Five Towns Schools Certification Help Page

MSAD 28, Five Town CSD 

Certification Help Page

It is the responsibility of all staff members to maintain their educational certification and to follow the rules outlined below related to requesting prior approvals for all professional learning. If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to a member of the certification steering committee.

Teaching Certificates:

A teacher's certificate affirms that the teacher or specialist has met all the requirements for employment as a teacher or educational specialist in Maine's public schools. There are three types of teaching certificates:
Emergency Certificate: The Maine Department of Education will issue an Emergency Certificate to someone who has not yet met the requirements for a Professional or Conditional Certificate. This teacher/specialist is missing some course work, or his/her student teaching. This certificate is valid for one year, during which time the teacher must complete all requirements identified by the state. An emergency certificate is renewable up to five times.

Conditional Certificate:

The Maine Department of Education will issue a Conditional Certificate to someone who has not yet met the requirements for a Professional Certificate. This teacher/specialist is missing some course work, or his/her student teaching. This certificate is valid for three years, during which time the teacher must complete all requirements identified by the state.  A conditional certificate is not renewable;  in other words, if the teacher fails to complete all of the requirements identified by the state, he/she will lose the ability to teach. Any teacher who falls into this category must ask the superintendent to send an affidavit to the state.

Professional Certificate:

A teacher who has met all state licensing requirements for their teaching position will be issued a Professional certificate. This certificate is renewable every five years.

Please note that all teaching certificates state one or more endorsements.  Each endorsement defines a discipline and grade level that you are qualified to teach.  If your teaching assignment falls outside of your endorsement, the state will issue you a Conditional endorsement.  You would then need to fulfill the requirements defined by the state in order to receive the Professional endorsement.

Professional Certification Renewal:

This process only applies to those teachers and educational specialists who are currently holding a valid professional certificate. This process requires the acquisition of 90 contact hours over the course of the five-year certificate. The State of Maine Department of Education allows the Certification Steering Committee from each school district to approve coursework or activities toward certificate renewal (see the guidelines listed below). The Certification Committee Chair is authorized by the State to confirm that the teacher has met the requirements for renewal.  The teacher is then able to have his/her certificate renewed for another five years.

Goals and Prior Approvals:

Those seeking renewal must submit to the Certification Steering Committee (online) a "Renewal Plan" consisting of a set of professional goals to be approved by the Committee. Each time an activity is selected to meet one of the goals, a "Prior Approval Form" must be submitted to the Committee for approval before that activity occurs. (Prior Approval is done online and must be completed by midnight the day prior to the day of the activity.)

Development of Renewal Plan:

While the teacher or specialist holds his/her five-year certificate, 90 pre-approved contact hours of new learning (in the field for which the teacher holds an endorsement or in a related subject) must be accumulated. The 90 contact hours may include a combination of of college credits, CEU's or approved contact hours. 

1 college credit = 45 contact hours 

1 CEU's = 10 contact hours. 

Goal Writing Tips

Well-written goals are written in a "to" form and are clear, measurable, and attainable, and are broad enough to encompass multiple activities.

Examples of well-written goals:

"To gain a stronger understanding of the process of assessment and to develop assessments for the Social Studies Department at CHRHS."

"To become proficient at using technology in the classroom."

"To improve my proficiency at curricular design, pedagogy, and content knowledge as related to science instruction"

Learning Activities Definition:

The State of Maine Department of Teacher Certification has identified the following as learning activities that will be considered as acceptable certification renewal activities:

  • Inservice Participation (New Learning)
  • Teacher Mentor Training or Peer Coaching Training
  • Attending Professional Conferences and Workshops
  • Research done to prepare to teach a college course or workshop
  • Independent Study or Research
  • College-Level Course Work
  • Research done in order to publish material
  • Membership on a NEASC visitation team (one time only)
  • Serving on a NEASC committee at your school
  • Mentoring a Student Teacher (one time only)
  • Book studies or earning an applicable microcredential (see the links below for guidelines)

Overall, the primary focus for renewal activities is new training or learning that a teacher can apply to the classroom.

CLICK HERE to see the requirements for using Microcredentials toward your certification renewal

CLICK HERE for an application for a Group Book Study, the hours of which will be used toward group members' certification renewal


After a teacher or specialist has submitted a prior approval form, the prior is approved, and the teacher completes one of the approved activities listed above, the teacher or specialist must submit (within two months of completion) paperwork proving attendance or completion of that activity, which will be documented online by the certification building representative. When official certificates of attendance are not issued, the teacher/specialist needs to print a copy of the Documentation Form and have it signed by his/her building principal, or by the person who taught the workshop.

Professional Portfolio:

Our district’s online certification database will allow each renewal candidate to compile an online portfolio containing the approved activities being used to achieve recertification. The Certification Steering Committee will use this online system to check for the candidate’s completion of 90 hours in order to inform the state that the Candidate has completed all required hours for certification renewal. After approval by our local committee, the Candidate must log onto the Maine State Department of Education Certification Renewal website to finalize their renewal (including paying the required fee).

Contact Information

Certification Steering Committee Members for SAD #28, Fivetown CSD:

Lisa Damian, Chair - CHRHS

Cara Wincklhofer - CRMS

Debbie Meservey - CRES

Shawn Carlson - Superintendent's Office

State Department of Education:

General email: [email protected]

The State of Maine DOE Certification website has links for filing a change of address, checking on the status of your application and much more. It can be found at this address: