National Board Certification

Worcester County Public Schools 
National Board for Professional Teaching Standards-Certification Program Plan 

Worcester County Public Schools (WCPS) will offer qualified teachers the opportunity to participate in a cohort of teacher candidates for National Board Certification (NBPTS Certification - NBPTS). Program participants will attend district- sponsored professional development sessions throughout the year to support completion of the certification process. 

National Board Certification, through the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, is available in 25 certificate areas representing 16 different disciplines and four developmental levels and is applicable to most teachers in U.S. public schools.  In Maryland, National Board Certification has been identified in Kirwan legislation as the basis of re-designed career ladders and incentive pay. 

According to the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, eligible candidates must demonstrate advanced knowledge, skills, and practice in their individual certificate area by completing four components: three portfolio entries and a computer-based assessment to become a Board-certified teacher.  Throughout the certification process, teachers will be able to apply the National Board Standards to their classroom practice and connect with other teachers pursuing certification. 

The Blueprint for Maryland’s Future provides a $10,000/year stipend for National Board Certified Teachers.  According to the law, a teacher is defined as "a certified public-school employee who is primarily responsible and accountable for teaching the students in the class.  Teacher does not include curriculum specialist, school psychologists, social workers, clerical personnel, an individual with a resident teacher certificate or an individual with a certification for career." WCPS will continue to monitor this definition and all changes to applicable legislation to establish eligibility for the salary increase.

WCPS will conduct a MANDATORY interest informational meeting for teachers annually. 

WCPS requirements for program participation are as follows: 

  • Three years in Maryland as a professional educator/counselor (MSDE requires these to be while holding a valid MSDE teaching certificate) 
  • Satisfactory rating on the Five Dimensions of Teaching and Learning Framework for Teacher Evaluation  
  • Submission of a WCPS application (including a resume and essay centered around five core propositions of the
  • National Board for Professional Teaching Standards) 
  • One letter of recommendation from Current Supervisor or Principal   

An application screening process will occur to verify eligibility.  Screening will be conducted by a committee consisting of a current NBC teacher, a building level administrator, a content coordinator, and central office personnel. 

WCPS will select and approve participants for the cohort, following successful completion of the application.  In partnership with the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) candidates will receive:   

  • A scholarship to cover the cost of initial submission of the four components required for certification 
  • Monthly candidate support sessions  
  • Three Professional Development days to be scheduled at candidates' discretion 
  • One-to-one Mentor Support  

Four MANDATORY professional development sessions will be scheduled for the cohort during after school hours. Teachers will be eligible for workshop pay at the pay rate negotiated in the WCTA Contract. 

Cohort participants will also be assigned a Mentor for support.  Mentor’s will be NBC teachers, Instructional specialists, administrators, or other certified personnel as determined by the program coordinator. 

Mentors will be eligible for a $1,000.00 stipend for their work with a program participant. 

Once candidates receive their NBC certification, they will be eligible for additional financial benefits as indicated in the Blueprint for Maryland’s Future legislation. 

Candidates who do not submit a completed portfolio with all four (4) components within three (3) years will be required to reimburse the scholarship amount. 

Questions, comments and concerns should be directed to Dr. Amy Gallagher ([email protected]) or Dr. Dwayne Abt ([email protected]).