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Meeting Paraeducator Training Requirements

Meeting Paraeducator Training Requirements
Posted on 12/16/2019
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What initially began as a two-day Fundamental Course of Study training offered at ESD 123 for paraeducators has grown into a year-long effort based on the needs of districts. The Teaching & Learning team at ESD 123 has been working hard to help districts provide Fundamental Course of Study training to paraeducators based on new requirements per RCW 28A.413.060.

Paraeducators fill a room at ESD 123 for trainingIn August, a two-day Fundamental Course of Study workshop at ESD 123 was offered with the intention of assisting smaller districts with meeting the new requirements. The workshop filled up within the span of an hour! However, with a growing waiting list and staff staying late to answer calls from paraeducators inquiring about registration, it became clear there was a larger need. The Teaching & Learning team worked quickly to add additional training dates at the ESD, as well as working with districts to develop a schedule to accommodate district-specific trainings.

ESD 123 provides four units of the Fundamental Course of Study including:

  • Cultural Identity and Diversity
  • Methods of Educational and Instructional Support
  • Equity
  • Positive and Safe Learning Environments

group of paraeducators sitting around table participating in trainingSeven trainers from various areas of expertise, including special education and migrant education, have put in countless hours and hard work into providing the best trainings possible. The ESD’s entire Teaching & Learning team collaborated to accommodate the school districts’ varying needs, including providing trainings at districts or facilitating district-specific workshops at the ESD’s facilities.

“This has really been a team effort,” says Mary Kirby, Educator Growth and Development Coordinator. “It’s exciting to see the team be so responsive to support the districts.”

Paraeducators from 15 of ESD 123’s 23 districts have already attended trainings at ESD 123 or are scheduled to have ESD 123 staff lead trainings at their districts. In November alone, 79 hours of training were provided for up to 570 paraeducators. By the end of the year, ESD 123 is expected to have served approximately 3,000 paraeducators!

“The response has been overwhelmingly positive,” says Ms. Kirby. “Paras have really appreciated having the opportunity to attend professional learning.”

Upcoming trainings at the ESD main campus are scheduled April 2-3 and June 15-16. For more information on training offerings for paraeducators, contact Mary Kirby at mkirby@esd123.org or 509.544.5757.

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