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Employment Frequently Asked Questions

Certificated employee FAQ



Classified employee FAQ



Substitute employees FAQ

Certificated employee FAQReturn to Top


Is a teaching certificate required to teach in Seattle Public Schools?Return to Top


Yes. A current Washington State Teaching Certificate with appropriate endorsements is required to teach in Seattle Public Schools. A current Educational Staff Associate Certificate (ESA) is required for school nurses, psychologists, counselors, social workers, audiologists and therapists.

Will my certificate from another state transfer to Washington?
Does Washington have reciprocity with other states?Return to Top


Washington requires that all teachers new to the state complete an application packet for their certificates. Information about this process can be found at the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction website: http://www.k12.wa.us/certification/TeacherMain.aspx or by calling (360) 725-6396.

Does a teacher have to register his/her new certificate with Seattle Public Schools?Return to Top


Yes. Every teacher, including substitutes, must register his/her Washington certificate with Human Resources before beginning a teaching assignment. Additionally, every teacher is responsible for registering all subsequent certificates with the District. Please bring in your original copy to the JSCEE Human Resources Office. An HR staff member will stamp your original certificate and make copies. A copy will be placed into your personnel file after updating information on the Human Resources database.

What is the difference between a teaching certificate and a Career and Technical (CTE) or vocational certificate?Return to Top


A teaching certificate requires fulfilling educational requirements, whereas some vocational education certificates can be obtained through industry experience.

What is the difference between endorsement and category?Return to Top


Endorsements are designated subject areas in which a teacher is qualified to teach. These endorsements are determined and granted by the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) when a teacher applied for certification.

Categories are subject areas identified by Seattle Public Schools within these endorsements. Categories provide a greater level of specificity within endorsements.

What is the difference between one-year, provisional and continuing contracts?Return to Top


Non-continuing, one-year contracts are offered to first year teachers to balance with teachers on leave. A district-wide balance is maintained in order to guarantee positions are avilable for teachers when they return from leave. Mid-year, principals are required to evaluate one-year teachers and make recommendations for their conversion to provisional status.

Provisional status includes two years of satisfactory performance in Washington Public Schools. One-year contracts are converted to provisional and fulfill the first year of provisional employment for new teachers. After a second successful provisional contract year, teachers receive a continuing contract. One-year contracts are converted to second year provisional contracts if the teacher new to Seattle has had one-year of teaching experience in another Washington Public School. One-year teachers with additional Washington Public School experience are converted to a continuing contract.

Conversions are based upon recommendations from the principal and capacity to staff at the school.

How do you apply for regular teaching positions?Return to Top


All available positions are listed in one place - just click the Job Opportunities link on the Careers home page. One application serves to apply for all positions including substitutes. When you apply to individual positions, you will be asked to answer supplemental questions. Please review each job announcement to determine if additional materials are required. Important updates and announcements about special circumstances or activities are posted on the Careers home page.

How long are certificated vacancies advertised?Return to Top


Certificated vacancies must be advertised for at least one week. Positions may be left open until filled

What is No Child Left Behind?Return to Top


The Federal Government provides standards to evaluate teachers areas of expertise and to designate the areas in which they are highly qualified to teach. Seattle Schools uses these standards to identify the highly qualified areas for every teacher. A teacher is automatically considered Highly Qualified when they prove that they have:

Passed the Praxis in the Content Area
Washington State Endorsement in Content Area
Academic Major in Content Area
National Board Certification in Content Area
45 Credits in Content Area

If not highly qualified by the above criteria, a teacher may qualify by using the HOUSSE (Highly Objective Uniform State Standard Evaluation) method for the core subject areas. Employment analysts complete the HOUSSE forms for employees as needed.

Classified employee FAQReturn to Top


How do classified employees apply for advertised positions?Return to Top


All available positions are listed in one place - just click the Job Opportunities link on the Careers home page. One application serves to apply for all positions including substitutes. When you apply to individual positions, you will be asked to answer supplemental questions. Please review each job announcement to determine if additional materials are required. Important updates and announcements about special circumstances or activities are posted on the Careers home page.

