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Washington County School District

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1 Washington County School District
Department of Special Education Pre-Employment Orientation “Paraprofessional 101”

2 Presentation Outline This presentation will include:
An overview of the Paraprofessional Employment Process and Training Phases A definition of a Paraprofessional and a description of their role in the schools A description of the role teachers, administrators and the Department of Special Education play in supporting paraprofessionals A brief overview of the Special Education Process

3 Introduction Known by many different names…
teacher assistants, paraeducators, aides, classroom helpers, mentors… paraprofessionals are an important component of the service delivery system for educating students with disabilities. Paraprofessionals are called upon to perform a wide range of duties in the course of their employment.

4 It has been recognized that the better trained paraprofessionals are in performing their duties, the better the ultimate outcome for students with disabilities.

5 Overview of the Paraprofessional Employment Process
Beginning January 1, 2006, anyone interested in employment with the Washington County School District as a Special Education Teacher Assistant/Para Professional will be required to complete the following training modules which consist of 4 phases. PHASE I Pre-employment Orientation “This is a Special Education Paraprofessional” Time required: approximately 1 hour prior to interview PHASE II New Employee Inservice “Introduction to the Basics” Time required: hours within 60 days of hire PHASE III Increasing Competence Time required: approximately 1 hour per month…ongoing PHASE IV Skill Building (optional)

6 Phase I FIRST Complete this pre-employment orientation to increase understanding of the role of a paraprofessional.

7 Requirements for Employment
SECOND Obtain documentation that you have met the following requirements for employment: Proof of an Associates Degree or Completion of 48 college semester hours A passing score (460) on the Para- Professional Assessment

8 THIRD Your application will be forwarded to one or more (up to 3) schools with openings and you will be contacted for an interview. If selected, the principal will make a “recommendation to hire” to the Human Resource Department. The H. R. Dept. will contact you in order to extend an offer of employment and to arrange for you to come in and complete the new-hire paperwork and sign the contract.

9 Upon signing the contract, you will receive a Special Education New-Hire Packet
which will include information for accessing the Washington County School District Department of Special Education Paraprofessional Training Manual.

10 Once you have completed these steps, you will be finished with Phase I of the training requirements

11 Phase II Training The second phase of the training requirements for paraprofessionals involves a series of activities which will provide an introduction to the basic information and skills needed to perform the job. Because this Training Phase is required after signing a contract for employment, you may count the time on your time card.

12 Phase II Training These activities must be completed within 60 days of signing the employment contract (unless otherwise stated) and include the following:

13 Phase II Training Activities
The first activity in Phase II is called a Site Orientation Activity. It will be included in your Special Education New-Hire Packet. It is a checklist of activities to complete at the individual school (or schools) to which you have been assigned. You must complete this activity within 10 days of the start date on your contract and send a copy of it to the Department of Special Education at the District Office.

14 Phase II Training Activities
Phase II also requires you to attend a CPI (Crisis Prevention Intervention) Training. You will receive a notice through district mail informing you when you will need to attend this training. Eight hours are required for certification. The training will be held during school hours and you will be paid for the time. You will also be scheduled to attend the New-Hire Orientation presentation by the Human Resources Department which includes information on district policies and procedures.

15 Demonstration and documentation of competency will be required.
Phase III Training Phase III training is on-going throughout a paraprofessional’s career and provides additional modules to develop specific skills. Demonstration and documentation of competency will be required. Training will be delivered by various means, including technology-based presentations such as the one you are engaged in now, workshops, study groups, and peer coaching.

16 Phase III Training Modules
Phase III training modules will cover such topics as: 1. Behavior Management techniques 2. Understanding and implementing IEP goals 3. Elements of Data Collection and Tracking 4. Elements of Professionalism and Ethical Practices 5. Building Rapport with students, teachers, and parents 6. Goalview Scribe and File Management 7. Dealing with medical issues 8. Effective Practices in Education

17 Phase IV Training Phase IV training is optional, but available for those who are interested in pursuing a teaching and/or endorsement credential in the area of Special Education.

18 Now that you have seen an overview of the hiring and training requirements, we would like to show you a little more about what a paraprofessional is and what they do.

19 What is a Paraprofessional?
Paraprofessionals are to assist and support the teacher in delivering services to students with disabilities.

20 The National Resource Center for Paraprofessionals (NCRP) definition of paraprofessionals is as follows: PARAPROFESSIONALS are school/agency employees Whose positions are either instructional in nature or who provide other direct services to children and youth and/or their families. Who work under the supervision of teachers or professional practitioners who are responsible for a) the design, implementation, and assessment of learner progress, and b) the evaluation of the effectiveness of learning programs and related services for children and youth and/or their families (Pickett, 1989). PARAPROFESSIONALS are school/agency employees who assist and support teacher directed instruction (Gerlach, 2003)

21 The role of a Paraprofessional
…according to NCLB SPeNSE (Study of Personnel Needs in Special Education)…

22 Paraprofessional Roles
The following is cited in NCLB as appropriate roles for paraprofessionals Providing one-on-one tutoring for eligible students; Assisting with classroom management (such as organizing instructional and other materials); Providing assistance in a computer lab; Providing support in a library or media center; Acting as a translator; Providing, under the direct supervision of a teacher, instructional services.

