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​CSPG 70 - Grades 4-8

Modified: March 1, 2014

The Grades 4-8 certificate focuses on delivering all elementary subject matter in fourth through sixth grades, to diverse, pre-adolescent and adolescent populations in inclusive settings. This certificate includes a concentration in one or more core content subject areas for instruction in grades seven and eight as shown in the chart below. The Grades 4-8 certificate areas are:

​Instructional Area Code
​Certificate Title
​3100-01​Grades 4-8 (All subjects 4-6, Mathematics 7-8)
​3100-05​Grades 4-8 (All subjects 4-6, Science 7-8)
​3100-08​Grades 4-8 (All subjects 4-6, Social Studies 7-8)
​3100-09​Grades 4-8 (All subjects 4-6, English Language Arts and Reading 7-8)

Grade-Level Scope of Certificate

A person holding a valid Pennsylvania certificate for Grades 4-8 is qualified to teach all core subject areas from grades four through six; and the certificate holder’s concentration area(s) in grades seven and eight.

Certification Assignment

An educator holding a valid Pennsylvania certificate for Grades 4-8 is qualified to teach the elementary content areas of mathematics, science, English/language arts, social studies and developmental reading at the fourth through sixth grade level. Grades 4-8 certified teachers are qualified to teach art, music, business, computer and information technology, library science, and health and physical education within a grades four through six self-contained classroom only.

Concentration Areas: Educators must hold the specific Grades 4-8 content area concentrations in mathematics, science, English/language arts and reading, or social studies to teach in grades seven and eight content specific classrooms.

Grades 4-8 certified teachers may implement Title I reading remedial/diagnostic activities when directed by a certified reading specialist at the fourth through sixth grade level. They may not diagnose nor determine the remedial plan of action for students.

Special Considerations

An educator certified in this field may:

  • Provide professional development;
  • Serve in the role of mentor or advisor; and
  • Assist students in understanding how to read content area materials.

An LEA may make a written request to the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) for a staffing exception to the grade and age level limitations between Early Childhood, Elementary/Middle, Special Education PK-8 and Special Education 7-12 for individual teachers on a case-by-case basis (22 Pa. Code §49.85 – Limitations). The school entity shall submit a written request to PDE’s Bureau of School Leadership and Teacher Quality that provides justification for the exception. PDE will issue a letter of response that will contain a set time period for the exception to remain valid.

Certificate Clarifications

The Elementary K-6 certificate remains valid for kindergarten through grade six, but is no longer issued as of Aug. 31, 2013. A person holding an Elementary K-6 certificate may be assigned to kindergarten (age 4), kindergarten (age 5) and first through sixth grades. The Elementary K-6 certification may not be used in a seventh or eighth grade program.

The Mid-Level 7-9 certificates remain valid for grades seven through nine in the specified content area(s) – English, citizenship education, mathematics and science, but were no longer issued as of Aug. 31, 2013.

A person holding a Grades 4-8 certificate may not be assigned as the teacher of record in a computer lab or resource center for the purpose of computer technology instruction effective Sept. 1, 2003. Teachers assigned to computer education classes prior to Sept. 1, 2003, may be retained as long as they remain in those positions. Once a computer education position is vacated, staffing must be in accordance with the guidelines provided relative to CSPG #33.

From the 2004-05 school year to June 2011 there was a temporary easing of this requirement. However, as of Aug. 1, 2011, newly assigned computer education teachers may not be Elementary K-6, Grades PK-4 or Grades 4-8 certified teachers.


Program Specific Guidelines for Grades 4-8

Pa. Public School Code: §1202, §1212, §1604

22 Pa Code: Chapter 4: §4.22, §4.23, §4.31

Chapter 49: §49.11, §49.81, §49.142, §49.85

Chapter 14: §14.21(b) (1)

Summary of Changes

​Date of Revisions
​Major Changes to CSPG #70

​Created certificate area of Grades 4-8 replacing Middle Level 7-9 (CSPG #51, #52, #53 & #54); Elementary K-6 (CSPG #41). Elementary K-6 certificate and the Mid-Level 7-9 certificates are no longer issued as of 9/1/2013 and are replaced by the Grades 4-8 certificates with specific content area concentrations.


​CSPG #41 – Elementary Education K-6

  • Elimination of administrative decision of 2004-05 to allow Elementary K-6 certified teachers to provide full computer education at the elementary grade level. Elementary certified teachers (and Grades PK-4 teachers) may not provide computer education except in or to a self-contained classroom, or as part of the implementation of the elementary classroom content.
  • Clarification of memo issued 6/2002: Teachers hired to teach computer education on any Instructional I or II certificate prior to 9/1/2003 under CSPG #113 of 12/1990 may continue in such an assignment. If a break occurs in the assignment within the district to teach computer education then the assignment must be filled by one of the appropriate certificates listed in CSPG #33.
  • Removal of Bridge certificate program options as a special consideration – final program expiration was 7/1/2008 (programs initiated 7/1/2005) and 7/1/2009 (programs initiated 7/1/2006).
  • Elementary K-6 certified teachers may not be assigned to seventh and eighth grade level assignments after 6/1/2006 (or if completing the Bridge certificate program may not be assigned to seventh and eighth grade after the Bridge program three-year window of 7/1/2008-09).

​Elementary K-6 certified teachers may teach remedial reading other than diagnostic/prescriptive reading to students whose grade norms fall below seventh grade (may teach Title I Reading under Reading Specialist direction).


​CSPG #41 – Elementary Education K-6

  • Previously CSPG #48 of 3/1988-Elementary Education and Assignment Scope
  • Elementary K-6 certified teachers may be assigned to teach developmental reading at grade levels K-6 only; provision of CSPG # 48 of 3/1988 for Elementary K-6 certified teachers to teach developmental reading in kindergarten through grade six was eliminated.
  • CSPG #83 and #84 of 1/1987 combined into the contents of CSPG #41 of 7/2004.

Mid-Level 7-9 Praxis tests made available to add certificates in any of the following areas: Mid-Level Language Arts, Mathematics, Social Studies or Science.


​CSPG #48 – Elementary Education and Assignment Scope Elementary K-6 certified teachers many not teach remedial reading classes but may teach developmental reading at any grade level, (kindergarten through twelve).


​CSPG #83 – Elementary Teachers to Instruction Specialized Areas

  • Elementary Education certificate may be used to teach specialized subject areas to students assigned within the self-contained classroom: art, developmental reading, music, and health and physical education.
  • When students from numerous self-contained classrooms are regrouped to constitute a “special subject” classroom, the teacher certificated for elementary education is not qualified for instructional assignment in: agriculture, art, environmental education, foreign languages, health, home economics, industrial arts, library science, music, and physical education.

​CSPG #84 – Elementary Teachers to Instruct at the Secondary Grade Level

  • Elementary certificates (K-8) issued prior to 7/1/1969 were valid for teaching elementary subjects in kindergarten through eighth grade in an eight-four school organization or seventh and eighth grade in a six-three-three school organization; valid for teaching elementary subjects in an approved elementary or middle school.
  • Elementary K-6 certified teachers may be used to perform the duties of an elementary teacher at any specific grade level at a designated grade within an approved elementary school or middle school.
  • Elementary K-6 certified teachers may teach elementary level subjects to students at the secondary level (except special education students) in correction education programs, and in detention centers and homes when grade level achievement norms of such students are below grade seven.

​Regulations – College Certificates in Elementary Education

  • Lists basic requirements for issuance of an Elementary certificate:
    • Gives information on endorsements that can be added and refers to conditions for teaching at the secondary level with an elementary certificate.