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									    Special Education
Paraprofessional Handbook

                                                  TABLE OF CONTENTS

ROLE OF A PARAPROFESSIONAL ........................................................................................4

THE FIRST WEEK ON THE JOB .............................................................................................6

CODE OF ETHICS FOR PARAPROFESSIONALS ................................................................7

PERSONAL CONSIDERATIONS..............................................................................................8

COMMUNICATION & ETHICAL CONSIDERATION .........................................................9

MAINTAINING CONFIDENTIALITY ...................................................................................10

IT'S THE "PERSON FIRST" - THEN THE DISABILITY...................................................11

WHAT IS AN INTEGRATED SERVICE DELIVERY MODEL?........................................12

GETTING TO KNOW AN INDIVIDUAL STUDENT ...........................................................13

GETTING TO KNOW ME ........................................................................................................14

STRATEGIES FOR INTERACTING WITH STUDENTS....................................................15

MANDATORY REPORTING ...............................................................................................…16

RESPONDING TO CHALLENGING BEHAVIOR ...............................................................16

RESPONDING TO CHALLENGING BEHAVIOR ...............................................................17

RESPONDING TO CHALLENGING BEHAVIOR ...............................................................18

CLASSROOM MODIFICATION GUIDELINES...................................................................19

A PROCESS FOR CREATING MODIFICATIONS ..............................................................19

STUDENT LEARNING PRIORITIES AND SUPPORT........................................................20

STUDENT LEARNING PRIORITIES AND SUPPORT........................................................21

TIME LOGS ................................................................................................................................22

THIRD PARTY BILLING .........................................................................................................25

GLOSSARY OF TERMS – Part I .............................................................................................27

GLOSSARY OF TERMS – Part II............................................................................................28

PARAPROFESSIONAL WEB SITES ......................................................................................30

SIGNATURE PAGE ...................................................................................................................32

                                                                Avenue South, PO Box 1286
                                                                                 Virginia, MN 55792-1286
                                                                  Phone (218) 741-5284 or 1-800-450-4772
                                                                                       Fax (218) 741-5384

                                                  Ms. Reggie Engebritson
                                               Director of Special Education
ISD #166 Cook County ISD #696 Ely               ISD #707 Nett Lake      ISD #2154 Eveleth-Gilbert    ISD #6076 Northland Learning Center
ISD #695 Chisholm          ISD #706 Virginia   ISD #712 Mt. Iron-Buhl   ISD #2142 St. Louis County   ISD #2711 Mesabi East
ISD #361 International Falls

                           WELCOME TO OUR DISTRICT!

      Welcome to our school district and to your new school, classroom,
and team. We hope that your employment here will be filled with positive
growth and learning for you, as well as for the students and teachers with
whom you will work with every day.

      You have been hired to assist students with special education needs
meet their educational goals. As you begin to settle into your new job, we
are providing you with this handbook as one way to share some general
information intended to support you in your day-to-day work with students
and staff. Please familiarize yourself with the information on the following
pages. Complete the signature page at the end of the handbook and
return it to your supervisor. After reading this handbook, if you have any
questions, comments, or concerns about your role as a paraprofessional,
please contact your immediate supervisor or the principal of your building.

      We are confident that our school community will benefit in many
ways from your contributions to the students and staff. We will provide you
with ongoing direction and support to help you be the best that you can be
and also further develop your many talents and skills. Again, welcome to
our school community!


Reggie Engebritson

                             ROLE OF A PARAPROFESSIONAL

    How do paraprofessionals contribute to the school community?

Did you know that paraprofessionals comprise one of the fastest growing positions in public
education? Employment projections indicate that the need for skilled paraprofessionals to
assist with many instructional and non-instructional tasks in public schools will continue to
increase dramatically over the next 10-20 years. As the number of skilled paraprofessionals
increase, their roles and responsibilities continue to change and evolve, becoming both more
specialized and comprehensive. One reason for the increase is that children in classrooms are
much more diverse than even 10 years ago. A specific area of increased diversity has resulted
from students with disabilities receiving their educational services in general education
classrooms. Frequently, paraprofessionals are hired to provide assistance to students with and
without disabilities, and to general and special education teachers.

    Who are paraprofessionals?

As you may already know, a variety of job titles are used throughout the country to refer to
personnel who function in the role of a "paraprofessional." Our District uses the title
paraprofessional. Titles in other districts include: paraeducator, instructional assistant, teacher's
assistant, individualized learning assistant, pupil support assistant and many more. In this
handbook we are using the term "paraprofessional" to refer to school employees;
       Whose position is either instructional in nature or who delivers other direct or indirect
       services to students and/or parents; and who work under the supervision of a teacher or
       other professional staff member who is responsible for the overall conduct of the class,
       the design and implementation of individualized educational programs, and the
       assessment of the effect of the programs on the student progress (Pickett, 1988. p. 2)
The focus of this handbook is for paraprofessionals who work primarily with students with
special needs and who may be included in one or more educational teams with certified

