Novel coronavirus (COVID-19) guidance for preparation programs

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March 5, 2020

PESB guidance for preparation programs on novel coronavirus (COVID-19)

As communities within our state prepare for and respond to a COVID-19 outbreak, the Professional Educator Standards Board (PESB) is issuing guidance to preparation programs for contingency planning. PESB is the state agency that oversees policy related to candidate completion of educator preparation programs. As a result of the COVID-19 outbreak in Washington, we would like to address areas of concern, and answer any questions relating to our educator policy. 

Field experience and clinical practice

Providers offer field-based learning experiences and formalized clinical practice experiences for candidates to develop and demonstrate the knowledge and skills needed for their role. Programs often work with their candidates and partner school districts to develop plans for meeting required clinical practice hours, including student teaching and administrator internships. 

Clinical practice must take place in an educational setting. If schools are closed, what other options are considered an educational setting?

  • Clinical practice can take place in educational settings through remote instruction, online learning, at alternate locations, or as part of an extended school year or school day.

What are other clinical practice requirements?

  • Clinical practice must be under the general supervision of a certificated practitioner who has three years' experience in the role for which the candidate is seeking certification. The preparation program must offer experiences for candidates to develop and demonstrate the knowledge and skills needed for their role.

What about school psychology or school counseling clinical practice?

  • Programs preparing candidates in school psychology or school counseling will need to refer to their respective national standards for minimum number of hours and other requirements for clinical practice. 

What happens if an educator candidate cannot meet their required clinical practice hours?

  • Conditional certificates can provide flexibility to both candidates and school districts. If a district wished to hire a candidate who had not yet had the chance to complete their preparation program (for reasons including disruption of the P-12 or preparation program school year), they could do so on a conditional certificate. This would allow the candidate more time to complete their program, including completing their clinical practice hours. 

Information on conditional certificates:

edTPA guidance

  • edTPA registrations are valid for 18 months. Therefore, candidates may submit edTPA portfolios within 18 months from their registration dates for both initial submissions and retakes. Programs may guide their candidates to submit their portfolio on an appropriate submission date depending on their situations. As necessary, Pearson can extend registrations for candidates impacted by COVID-19.
  • Candidates may request alternative arrangements when placed in a virtual classroom setting. Here is more information about how to request these alternative arrangements.
  • Pearson is committed to working with programs during school closures and offers support to answer any questions related to edTPA. Programs can forward their questions to

Additional information:

  • OSPI has provided bulletins, and created a website to share information for school districts, educators and families. Visit their website.
  • For individual certificate information, please contact the OSPI certification office at (360) 725-6400 or
  • For educator preparation or certification policy, please contact PESB at (360) 725-6275 or

Please contact the following PESB staff members if you have any policy questions on: