Clarification on Portfolio Submission Requirements due to COVID-19

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Clarification on Portfolio Submission Requirements during COVID-19

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The National Board is committed to ensuring you have flexibility for successfully completing and submitting portfolio components during a time when COVID-19 has far-reaching impacts on professional and personal lives. A complete list will be maintained here of all approved extensions, exceptions specific to COVID-19, and allowances we will make for all candidates going forward.

As always, each candidate will make individual choices about how to collect the best evidence possible at this particular time. If these extensions, exceptions, and allowances do not accommodate your situation, you may want to consider deferring to the next cycle, 2020-21. In some cases this might mean starting with a new class or group of students and collecting new evidence for your portfolio component(s).

Be assured that we are committed to upholding the integrity of National Board Certification at the same time as we are committed to maximizing your opportunities for success. National Board Certification will remain a signal that National Board Certified Teachers have demonstrated they meet accomplished teaching standards and positively impact student learning. These extensions and guidelines have been determined in consultation with candidates, National Board Certified Teachers, and outside testing experts.

The Five Core Propositions, certificate-specific Standards, component instructions used to develop and submit your evidence, and the scoring rubrics used to assess your work all remain unchanged.


Extensions

ACTFL Ratings Deadline – Exception

For World Languages candidates, the date by which you must obtain the required ACTFL ratings will extend one year if you opt to defer completion of your initial attempt on all four components to the next cycle, 2020-21. That is, if you purchased a component(s) to complete your initial attempt on all four components in 2019-20 and defer to complete that component(s) in the next cycle, 2020-21, you may be eligible for an extension of the date by which the required ACTFL ratings must be obtained. If a World Languages candidate completely withdraws all components purchased in 2019-20, they are not eligible for the extension of the date by which the required ACTFL ratings must be obtained. 

This extension of the deadline for ACTFL ratings is only available to World Languages candidates who purchased a component(s) in 2019-20 that would have completed their initial attempt on all four components and submitted that purchased component(s) before the 2021 submission deadline. See the Guide to National Board Certification for information about the Additional Prerequisite for World Languages Candidates. This exception will not continue after the pandemic.

Extensions of Certification Eligibility Window – Exception

The time period for candidates to attempt each of the four certification components and/or the time period to achieve certification will be extended one year for candidates who purchased component(s) in 2019-20 and deferred one or more component(s) to the next cycle, 2020-21.  This means 2019-20 will not count: 

  • towards the requirement to attempt all components for the first time within the first three years of candidacy, or 
  • towards the five-year window to achieve certification.

This extension is a one-time exception due to the pandemic.

Extension of Renewal Expiration – Exception

Renewal candidates who are unable to complete their Renewal submission by June 12, 2020 and do not withdraw can submit their Profile of Professional Growth by October 16, 2020 or defer to the next cycle, 2020-21, and submit in spring 2021 for a 10-year extension of their certificate from its current expiration. Certificate expirations will be extended to ensure these Renewal candidates remain Board certified while awaiting Renewal results.

NBCTs in their 9th/19th year will:

  • be allowed to complete the current Renewal process in the next cycle, 2020-21.
  • have their current certificate expiration date extended to 2021.
  • upon Renewal, earn a certificate that expires in 2030.

NBCTs in their 8th/18th year will:

  • be allowed to complete the current Renewal process in the next cycle, 2020-21.
  • upon Renewal, earn a certificate that expires in 2031.
  • be provided an additional opportunity to complete Maintenance of Certification in 2021-22 if their Renewal attempt in 2020-21 is unsuccessful.
    • These NBCTs will have their current certificate expiration date extended to 2022.
    • Upon maintaining their certificate, they will earn a certificate that expires in 2027. 

The ability to submit a Profile of Professional Growth in the next cycle, 2020-21, for a ten-year certificate is available only to NBCTs who purchased Renewal for 2019-20, do not withdraw, and submit by either the June or October 2020 or spring 2021 submission deadline.  All other NBCTs will extend their certificates via Maintenance of Certification beginning in 2020-21. 

Automatic extensions of certificate expirations for Renewal candidates awaiting Renewal results is available only to NBCTs registered for Renewal in 2019-20. These exceptions will not continue after the pandemic.

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Guidance on Portfolio Submissions

The following guidance is provided to certification and Renewal candidates in need of flexibility  for successfully completing and submitting their portfolio components in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Five Core Propositions, certificate-specific Standards, component instructions used to develop and submit your evidence, and the scoring rubrics used to assess your work all remain unchanged. Portfolios not having all the required materials (videos, forms, all Renewal PPG components, etc.) will not be scored. 

If this additional guidance does not accommodate your situation and allow you to submit by the deadlines, you may want to consider deferring to the next cycle, 2020-21. For some candidates and some components, deferring might mean starting anew with a new class/group of students and collecting new evidence for your portfolio component(s).

Class Composition

Age – No change. The requirement that at least 51% of the students in the class(es) that you use to complete your portfolio components must be within the stated age range for the certificate area during the period in which you collect evidence for your portfolio will be upheld. This requirement is in place, because National Board certification is specific to students in a particular developmental level and content area. Refer to the component instructions for your certificate area. This requirement applies to initial and retake certification candidates and Renewal candidates.

Rostered Class – Exception for COVID-19. The definition of “rostered class” is being adjusted in light of the pandemic. This exception applies to initial and retake certification candidates and Renewal candidates.

  • Students can now be drawn from more than one of your or another teacher’s rostered classes from the regular school day and school year in order to form a class or group.
  • Students may not be drawn from non-rostered groups such as a tutoring group, after-school program, or club.
  • The instructions for some certificate areas such as Music and School Counseling may state exceptions, so follow your certificate area instructions–except “rostered class” now means you can draw from multiple rostered classes to form one class or group.

Number of Students – No change.  Portfolio instructions often do not state a required minimum number of students and therefore allow for less than full class (e.g., if permission for the student to be included in your work was not granted). This guidance applies to initial and retake certification candidates and Renewal candidates. Consult the instructions in your certificate area. There are a few components in a few certificate areas that do require a minimum number of students in the instructions.

If you do not adhere to the class composition requirements for your certificate area, your component will not be scorable and you will receive a code of NS on your score report instead of a numerical score.

Time Period for Evidence Collection Exception for COVID-19

The time period for portfolio evidence collection will be extended only for candidates who purchased  components in 2019-20 and submit by either the June or October 2020 or spring 2021 submission deadline. If a candidate withdraws the component(s) from the current 2019-20 cycle, the exception for time period for evidence collection will not apply to that component(s). This exception will not continue after the pandemic.

Certification Components 2 and/or 3

For Certification, regardless of whether a candidate submits Component 2 and/or Component 3 by the June 2020, October 2020, or spring 2021 deadline, the period for evidence collection may have begun as early as April 1, 2019. This date is based on the opening date of the ePortfolio submission window in 2019-20 as described in the Guide to National Board Certification. If you submit a component featuring a class and/or students and evidence that date from earlier than April 1, 2019, your component will not be scorable and you will receive a code of NS on your score report instead of a numerical score.

Candidates who submit Component 3 in October or spring 2021 may submit both videos from one school year, or candidates may submit one video from the 2019-20 school year and a second video from the 2020-21 school year. See Component 3 instructions for more information about selecting classes to feature. This exception will not continue after the pandemic.

Certification Component 4

Regardless of whether a candidate submits Component 4 by the June 2020, October 2020, or spring 2021 deadline, the following apply:

  • The class/group and assessments that you feature must come from the time frame that begins April 1, 2019. 
  • The identification of a professional learning need and student need and actions taken to address those needs may come from as early as April 1, 2018, but evidence of the impact on student learning of the actions taken to address the needs must be gathered beginning no earlier than April 1, 2019.
  • Knowledge of Students and Generation and Use of Assessment Data sections must be based on one class or group of students. Candidates are not allowed to use evidence from different rostered classes, period, and not across school years.
  • Participation in Learning Communities evidence does not have to be drawn from the same school year as the evidence for Knowledge of Students and Generation and Use of Assessment Data.

See the Portfolio Instructions and Scoring Rubric for Component 4 for more details. If you submit your Component 4 portfolio with one or more sections that feature a class, an assessment, a need, and/or evidence that is older than the time frames described above, that response will be considered inappropriate and will be treated as missing material during scoring.

Retakes

For Retakes of portfolio components, the student work samples or video recordings contained in a retake component must be completely new and original, i.e., not identical or amended versions from any component previously submitted, and have occurred as early as April 1, 2019. If you do not adhere to this rule, your component will not be scorable and you will receive a code of NS on your score report instead of a numerical score. 

Renewal

For Renewal, you may begin video recording for Profile of Professional Growth (PPG) Component 2 as early as September 1 of your eighth/eighteenth year of National Board Certification regardless of whether you apply during your first or second Renewal opportunity. For Component 3 in the Renewal PPG, the video could have been recorded and learner work collected at any time during your current decade of National Board Certification.

Variety of Evidence No change

The variety of evidence requirements, found in both the General Portfolio Instructions and certificate-specific portfolio component instructions, remain the same. In particular, video(s) are required and must meet requirements stated in the instructions. For example, Component 3 videos must show different instructional units, and the contents of the two videos combined must represent different instructional formats and different teaching strategies. You are not required to feature more than one instructional format or teaching strategy in a single video, although you may. You must be sure, however, that the combined contents of your two videos represent a breadth of the content area and show at least two different instructional formats (i.e., large group, small group, one-on-one, classroom, laboratory, or other configuration that is appropriate for your situation) and two different teaching strategies.