    Providing Curriculum & Instructional Support

The general and special educators have primary responsibility for the design and development
of daily instruction for all of the students in the class, including students with disabilities and
other unique learning needs. As a paraprofessional, you will have many responsibilities related
to supporting the implementation of instruction, as well as classroom management. Because
you are a valued and skilled member of the team, frequently you will be asked to provide input,
to generate ideas, and to assist in the development of materials and adaptations for students.
You might be asked to provide very specific types of support to individual students with
disabilities; for example, implementing specific instructional procedures developed by the
special educator, or assisting with the physical management and positioning of students as
specified by the occupational or physical therapists. You might also be asked to assist
individual or small groups of students to review or practice skills under the direction of certified
personnel. Certified personnel include classroom teachers, speech-language pathologists,
special educators, adaptive physical education teachers, occupational and physical therapists
and other specialists.
Although, your primary role and initial focus is to assist individual student(s), you may also be
asked to assist with classroom management so that the certified educator can more effectively
deliver instruction to small or large groups of students. Other examples of paraprofessional
roles are: monitoring students during a test, assisting students understanding of classroom
expectations, organizing lunch count and distributing papers. In addition, general or special
educators and others may ask that you perform specific tasks. As you notice tasks that would
contribute toward the classroom community as a whole, offering your support will be
appreciated. Such an offer may seem small, but it can go a long way in establishing your
integral membership on the classroom team.

The following table delineates the roles and responsibilities for teachers and paraprofessional
Area                       Teacher/Case Manager/Related               Paraprofessional
                           Service Provider
Organization               • Plans weekly schedule                     Implements plan
                           • Plans lessons/activities                     following training &
                           • Sets and/or maintains/monitors               demonstrated
                               documentation system                       competency
                           •   Communicates all decisions/plans
                           •   Communicates needs of the
                               student's safety and welfare
Assessments                •   Assesses the student                    Assists in monitoring &
                           •   Administers the assessments                scoring
Individual Planning        •   Develops & implements the               Carries out individual
                               individual plan                            student(s) plan under
                           •   Communicates with all team                 the direction of teacher,
                               members                                    IEP manager or related
                                                                          service provider
Goals & Objectives         •   Determines appropriate goals &            Implements lessons/
                               objectives with the IEP team               strategies to meet
                                                                          objectives and assists in
                                                                          collecting data
Instruction & Training     •   Gives instructions for entire group,      Works with small groups
                               small groups, & individual student         & individual students to
                                                                          reinforce teacher/service
                                                                          provider instructions and
Behavioral Management      •   Plans behavior management                 Implements behavioral
                               strategies for groups & individuals        strategies using the
                           •   Describes/prescribes appropriate           same emphasis and
                               risks & limitations for each student       techniques as the
                                                                          teacher/case manager
                                                                          or related service
Working with Parents       •   Meets parents                             Communicates with
                           •   Responsible for IEP development,           parents under
                               progress reporting & overall               supervision and
                               communication                              direction of the IEP
                                                                         May be requested to
                                                                          attend staffings or IEP
Area                            Teacher/Case Manager/Related                  Paraprofessional
                                Service Provider
Data Collection                 • Design systems for data collection           Collect and record data
                                    based on IEP Goals and                         in accordance with
                                    Objectives or other educational                teacher's instructions

                                   THE FIRST WEEK ON THE JOB

Starting a new job can be confusing. This worksheet can help ensure you have information you need
when starting your job.

      Following your orientation you should receive the following information for
       the building you work in:

______ Student handbook, including discipline policies

______ Staff handbook (if available), to include dress code and code of conduct

______ Plans for fire and severe weather

______ Building crisis plan (if available) outlining responsibilities and procedures for physical injury,
       death and suicide, lock-down, etc.

______ School calendar

______ School map, including names of staff

______ Procedures for notification of school cancellation

If you do not receive this information or change buildings, contact your building principal.

    Questions to ask your supervising teacher:
                                   You may wish to write your responses down for future reference.

What hours/days do I work? (Fill in start and end time below.)

     Monday                 Tuesday               Wednesday              Thursday                 Friday

   When is my lunchtime and where am I allowed to eat?

   What is the procedure and price for buying hot lunch at school?

   Where am I allowed to park my car?

   Where can I put personal items, such as my coat, purse, lunch, etc.?

   If I am ill, what is the procedure for calling in?

   Who is my building union representative?


A code of ethics defines and scribes acceptable practices. A code for paraprofessionals examines
specific responsibilities of the paraprofessional, as well as the relationships that must be maintained with
students, parents, teachers, school, and community.

                                     Accepting Responsibilities

•   Recognize that the supervising teacher has the ultimate responsibility for student's instruction and

•   Engage only in activities for which you are qualified or trained.

•   Do not communicate progress or concerns about students to parents unless directed to do so by the
    supervising teacher.

•   Refer concerns expressed by parents, students or others to the supervising teacher.

                           Relationships with Students and Parents

•   Discuss a child's progress, limitations, and/or educational program only with the supervising teacher
    in the appropriate setting.

•   Discuss school problems and confidential matters only with appropriate personnel.

•   Refrain from engaging in discriminatory practices based on a student's disability, race, sex, cultural
    background or religion.

•   Respect the dignity, privacy, and individuality of all students, parents, and staff members.

•   Present yourself as a positive adult role model.

                                   Relationship with the Teacher

•   Recognize the teacher as a supervisor and team leader.

•   Establish communication and a positive relationship with the teacher.

•   When problems cannot be resolved, utilize the school district's grievance procedures.

•   Discuss concerns about the teacher or teaching methods directly with the teacher.

                                    Relationship with the School

•   Accept responsibility for improving skills.
•    Know school policies and procedures.

•    Represent the school district in a positive manner.

Suggested code of ethics for paraeducators. Adapted from Issues and Responsibilities in Utilizing, Training, and Managing Paraprofessionals, by
S.E. Vasa and A.L. Steckelberg, 1991, Lincoln: Department of Special Education and Communication Disorders, University of Nebraska.

