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The Training and Supervision of Paraprofessionals.

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1 The Training and Supervision of Paraprofessionals

2 Where Do They Work? In education, paraprofessionals, also known as teacher aides, work in a variety of programs including: compensatory education and special education

3 What Is Compensatory Education? Federally funded and state funded programs developed to compensate for the disadvantages that some students face, which place them at-risk for academic failure Risk factors related to environment Strongest Risk-Factor: Family Income Additional Risk-Factors: Parent’s educational level Limited English proficiency Others???

4 Compensatory Ed Federal Programs for 0-5 Year Olds & Their Families Early Start Head Start Even Start Family Literacy Federal Programs for Elementary and Secondary Students Title I State Programs for Preschool-Age Children State PreK

5 What Is Special Education? Services for children with developmental delays and disabilities whose impairment adversely affects their learning Identified areas of disability according to IDEA Developmental Delay (birth –age 9) Serious Emotional Disturbance Specific Learning Disabilities Speech & Language Deaf (including Hearing Impairment) Blind (including Visual Impairment) Mental Retardation Orthopedic Impairment Multiple Disabilities Deaf-Blind Autistic Traumatic Brain Injury Other Health Impaired

6 What Are Paraprofessionals? Paraprofessionals are school employees who: ( 1) Work under the supervision of teachers or other licensed/certificated professionals who have responsibility for – a)Identifying learner needs, b)Developing and implementing programs to meet learners needs, c)Assessing learner performance, and d)Evaluating the effectiveness of education programs and related services, and (2) Who assist with the delivery of instructional and other direct services as assigned and developed by certified/licensed professional practitioners. - (Pickett, 2002)

7 Special Ed Legislation IDEA Amendments A State may allow paraprofessionals and assistants who are appropriately trained and supervised, in accordance with State law, regulations, or written policy, in meeting the requirements of this part to be used to assist in the provision of special education and related services to children with disabilities under Part B of the Act. [34 CFR § (f)]

8 Legislation No Child Left Behind (NCLB), New Paraprofessionals Each local education agency receiving assistance under this part shall ensure that all paraprofessionals hired after the date of enactment of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 and working in a program supported with funds under this part shall have -- [Title I, Section 1119/b]

9 Compensatory Ed Legislation NCLB, New Paraprofessionals, continued A.Completed at least 2 years of study at an institution of higher education; B.Obtained an associate’s (or higher) degree; or C.Met a rigorous standard of quality and can demonstrate, through a formal State or local academic assessment - i.Knowledge of, and the ability to assist in instructing reading, writing, and mathematics; or ii.Knowledge of, and the ability to assist in instructing reading readiness, writing readiness, and mathematics readiness, as appropriate. [Title I, Section 1119/b] Existing paraprofessionals must meet requirements within 4 years after enactment (by January 8, 2006)

10 Legislation NCLB, A little more….. “Paraprofessional” - an individual who performs instructional support duties and not to an individual performing only non-instructional duties All paraprofessionals must have High School diploma or equivalent. Requirements do not apply to those working as translators (if paraprofessional is proficient in English and a language other than English) or paraprofessionals working solely on parental involvement activities - Draft Non-Regulatory Guidance

11 NCLB What About Special Education? If a person working with special education students does NOT provide any instructional support (only personal care services), the person is not considered a paraprofessional and the requirements do not apply. If a person works in a Title I targeted assistance program and has instructional support duties and is paid with Title I funds, the requirements apply. If a person works in a Title I school-wide program (school) and has instructional support duties, the requirements apply without regard to the source of funding that supports the position. - Draft Non-Regulatory Guidance

12 NCLB What is included in “Courses of Study”? Paraprofessionals should be able to demonstrate knowledge and the ability to assist in instructing in the areas of reading, writing, and math…Paraprofessionals are expected to have a working knowledge of these academic areas. Each State may determine what requirements, if any, it may choose to place on the coursework taken during the two years of study. - Draft Non-Regulatory Guidance

13 More about: 2 yrs of Study State definition of “full time study” HEA definition of “institution of higher education” Admits only HS graduates, or equivalent Legally authorized by state Bachelor’s or 2 year credit toward Public or other non-profit institution Accredited - Draft Non-Regulatory Guidance

14 NCLB What is the purpose of the ASSESSMENT? The purpose of the academic assessment is to demonstrate that Title I paraprofessionals have the appropriate knowledge and ability to assist in instructing students and are competent in required instructional techniques and academic content areas. The paraprofessional assessment is expected to evaluate paraprofessional candidates at a level to the second year of college. Having skills at this level is the intent of the law. - Draft Non-Regulatory Guidance

15 More about: Assessment State or local assessment Knowledge of and ability to assist in instructing Reading, writing, math, or readiness Need not be “paper & pencil test” Must be valid, reliable, documented No USDE approval, but SEA approved Not just basic competencies Rigor: second year of college Check with your State or Local Education Agency - Draft Non-Regulatory Guidance

16 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 laboratory; Conducting parental involvement activities; Providing support in a library or media center; Acting as a translator; Providing, under the direct supervision of a teacher, instructional services

17 Paraprofessional Roles The Study of Personnel Needs in Special Education (SPeNSE, 2001) found that while there were differences by region and district regarding the types of services paraeducators provided, the majority of special education paraeducators, nationwide, spend at least 10% of their time on each of the following activities: Providing one-on-one instruction; Providing instructional support in small groups; Modifying materials; Implementing behavior management plans; Monitoring hallways, study hall, other; Meeting with teachers; Collecting data on students; and Providing personal care assistance.

18 Supply and Demand The National Center on Educational Statistics reported a 48% increase in instructional paraprofessional employment in education compared to a 13% increase in student enrollment and an 18% increase in teacher employment between the years 1990 and 1998 (NCES, 2000).

19 How Do Paraprofessionals Fit Into the Organizational Structure? What Is the Organizational Structure of School Districts and Schools? Bureaucracies Hierarchies Superintendent l Principal

20 Bureaucracies Distinguished by: Governing rules –often rigid Division of labor Chain of command Specializations

21 Bureaucratic Structure of Schools Pyramidal Senior Management (Principal/Asst. Principals) Middle Management (Dept. Heads/Coordinators) Floor Supervisors (Teachers) Floor Workers (Aides) Horizontal and vertical components Research indicates that restructuring usually results in the elimination of middle management positions

22 Vertical Structure Hierarchy Provides the conduit for authority to flow, traditionally from top down (scalar principle) Delegation entails assignment of authority from super-ordinate to subordinate Units may be centralized or decentralized Unity of command means each employee has a supervisor

23 Vertical Structure Span of control refers to number of staff under one manager Positions: Line relationship: Position of authority over others super-ordinate l subordinate Staff relationship: Advisory or support lateral -> position

24 Power and/or Authority Authority: right of supervisor to direct subordinates; flows from chain of command; vested in position, not person Power: ability to influence the behavior of others; may derive from: management, ability to reward, expertise, and/or respect

25 Horizontal Structure Departments with specialized Functions Territory Product Processes Customers

26 Structure: Coordination Mechanisms Hierarchy’s elements: order, positions, etc. Communication Supervision Standardization of work, products, skills Policies & procedures Committees Planning

27 Tools for Management Structure Organizational design Viewed today as means for competitive edge if the design is well matched to needs All the elements of structure For example, position descriptions, distribution of authority Use of specialization and coordination, etc.

