[ST. PAUL, MN] -- On Friday, March 12, the Board adopted a resolution to help support teachers and schools navigating changes to the K-12 science standards and benchmarks.
The Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) is pursuing changes to the K-12 academic standards and benchmarks in science. The proposed 2019 science standards move “Earth and Space Science” from 8th grade to 6th grade, and “Physical Science” from high school to 8th grade. The standards also place greater emphasis on the teaching of “Earth and Space Science” at the high school level.
PELSB is aware that these changes may impact current science teachers who have been teaching Earth and Space Science at the 8th grade level.
More information about the proposed 2019 science standards is available on MDE's website.
What does the resolution do?
The newly adopted resolution provides additional flexibilities for science teachers who will need an out-of-field permission (OFP) to teach in a science content area or grade level outside of the scope of their existing license(s) due to the impact of the proposed science standards.
Specifically, the resolution allows school districts to seek an out-of-field permission (OFP) for impacted Tier 3 and Tier 4 science teachers without needing to meet the OFP posting requirements. Additionally, these OFPs will not be counted toward the lifetime total for those Tier 3 or Tier 4 science teachers affected by the science changes.
This resolution will be in effect until the Board adopts new rules to determine long-term options for teachers impacted by the changes to the K-12 science standards.
This resolution applies to the following circumstances:
- A Tier 4 teacher who holds a 7 -12 Earth and Space Science license: The district and teacher would like the teacher to teach Earth & Space Science at the 6th grade level during the 2021-22 school year.
- A Tier 4 teacher who holds a 7 -12 Earth and Space Science license: The district and teacher would like the teacher to teach Physical Science at the 8th grade level during the 2021-22 school year.
- A Tier 3 or Tier 4 teacher who holds either a 9 - 12 Physics or 9 - 12 Chemistry license: The district and teacher would like the teacher to teach Physical Science at the 8th grade level during the 2021-22 school year.
Additional guidance about this resolution will be made available soon. In the meantime, please send questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tiered Licensure 101: Out-of-Field Permissions
What is an out-of-field permission?
An out-of-field permission (OFP) authorizes a teacher to teach in a field or grade level outside the content area or scope of their current license. An OFP is valid for up to one school year. A teacher can obtain five OFPs in a lifetime (and additional OFPs after five may be granted for good cause). Teachers who hold a Tier 2, Tier 3, or Tier 4 license may qualify for an OFP.
How do I obtain an out-of-field permission?
A school district must initiate the OFP process. When there is an open position, the school district must post the position for a minimum of 15 days on an approved state-wide job board (currently EdPost). If after the posting period the district has found no qualified applicants, the district can offer the position to a teacher licensed in another scope and/or content area, resulting in the need of an out-of-field permission.
The school district is responsible for applying for the OFP on behalf of the teacher. OFPs for the 2021-22 school year may be submitted to PELSB beginning on July 1. The out -of- field permission application can be found here. As a reminder, school districts looking to renew an OFP must post the position for 60 days on EdPost.
What are other options for science teachers impacted by the changes to the K-12 science standards?
In addition to obtaining an out-of-field (OFP) permission, Tier 3 and Tier 4 science teachers can obtain additional licenses in the following ways:
- Complete an additional licensure program
- Complete the licensure via portfolio process
- Additional licensure via testing: A teacher licensed in Chemistry, Physics, Life Science, or Earth and Space Science (grades 7-12 or grades 9-12) who has taught science (in grades 7-12 or 9-12) for at least three years may add a license by passing the content test in another area of science licensure (grades 9-12 only).