                                            PERSONAL CONSIDERATIONS

The following are expected behaviors:

               Be on time! Promptness is essential - students may not be safe
                while you are "running late".

               Regular attendance is very important. Students, teachers and
                other paraprofessionals depend on you each day.

               Follow building procedures for absences.

               Maintain professional behavior in the classroom at all times. Your
                job is to support students. Conducting personal business
                (personal phone calls, reading newspapers, e-mails, or other
                recreational reading material, etc.) is not acceptable while on duty.

               As a paraprofessional, you are always expected to present a
                professional appearance and to conduct yourself in a professional

                       Maintain good personal hygiene. You will be in close
                        proximity with many people.
                       Alter your dress if it causes a distraction or challenging
                        behaviors for the student(s). (i.e., dangling earring that
                        distract the student.)

Also, very important:

               Take concerns directly to the person involved or your immediate
                supervisor. Avoid "venting" your concerns with co-workers or
                students in the hallways or lounge.

         Avoid talking about students, other personnel, or other personal
          matters in front of students.

         Maintain and exhibit respect for families.


Teachers are required to follow certain ethical standards of professional behavior.
Paraprofessionals too, need guidelines for appropriate conduct in their work with
teachers and students. The following points about confidentiality, communication, and
mandatory reporting provide an overview of considerations to guide you in work-related

   Establishing Effective Communication

As you can imagine, there are many things that need to be communicated with
educational team members. Minimally, you will need to communicate about issues
related to individual student programs, curriculum planning and adaptations, roles and
responsibilities, behavioral and/or health considerations, and scheduling.
Communication is the foundation of effective teamwork and occurs both in person and
in writing. As you begin your role as a paraprofessional, it may be helpful for you to ask
both the special and general educators that you work with how you will fit into the
communication loop. Of particular importance will be how to communicate on a regular
basis about individual student programming needs. Some teams have a regularly
scheduled time to meet each week.

Even with proactive systems of communication in place, you may encounter situations
with students that require you to think and act quickly. When these situations arise,
make your best decision based on your knowledge of the student and the situation as it
presents itself. Frequently, these spontaneous decisions are made related to difficulties
with changes in schedules, activities, or student groups. It may be helpful to document
these incidents in order to keep the entire educational team informed of the student's
instructional and behavioral progress.

   Communicating with Parents & Families

Another situation in which you may need to communicate with your supervising
teachers is with regard to contact, either written or verbal with family members. Given
your close proximity to students, you may sometimes come in direct contact with
parents or other family members. Ongoing communication with parents is the
responsibility of the IEP manager and classroom teacher. However, there may be
situations in which you are the person to whom parents initially communicate a need or
question. Be sure to inform the teachers about the information discussed.

   Respectful Interactions Towards Students
You may develop a close relationship with the student(s) you support on a daily basis.
Thus, it is important that you consider what interactions are the most respectful to the
student(s) and those around him or her. Your body language, tone of voice, facial
expressions, choice of words, and age-appropriate language all need to be considered
when communicating with the student(s).

                          MAINTAINING CONFIDENTIALITY

Confidentiality is an important aspect of your job as a paraprofessional. Through your
work you will learn information about students and families. Such information is
personal and private. It must not be shared beyond the family and team. Not only is it
potentially disrespectful to do so, it is illegal.

Beyond students with disabilities, the privacy right of all students and families who are
associated with your school must be regarded. Following are suggested guidelines for
maintaining confidentiality:

   1. Never discuss information about a student in a public place (e.g., faculty lounge,
      hallway, grocery store).
   2. Never discuss information about one student with the parents of another student.
   3. Never discuss information about one student with another student.
   4. Never discuss information about a student with school personnel who are not
      considered a member of that student's service providing team.
   5. If you need to access a student's records or other personal information, go
      through the proper channels as developed by your school.
   6. Do not create your own personal files on a student or family.
   7. Review the confidentiality policies of your specific school with your immediate
      supervisor. If you have questions regarding the policies and procedures of your
      school regarding confidentiality, speak to your supervisor immediately.

Here are some examples on how you might respond to questions that people ask you
about your job.

Possible Question                        Possible Response
                                         "Student information is confidential to
"Who's that funny looking kid that flaps his
hands all the time?"                     everyone but his parents and teachers."
"I heard you're working at the school… Is"I'm an employee at the school now, I can't
that third-grade teacher as mean as      talk about my colleagues that way."
everyone says?"                          Or
                                         "Employees aren't allowed to talk about
                                         one another outside of school."
"What's the scoop on Gail…I heard her "Gail's my fellow employee as well as my
husband….?"                              friend now; I can't discuss her private life."
"What's wrong with Suzanne?"             "Student information is protected by law.
                                         I'd be breaking the law if I spoke about any
                                         student outside of school."
"I heard Jason is doing better with that "Jason's progress is confidential. It is not
new special education teacher."          okay for me to discuss it."
"Is Tanya in the special reading class?" "Placement of students is a confidential
                                         matter. We're not allowed to speak about
                                         student placement outside of school."

