.e., the text will appear as a different color and underlined). Clicking on the artifact name should open the file that you have attached.

If an active link is not seen or the wrong file opens, you will need to return to "Edit Entry" and check to make sure the correct file has been placed into the appropriate text box.

If this was done correctly and the artifact still does not open when reviewing the entry in "View Entry" mode, please contact the call center for additional assistance.

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Can I include a PowerPoint presentation as evidence? If so, how many slides may I submit?
PowerPoint output may be included. As each artifact is required to be a single page, if you have more than one slide you would like to include, use the PowerPoint print option to produce "handouts." All slides need to be readable by scorers, so six slides per page should be considered a good guideline for the maximum slides per page. Produce a PDF and attach this as the artifact. Inclusion of a ".ppt" file will result in only the FIRST slide being reviewed by scorers.

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If I include a double-sided document in evidence, does each sheet count as one page or two?
A double-sided document counts as 2 pages, even if the content is from the same student example.

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If I want to submit pictures, can I place more than 1 on a page?
Yes, but the pictures must relate to the same subject/topic/event and have appropriate captions. Scorers are instructed to not consider photos if they have been resized to an extent that they are no longer viewable.

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Can I submit more than 1 newspaper article on a page?
Yes, as long as the articles refer to the same subject/topic/event. You may reduce the font size of the articles so that they fit on the same page. However, if you reduce them to the extent that they are no longer readable, scorers will be instructed to not consider them.

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Can I use an artifact to extend my commentary?
No. Artifacts should be used to provide evidence for your commentary, not to extend it. Scorers have been instructed to disregard artifacts that contain commentary.

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Scoring

How will my entries be scored?
See How Portfolios Are Scored.

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Who will be scoring my entries?
See How Portfolios Are Scored.

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Will I receive a score on each of my entries?
See How Portfolios Are Scored.

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Why would only 1 criterion in an entry receive an NS (nonscorable) instead of a score?
A criterion is deemed to be nonscorable (NS) if no written commentary addresses that particular criterion or if the written commentary contains insufficient evidence for that criterion. An NS also is recorded in the event that there are no attached artifacts that address the criterion, where the entry directions stipulate that artifacts must provide evidence to support the written commentary.

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Why would all criteria in an entry receive an NS?
All criteria in an entry would be deemed nonscorable (NS) for any of the following reasons:

  • no written commentary was submitted
  • no artifacts were attached in the written commentary
  • insufficient evidence was provided
  • the entry was flagged for a possible ethics violation

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When will I be notified of my scores?
You will receive an e-mail notification when scores are ready for release, approximately 8 weeks after each submission deadline date. You will access your scores on your private, secure ProTeach Portfolio website.

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Where can I find an explanation of the scoring process?
You can find more information by reading How Portfolios Are Scored.

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What should I do if I can't access my online score report?
Please call or e-mail our Contact Center.

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Is a printed version of my score report available?
You can print unlimited copies of your score report from your private, secure ProTeach Portfolio website.

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Will I receive feedback from the scorers who scored my entries?
You will receive feedback for each individual criterion based on the rubric. This feedback will be helpful when deciding whether or not to resubmit an entry.

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What is the passing score and possible score range for the assessment?
The PESB has set the passing score for the assessment at 31. Candidates' scores range from NS (nonscorable) to 48.

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Can I pass the assessment with fewer than 12 scores?
No. In order to pass the assessment, candidates must address the PESB 3 standards and 12 criteria of the professional certificate. Each criterion receives a score, then all 12 criterion scores are summed to achieve a composite score, which will be used to determine pass/not pass.

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What if I think 1 or more of my scores was reported incorrectly?
See Understanding Your Scores.

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What is score banking?
All scores are retained in the ProTeach Portfolio system. As long as you remain eligible for the assessment, you may resubmit entries as many times as you wish to achieve the passing score. You will need to register and pay for resubmission, select a submission deadline date and rebuild your portfolio by concentrating on the entry(ies) you selected to resubmit. The highest score earned on each criterion, regardless of attempt, is the criterion score used in your composite score.

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How much time do I have to request a rescore of an entry(ies)?
Candidates have 20 days from the date on which scores are released to request a rescore. For further information, please see Requesting a Rescore.

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Resubmissions

If I do not achieve a passing score, can I resubmit an entry(ies)? How do I decide which entry(ies) to resubmit?
You may resubmit as many entries as you wish. Each resubmission requires a fee. Any decision about resubmitting an entry should be based on the scores of the criteria within the entry. You will need to decide which criterion scores need to be improved.

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When will my resubmitted entries be scored?
Your registration window will define when your resubmitted work will be scored. Consider the length of eligibility remaining on your residency certificate, and then check the assessment calendar to help you make your registration decision.

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Will scorers know my scores from previously submitted entries?
No. Your history is not disclosed to scorers. They will not know that any entry is a resubmission nor will they have access to any scores associated with previous submissions.

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What happens if I don't score as well on a resubmitted entry?
Your highest score for each criterion — whether it was earned on the initial submission or on the resubmitted entry — will always be used to determine your composite score.

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How are resubmission scores reported?
Resubmission scores are reported via your private, secure ProTeach Portfolio website, just like your initial scores. All scores reported will be the highest score that you achieved on each criterion, regardless of the scoring session during which the scores were earned.