23 Paraprofessional Roles
The work performed by paraprofessionals will vary depending upon teachers’ expectations, paraprofessionals’ skills and experience, and job assignment. Paraprofessionals are primarily responsible for assisting and supporting teachers or other certified or licensed staff.

24 Major Responsibilities
Work as a team Build and maintain effective communication Maintain student-centered supportive environments Implement lessons initiated by the teacher or related-service personnel Assess student needs and progress under teacher direction.

25 Other important responsibilities
Learn school policies and procedures Perform assigned tasks Support curriculum and instruction Deal with student behavior Work with teachers and other supervisors Assist students with special needs Obtain training and professional development Maintain ethics and professionalism

26 The Department of Special Education has designated the following paraprofessional positions:
Resource Paraprofessional Severe Paraprofessional Speech / Language Paraprofessional Motor Paraprofessional Preschool Paraprofessional

27 The role of the paraprofessional may vary slightly, depending on which type of position they hold.

28 Position Description Resource Paraprofessionals…
assist students from kindergarten through high school who are considered to have mild to moderate disabilities, usually in behavior and academic areas such as math, reading, and written language.

29 Position Description Severe Paraprofessionals…
assist students from kindergarten through post high school who are considered to have more severe disabilities. Their disabilities are more obvious and they need more help with personal care, behavior and functional skills.

30 Position Description Speech / Language Paraprofessionals…
work under the direction of Speech and Language Pathologists, assisting in providing services to students who have problems such as speech, articulation, oral language, and written language.

31 Position Description Motor Paraprofessionals…
work under the direction of Occupational and Physical Therapists, assisting in providing “motor” services that may help students with moderate to severe physical disabilities increase their mobility, strength and flexibility.

32 Position Description Preschool Paraprofessionals…
assist children ages 3 to 5 years old who have been identified as having some sort of developmental delay at various district preschool locations throughout the county.

33 Major Responsibilities of Teachers in supervising paraprofessionals
Plan the tasks that paras will perform Develop schedules for paras Appropriately delegate responsibilities to paras Monitor the day-to-day performance of paras Provide feedback and on-the-job training to paras Share relevant information about para strengths and training needs to principals and district Department of SPED

34 Other Important Responsibilities of Teachers
Introduce the para to the classroom Provide clear instructions and complete information Assign and delegate tasks Discuss curriculum and instruction Discuss student behavior Promote training and professional development Give feedback and recognition

35 The Principal’s Role The principal and/or other school administrators have the primary responsibility for: Recruiting, interviewing, and selecting paraprofessionals. Evaluating paraprofessionals and their supervising teachers. Promoting effective teamwork in the building and within teacher-paraprofessional teams. Take a leadership role in creating a school climate in which paraprofessionals have a professional identity. Provide an atmosphere of respect, recognition, and open communication.

36 District Support Designated personnel in the district office have the primary responsibility for: Recruiting, screening, and hiring paraprofessionals. Developing appropriate job descriptions. Developing appropriate policies for the employment and training of paraprofessionals. Introduce paraprofessionals to district policies and procedures. Introduce paraprofessionals to professional organizations such as the National Education Association (NEA), American Federation of Teachers (AFT), and the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC)

37 The Department of Special Education
The Department of SPED will support the Teacher-Paraprofessional team by: Providing a clearly defined role. Meeting with all new teachers to make sure they understand their responsibilities in directing the work of paraprofessionals. Determine what local, state, and federal legal mandates exist for paraprofessional staff development and supervision. Providing professional development opportunities for paraprofessionals and those who supervise them. Design a professional development plan for paraprofessionals.

38 and the types of students paraprofessionals assist
More about Special Education and the types of students paraprofessionals assist

39 The Legal Definition of Special Education
Special Education is specially designed instruction that meets the needs of exceptional children. This education may include specialized materials, carefully planned teaching strategies, and systematically designed learning environments.

40 In the early 1970's, advocacy groups fought for comprehensive services
for all children emphasizing the worth and dignity of each individual.

41 There are several types of disabilities that make students eligible for special education services.
In all cases the disability must adversely affect educational performance.

42 The various types of disabilities include:
Autism-affecting verbal and nonverbal communication and social interaction Communication Disorder-speech/language impairments Deaf/Blindness-combination of hearing and visual impairments

43 Developmental Delay-deficits in physical, cognitive, communication, social or emotional or adaptive development

44 Hearing Impairment/Disability-hearing loss
Other Health Impairment-(could be heart conditions, leukemia, Attention Deficit Disorder, or other diseases)

45 Emotional Disturbance-inability to maintain satisfactory relationships, inappropriate types of behavior, unhappiness or depression, or symptoms of fears, or inability to learn that cannot be explained by intellectual, sensory, or health factors

46 Orthopedic Impairment-a severe impairment which adversely affects a student’s educational performance, including impairments such as clubfoot, absence of some member, poliomyelitis, bone tuberculosis, cerebral palsy, amputations, etc.