                          IT'S THE "PERSON FIRST" - THEN THE DISABILITY

    What do you see first?
      The wheelchair?                                                      Say . . .                     Instead of . . .
      The physical problem?
      The person?                                                          child with a disability       disabled or handicapped child

If you saw a person in a wheelchair unable to get up the stairs             person with cerebral palsy    palsied, or C.P., or spastic
into a building, would you say "there is a handicapped person
unable to find a ramp"? Or would you say "there is a person                 person who is deaf or hard    deaf and dumb
with a disability who is handicapped by an inaccessible                     of hearing
                                                                            person with cognitive         retarded
What is the proper way to speak to or about someone who                     limitations
has a disability?
                                                                            person with epilepsy or       epileptic
Consider how you would introduce someone – Jane Doe – who                   person with seizure
doesn't have a disability. You would give her name, where she               disorder
lives, what she does or what she is interested in – she likes
swimming, playing cards, or watching Robert Redford movies.                 person who has …              afflicted, suffers from, victim

Why say it differently for a person with disabilities?                      without speech, nonverbal     mute or dumb
Every person is made up of many characteristics – mental, as
well as physical – and few want to be identified only by their              developmental delay           slow
ability to play tennis, or by their love for fried onions, or by the
mole that's on their face. Those are just parts of us.                      emotional disorder, or        crazy or insane
                                                                            mental illness
In speaking or writing, remember that children or adults with
disabilities are like everyone else – except they happen to have            uses a wheelchair             confined to a wheelchair
a disability. Therefore, here are a few tips for improving your
language related to disabilities and handicaps.                             with Down Syndrome            mongoloid

1. Speak of the person first, then the disability.                          has a learning disability     is learning disabled

2. Emphasize abilities, not limitations.                                    non-disabled                  normal, healthy

3. Do not label people as part of a disability group – don’t'               has a physical disability     crippled
   say "the disabled", say "people with disabilities."
                                                                            congenital disability         birth defect
4. Don't give excessive praise or attention to a person with a
   disability; don't patronize them.                                        condition                     disease (unless it is a
5. Choice and independence are important; let the person
   do or speak for him/herself as much as possible: if                      seizures                      fit
   addressing an adult, say "Bill" instead of "Billy."
                                                                            cleft lip                     hare lip
6. A disability is a functional limitation that interferes with
   a person's ability to walk, hear, talk, learn, etc.; use                 mobility impaired             lame
   handicap to describe a situation or barrier imposed by
   society, the environment or oneself.                                     medically involved, or has    sickly
                                                                            chronic illness

                                                                            paralyzed                     invalid or paralytic

                                                                            has hemiplegia (paralysis     hemiplegic
                                                                            of one side of the body)

                                                                            has quadriplegia (paralysis   quadriplegic
                                                                            of both arms and legs)

                                                                            of short stature              dwarf or midget

                                                                            accessible parking            handicapped parking

1991 PACER Center, Inc. 4826 Chicago Ave S., Mpls., MN 55417-1098: (612) 827-2966.
Reprinted from the June 1998, PACER Center Early Childhood Connection and September 1989, PACER Center PACESETTER


   An Integrated Service Delivery Model is a single system that connects
   general, supplemental, and special education through scientifically based
   practices, common measures, and explicit decision making procedures
   driven by child outcomes.

   An Integrated Service Delivery Model is based on …

 A belief that all students have the same need for acceptance, friendship, and the
  feeling of being connected.

 A belief that all students are regarded as rightful members of the class and

 Providing each and every student the curriculum and instruction needed to meet
  their individual needs and learning styles.

 All students learning side by side even though they may have some different
  educational goals.

 All educational staff sharing responsibility for all students.

   An Integrated Service Delivery Model Is Not . . .

 Placing students with disabilities into general education classes without
  preparation or support.

 Trading the quality of a student's education for inclusion or the intensive support
  services the student may need.

 Doing away with or cutting back on special education services.

 All students having to learn the same thing, at the same time, in the same way.

 Sacrificing the education of general education students so that students with
  disabilities can be included.

Throughout the school year you will learn many things about all of the students in the classroom in
which you work. Given the nature of your job, there are specific student(s) with whom you will work
more closely and for whom you will need more information. This section identifies ways that you can
become familiar with the interests, unique characteristics, abilities and needs of the individual
student(s) that you support.

     Background Information About Students
The "Getting to Know Me” (pg. 14) profile outlines informational areas related to individual students with
whom you will work closely. As you review the student program with the special educator and get to
know the classroom teacher, use the profile as a guideline for taking notes as you get started the first
week of school.

     What is an Individualized Education Plan?
All students receiving special education services have an individualized education plan (IEP).1 Among
other information, the IEP contains a list of the student's learning priorities for the school year. These
are stated as annual goals and short-term objectives. The IEP is developed each year by the student's
educational team which consists of personnel from school, the student's parents or guardians, and may
include the student with a disability and his/her friends. Paraprofessionals may also be asked to assist
in the development of IEPs.

When you are providing support to a student with a disability who has an IEP, it is important that you
have a working knowledge of what the individual student('s) learning priorities are and how you will
support the student in moving closer to achieving those learning priorities. Thus, it may be helpful for
you to take some time to review the IEP with the assistance of the special educator. (Note: Information
on an IEP is confidential and can be communicated only with members of the student's IEP team. Do
not share this information with other individuals.)

     Student's Schedule
You will need to be familiar with the student's daily schedule. While the schedule may change or be
modified over time, you will need to know where the student(s) with a disability is supposed to be
throughout the school day. If you have not already received a schedule, please request the schedule
from the general and/or special educators on your team.

It will also be helpful if you familiarize yourself with the activities, times and schedule of the school, such
as the bus and lunch schedules, and the other routines of the building. Your first few days will be
smoother if you know the layout of the building and the rules for cafeteria, hallway, and playground use.


