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Frequently Asked Questions - Substitute Teaching

DPI is currently receiving a high volume of contacts for assistance.  The three most commonly asked questions and their answers are below:

Help with WAMS IDs

Before you can submit an application to DPI, you must register for a Web Access Management Systems (WAMS) user ID.

How to set up a WAMS account

Already have one or more WAMS accounts?

How to start your WAMS account recovery:

Perform a WAMS account recovery for all emails you have. Enter your email address but do NOT enter your User ID to start your WAMS account recovery. Once in the account recovery process you will be prompted to change your password. After you change your password you will be told in parentheses what your correct User ID is. Please make note of that before you terminate the account recovery session. Once you have recovered all WAMS accounts you have, login to ELO with each of your accounts individually. If you can see your licenses, you are logging in with the correct WAMS account. If you are taken through the Onboarding process again, you are not using the correct WAMS account and should try another account.

If you encounter errors in the WAMS account recovery process, please contact WAMS directly.  DPI is unable to help with WAMS recovery because the system is used by many state agencies and is run by the Department of Administration:

Revalidating Life or Lifetime License

Educators, whose Life or Lifetime license was invalidated in July, have until December 31 to revalidate their license. Upon approval of the $45 Request Background Check - Lifetime Licensee [5900] application, the Lifetime license will be revalidated just as if the educator completed the application before June 30. Educators will have until December 31 to complete this application for their license to be revalidated.

Background Checks

DPI is required by law to conduct a background check on each applicant for a Wisconsin educator license regardless of whether it is an initial request or a renewal request.

All educators are required to complete a background check to maintain or revalidate a life or lifetime license. There are directions for how to complete the $45 Request Background Check - Lifetime Licensee [5900].

To find the year in which your most recent background check was submitted, search License Lookup using your name or entity number and check see the “Last Background Check Submitted” field.

Questions

  1. What is the difference between the Five-Year Long-Term Substitute license and the Three-Year Short-Term Substitute license?
  2. How long can an individual with a Three-Year Short-Term Substitute license be in a specific assignment?
  3. How long can an individual with a Five-Year Long-Term Substitute license be in a specific assignment?
  4. How can an individual show they've successfully completed the substitute teacher training for the Three-Year Short-Term Substitute license?
  5. What are the requirements to be a long-term substitute?
  6. I hold a substitute license and work at my school district as an instructional aide. According to my district, I need to take some classes in the next two years. I'm thinking about taking Psychology courses. Would those courses fulfill the requirement to maintain my substitute license?

Answers

1. What is the difference between the Five-Year Long-Term Substitute license and the Three-Year Short-Term Substitute license?

  • The Five-Year Long-Term Substitute license may be issued to an applicant who has completed a state-approved educator preparation program through an accredited four-year bachelor degree granting institution. See the Five-Year Substitute License Requirements page for more information.
  • The Three-Year Short-Term Substitute license may be issued to a person who holds an associate's degree or higher from an accredited degree granting institution, but has not completed a state-approved educator preparation program. See the Three-year Short-Term Substitute License Requirements page for more information.

2. How long can an individual with a Three-Year Short-Term Substitute license be in a specific assignment?

The Three-Year Short-Term Substitute license allows the holder to accept short-term substitute assignments in any subject at any grade level (no more than 45 days total in a specific assignment).

3. How long can an individual with a Five-Year Long-Term Substitute license be in a specific assignment?

The Five-Year Long-Term Substitute license allows the holder to accept long-term substitute assignments in the subject and grade level in which they are licensed (more than 45 days total in a specific assignment).  The Five-Year Long-Term Substitute license also allows the holder to accept short-term substitute assignments in a subject and grade level outside of their license (no more than 45 days total in a specific assignment).

4. How can an individual show they've successfully completed the substitute teacher training for the Three-Year Short-Term Substitute license?

The following are acceptable forms of documentation:

  • CESA or WEAC Certificate of Completion, including date of completion.
  • Confirmation letter of successful completion, on district letterhead, including date of completion, signed by an authorized Administrator.
  • PI-1633 Substitute Teacher Training Verification Form

5.  What are the requirements to be a long-term substitute?

PI 34.23 states "a long-term substitute shall be a licensed teacher or a licensed substitute teacher; however, a long-term substitute may be employed only in the subject and grade level in which the teacher is licensed."

An individual holding only a Three-Year Short-Term Substitute license cannot serve as a long-term substitute unless they have been issued a One-Year License with Stipulations. Please see the One-Year Licenses with Stipulations page for more information.

6.  I hold a substitute license and work at my school district as an instructional aide. According to my district, I need to take some classes in the next two years. I'm thinking about taking Psychology courses. Would those courses fulfill the requirement to maintain my substitute license?

No coursework is required to renew the substitute license. However, your school district may have a continuing education requirement as a condition of employment. You must contact your school district to find out about continuing education requirements.

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