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Special Services » The Role of Paraeducators in Public Schools

The Role of Paraeducators in Public Schools

The Role of ParaEducators in Public Schools

A ParaEducator is employed in the schools to help classroom teachers, both general
and special education teachers, related service personnel, and other staff in the
implementation of instructional and/or behavior interventions. The ParaEducator is
under the supplementary and aids provision of the IEP. The ParaEducator works
closely with school personnel who provide daily guidance to ensure the continuity in the
student's program. The primary responsibility, however, for the design, implementation
and evaluation of instructional programs, including assessments of student progress, is
in the professional hands of the teacher, and other certified staff members. All
communication relevant to the student's performance occurs only between the parent
and certified school personnel. The ParaEducator refers all inquires to the teacher who
will contact the parent directly.

Utilization of the ParaEducator

The ParaEducator is a valuable member of the multidisciplinary team of professionals
who assist students in their programs. Their duties include: implementation of proactive
behavior and learning strategies; assistance in accommodating and modifying learning
strategies based on the knowledge of the student from information obtained through the
classroom teacher; collection of data relevant to achievement and/or behavior; and
participation in professional development opportunities that enhance his/her skills.

Qualifications

ParaEducators either have a high school or college degree. There is no certification.
The District has the responsibility to seek individuals who have the potential to acquire
the necessary skills to support students in our programs. The District helps the
ParaEducator achieve then expertise by providing training during the District's
scheduled Professional Days. ParaEducator training is either accomplished by means
of out side consultants or in house certified staff members who have an expertise in a
particular area of interest.

Assignments

ParaEducaotrs may work in a variety of settings. These include self -contained classes
for students assigned to Specific Learning Disabilites classrooms or programs for
autistic children. Other settings include general education and/or resource programs
where the number of students require additional help. In some instances, a
ParaEducator may be a shared resource for a number of students at different grade
levels.