Policy 5710 - Paraprofessionals, Teachers’ Aides, and Paraeducators

Paraprofessionals, teachers’ aides, and paraeducators, as defined in the appropriate job descriptions, are under the supervision of a principal and a teacher to whom the principal may have delegated responsibility for close direction. The nature of the work accomplished by paraeducators will encompass a variety of tasks that may be inclusive of “limited instructional duties.”

Under federal law, a paraprofessional, also known as a “paraeducator,” an “education assistant” or an “instructional assistant,” is defined as an individual who is employed in a preschool, elementary school, or secondary school under the supervision of a certificated or licensed teacher, and includes persons employed in language instruction educational programs, special education programs, and migrant education programs.

Paraeducators are employed by the District mainly to assist the teacher. A paraeducator is an extension of the teacher, who legally has the direct control and supervision of the classroom or playground and is responsible for the control and welfare of the students.
In compliance with applicable legal requirements, the Board shall require all paraeducators with instructional duties to have:

  1. A high school diploma or general equivalency diploma (GED) and: 
    • Demonstrate through a state approved academic assessment knowledge of and the ability to assist in instructing or preparing students to be instructed as applicable to the academic areas they are providing support in; or
    • Have completed at least two (2) years of study at an accredited postsecondary educational institution; or
    • Obtained an associate degree or higher level degree.
  2. Individuals who do not meet these requirements will be considered school or classroom aides. 
  3. Duties of a paraprofessional include, but are not limited to, one-on-one tutoring; assisting in classroom management; assisting in computer instruction; conducting parent involvement activities; providing instructional support in a library or media center; acting as a translator in instructional matters; and providing instructional support services. Non-instructional duties such as providing technical support for computers, personal care services, and clerical duties are generally performed by classroom or school aides, however, this does not preclude paraprofessionals from also assisting in these non-instructional areas.

It is the responsibility of each principal and teacher to provide adequate training for a paraeducator. This training should take into account the unique situations in which a paraeducator works and should be designed to cover the general contingencies that might be expected to pertain to that situation. During the first 30 days of employment, the supervising teacher or administrator shall continue to assess the skills and ability of the paraeducator to assist in reading, writing, and mathematics instruction.

The Superintendent shall develop and implement procedures for an annual evaluation of teachers’ aides and paraeducators. Evaluation results shall be a factor in future employment decisions.

Legal Reference:
Public Law 107-110, No Child Left Behind Act of 2001
20 USC § 6312 Local Agency Plans, as amended by ESSA of 2015
20 USC § 6314 School Wide Programs, as amended by ESSA of 2015
20 USC §§ 7011, 7801 Definitions, as amended by ESSA of 2015

1st Reading    January 27, 2018
ADOPTED: March 21, 2018