 These individual plans are also called Individual Family Service Plans (IFSP), Individual Interagency Intervention
Plan (IIIP) or Individual Service Plans (ISP).
                                GETTING TO KNOW ME

Student ____________________ Special Educator ________________ Date ________

List some of the student's strengths and abilities:

Identify successful teaching strategies in the following areas:

   Academic

   Communication

   Behavioral

   Functional

   Other

List strategies that have not worked in the past:

List relevant physical or health information (e.g., medications, vision, hearing):


The following is a list of strategies that may be helpful in your interactions with students. Some
students who have an IEP will have specific objectives related to their behavior and engagement in
learning tasks and with peers. Such students are likely to have a behavior intervention plan that will
augment or extend some of these general guidelines.

Relationship Building

    Develop a positive rapport with student.

    Maintain a professional, but supportive role with student as opposed to a "friend" relationship.

    Provide positive, specific and frequent feedback.

    Maintain your voice at a non-threatening moderate level.

    Use respectful language with all students.

Behavioral Support

    Provide clear expectations of behavior and check for understanding of those expectations.

    Provide fair and consistent consequences for inappropriate behavior.

    Cue student to return to a task without drawing negative attention to him/her.

    Catch the student displaying appropriate behavior or for finishing a task well and praise him/her.

    Consistently follow individual behavior intervention plans that were developed by the student's
     team of professionals.

    Continually evaluate the stress and frustration level of student. Communicate your observations
     and perspectives with the general and/or special educator.

Moving Towards Independence

    Avoid becoming overprotective. Students may initially require intensive support, but you should
     fade to a coaching and indirect support role as soon as possible.

    Encourage independence and interdependence with classmates. Students will interact more
     naturally when you are not sitting or standing next to them.

    Recognize the importance of peer modeling of appropriate behavior and point out examples of
     effective behavior and its consequences. Natural supports enhance student's independence
     and social acceptance.

    Assist students by providing resources rather than giving them the answers. Allow students to
     make as many decisions for themselves as possible. Give opportunities for making choices.
                                     MANDATORY REPORTING

All public school employees have a responsibility to be mandatory reporters under the
Minnesota Statute §626.556. Bring any concerns or questions you may have to your
supervising teacher or principal immediately.


There may be times a student becomes verbally or physically aggressive. It will be important
that you have discussed a plan with your supervising teacher to respond to challenging
situations. It will be easier to implement specific strategies if you have a clear plan about the
words, tone of voice and body language you want to use when a student is having a difficult
time. Some students will have a behavior intervention plan (BIP). This is a legal document
outlining the strategies school staff will use with a specific student. Obviously, it is important
that the procedures by strictly followed.

It is important for you to be aware of the Minnesota Rules that govern how we respond to
challenging behaviors. There are specific laws or rule in place to insure the use of positive
approaches to responding to student's challenging or inappropriate behaviors (behavioral
intervention). It is critical that behavioral intervention programs focus on learning new,
appropriate behaviors and skills, rather than merely reducing or eliminating challenging
behaviors. (Minn. R. 3525.0850.) There are two types of regulated interventions: conditional
procedures and prohibited procedures.2

                                                                                Minn. R. 3525.2900, subp. 5(A).
 Conditional Procedures
"Conditional procedures" means interventions that meet the definition of aversive and
deprivation procedures which are not prohibited. Conditional procedures include the use of
manual restraint; the use of mechanical or locked restraints; time out procedures for seclusion;
and temporary delay or withdrawal of regularly scheduled meals or water not to exceed 30
minutes except as provided in Minnesota Rule, part 3525.0020, subpart 2a.
                                                                  Minn. R. 3525.0200, subp. 1g.

Conditional procedures may only be used when included as part of the pupil's IEP or in an
emergency situation according to Minnesota Rule, part 3525.0020. in order to utilize a
conditional procedure, the IEP team must:
   a. identify the frequency and severity of target behaviors for which the conditional
       procedure is being considered;
   b. identify at least two positive interventions implemented and the effectiveness of each;
       and design and implement regulated intervention based on present level of
       performance, needs, goals and objectives, and document in the IEP.

    Our district uses the term regulated interventions instead of conditional procedures.
                                                            Minn. R. 3525.2900, subp. 5(A)(1).


 Prohibited Procedures
Prohibited procedures are interventions that are prohibited from use in schools by school
district employees, contracted personnel, and volunteers. The procedures or actions listed in
sub items a through i are prohibited:
    a. Corporal punishment as defined in Minnesota Statutes, section 121A.58
    b. Requiring a pupil to assume and maintain a specified physical position, activity, or
        posture that induces physical pain as an aversive procedure;
    c. Presentation of intense sounds, lights, or other sensory stimuli as an aversive stimulus;
    d. Use of noxious smell, taste, substance, or spray as an aversive stimulus;
    e. Denying or restring a pupil's access to equipment and devices such as hearing aids and
        communication boards that facilitate the person's functioning except temporarily when
        the pupil is perceived to be destroying or damaging equipment or devices;
    f. Faradic skin shock;
    g. Totally or partially restricting a pupil's auditory or visual sense not to include study
        carrels when used as an academic intervention;
    h. Withholding regularly scheduled meals or water; and
    i. Denying a pupil access to toilet facilities

                                                             Minn. R. 3525.2900, subp. 5(A)(2)

 Parental Right to Withdraw Consent

A parent has the right to withdraw consent for a behavior intervention plan at any time by
notifying the program administrator or designee and the district must stop the procedure
immediately. After parental consent is withdrawn and the procedure is stopped, the school
must send written acknowledgment to the parent and request parental signature. If a parent's
signature to withdraw consent cannot be obtained, the district must document its efforts to
communicate and obtain the signature. Parents must be contacted within three school days to
determine the need to convene the IEP team to consider a change in program or placement.
                                                             Minn. R. 3525.2900, subp. 5(E)

At other times you may be providing a consequence for a student behavior. It would be most
appropriate to discuss the consequences with either the general or special education teacher.
Whenever possible students should know and understand the consequences for their behavior
ahead of time.



