Teachers, specialists, and administrators working in Maryland public schools must hold a Maryland Teaching Certificate. Maryland certification for teachers and administrators is reciprocal with all 50 states. If you hold a current valid certificate with another state, you are eligible for certification in Maryland.

If you are a current certificated employee of SMCPS, you can check the status of your certification by logging in to the MSDE website.

If you hold a degree with no certification you may contact a college of your choice that offers a program leading towards teacher certification. You must also pass the PRAXIS I and II tests for beginning teachers. For more information on the PRAXIS Series call 609-771-7395 or visit the Educational Testing Service website.

For further information on Maryland certification requirements, please contact the Maryland State Department of Education at (410) 767-0412 or visit the MSDE website.

Highly Qualified

Procedures for Determining Highly Qualified Status for Teachers in Core Academic Subjects

No Child Left Behind (NCLB) requires that all teachers of core academic subjects (CAS) be "highly qualified" by the conclusion of the 2005-2006 school year. The Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) has created a single document that will give school systems and teachers guidance in determining their "highly qualified" status. MSDE has provided information in publications ACHIEVING "HIGHLY QUALIFIED" STATUS UNDER NO CHILD LEFT BEHIND (NCLB): a guide for Maryland teachers, as information on the MSDE website. Strategies for assisting teachers in CAS are identified in the Bridge to Excellence Master Plan and supporting explanations. The certification of teachers of CAS in Title I schools has been monitored since August of 2002.

First current employees assigned to CAS must:

  • Hold a bachelor's degree or higher from a regionally accredited IHE, and
  • Hold a valid Maryland Advanced Professional Certificate (APC) or hold National Board Certification in the CAS he or she is teaching.


  • Hold a bachelor's degree or higher from a regionally accredited IHE, and
  • Hold a valid Maryland Standard Professional Certificate (SPC) or Resident Teacher Certificate (RTC), and
  • Have passed applicable state test(s) in each of the CAS in which he or she is assigned and/or have completed an academic major or equivalent in each of the CAS for which he or she is assigned, and,
  • If an early childhood or elementary teacher new to the profession (without verifiable teaching experience prior to the first day of the 2002-2003 school year) has passed a state pedagogy test.


  • Achieve 100 points or more on the Maryland HOUSSE rubrics, and
  • Teach in an assignment for which the certificate is held.

Additional guidance is provided in the document noted above. Information regarding "highly qualified" has been distributed to all teaching staff. In addition, the following processes with regard to certification as it relates to scheduling, the hiring and placement of teachers, and strategies used for teachers who are not highly qualified have been identified.

Strategies for ensuring that teachers are 'highly qualified' in CAS:

  • Notification to certificated staff one (1) year prior of requirements for renewal of their certificates,
  • Involuntary transfers so that teachers are teaching in their areas of certification according to SMCPS Board Policy and negotiated agreement,
  • Termination and/or change to temporary status in teaching assignments until certification requirements are met,
  • Advising teachers who have conditional certification,
  • Praxis II in the content area taught,
  • Identifying coursework or CPD needed and providing information to access necessary coursework.

Ongoing communication with teachers, principals, and administrators is necessary to the success of the identified strategies.