Conference Certificate of Participation

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					Para eLink - An UPDATE
  12th Annual Minnesota Paraprofessional
 Conference: Tools for Making a Difference

    Teri Wallace -

            Legislation -
Special Education -
• Federal - 1997 Amendments to IDEA -
• State - MS125A.08(b)

Title I -
• Federal - No Child Left Behind Act of 2002
    Legislation -
1997 Amendments to IDEA -

  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 §300.136(f)]
     Legislation -
MS125A.08(b) -
(b) For paraprofessionals employed to work in programs for students
    with disabilities, the school board in each district shall ensure
    that --
1. Before or immediately upon employment, each
    paraprofessional develops sufficient knowledge and skills
    in emergency procedures, building orientation, roles and
    responsibilities, confidentiality, vulnerability, and
    reportability, among other things, to begin meeting the
    needs of the students with whom the paraprofessional
      Legislation -
MS125A.08(b) - continued…

2. Annual training opportunities are available to enable the
    paraprofessional to continue to further develop the
    knowledge and skills that are specific to the students with
    whom the paraprofessional works, including
    understanding disabilities, following lesson plans, and
    implementing follow-up instructional procedures and
    activities; and
       Legislation -
MS125A.08(b) - continued…

3. A district wide process obligates each paraprofessional to
    work under the ongoing direction of a licensed teacher
    and, where appropriate and possible, the supervision of a
    school nurse.
      Legislation -
NCLB, 2002 -
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]
               Legislation -
NCLB, 2002 -
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)
    Minnesota Paraprofessional
  Requirements for meeting NCLB
NCLB requirements for paraprofessionals are met by:

A: Two years of study at an institution of higher
education; Minnesota’s standard: A minimum of 60
semester credits or the amount required to complete
two years of full time enrollment as determined by the
institution attended.
B: An Associate’s degree; or
Minnesota’s standard: An AA, AS, AAS (or
      higher) degree.
Minnesota Paraprofessional
Requirements for meeting NCLB

C: A demonstration, through a formal state or local
academic assessment:
    a. knowledge of and the ability to assist in
    instructing reading, writing and math, or
    b. knowledge of and the ability to assist in
    instructing reading readiness, writing
        readiness and mathematics readiness as
Minnesota Local Assessment - cont…
Minnesota’s standard:
1. A passing score on an assessment from the state
   approved list
2. Demonstrating all Minnesota Paraprofessional Core
   Competencies (1-8) by local district validation of a
   portfolio through: transferable work experience,
   college courses, workshops/conferences, Para eLink
   and demonstration of skill using Para eLink or a
   similar curriculum that focuses on recent training
   addressed in Competency 9 of Reading, Math and
   Writing                  OR
Minnesota Local Assessment – cont…
  3. a state approved local assessment. **(criteria
     listed below)
  The ParaPro test has been approved for statewide use. The cut
      score for ParaPro is 460.

  How a district can order the ParaPro test to use on site:
  Where a district or individual can go to take the ParaPro test in Minnesota:
  Questions may be directed to:

  Diane Cirksena, Title I Area Director, 651.582.8759,
  Barbara Jo Stahl, Special Education, 651.582.8659,
 Minnesota Local Assessment – cont…
**Criteria for Local Assessments:

   A local assessment must satisfy the following criteria, and
   be submitted to MDE for approval: reliable, valid,
   accessible, objective, comparable to two years of higher
   education, and able to measure knowledge and ability to
   assist in instructing reading, writing, and math (or
   reading, writing, and math readiness) in the language of
   instruction. Local Education Agencies interested in this
   option may choose to explore assessments, which meet
   local needs. Examples of current local choices include
   “WorkKeys” and “Accuplacer.” Requests for approval of
   a local assessment should be sent to the Commissioner.
        A Process Using MN Tools
1.   Paraprofessional and/or his/her supervisor complete the
     Paraprofessional Skills Inventory to identify existing
     knowledge and skills as well as gaps.
2.   Paraprofessional should begin list of prior training and
     experiences that align with competencies.
3.   Paraprofessional begins preparation of his/her
     Portfolio, which provides an avenue to show evidence
     of knowledge and skills aligned with the competencies.
4.   District offers and/or paraprofessional pursues
     additional training (Para elink, college courses,
     district workshops, etc.) needed as identified through
     the skills inventory.
   Paraprofessional Skills Inventory
                       Core Competencies

                    Paraprofessional Instructions -
This inven tory is designed to assist you in assessing your level of preparedness for the
tasks related to each core competency. Complete th is form by thinking about your own
level of preparedness for the tasks related to each co mpetency. Then, using the three-
point scale, rate your level of preparedness by circling the number that best represents
your level of preparedness for tasks related to the competency. In the space following
each competency, describe training and experience you have had that has contributed
to your preparedness for the tasks related to the competency.
Paraprofessional Skills Inventory
                              Rating Scale
      Paraprofessional Ra ting                   Supervisor Ra ting

 1 Š Unprepared: you are unprepared to      1 Š Unprepared: the paraprofessional is
     do the ta sks related to this              unprepared to do the tasks related to
     competency and you need training in        this competency and needs training in
     order to begin.                            order to begin.

 2 Š Somewhat prepared: you are doing       2 Š Somewhat prepared: the
     the tasks related to this competency       paraprofessional is doing the tasks
     but need fu rther instruction to be        related to this competency but needs
     competent.                                 further instruction to be competent.

 3 Š Prepared: you are adequately           3 Š Prepared: the paraprofessional is
     prepared and skilled to do the tasks       adequately prepared and skilled to do
     related to this competency.                the tasks related to this competency.

                                            4 Š I do not know the
                                                paraprofessionalÕ level of
                                                preparedness for this competency.
            Paraprofessional Skills
               Inventory - Sample
3.2   Ability to collect and record           Paraprofessional Rating                      Supervisor Rating
      performance data on students            1           2          3           1           2          3         4
      under the direction of a licensed   unprepared   somewhat    prepared   unprepared   somewhat   prepared   do not
      teacher, while respecting student                 prepared                           prepared              know
      confidentiality and the laws
      regarding ethical practices of
      assessment. (3S1, 3S2)

Training and Experience:
      What is a portfolio?
A portfolio is a systematic, organized
  collection of evidence used by the
  paraprofessional and those directing
  the work of paraprofessionals to
  monitor the growth of the
  paraprofessional’s knowledge and skills
  in specific competency areas.
           What is the purpose of the
           paraprofessional portfolio?
Directed to paraprofessionals -- The purpose of this
 portfolio is to illustrate who you are now and who you want
 to be as a paraprofessional. This portfolio should be a
 reflection of your current and emerging self as a
 paraprofessional. Each section of this portfolio should
 contain entries (transcripts, certificate of participation) that
 illustrate evidence of your accomplishments in designated
 competency areas. A documentation sheet that explains
 how the entry/activity applies to your work as a
 paraprofessional should accompany each entry.
  How can paraprofessionals meet
the competencies thru the portfolio?
    • College Course (transcript and syllabus)
    • Para eLink (documentation)
    • Conference/Workshop (certificate of
    • Demonstration/Skilled Competencies only
    • Transferable Work Experiences (examples
      of work)
Portfolio Documentation Sheet
                   “Knowledge competency”

      Competency Documentation Sheet -K
                          Core Competency Area 1:
          Philo sophical, Historical, and Legal Foundations of Education

     Competency 1.1       Sensitivity to the beliefs, traditions, and
                          values across cultures and how these impact
                          the relationships between child ren, families,
                          and schooling .
     1.     How did you acquire new knowledge related to this
            competency? Please check one.
                   College Cours e (Transcript of CEU attached)
                   Pare eLink (Documentation attached)
                   Conference/Workshop (Certifi cate of Participation attached)
                   Transferable Work Experiences (Example of Work)

     2.     Write three things you learned that apply to this competency.

     3.     How does what you learned apply to your role as a
Portfolio Documentation Sheet
     Core Competency Area 3
                             “Skil competency”
     Assessment, Diagnosis, and Evaluation
     Competency 3.2        Ability to collect and record performance data on
                           students under the direction of a licensed teacher,
                           while respecting student confidentiality and the laws
                           regarding ethical practices of assessment.

                                                     elated to this
    1. How did you acqu ire new knowledge and skills r
       Please check one.
              College Course (Transcript or CEU attached)
              Para eLink (Documentation attached)
              Conference/Workshop (Certificate of Participation attached)
              Demonstration of Skill (Observation/Documentation)
              Transferable Work Experiences (Example of W ork)

    2. Describe the situation (setting) during which you de monstrated this
       skill (i. . classroom , etc.)

    3. Describe what you d id to demonstrate this skill.

    4. Describe the results of your action(s).

    5. Witness to Skill Demonstration
       I observed this skill adequately demonstrated.

    Name                                   Position

    Documentation of this competency has been reviewed and approved by the
    district review team.

    Signature of district review team                              Date
Para eLink offers training in each of
the nine core competency areas for
paraprofessionals established by the
Minnesota Paraprofessional
Run the Para eLink
Demonstration NOW
      So, what has been
District driven decision to use Para eLink
Prepared trainers (Special Education and
 Title I) to train facilitators across Minnesota -
 currently almost 400
Regional Low Incidence Facilitators
 supporting this training
Minnesota Department of Education -
 contact Sharon for information on facilitator
 training (
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      So, what can I do?
• Share information with school and district
  – Send a letter with a copy of the materials you
    received…send to more than one person
  – Explain what needs would be met by…
  – Offer to meet with them and show them the Para
    eLink demo on the web site -
• Share information with other
  paraprofessionals and teachers
• Other ideas??
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Questions - Discussion

   Thank you for attending
      today’s session.

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