Emergency Substitute Teacher Program - Frequently Asked Questions

What is the role of the IU in the consortium?

IU8 assists with recruiting, trains and helps applicants with the paperwork process. Upon completion of training and paperwork, IU8 processes the emergency permit through the PA Department of Education. The candidates’ information is provided to the contact at each district selected electronically once the paperwork and permit is processed.


A bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university is required in any area. Individuals educated outside of the United States are required to complete a degree evaluation by an agency approved by the PA Department of Education.
Individuals seeking to substitute as the school nurse must have a valid RN license.

What is the process for applying to the program?

Interested individuals must complete an application packet consisting of an employment application, district selection form and written interview. You should submit your application to IU8 for review and acceptance.
In addition, transcripts indicating a bachelor’s degree (in a sealed envelope from the college or university) is required. Three letters of reference are required as well as the required Pennsylvania Clearances.

How do I submit my application and supporting documents?

Mail to:
Appalachia IU 8
Karen Makin, Coordinator of Programs and Projects
4500 6th Avenue
Altoona, PA 16602

What happens after I submit my application?

Upon approval of your application, IU8 will contact you to schedule an appointment for review of requirements and completion of additional paperwork.

When will I attend training?

Once you are scheduled an email with be sent with training details. A tentative schedule is available on the website – a minimum of eight applicants is required for training to run. Training is required.

What happens after I complete the application, training and obtain the emergency permit?

The information you submitted is forwarded to the contact person at each district(s) you select on your preference form. The district will review your information and work through the Act 168 reference process. Some districts must wait for official Board approval for allowing you to work as a substitute. Others may allow you to work on a provisional basis until the Board meeting.
Each district may have additional paperwork that they will provide to you (including payroll forms, direct deposit, worker’s comp, etc…). Your failure to submit the information could make you ineligible for employment.

Do I need an email address?

Yes – part of the emergency permit application process requires the candidate have an email address. Additionally, most of the correspondence between the applicant and IU 8 will be through email. If you don’t have an email account we can assist you with creating one for the permit application. On a limited basis IU 8 can mail information to the individual if the email account is simply for the purpose of obtaining the permit.

Which districts can I substitute at?

Candidates can sub for any district participating in the consortium. These districts are subject to change each school year. A district preference form is included in the application packet where a candidate selects their district(s). Please select only the district(s) you seriously plan to substitute teach at.

Can I change districts throughout the year?

Yes – however, you may be required to update clearances and the School Personnel Health Record / with tb test. Submit your changes in writing to IU8.

What certifications (clearances) are required for school employment?
  • PA State Police Criminal Record
  • PA Department of Human Service Child Abuse History
  • FBI Fingerprinting for the PA Department of Education
  • Act 168 – Required Employment History Review – requires a State form completed by any current employer as well as any previous employers if that prior employment included direct contact with children. Please provide COMPLETE contact information of employer to include fax and email.
    • Applicants would complete their section of the necessary forms but DO NOT send this form to the prior or current employer.
  • PDE 6004 Arrest and Conviction Form

How long are clearances valid?

Clearances are valid for 5 year in accordance with the law (each clearance will have a processing date). School employees will be required to update clearances every 60 months. Should you not work for one of your selected districts during the school year you would have a break-in-service. A break in service require updated clearances and possibly other documents to remain an active employee. Districts may have a greater requirement (for example, if a district policy requires they must be less than a year old or less than three the policy will override the law).

If clearances are more than 1 year old will they be accepted?

Yes and no – although the law states clearances are now valid for 5 years a school district may have Board policy with a greater requirement. If policy states less than 1 year old that requirement overrides the law.

Will clearances obtained for volunteering be acceptable for school employment?

No – the law prohibits the use of clearances obtained for volunteering for employment. Clearances for employment are acceptable for volunteering.

Must I submit original clearances?
  • FBI fingerprinting - you must submit the registration receipt the results will be pulled from that receipt. After being fingerprinted you will receive a notice that the clearance is valid - you have one opportunity to click on that document and save/print for your records.
  • PA State Police Criminal Record - print certification after the application is processed on-line; if applying for the certification by paper form submit a copy of the processed document you receive
  • PA Department of Human Services Child Abuse – print certification after the application is processed on-line; if applying for the certification by paper form submit a copy of the processed document you receive
What type of permit is required for sub teaching?

Those with bachelor’s degrees may obtain an emergency type 06 permit issued by the Pennsylvania Department of Education for day-to-day substitute teaching assignments.
This permit allows the holder to substitute no more than 20 days in a single assignment (example: 20 days for the high school physical education teacher; 20 days for the elementary librarian, etc..). The 20 days per single assignment is per district.
Service beyond 20 days in a single assignment requires a different type of permit, which the district would need to obtain. These permits are by district.

Can I obtain an emergency permit if I have a record appearing on one of my clearances?

Individuals with records must follow a different process for obtaining the permit. This requires the applicant to submit additional information (to include but not limited to five letters of references, court documents). Individuals who have a record must notify IU 8 to receive information on the fee and requirements. Please note – processing for those with records will be at the discretion of the PA Department of Education.

How long is the permit valid?

The permit is valid for one school year – the permit will expire at the end of each school year obtained.

Can the emergency permit be renewed and what is the process?

Yes – To renew candidates must attend a ½ day in-service and complete the PDE 338 G renewal form.


The Pennsylvania School Code requires completion of a School Personnel Health record. The document will need signed by the provider and the employee.

What information is required for the School Personnel Health Record?

A TB test no more than 3 months prior to start of employment is required. The physical can be no more than 1 year old.

What about the immunization history on the form?

This is just a history – when records are no longer available simply state that on the form.

Is there a fee associated with the program?

Yes – a $15 fee is required to cover the cost of processing the permit and training. This is the initial program fee. This covers the cost of training materials/lunch and the State permit fee.

What is the fee to renew?

The renewal fee is $8 – those that are foreign educators, nurse, have a criminal record, and possibly other situations require additional fees set by the PA Dept of Education contact IU 8 for information.

What is the pay rate for a substitute teacher?

The pay rate varies by district. The range is from $72-$85 per day. Substitute teachers are directly by the district you are substituting for or by their contractor.

Are there benefits for substitute teaching?

No, not for day-to-day substitute teachers.

Who should I contact if my name and/or address changes?

Submit changes to IU8 in writing to:

Karen Makin, Coordinator of Programs and Projects
Phone: 814-940-0223 ext 1316
Fax: 814-942-1949

IU8 will forward changes to the contact at the district(s) you have selected.

**District specific questions should be directed to the district (example: report times, what to do if you have to cancel an assignment, payroll questions, etc..)**