How long are represented classified jobs advertised?Return to Top


Open positions must be advertised for at least 1 week. Positions are often advertised for an extended period and marked “open until filled” if 6 applications are not received in the required 1 week.

How often do classified employees receive pay?Return to Top


Classified employees are paid on the first working day each month, provided they began work by the 15 th of the previous month.

Is a Washington State certificate required to be an instructional assistant with Seattle Public Schools?Return to Top


IAs do not need to be certificated. They are required to have completed 72 quarter hours of college course work or pass the Paraprofessional Praxis exam and have 1 year of paid related work experience.

When can a newly hired classified employee expect to receive medical benefits?Return to Top


An employee whose start date is prior to the 15th of the month is eligible to receive benefits on the first day of the following month as long as the paperwork is turned in by the 20th of the month.

Substitute employees FAQReturn to Top


Do substitute teachers in Seattle need certificates?Return to Top


Yes. Seattle Public Schools requires all substitutes to have teaching certificates.

How do I apply to be a substitute teacher and how long does it take to be placed on the list?Return to Top


All available positions are listed in one place - just click the Job Opportunities link on the Careers home page. One application serves to apply for all positions including substitutes. When you apply to individual positions, you will be asked to answer supplemental questions. Please review each job announcement to determine if additional materials are required. Important updates and announcements about special circumstances or activities are posted on the Careers home page. Applications are reviewed and orientations conducted weekly as needed. Substitutes may work only after attending the Substitute Orientation.

What is the pay rate for certificated substitutes?Return to Top


Pay rate information is included in the job postings and job descriptions for each position.

What is the pay rate for classified substitutes?Return to Top


Pay rate information is included in the job postings and job descriptions for each position.

What is a long-term substitute?Return to Top


Within Seattle Schools, a long-term substitute is a teacher who is assigned for 60 or more consecutive work days in one assignment. The teacher will receive benefits once the 60-day requirement has been met and the paperwork for benefits submitted.

Do classified substitutes receive increased pay and benefits for working in a long term assignment?Return to Top


Classified substitutes do not receive pay differential and benefits for long term assignments.

If I work as a substitute one year, will I remain active on the substitute roster the following year?Return to Top


Classified and Certificated Substitutes must work at least 10 days per school year to remain on Substitute roster. If you work 9 or less days per school year, you will be automatically purged from SubFinder. You will not be notified. If you work 9 or less days you will have to re-apply and attend orientation before you will be eligible to sub for Seattle Public Schools.

What is the 16-Day contract payment that applies to certificated substitutes?Return to Top


Certificated Substitutes earn contract pay after 16 consecutive days in the same assignment. Call the Substitutes Office around your 16th day to make sure a report will be processed for you.

At the end of each month a report is generated showing who reached 16 days during that month. Then by the 10 th of the following month, individual reports are created and given to the Classification and Compensation department for them to research and do the salary placement. Once this is done, they mail out a copy of their report to each individual and return the originals to the Sub Office for the payroll tech to input salary placement. Your retro pay will be reflected on the next pay warrant.

Example:
16th day reached between October 1 and October 30
October 31 - The 16 day report is generated
November 9 – Individual reports to Classification and Compensation department
November 20 – Payroll salary placement data entry done
December 1 – Pay Warrant reflecting 16 day retro pay

Do certificated substitutes earn sick leave?Return to Top


Certificated Substitutes earn 1 sick leave day after 20 consecutive days in the same assignment. A sick leave day may only be used while in a long-term assignment. Any unused sick leave days earned are banked and can only be used while in a long-term assignment.

Do substitutes become eligible for medical benefits?Return to Top


Classified and Certificated Substitutes are eligible for Medical, Dental, and Vision benefits after 60 consecutive days in the same assignment

Can substitutes enroll in Professional Development classes?Return to Top


Yes. See Professional Development listings for appropriate classes.

Do substitutes qualify for unemployment insurance during school year breaks or holidays?Return to Top


Because scheduled, unpaid periods are predetermined by the negotiated school calendar, these recess periods do not qualify for unemployment compensation. This is due to the fact that you have reasonable assurance that following each of the vacation/recess periods you remain active on our substitute list unless you indicate otherwise to us.

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