Accessibility Tools

Administrator Licenses
Please use DESE’s Licensure Requirements tool to identify the pathway/requirement set that is most appropriate for you.
Administrator License Options
There are several options for administrative licenses in Massachusetts
  • Principal/Assistant Principal – PreK-6 / 5-8 / 9-12
  • School Business Administrator – All Levels
  • Special Education Administrator – All Levels
  • Superintendent/Assistant Superintendent – All Levels
  • Supervisor/Director – Level depends on prerequisite license*
*Educators applying for a supervisor/director license must specify a particular role. 
  Please use DESE’s Licensure Requirements Tool to view available roles for these licenses.
Temporary License
  • Valid for one (1) calendar year
  • Cannot be extended or renewed
  • Holds a valid license
  • Has been employed in another state under a valid license or certificate comparable to a Massachusetts initial license for at least three (3) years
  • Has NOT passed or failed Communication and Literacy Skills MTEL
Preliminary License (superintendent/assistant superintendent license only)
  • Valid for five (5) years of employment
  • Cannot be extended or renewed
  • Has a Bachelor’s degree
  • Has passed Communication and Literacy Skills MTEL
Initial License
  • Valid for five (5) years of employment
  • Cannot be extended
  • Has passed Communication and Literacy Skills MTEL
  • Completed one (1) of the following pathways:
  • A state-approved educator preparation program
  • An apprenticeship
  • Panel Review 
PAL Assessment 
  • As of September 1, 2014, educators seeking their first administrator license – principal/assistant principal at the initial level must demonstrate the successful application of the Professional Standards for Administrative Leadership through completion of a Performance Assessment for Initial License (MA-PAL).
SEI Endorsement
Professional License
  • Valid for five (5) calendar years
  • Renewable every five (5) years (see Professional License Renewal)
  • Requirements for each administrator license at the Professional level are unique to each license field. 
Frequently Asked Questions for Administrators 
I am in the process of getting my initial license as an Administrator and would like take the “Panel Review” pathway. What are the requirements and how do I submit documentation?
  • You will need to verify your eligibility by submitting an official transcript to DESE verifying that you completed a post-baccalaureate program in management/administration at an accredited institution; or submit a letter, on official letterhead signed by a head administrator, verifying that you have completed three full years of employment in an executive, management, leadership, supervisory, or administrative role. 
  • Please also submit a resume and written request for Panel Review consideration to the attention of Bob Johnson to initiate the process. You will be contacted with further instructions regarding how you may complete the Panel Review. (DESE)
What is the PAL Assessment?
PAL consists of four performance assessment tasks that reflect the authentic work of school leaders. The tasks are being developed in collaboration with Massachusetts educational leaders, pathway faculty and state officials and are intended to be completed as part of a preparation pathway.
The four tasks in the PAL Assessment are:
1 - Leadership through a Vision for High Student 
2 - Achievement Instructional Leadership for a Professional Learning Culture
3 - Leadership in Observing, Assessing, and Supporting Individual Teacher Effectiveness
4 - Leadership for Family Engagement and Community Involvement
How much time will it take to complete the PAL assessments?
There are four tasks that comprise the PAL assessment. Currently, during the Field Test, it has been estimated that each task can take up to 40 to 80 hours to complete. This of course will vary according to the individual. See PAL for details.
Does DESE offer resources for administrators to assist them in their position?
Yes, DESE offers a wide variety of resources to help them in their role of an administrator, such as Assessment, Budget, Edwin Analytics, Finances, Grants / Funding opportunities, Laws and Regulations, Nutrition, School Profiles and School Safety.
If you need help in understanding the process or would like some guidance please contact:
Lisa Lanteigne
HR Licensure Specialist
X 25632

Lawrence Public Schools Logo

Central Office

237 Essex Street, Lawrence, MA 01840
Phone 978-975-5900 Fax 978-722-8544


Family Resource Center

237 Essex Street. 4th Floor, Lawrence, MA 01840
Phone 978-975-5900 Fax 978-722-8551