Pre-Service Teaching Program Frequently Asked Questions

  • Host School and Collaborating Teacher Placement Process

    Will I get to choose the school I am placed at for my pre-service teaching experience(s) at DPSCD?

    Though we will consider pre-service teachers’ preferences, placement decisions will be based on several factors including availability of placements at host schools and alignment between pre-service teachers’ certification areas and placement requirements with Collaborating Teachers’ credentials and availability.

    Will there be other pre-service teachers at my host school?

    Most likely. We strive to place pre-service teachers in cohorts to provide ongoing opportunities for peer collaboration. 

    How are Collaborating Teachers selected and supported?

    University coordinators, host school principals, and DPSCD’s Deputy Executive Director, Talent Pipelines jointly determine pre-service teachers’ placements by soliciting potential Collaborating Teacher (CT) interest in supervising pre-service teachers and by reviewing his/her qualifications (including years of teaching experience, and alignment of CT certification/endorsement to a pre-service teacher’s certification/endorsement area.) CTs attend an orientation session and half-day CT Institute at the start of the semester and have optional monthly opportunities for peer collaboration and professional learning experiences. CTs may receive incentives from university partners and are also invited to optional, quarterly appreciation events.

    Onboarding and Background Checks

    Do I need to complete a background check process to do my pre-service teaching experience(s) at DPSCD?

    Yes, you are required to submit and pass a LiveScan criminal background check to be eligible for pre-service teaching at DPSCD.

    How do I sign up for LiveScan?

    Once you have completed your Registration form, DPSCD’s Human Resource team will send a notification to DPSCD’s Police Department who will contact you via email to schedule LiveScan.

    Do I need to complete a new LiveScan if I am conducting a practicum and my teaching internship at one or more DPSCD schools in successive back-to-back semesters during the same school year?

    No, your LiveScan clearance is eligible as long as you do not have a break in service.

    How will I know if I have received background clearance?

    The DPSCD Police Department will notify you with your LiveScan results.


    Am I required to attend any training or professional development before the school year begins?

    DPSCD requires all pre-service teachers to participate in an orientation. Interns who are provided with DPSCD email addresses and access to our District systems will also be required to complete self-guided onboarding modules that will provide key information on District operations and systems.  These self-guided modules will be shared with Interns during the first week of August (for Fall semester Interns) and the first week of December (for Winter semester Interns). In addition to these required professional development sessions, Interns are strongly encouraged to participate in a full-day Intern Institute. Intern Institute will occur in August for Fall semester Interns and December for Winter semester Interns and will introduce Interns to DPSCD’s Vision of Excellent Instruction, curriculum, and hiring process. Finally, Interns are strongly encouraged to participate in all District and school-based professional learning experiences with their Collaborating Teachers. Dates for professional development for interns will be posted soon. Key dates for interns and practicum students will also be posted soon.  Please check back periodically for professional development and key dates.

    When does school begin and end?  

    The District's academic calendar will be posted soon. Please check back periodically. 

    Am I required to attend school on days when students are not in attendance?

    Please refer to your university coordinator for specific information as it pertains to your university’s requirements. If permitted by your university, we recommend you attend all professional development and other required staff activities with your Collaborating Teachers to maximize your pre-service teaching experience.

    Will I have access to the curriculum for the content area(s) and grade(s) I will be teaching?

    Teaching Interns will be assigned a DPSCD email address and will be provided access to teaching and learning resources. Practicum students and Apprentices will secure required resources through their Collaborating Teachers and will not have access to DPSCD’s internal SharePoint site or other resources.

    What is the dress code during pre-service teaching?

    Attire should be appropriate for your job functions as a pre-service teacher and reflect a professional image to students, families, and other stakeholders

    Can I substitute teach at my school during my pre-service teaching experience?

    Teaching Interns are permitted to substitute for day-to-day assignments in accordance with the affiliation agreement between DPSCD and your college/university. If substitute teaching is allowable per the affiliation agreement, you will need to apply to the available substitute position on the DPSCD career site, complete onboarding and receive your assignment letter as a day-to-day substitute from the DPSCD substitute office. Practicum Students and Apprentices are not permitted to substitute while conducting pre-service teaching in DPSCD schools.

    District and School Supports

    What support will I receive from DPSCD during my pre-service teaching experience?

    DPSCD is committed to providing differentiated professional learning experiences and hiring support for all DPSCD pre-service teachers. In addition to the daily mentoring and coaching from your CT and the ongoing professional development opportunities you will receive at your host school; you will receive the District-based supports below.

    Professional Learning Experiences

    • Orientation: All pre-service teachers will participate in a community tour, learn about DPSCD’s strategic plan: Blueprint 2020, and be introduced to Our Vision of Excellent Instruction.
    • Intern Institute: Teaching Interns will participate in an Intern Institute that will introduce them to DPSCD’s curriculum and instructional tools and resources.
    • Monthly Professional Learning: All pre-service teachers will have opportunities to participate in optional learning experiences differentiated by clinical placement levels.
    • Learning Walks: Teaching Interns will receive feedback from learning walks conducted jointly by university faculty, principals, and central office staff.

    Hiring Support

    Pre-service teachers conducting their teaching internship in DPSCD schools will be matched with a Recruiter from our Recruitment and Staffing team who will work with you to create a personalized hiring plan.

    Networking Opportunities

    All pre-service teachers will be invited to optional events to network with key stakeholders in the DPSCD community.