Requirements for Exceptions and Portfolio Submission during COVID 19 for First Time and Retake Candidates Who Deferred in 2019-2020 and 2020-2021
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 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.
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 (NBCTs) have demonstrated they meet accomplished teaching standards and positively impact student learning. These guidelines have been determined in consultation with candidates, NBCTs, and outside testing experts. The Five Core Propositions, certificate-specific Standards, component instructions, and the scoring rubrics used to assess your work all remain unchanged.
ACTFL Ratings Deadline – Exception
This exception for World Languages candidates will not continue after the pandemic. For World Languages candidates, the date by which you must obtain the required ACTFL ratings will extend one year
The following guidance is provided to certification candidates who deferred in 2020-2021. If you did not defer a component in 2020-2021, please visit this page for additional guidance.
Portfolios not having all the required materials (videos, forms, components, etc.) will not be scored and you will receive a code of NS on your score report instead of a numerical score.
- if you opted to defer completion of your initial attempt on all four components from 2019-20 to 2020-21.
- if you opt to defer completion of your initial attempt on all four components from 2020-21 to 2021-22.
This extension of the deadline for ACTFL ratings is only available to World Languages candidates who
- purchased a component(s) in 2020-21 that would have completed their initial attempt on all four components and submitted that purchased component(s) before the 2022 submission deadline.
That is, if you purchased a component(s) to complete your initial attempt on all four components and defer to complete that component(s) in the next cycle, 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, they are not eligible for the extension of the date by which the required ACTFL ratings must be obtained. See the Guide to National Board Certification for information about the Additional Prerequisite for World Languages Candidates.
Extensions of Certification Eligibility Window – Exception
These extensions will not continue after the pandemic. The time period for initial and retake 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 2020-21 and/or deferred one or more component(s) to the next cycle, 2021-22.
If you deferred a component(s) from 2019-20 to 2020-21, 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.
If you defer component(s) from 2020-21 to 2021-22, you will have an extension on 3- and 5-year component and candidacy windows. This extension is in addition to any extension already applied to your candidacy from components deferred from 2019-20 to 2020-21.
Requirements for Portfolio Submissions
The following guidance is provided to certification 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 etc.) will not be scored and you will receive a code of NS on your score report instead of a numerical score.
Time Period for Evidence Collection – Exception
The time period for evidence collection exceptions will not continue after the pandemic.
The time period for portfolio evidence collection will be extended only for candidates
- who purchased components in 2020-21, defer a component(s) to 2021-22 and submit by the spring 2022 submission deadline. If a candidate withdraws the component(s) from the 2020-21 cycle, the exception for time period for evidence collection will not apply to that component(s).
Certification Components 2 and/or 3
Deferring from 2020-21 and Submitting in 2021-22
If you defer Component 2 and/or Component 3 from 2020-21 to 2021-22 and submit by the 2022 deadline, the period for evidence collection may have begun as early as April 1, 2020. If you submit a component featuring a class and/or students that date from earlier than April 1, 2020, 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 defer Component 3 to 2021-22 and submit by the 2022 deadline may submit both videos from one school year, or candidates may submit one video from the 2020-21 school year and a second video from the 2021-22 school year. See Component 3 instructions for more information about selecting classes to feature.
Certification Component 4
Deferring from 2020-21 and Submitting in 2021-22
The following rules apply to all candidates who defer Component 4 to 2021-22 (including those who are deferring the component for a second time) and submit Component 4 by the 2022 deadline:
- The class/group and assessments that you feature must come from the time frame that begins April 1, 2020.
- 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, 2019, 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, 2020.
- 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, periods, 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 period allowed, your component will not be scorable and you will receive a code of NS on your score report instead of a numerical score.
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. See the Scoring Guide for more information.
If you defer from 2020-21 to 2021-22, the student work samples or video recordings may have occurred as early as April 1, 2020.
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.
Variety of Evidence
The variety of evidence requirements for initial certification remain the same. They were in place before the pandemic and will continue. Requirements can be found in both the General Portfolio Instructions and certificate-specific portfolio component instructions for initial certification candidates.
In particular, video(s) are required and must meet requirements stated in the instructions. For example, Component 3 videos for initial certification 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.
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, and other components. You are allowed to submit evidence collected online; however, you should carefully consider the extent to which a 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 a 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(s) and the Standards in your certificate area as you determine whether you will submit using evidence collected during the previous school year or if you would like to begin anew with a new group of students. 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
You will develop evidence using the format requirements in the certificate-specific Portfolio Instructions and Scoring Rubric for each component if you are a candidate for initial certification. You 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.
Consult the instructions for your certificate area for all class composition guidelines. 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.
It was in place before the pandemic and will continue.
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.
Rostered Class – Exception
This exception applies to initial and retake certification candidates submitting Components 2 and/or 3 those who defer Component 2 and/or 3 from 2020-21 to 2021-22. It does not apply to Component 4. This exception will not continue after the pandemic.
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, except for Component 4.
Number of Students
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). 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.
Editing for Anonymity – Exception
This exception applies to initial and retake certification candidates who defer from 2020-21 to 2021-22. This exception will not continue after the pandemic.
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 names are 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. Do not blur or use black boxes to cover students’ names as this is considered a non-allowable edit. 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.
Layout of Virtual Classroom Videos– Allowance
This allowance applies to videos created for initial and retake certification components. It reflects exceptions that were allowed in the past and will continue to be allowed for all candidates in the future.
Videos of virtual classrooms no longer have to be split screen. Videos of virtual classrooms can be a split screen recording, a platform-provided recording (Google Meet, MS Teams, etc.), or a video made with a camera/phone/tablet 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 instructions.
Visibility – No change
For initial and retake certification candidates, here are the guidelines about visibility in the Component 3 instructions. 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 interacting, your students interacting with each other, your students’ reactions to what you are doing, and their engagement in learning. Lessons conducted asynchronously are not an acceptable form of evidence, because they do not contain these interactions.
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.
This clarification applies to initial certification candidates only. If you are recording a virtual lesson, you can include breakout rooms in your video provided the recording is continuous and unedited. Moving from the whole group to virtual breakout rooms is similar to transitioning from the whole group to a small group during in-person instruction. Editing the video because you and/or your students are moving to a breakout room is not an allowable edit. See instructions for further information.
This guidance applies to initial and retake certification candidates. Face masks and/or shields are allowed. They were allowed before the pandemic and will continue to be.
Release Forms– Allowance
This allowance applies to initial and retake candidates. It reflects exceptions that were allowed in the past and will continue to be allowed for all candidates in the future.
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 an 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. Candidates may choose to use these google forms.