47 Intellectual Disability-subaverage intellectual function with deficits in adaptive behavior

48 Multiple Disabilities-combination of disabilities (ID with Orthopedic)

49 Specific Learning Disability-processing problem that manifests itself in imperfect ability to listen, think, speak, read, write, spell, or do mathematical calculations Traumatic Brain Injury-closed head injuries that adversely affect student’s educational performance

50 Visual Impairments-impairment in vision that adversely affects educational performance

51 Principles which guide the Special Education process:
Student and parent rights Student and parent rights revolve around 3 basic concepts: Consent Participation Confidentiality

52 Principles which guide the Special Education process:
2. Equal Access This means access to a free, appropriate, public education for all students regardless of their ability to participate in educational experiences.

53 Principles which guide the Special Education process:
3. Right to Service This principle asserts the right of a student with disabilities to receive services which promote growth towards increased independence and competence.

54 Principles which guide the Special Education process:
4. Respect for Dignity It is the intent that students with disabilities be afforded the same degree of dignity and respect that is afforded other students.

55 Principles which guide the Special Education process:
5. Least Restrictive Environment (LRE) This principle demands that each student with disabilities receive appropriate services in environments that promote interaction with non-disabled peers to the maximum extent possible to that student’s needs.

56 The Special Education Process
There are several steps in the process of how a student is identified as having a disability

57 The Special Education Process
Students go through a child-centered educational process to receive special education services. It is call “child-centered” because the major goal is to meet each student’s individual educational needs.

58 The Special Education Process
When a student is referred for consideration for special education services, the following steps are taken. Parents are asked if they consent to having the student tested. If so, a comprehensive individual assessment (testing) is completed, and parents have the right to be part of this process. Then a multidisciplinary team meeting is held at which time the parents are invited to participate.

59 The Special Education Process
If a student is eligible for and needs special education services, the following additional steps are taken. An individualized education program (IEP) is developed. The IEP is reviewed at least annually. Assessment data and eligibility determination is reviewed at least every 3 years.

60 (Individualized Education Program)
More about the IEP (Individualized Education Program)

61 IEP The IEP is based on the student’s current skills, abilities, and educational needs that were identified during the testing process. It describes: Which services the student needs How the services will be provided

62 IEP The IEP must be developed before special education services can be provided. It must be implemented as soon as possible after it has been developed.

63 IEP The IEP includes measurable goals to enable the student to be involved and progress in the general education curriculum.

64 IEP The IEP also indicates if there are any “related service” needs as determined by testing. Related services may include transportation, occupational therapy, physical therapy, speech therapy, visual therapy, provision of adaptive equipment, etc.

65 IEP Extended School Year services are indicated for certain eligible students. ESY services are individualized instructional programs that extend beyond the traditional school year (summer). Some paraprofessionals may be asked to work during ESY to assist in providing services to students.

66 IEP Paraprofessionals play an important role in the IEP process.
Not only do they assist in providing instruction to students, they will collect data and information that is crucial to teachers in making educational decisions regarding the students.

67 Hopefully this presentation has
helped you become more familiar with paraprofessionals, what they do, and how important they are.

68 Now, please complete this short quiz
Now, please complete this short quiz. It will help you provide documentation that you have viewed this presentation. You may refer back to the presentation if needed. Answer the questions and submit a copy to the WCSD Human Resources Dept along with documentation of meeting the minimum educational requirements (Associate’s Degree, 48 college credit hours, or a passing score on the ParaPro Assessment). Good luck !

69 Quiz Instructions: First, number your paper from 1 to 10.

70 Quiz Question 1 What is your full name and phone number?

71 Quiz Question 2 Write “true” or “false” in response to:
There are 10 Training Phases for paraprofessionals in the Washington County School District.

72 Quiz Question 3 Write “true” or “false” in response to:
This presentation is part of Phase I of paraprofessional training.

73 Quiz Question 4 Write “true” or “false” in response to:
The following is considered the paraprofessionals role or responsibility: “Work as a team”

74 Quiz Question 5 Write “true” or “false” in response to:
The following is considered the paraprofessionals role or responsibility: “Design a professional development plan for paraprofessionals”.

75 Quiz Question 6 Write “true” or “false” in response to:
The following is considered the paraprofessionals role or responsibility: “Implement lessons initiated by the teacher”.

76 Quiz Question 7 Write “true” or “false” in response to:
The following is considered the paraprofessionals role or responsibility: “Write IEP goals for students with disabilities”.

77 Quiz Question 8 Write “true” or “false” in response to:
The following is considered the paraprofessionals role or responsibility: “Deal with student behavior”.

78 Quiz Question 9 Write “true” or “false” in response to:
The following is considered the paraprofessionals role or responsibility: “Obtain training and professional development”.

79 Quiz Question 10 Write “true” or “false” in response to:
The following is considered the paraprofessionals role or responsibility: “Monitor day-to-day performance of teachers.”

80 Answers your name False True What?...
You didn’t think we’d provide the answers?


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