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I received an NS (nonscorable) on one or more criteria and must resubmit. Can I resubmit the same commentary that I included in my original submission?
We advise that you review your original submission and strengthen your commentary, where appropriate, to improve your chances of receiving a passing score.

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I have chosen to resubmit Entry 1 and would like to readdress the same professional growth goals that I used in my initial submission. Is that permissible? If I keep the same or some of the same goals, must I choose all new professional growth activities?
If your professional growth goals are still significant to your growth as a teacher, you may choose to readdress them in your resubmission. However, you should begin by revisiting your Needs Assessment to help with your decision. If you choose to focus on the same goals as in your initial submission, there may be a few professional growth activities that you would like to repeat. If that is the case, make sure that your analysis and evaluation of those professional growth activities is different from what was previously submitted. Remember, the majority of activities should be new, and the majority of your written commentary for the entire entry should reflect your new thinking and analysis. When considering your artifacts, you might want to consider how different artifacts might supply better evidence than those used for the initial submission. Again, the majority of the artifacts need to be new.

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I plan on resubmitting Entry 2. Must I change everything in my response?
There may be activities that contribute to your class' culture that you have used in the past, discussed in your initial submission and are still meaningful. The same may be true in your work with families and other caregivers. You may reuse some of these activities, but you might want to consider what you can do to strengthen them. Consider the focus of this entry. Its emphasis is on involving students and their individual differences. You will probably need to develop new activities to address your students. Remember, the majority of activities should be new, and the majority of your written commentary for the entire entry should reflect your new thinking and analysis. When considering your artifacts, you might want to consider how different artifacts might supply better evidence than those used for the initial submission. Again, the majority of the artifacts need to be new.

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If I decide to resubmit Entry 3, must I present all new information? What about the artifacts? Must they also be new?
Since the majority of your written commentary and artifacts needs to be different, you should consider selecting current students because you will have access to a wider range of their work; it might be difficult to find appropriate work from previous years. Some of your goals and the student learning targets may be more general and appropriate to the content of your class and the developmental level of your students, but some goals/targets will be specific to the 3 individual focus students you choose. Your work with technology may reflect similar things you have done in the past, but some technology discussion needs to reflect your 3 focus students. Much of this entry is tied to those 3 focus students and their learning targets; therefore, much of your resubmission will be new. Just remember, the majority of activities should be new, and the majority of your written commentary for the entire entry should reflect your new thinking and analysis. When considering your artifacts, you might want to consider how different artifacts might supply better evidence than those used for the initial submission. Again, the majority of the artifacts need to be new.

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Will I be able to edit my previous written response online in order to prepare my resubmission?
No. For only those entries you choose to resubmit, immediately upon registration, the system automatically replaces your written response with new, empty textboxes. If you need to use an entry as a reference, save or print from your browser's file menu before registering for resubmission.

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Fees & Payment Policies

What are the fees for the ProTeach Portfolio?
See Fees.

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When do fees need to be paid?
Fee payment happens at the time of registration. All fees need to be paid in full for you to gain access to your private, secure ProTeach Portfolio website.

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How can I pay my fees?
Fees are paid online through your private, secure ProTeach Portfolio website. Fees must be paid by credit card or e-check only. Paper checks will not be accepted.

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What if I can't pay my fees right away?
All fees must be paid up front and in full at the time of registration. In the event you cannot pay your fees in this manner, you will be unable to:

  • complete your registration for the ProTeach Portfolio
  • access your private, secure website
  • resubmit any entries for scoring
  • change your submission deadline date

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I registered for the ProTeach Portfolio, but now need to cancel my registration. Can I get a refund?
Refunds are issued only if you cancel before your registration window ends. You will be refunded as follows:

  • initial candidates: $200 of the $495 registration fee
  • candidates resubmitting Entry 1: $75 of the $145 registration fee
  • candidates resubmitting Entry 2: $75 of the $150 registration fee
  • candidates resubmitting Entry 3: $100 of the $200 registration fee

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Are there situations in which I'm not entitled to a refund?
Yes. Verification fees, rescore fees (only if rescoring results in a lower composite score), late fees and change fees are all nonrefundable. Refund requests made after the close of your registration window will not be accepted.

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I teach at a private school or a state agency providing education services to children, and have a Washington residency certificate and want to register for the ProTeach Portfolio. Are there special/additional fees for me?
No. The assessment fees are the same for all candidates for the professional certificate.

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Are there any circumstances that would entitle me to a reduction of my fees?
There are a limited number of fee reductions available during each registration window for candidates who meet established financial qualifications. A Fee Reduction application must be submitted and approved. If you believe you qualify for a fee reduction, download the Fee Reduction application and submit it to ETS for review. The deadline for submission of fee reduction applications is one week prior to the closing date of the regular registration window.

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Technical Help

What if I need technical support or have questions about how the website works?

Our goal in designing the ProTeach Portfolio website was to make it as intuitive as possible for you to author and submit your portfolio. Technical help and information are available via e-mail and phone through our Contact Center. You should also read the ProTeach Portfolio Technical Guide for added assistance.

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How often should I save my work?

Although the system auto-saves every 20 minutes, it is recommended that candidates save their work every 10 minutes in order to minimize any losses of data due to network or system interruptions.

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