Video of Virtual Classrooms – Allowance

This guidance on video of virtual classrooms reflects exceptions that have been allowed in the past and that will continue to be provided after the pandemic.

Videos of virtual classrooms no longer have to be split screen. Videos of virtual classrooms can now be split screen recording or videoed with a camera that captures the teacher at the computer with students on the screen. Regardless of the way in which a candidate chooses to film a virtual classroom, it will be important to show interaction between the teacher and students, as well as among the students. If this interaction is not clearly seen in the video, the result will be more limited evidence for assessors to score. See instructions and tips on recording in the General Portfolio Instructions and Component 3 instructions. 

Here are the guidelines about visibility in the Component 3 instructions that apply to everyone. Your portfolio component will not be scored if you fail to meet these requirements. 

  • The videos should show as much of the class as possible, but it is acceptable to focus on a particular student while he or she is talking. Use a camera angle that includes as many faces of the students in the class as possible. 
  • You and your students must be seen and heard in both videos. It is important for assessors to be able to see and hear you and your students together, your students interacting with each other, your students’ reactions to what you are doing, and their engagement in learning. 

For Renewal candidates completing their Profile of Professional Growth, the Component 2 instructions require you to appear and be heard and identifiable in at least one segment of the video in which you are teaching to a rostered class. 

For Music candidates completing Component 2, the instructions do not require you to be visible in the video segments. Music candidates should follow instructions in Recording Your Video Segments.

Editing for Anonymity

Candidates should try to preserve anonymity throughout their entire portfolio, including their videos, in accordance with the General Portfolio Instructions and component instructions. Candidates using video of virtual classroom(s) should do their best to set up the video so that only students’ or adults’ first name is displayed in the video.

However, if you are unable to remove personal identifiers despite all reasonable efforts, submitting a video with personal identifiers will not impact the review of the submission. If a candidate is unable to remove personal identifiers, for any reason, the candidate should submit the video without making any edits to cover names. Editing videos to remove personal identifiers is not an allowed edit.

This exception applies to initial and retake certification candidates and Renewal candidates. This exception to allow personal identifiers if they cannot be removed despite all reasonable efforts will not continue after the pandemic.

Evidence Collected Online

Some candidates have asked whether they can use evidence collected online for their student work samples, summative assessment materials and data for Components 2 and 4. You are allowed to submit evidence collected online; however you should carefully consider the extent to which the sudden transition of your classroom to an online environment due to the COVID-19 pandemic allows you to demonstrate the principles in the rubrics for those components.

Component 4 requires candidates to use assessments for formative and summative purposes with the same class of students for which you have developed the group profile. You are allowed to submit evidence of assessments administered online; however you should carefully consider the extent to which the sudden transition of your classroom to an online environment due to the COVID-19 pandemic allows you to demonstrate sound assessment principles in the Component 4 rubric.

Review the rubric for the component in your certificate and the Standards in your certificate area as you determine whether you will submit using evidence collected during the 2019-20 school year or if you would like to begin anew with a new group of students in 2020-21. You might consider, for example, the extent to which your online assessment is appropriate for formative or summative purposes. You might also consider the extent to which you can get an accurate sense of student progress or set new learning goals based on the analysis of assessment results in a new learning environment that could be very different from the one in which the formative assessments were given.

Formatting Your Evidence for Electronic Submission No change

You will develop evidence using the format requirements in the certificate-specific Portfolio Instructions and Scoring Rubric for each component and will upload your portfolio components in electronic format to the electronic portfolio management system. Be sure to pay close attention to the stated page limits,  video time limits, and video editing and audio enhancement rules as there will be no exceptions allowed. 

Release Forms – Allowance

For each of the three portfolio components, you are required to seek and receive permission to use images and some of the materials you include in your portfolio. Candidates may accept Adult and Student Release forms via email and/or with electronic signature in the event they cannot collect hand-signed physical copies. Candidates may create their own forms, but they must use the same language used on the National Board’s Release Forms.

Video Date Attestation Forms  (Renewal Component 2 only) – Allowance

Video date attestation forms do not have to be submitted with a handwritten signature from an administrator. An email or electronic signature on the video attestation form will be accepted. Attestation from a teacher of record, other than yourself, is also acceptable.

Classroom Layout Forms (Renewal)

If you are submitting a video from a virtual classroom, use the Classroom Layout Form to identify students on screen by first name. This form helps evaluators understand the context and commentary for the video recording. The sketch will not be evaluated.