Para eLink - An UPDATE 12th Annual Minnesota Paraprofessional Conference: Tools for Making a Difference Teri Wallace - email@example.com Ici2.umn.edu/para 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 works; 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. OR B: An Associate’s degree; or Minnesota’s standard: An AA, AS, AAS (or higher) degree. continued… Minnesota Paraprofessional Requirements for meeting NCLB Continued… OR 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 appropriate Minnesota Local Assessment - cont… Minnesota’s standard: 1. A passing score on an assessment from the state approved list OR 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: http://www.ets.org/parapro/ippform.html Where a district or individual can go to take the ParaPro test in Minnesota: http://www.ets.org/parapro/pdfs/TestCenterList.pdf Questions may be directed to: Diane Cirksena, Title I Area Director, 651.582.8759, Diane.firstname.lastname@example.org or Barbara Jo Stahl, Special Education, 651.582.8659, Barbara.email@example.com 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 s 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 participation) • Demonstration/Skilled Competencies only (observation/documentation) • 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 paraprofessional? 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 competency? 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 e 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 Date 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 Consortium. Run the Para eLink Demonstration NOW So, what has been happening? 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 (firstname.lastname@example.org) QuickTime™ and a TIFF (LZW) decompres sor are needed to see this picture. So, what can I do? • Share information with school and district leaders – 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 - ici2.umn.edu/para • Share information with other paraprofessionals and teachers • Other ideas?? QuickTime™ and a TIFF (LZW) decompres sor are needed to see this picture. Questions - Discussion Thank you for attending today’s session.