28 Country club management Team management Impoverished management Authority compliance What makes a leader? Employee-centered vs. production-centered approach Blake and Mouton (1964), and Likert (1961), use a two dimensional grid Concern for people Concern for production Hi Lo Hi

29 Management: Theory X and Theory Y Management styles: Douglas McGregor (1960) polarised (caricatured?) managers’ attitudes Theory X: Average person has an inherent dislike of work People must be coerced, controlled, directed, threatened with punishment Average person prefers to be directed, and wishes to avoid responsibility

30 "When one treats people with benevolence, justice and righteousness, and reposes confidence in them, the army will be united in mind and all will be happy to serve their leaders.” Sun Tzu (circa 400 BC) Theory X and Theory Y McGregor suggested: Theory Y Physical and mental effort is as natural as play or rest Man will exercise self-direction for objectives to which he is committed Commitment to objectives is a function of reward Average person learns to accept and seek responsibility Imagination and creativity is widely distributed People’s potentials are only partially utilised

31 Theory X Autocratic Theory Y Objective setting (Laissez Faire) Theory Z Democratic Your style might be anywhere in this continuum Theory Z Theory Z: WS Ouchi, 1980s Well managed companies in US and Japan had lifetime employment, collective decision making, promotion from within, non-specialised career paths Characterised as a “democratic” management style

32 Supervision NCLB, What does NCLB say? A paraprofessional works under the direct supervision of a teacher if the teacher plans the paraprofessional’s instructional activities and evaluates the achievement of the students with whom the paraprofessional works The paraprofessional also would be required to work in close proximity of the teacher - Draft Non-Regulatory Guidance

33 Supervision There is a difference between the person responsible for hiring and evaluating performance (an administrator), and the person directing day-to-day work with students (an educator or other licensed person). As early as the 1960s, there was evidence that “supervision” was needed for paraprofessionals to provide instructional services (Esbenson, 1966, Blessing, 1967). Teachers must learn strategies for supervising paraprofessionals -- beginning in their teacher preparation programs. And, administrators must promote effective instructional supervisory relationships and create infrastructures that reward teams.

34 Supervision There is a need for administrators and teachers to find opportunities for licensed staff and paraprofessionals to be able plan together. Often reported as reasons why paraprofessionals leave their positions: o Lack of advancement opportunity o Poor salary o Lack of administrative support o Lack of respect Factors affecting self-esteem (Riggs & Mueller, 2001) o being involved in team meetings for students with whom they work o being provided with adequate break time o having adequate substitute coverage o being perceived as a “team member” working “along side of” the teacher

35 Supervision - Six major themes associated with respect, appreciation, and acknowledgement of paraprofessionals (Giangreco, Edelman, & Broer, 2001) o Nonmonetary signs and symbols of appreciation o Compensation o Being entrusted with important responsibilities o Noninstructional responsibilities o Being listened to o Orientation and support Competencies for Teachers (Wallace, Shin, Bartholomay, & Stahl, 2001) o Communication with Paraprofessionals o Planning and Scheduling o Instructional Support o Modeling for Paraprofessionals o Public Relations o Training o Management of Paraprofessionals

36 Some Supervision Issues Some studies found that paraprofessionals reported being “responsible” for instructional program of a student, when that is the responsibility of the teacher (Giangreco, Edelman, Luiselli, & MacFarland, 1997; Marks, Schrader, & Leving, 1999; Wallace, Stahl, & MacMillan, 2000). Paraprofessionals reported a high level of responsibility in their jobs, such as: decisions regarding adaptations, behavioral support, and interacting with team members including parents (Downing, Ryndak, & Clark 2000).

37 Some Supervision Issues Lack of planning time between teachers and paraprofessionals (Wallace, Stahl, & Johnson, 2003). Many paraprofessionals work in multiple classrooms each day (Wallace, Stahl, & Johnson, 2003). More than 80% of the paraprofessionals reported spending half or more of their day on instructional tasks and yet only about 40% reported having received training in reading, writing, or math instruction (Wallace, Stahl, & Johnson, 2003). Half of the paraprofessionals reported that their job descriptions accurately reflected their duties (Wallace, Stahl, & Johnson, 2003).

38 Some Supervision Issues Lack of planning time between teachers and paraprofessionals (Wallace, Stahl, & Johnson, 2003). Sixty-seven percent reported receiving specific or non- specific instructions/suggestions for their work from the person who directs their day-to-day work, while 17% reported receiving no real consistent direction (Wallace, Stahl, & Johnson, 2003). Paraprofessionals who felt their planning time was adequate reported most often that they had daily (43%) and weekly (24%) planning time with the person who directs their work (Wallace, Stahl, & Johnson, 2003). Nearly 90% of the paraprofessionals reported feeling like a valued member of the instructional team (Wallace, Stahl, & Johnson, 2003).

39 Responsibilities for Teachers

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44 Adapted from Strengthening and Supporting Teacher/Provider-Paraeducator Teams: Guidelines for Paraeducator Roles, Supervision, and Preparation, by A.L. Pickett, National Resource Center for Paraprofessionals.

45 Responsibilities of Teachers with Regard to Paraprofessional Supervision (Pickett and Safarik, 2003 in Pickett and Gerlach, 2003) Participate in supervision training prior to using a paraprofessional and upgrade supervision knowledge and skills on a regular basis. Participate significantly in the hiring of the paraprofessional for whom he or she will be responsible. Inform the family and student about the level (professional vs. paraprofessional), frequency, and duration of services, as well as the extent of supervision. Review each individual plan with the paraprofessional at least weekly. Delegate specific tasks to the paraprofessional while retaining legal and ethical responsibility for all services provided or omitted. Sign all formal documents (e.g., IEPs, reports). Review and sign all informal progress notes prepared by the paraprofessional.

46 Responsibilities of Teachers with Regard to Paraprofessional Supervision (Pickett and Safarik, 2003 in Pickett and Gerlach, 2003) Provide ongoing on-the-job training for the paraprofessional. Provide and document appropriate supervision of the paraprofessional. Ensure that the paraprofessional performs only tasks within the scope of the paraprofessional’s responsibility. Participate in the performance appraisal of the paraprofessional for whom he or she is responsible. Adapted from “Learning Disabilities: Use of Paraprofessionals,” National Joint Committee on Learning Disabilities, 1999 (Winter), Learning Disabilities Quarterly, 22, pp

47 Components of Job Description Position Title Position Setting Qualifications for the Position Purpose Duties and Responsibilities Training Requirements Supervision Guidelines Evaluation Guidelines

48 Training & Preparation “With rare exceptions, policies, standards, and systems for improving the performance and productivity of teacher and paraeducator teams are almost non-existent. Paraeducator training, when it is available is usually highly parochial and sporadic, does not recognize the similarities in the core skills required by the vast majority of paraeducators, nor is it competency based, or linked to systematic opportunities for their career development. State education agencies and/or other state agencies responsible for developing and administering teacher credentialing systems have not joined forces with institutions of high education to establish standards for licensure to ensure that teacher have the knowledge and skills they require to supervise paraeducators. Moreover paraeducator issues have yet to be addressed by various reform initiatives concerned with empowering teachers and increasing the accountability and effectiveness of education systems and practices.” (Pickett, Likins, & Wallace, 2002).

49 Training & Preparation Studies have found that paraeducators who receive more inservice training or preservice preparation report feeling better prepared to fulfill their job responsibilities Numerous recent studies and opinion pieces indicate that there is a scarcity of relevant training available to paraeducators. Perceptions regarding need for training differ among administrators, teachers, and paraprofessionals.

50 Questions to ask to avoid ethical dilemmas regarding preparation and training (Heller, B. and Gerlach, K. (2003). Paraeducators in Education Settings: Ethical Issues, in Pickett, A.L., & Gerlach, G. Paraeducators in Education Settings: A Team Approach. Austin, TX: Pro-ed) 1.Have knowledge and skills required by paraeducators and assistants to work in different positions, programs, and across disciplines been identified and developed? 2.Are there systematic competency-based opportunities for personnel development and career advancement?  For paraprofessionals  For administrators who manage paraprofessionals  For educators and other professionals who supervise paraprofessionals 3.Does the training content provide paraeducators and their supervisors with an understanding of the roles of professionals as team leaders, diagnosticians, program planners and supervisors of paraprofessionals?

51 Questions, continued… 4.Have the team leadership and supervisory roles been identified and the knowledge and skill competencies developed to prepare the professionals for these roles? 5.Does the training content demonstrate respect for children and youth with disabilities and their families, as well as for those who come from diverse ethnic, cultural and language backgrounds? 6 Does the training content include information on the ethical, legal and team- based roles of professionals and paraeducators in the delivery of education and related services? 7. Do licensed/certified professionals involved in the training of paraeducators have knowledge of and respect for the distinction in professional and paraeducator roles?

52 Questions, continued… 8.Is sufficient time and opportunity provided for orientation, initial training, and continued competency development? 9.How can different constituencies (e.g., professional associations, provider agencies, IHEs) contribute to the appropriate efforts to improve the quality of teacher/provider-paraeducator staff development?

53 Another issue concerns family involvement in planning paraeducator services to implement the IEP (Individual Education Program). Family members should be active participants in considering the need for paraeducator services in an IEP. If a student requires the services of a paraeducator to assist with the implementation of the IEP, family members need to contribute to the decision making and planning about how those services will be delivered. The Iowa Department of Education Division of Early Childhood, Elementary and Secondary Education, (1998), suggests the following questions be asked: Ethical Issues: Parents Right to Know (Heller, B. and Gerlach, K. (2003). Paraeducators in Education Settings: Ethical Issues, in Pickett, A.L., & Gerlach, G. Paraeducators in Education Settings: A Team Approach. Austin, TX: Pro-ed)

54 1. What issues do family members and other IEP team members need to address when considering the needs of the student? 2.What accommodations or modifications are needed and who will provide those accommodations? 3.What services will be provided by the paraeducator? 4.Where will the services be provided? 5.How much time will the paraeducator be working with the learner? 6.How long will the services be needed? Parents Right to Know, continued…

55 7.How will we know when the learner outcomes/objectives have been achieved? 8.Who is responsible for directing and monitoring the paraeducator? 9.Who should I call about programming issues such as my child’s progress, class scheduling, instructional needs, or social interaction with peers? 10.What skills does the paraeducator need to work effectively with my child? How will the paraeducator be trained prior to starting services? What ongoing staff development will be provided to the paraeducator? 11.How will information the paraeducator has about my child’s experiences at school be shared with me? Parents Right to Know, continued…

56 Training & Preparation Topics listed in the literature for Paraeducator Training -  Positive behavioral supports  Specifics about disabilities  Teaching strategies  Communication and problem solving strategies  Transition related information and job coaching  Early childhood special education and child development  Special Education Law, confidentiality  Use of computers and accommodations  Inclusion  Health and safety  Development of independence and mobility  Observation and data collection strategies

57 Standards & Infrastructure Since the 1997 Amendments to IDEA, a renewed interest, and requirements for developing standards and certification, has re- emerged.  Some associations [Council for Exceptional Children (CEC), the American Speech, Language and Hearing Association (ASHA), American Physical Therapy Association (APTA), American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA)] have established knowledge and skill competencies for paraprofessionals. CEC has a set for paraeducators.  ASHA, APTA and AOTA require community college AA Degreees for certified therapy assistants.  249 community colleges offer AA degrees to OT and PT assistants.  In 1997, ASHA recognized an AA degree for SLP assistants. In response, there are already 10 accredited programs and another 50 in development.

58 Standards & Infrastructure Continued -  Eleven states have identified competencies or standards for paraeducators.  Thirteen states have credentialing systems, ranging from multi- level licensure/certification credentials that define roles, training and career advancement criteria to one-dimensional systems that do not specify role or training requirements.  Approximately, 198 community colleges offer either two-year AA degrees or one-year certificate programs to paraeducators working in inclusive special and general education, bilingual/ESL, Title I, and early childhood programs. (NRCP)  Paraeducator-to-Teacher programs - Career ladders - Ongoing training opportunities….

59 In the final analysis, schools cannot adequately function without paraeducators, and paraeducators cannot adequately function in schools that lack an infrastructure that supports and respects them as viable and contributing members of instructional teams (Daniels & McBride, 2001).