Corporal Punishment
No employee or agent of the School District shall cause corporal punishment to be
inflicted upon a student to reform unacceptable conduct or as a penalty for
unacceptable conduct. As used in this policy, the term "corporal punishment" means
conduct involving hitting or spanking a person with or without an object, or
unreasonable physical force that causes bodily harm or substantial emotional harm.

Minnesota Statute allows the use of reasonable force by a teacher, school employee,
bus driver, or other agent of a school district when it is necessary under the
circumstances to restrain a student or prevent bodily harm or death to another. This
does not authorize corporal punishment, which is prohibited by M.S.121A.58, nor
aversive and deprivation procedures, which are prohibited by M.S.121a.67.

Employees who violate the provisions of this policy shall be subject to disciplinary action
as appropriate. Any such disciplinary action shall be made pursuant to and in
accordance with applicable statutory authority, collective bargaining agreements and
School District policies. Violations of this policy may also result in civil or criminal
liability for the employee.

Legal Reference:   Minn. Stat. § 123B.25 (Actions against districts & teachers)
                   Minn. Stat. § 121A.58 (Corporal Punishment)
                   Minn. Stat. § 609.06 (Authorized use of force)


Modifications are a type of adaptation. Adaptations are defined "as any adjustment or
modification in the curriculum, instruction, environment, or materials in order to enhance the
participation of a member of the classroom community" (Udvari-Solner, 1992, p. 3). Many
students, with or without disabilities, benefit from adaptations in order to accomplish tasks
more efficiently and to participate fully in classroom activities.

It is not uncommon for paraprofessionals to help in the development of adaptations for
individuals and classrooms of students. This is a very important and valued support. When
considering how to develop and use modifications:

    Focus on what the student CAN do.

    Use the least obtrusive support first.

    Use age-appropriate materials, goals and activities when planning.

    Maximize active student participation.

    Facilitate positive and valued interactions with peers.

    Promote independent.


Based upon the subject and activity occurring in the classroom consider the following
questions to assist in creating modifications for a student(s).

          1. Can the student do the same activity, in the same way, at the same level as

If not…   2. Can the student do the same activity but with modified expectations?

If not…   3. Can the student do the same activity but with modified expectations and

If not…   4. Can the student do a similar activity but with modified expectations?

If not…   5. Can the student do a similar activity but with modified materials?

If not…   6. Can the student do a different parallel activity?

If not…   7. Can the student do a different activity in a different section of the room?
                                                                        (Project Dakota Outreach)

Directions: In the appropriate box, list the student's learning priorities that need to be
addressed daily, regardless of location (e.g., greeting peers, using a communication device).
In the remaining boxes, list the learning priorities that are specific to individual activities or
classes. Then list the necessary materials, supports, and adaptations that are required for the
student to accomplish his/her learning priorities. Refer to the next page for an example.

Student:                                                                                    Date:
Daily Learning Priorities:                                               Materials              Support/Adaptations

Learning Priorities For:                                                 Materials              Support/Adaptations

Learning Priorities For:                                                 Materials              Support/Adaptations

Learning Priorities For:                                                 Materials              Support/Adaptations

Source: Lowell-York, J., Doyle, MB., & Kronberg, R. (1995). Creating Inclusive Communities: Module 3b: Curriculum as everything students
learn in school" Individualizing learning outcomes. Baltimore: Paul H. Brooks Publishing.


Student: SARAH                                                                              Date: SEPT-OCT
Daily Learning Priorities:                                               Materials              Support/Adaptations
 Participate during each class                                    Same as peers                General educator
 Bring necessary materials                                                                     Peer reminder
 Move to and from classes with peers                                                           Peers
                                                                                                Schedule (including
                                                                                                material listing)

Learning Priorities For:                                                 Materials              Support/Adaptations
 Listen to stories with whole class                               Same as peers                None
 Choose a book from the library and                               Same as peers                Peers, librarian
  check it out
 Use a switch to activate taped story                             Big Red switch,              Peers, adult
                                                                   tape recorder,
                                                                   tape cassette

Learning Priorities For:                                                 Materials              Support/Adaptations
 Participate in experiments                                       Same as peers                To be determined
 Learn 2 new concepts per unit                                    Depends on the               To be determined

Learning Priorities For:                                                 Materials              Support/Adaptations
 Use a calculator to check work                                   Large key                    Peers, adult
 Work with peers to solve problem                                 Same as peers                Peers
 Time keeper in cooperative groups                                Timer                        Peers
 Use next dollar approach to pay for lunch                        Number line &                Adult
                                                                   money (next
                                                                   dollar approach)

Source: Lowell-York, J., Doyle, MB., & Kronberg, R. (1995). Creating Inclusive Communities: Module 3b: Curriculum as everything students
learn in school" Individualizing learning outcomes. Baltimore: Paul H. Brooks Publishing.

