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Commonly Asked Questions and Answers

PA STANDARD APPLICATION FOR TEACHING POSITIONS:
Commonly Asked Questions and Answers



1. Where can I obtain an application?

You can obtain an application from any Pennsylvania school district. Students attending any approved Pennsylvania college or university of teacher education can obtain a copy from their school. The Department of Education does not have copies of the application available; however, you can obtain a copy by downloading it directly from the PDE standard application web site.
 
2. Do all Pennsylvania School Districts use the standard application?

Act 107 of 1996 requires that all school districts use the application for teaching positions. school districts, however, are permitted to supplement the application with other application requirements.

3. Give me an example of "other application requirements."

A school district may ask applicants to complete a supplemental sheet(s) containing additional questions that were not asked on the standard application.

4. May I photocopy the application and send it to a number of school districts?

Yes, the main reason for having a standard application is to make it easier for applicants to apply to a number of school districts. However, if you complete the application and make copies please remember to do the following:
  • a. Page 5. You must place the name of the school district that you are applying to after the words "officials of" in the Certification and Release Authorization.
  • b. You must complete the date and sign the application. Your signature must be an original signed in ink.
5. Can the essay be typed or must it be handwritten?

The essay can be handwritten, typed or prepared on a computer using word processing software.

6. On page three in the Student Teaching References section, please clarify whether school districts want letters of references or evaluations.

Most school districts want copies of both documents: Letters of reference and the final student teaching evaluation, if available.

7. I am currently employed as a teacher. Do I have to complete the section on student or practice teaching on page three?

No. This section is to be completed by applicants who have not been previously employed in a teaching position.

8. I was employed as a teacher three years ago. Do I have to complete the section on student or practice teaching on page three?

No.

9. Are intermediate units and vocational-technical schools using the application?

Intermediate units and vocational-technical schools are not required by Act 107 of 1996 to use the standard application. It is optional for them to use it. Please contact these organizations to determine if they are using the standard application.

10. Is the application to be used for administrative positions or other non-teaching positions?

No, Act 107 of 1996 only requires that the application be used by individuals eligible for or in possession of instructional, vocational instructional, intern or vocational intern teaching certificates. In other words, the application is only required for teaching positions. It is optional for school districts to use the application for non-teaching positions.

11. I am a U.S. military veteran. Where can I include this information on the application?

Applicants who are U.S. military veterans should include that information on page 4 under the section, "Other Qualifications."

12. On page 5 of the application under Act 34 Compliance, I am required to submit a copy of a report of Criminal History Record Information. How do I go about getting this?

The School Services Unit in the Department of Education can send you a packet of information about the Criminal History Record Information. They can be contacted at (717) 783-3750.

13. What is the effective date for using the standard application?

The effective date for using the standard application was January 1, 1997. An updated form (PDE-353A) was initiated March 1, 1999.  The most recent update is dated 7/26/01.

14. Does the application have to be used for substitute part-time teachers?

Yes, the application is to be used for all teaching positions in school districts.

15. I currently have a Standard Application on file with several school districts. Since there is a revised version of the application, must I now submit new applications to these school districts?
The Department of Education has advised school districts that the revised application is to be given to new applicants, effective March 1, 1999, and it is not necessary or recommended to have current applicants complete the revised application. However, you may want to check with these school districts to determine how long your current application will be maintained in their active recruitment files.