60 The National Resource Center for Paraprofessionals The purpose of the National Resource Center for Paraprofessionals (NRCP) is to build partnerships that address the preparation, management, supervision, deployment, and career development of paraprofessionals. Co-Directors: Marilyn Likins (Utah State University) and Teri Wallace (University of Minnesota) Founder: Anna Lou Pickett National Conference: May 20-22, 2004 in Providence, RI Web site:

61 Resources - 1 National Resource Center for Paraprofessionals (NRCP): No Child Left Behind: Study of Personnel Needs in Special Education (SPeNSE) Fact Sheets: Minnesota Paraprofessional Consortium: Paraprofessionals In the Education Workforce, National Education Association (NEA) Center on Personnel Studies in Special Education (COPSSE) --look for paraprofessional issue brief

62 Resources - 2 Paraeducator Support of Students with Disabilities in General Education Classrooms, University of Vermont Roles of Educational Paraprofessionals in Effective Schools, U.S. Department of Education National Clearinghouse for Careers in Special Education, CEC Standards for a Profession, American Federation of Teachers (AFT) Schools and Staffing Survey, National Center for Educational Statistics (NCES)

63 Resources - 3 Paraeducator-to-Teacher Programs, National Teacher Recruitment Clearinghouse IDEA Practices Home Page – National Clearinghouse for Paraeducators Resources, Center for Multilingual, Multicultural Research National Joint Committee on Learning Disabilities Paraeducator Resources Northwest Regional Educational Laboratory

64 Resources - 4 State Level Initiatives Related to Training and Supervision of Paraeducators, Project FORUM National Association of State Directors of Special Education 1800 Diagonal Road, Suite 320 Alexandria, VA Tel: , ext. 333 FAX: Please contact Joy Markowitz at or by calling (ext. 335). Copies of the IDEA Partnerships PARAPROFESSIONAL INITIATIVE: Report to the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) may be obtained from: Council for Exceptional Children, 1110 North Glebe Road, Suite 300 Arlington, VA ,Voice: (toll free),TTY ,FAX , IMPACT: Feature Issue on Paraeducators Supporting Students with Disabilities and At Risk. Published by the Institute on Community Integration (UCEDD) and the Research and Training Center on Community Living, College of Education and Human Development, University of Minnesota Volume 15 Number 2 Fall Wallace, T., Shin, J., Bartholomay, T., &Stahl, B. (2001). Knowledge and skills for teachers supervising the work of paraprofessionals. Exceptional Children, 67(4), ERIC/OSEP Special Project (Spring 2003). Paraeducators: Providing support to students with disabilities and their teachers. Research Connections in Special Education (no. 12). Arlington, VA: The ERIC Clearinghouse on Disabilities and Gifted Education.

65 Resources - 4 Let’s Team Up by Kent Gerlach - This unique checklist is written to help paraeducators, teachers, and principals understand their roles and responsibilities as they relate to each other. It's filled with helpful tips for teachers on working effectively with paraeducators, practical suggestions for paraeducators on clarifying their jobs and their relationships with students and school staff, and great advice for principals on the administrative supervision of paraeducators. When every member of the school team is successful, the entire school wins. Pickett, A.L., & Gerlach, G. Paraeducators in Education Settings: A Team Approach. Austin, TX: Pro-ed This is the first and most comprehensive text on supervising paraprofessionals in educational settings. - The Teacher’s Guide to Supporting and Supervising Paraprofessionals in the Classroom — Video and Guidebook by Teri Wallace This hands-on training video spells out key roles and responsibilities of paraprofessionals, and teachers working with paraprofessionals - along with successful management strategies - to help educators build effective teaching teams and improve overall classroom instruction. This hands-on training video spells out key roles and responsibilities of paraprofessionals, and teachers working with paraprofessionals - along with successful management strategies - to help educators build effective teaching teams and improve overall classroom instruction

66 Discussion & Questions


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