                                       TIME LOGS

Periodically you may be asked to complete time logs. Basically, you will list the names of all
students you work with during each half hour of the day, and then mark the primary activity you
are doing with each student during that half hour time slot. There will be a choice of eight
different activities for you to select. It is important that you complete the time log on what is a
“typical day” for you. In other words, a day that represents what you would normally be doing
with students, e.g., not a day when there might be an all-school activity or a field trip If the
scheduled day for completing is not a typical day, please complete your time log on the first
available typical day after that. A portion of the time log and a definition of terms are shown on
the next page.

                                          TIME LOG
                                          (Table 03)

Para Name:                                                        Building:


Sup Tchr(s):            First/Last                                         First/Last Name:

1) Print the first & last names of the student(s) you specifically provided services to/for during each half hour of
the day.
2) Please consult the definitions provided on a separate page to have a clear understanding of what each of the
activity options means. Check only one activity option per student within each half hour time slot. You may
often be engaged in more than one activity with a student during a half hour; if so, choose the option for which
you have spent the most time.

 TIME             STUDENT’S
NAME(S)                                  ACTIVITY
                  Print the first & last names of          Mark only one activity per student for each half hour time
                  all students you worked with             PC   Acad     Voc Data Plan Mtrls Non­

                  during each half hour time                                                            Stdnt Break
                                                           "      "

 7:00 - 7:30                                               "      "

                                                           "      "

                                                           "      "

                                                           "      "

                                                           "      "

                                                           "      "

                                                           "      "

 7:30 –8:00
                                                           "      "

                                                           "      "

                                                           "      "

                                                           "      "

                               TIME LOG DEFINITIONS/EXAMPLES

        PC (Personal Care Services):
        • Assisting the student with activities of daily living (eating, dressing, etc.) or
        instrumental activities of daily living (communication, accessing the community,etc.)
        • Completing health related functions (e.g., medication administration, etc.)
        • Behavior monitoring (observation, intervention, redirection of behavior)
        Acad (Academic Activity)
        • Prompting, cuing, or directing the student regarding academic behavior
•   Restating directions or nonverbal prompts on an academic task
•   Providing instruction or review on an academic concept or task

Voc (Vocational Activity)
• Assisting student with activities related to employment
• Instructing the student on how to complete a job task
• Reviewing employment expectations such as punctuality
• Job coaching

Data (Collecting/Recording Data)
 • Collecting or recording data about the student
• Marking tallies on an observation sheet
• Completing a checklist on student academic behavior
• Making notes about student progress
• Administering/recording progress monitoring data

Plan (Planning with Another Adult)
• Talking with another adult about the student(s) with whom you work
• Time spent planning with a teacher about how to respond to a behavior
• Time spent discussing with a teacher which group you or other
   paraprofessionals will facilitate

Mtrls (Preparing Materials)
• Preparing, adapting, or modifying curricular materials for the special education
   student per teacher instruction
• Preparing instructional materials for the special education teacher
• Grading work
• Preparing a bulletin board
• Photocopying

Non-Stdnt (Non-Student Activity)
• Completing activities not related to the student or materials (not including
• Listening to the teacher present, review instructions, or model/demonstrate task
• Visiting with other students/adults in room
• Checking email
• Reading a book/magazine/newspaper

• Taking a morning, afternoon, or lunch break
• (Do not include the time you spend as a lunchroom or playground monitor in the
   “Lunch/Break” category. If you are working as a lunchroom or playground
    monitor during the time slot, write “lunchroom or playground monitor” in the
    space provided instead of student names.)
                     THIRD PARTY BILLING

“The federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and Minnesota statutes require all school
districts to seek payments from third parties when the cost of assessments and related [health] services
are covered by a student’s public or private health plan.” One of the areas that the district can bill for is
personal care assistant (PCA) services. PCA services are provided to a student who is unable,
because of his/her medical diagnosis or condition, to manage the activities of daily living by him/herself.
In our district, all PCA services are provided by paraprofessionals. As a paraprofessional, you may find
that you are currently working with a student for whom we are third party billing, or will be third party
billing for PCA services.

A student’s third party billing status will not affect which tasks you assist the student with, but billing will
require you to document the time that you spend providing these services. If you are working with a
student for whom we are billing, the NSEC office will provide the necessary service documentation
forms (PCA Checklist) with instructions on how to use the form.

If you receive a Third Party Billing service document (PCA Checklist), please keep in mind the following
• Always use blue or black ink. Do not use pencil, white out, ditto marks, or arrows.
• Record your initials on the service document every time you perform a billable task (not at the end
     of the day or week). If more than one paraprofessional is working with a student, the person
     currently performing the task should initial the service document.
• Third Party Billing service documents should be returned to the school nurse.
• Your signature is required on the Third Party Billing service document.
• Note any long-term changes on the Third Party Billing service document. Do not add notes about
     the student’s day on the service document.

If you are working with a student for whom we are providing the services listed below, but you are not
receiving service documents, mention this to your supervising teacher so that they may assess whether
or not the student may be billable. Not all students receiving these services are billable due to parent
permission or insurance issues, but it's better to identify a non-billable student than to miss out on
potential revenue for the school district.

                                             Covered Services

Activities of daily living (ADL's): The following services and supports furnished to an individual, as
needed, to assist in accomplishing activities of daily living:

•   Eating: the process of getting food into the body including: hand washing, application of required
    orthotics for eating, transfers, mobility, positioning, food preparation and feeding or assistance with
•   Toileting: bowel/bladder elimination and care including transfers, mobility, positioning, feminine
    hygiene, using toileting equipment and supplies, cleansing, inspection of the skin and adjusting
•   Grooming: the process of personal hygiene including hair care, oral care, nail care, applying
    cosmetics and deodorant, and the care of eyeglasses, contact lenses and hearing aids.
•   Dressing: the process of being clothed appropriately for the day including applying or changing
    clothing for the child/student, applying TED hose, orthotics and prosthetics.
•   Bathing: the process of starting and completing a bath or shower including transfers, mobility,
    positioning, using soap, rinsing, drying, skin inspections, and applying lotion.
•   Transferring: the process of moving or assisting a child/student with moving from one
    seating/reclining area to another including standing by to assist if needed, pivoting the person, two
    people assisting or using a Hoyer lift.
•   Mobility: the process of ambulation including using a wheelchair and assisting a person with
•   Positioning: the process of moving the person for necessary care and comfort or to relieve
    pressure areas including positioning the child/student in a bed using pillows, wedges or bolsters
    and repositioning him/her in a wheelchair, bed, chair or sofa.

Intervention for seizure disorders - this includes monitoring and observation when the child has had a
seizure that requires intervention within the past three months.

Redirection and intervention for Level I and Level II behaviors including observation and monitoring for
students whose behaviors interfere with completing the activities included in ADLs. Level I behaviors
include: self-injurious behavior, physical injury to others, and destruction of property. Level II behaviors
occur on a daily basis and include one or more of the following: unusual or repetitive habits; withdrawn
behavior; offensive behavior.

*Please note that assisting and supporting a student with schoolwork is not covered.

Questions should be directed to your supervising teacher or Shauna Dall, Third Party Billing
Coordinator at the Northland Special Education Cooperative – 741-5284 ext 102.

                                  GLOSSARY OF TERMS – Part I

   Please review the following definitions to become familiar with terms you will be hearing and
    using daily.

       The Individualized Education Plan

    The Individualized Education Plan (IEP) is a written plan authorized and developed under Public Law
    94-142 which, revised, is now the Public Law 108-446 Individuals with Disabilities Education
    Improvement Act) or IDEIA. The IEP is a written plan for any student with a disability who qualifies for
    and receives special education services in the public schools system. Four important requirements of
    IDEA concern:
        Notification
        Participation
        Content of the IEP
        Agency Responsibility

    The IEP describes a student's needs, outlines the instructional program and defines types of services
    necessary to meet the student's needs. In order to develop this plan, a multi-disciplinary team meets to
    determine the needs of the student. This team includes the parents, the school administrator or
    designee, a general education teacher, the special education teacher, and the student, when
    appropriate. There may be times when the paraprofessional, any community agency representatives
    involved with the student, and anyone else involved in planning for the unique needs of the student may
    be invited to attend the meeting.

    The team meets to determine the student's:
        Accomplishments
        Educational goals
        Supports needed for learning
        Plans for the future
        Related service needs

    Based on these discussions, a plan is written which the student and parents agree to and sign.

       The Individualized Family Service Plan

    The Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP) is developed for young children with disabilities and their
    families. The impetus for the development of this plan came out of federal legislation that extended
    educational provisions under the age of five (Public Law 99-457). The purpose of the IFSP is to identify
    and facilitate the use of formal and informal resources that reflect the families' priorities for them and
    their children. The written IFSP must include:
         Information on the child's present level of functioning
         The strengths and needs of the child's family
         Major goals for the child and family with criteria, procedures and timelines
         Specific services necessary to meet the unique needs of the child and family
         Dates for initiation and duration for services
         Assignment of an IEP manager most immediately relevant to the child's needs
         Steps to support the transition to preschool services
You might be invited to attend a meeting to develop or review these plans.

                           GLOSSARY OF TERMS – Part II

Autism Spectrum Disorder
     Autism spectrum disorders (ASD)" means a range of pervasive developmental disorders,
     with onset in childhood, that adversely affect a pupil's functioning and result in the need
     for special education instruction and related services. ASD is a disability category
     characterized by an uneven developmental profile and a pattern of qualitative
     impairments in several areas of development, including social interaction, communication,
     or the presence of restricted, repetitive, and stereotyped patterns of behavior, interests,
     and activities. These core features may present themselves in a wide variety of
     combinations that range from mild to severe, and the number of behavioral indicators
     present may vary. ASD may include Autistic Disorder, Childhood Autism, Atypical
     Autism, Pervasive Developmental Disorder Not Otherwise Specified, Asperger's Disorder,
     or other related pervasive developmental disorders.

Deaf-Blindness (DB)
    "Deaf-Blindness" means medically verified visual impairment coupled with medically
    verified hearing impairment that, together, interfere with acquiring information or
    interacting in the environment. Both conditions need to be present simultaneously and
    must meet the criteria for both vision and hearing impairments.

Deaf and Hard of Hearing (DHH)
    Deaf and hard of hearing means a diminished sensitivity to sound, or hearing loss, that is
    expressed in terms of standard audiological measures. Hearing loss has the potential to
    affect educational, communicative, or social functioning that may result in the need for
    special education instruction and related services.

Developmental Cognitive Disability - Mild-Moderate (DCDM or DCD)
    A condition resulting in significantly below average intellectual functioning and concurrent
    deficits in adaptive behavior that adversely affect educational performance and requires
    special education and related services. DCD does not include conditions primarily due to
    a sensory or physical impairment, traumatic brain injury, autism spectrum disorders,
    severe multiple impairments, cultural influences, or inconsistent educational

Developmental Cognitive Disability – Severe Profound (DCD-SP, DCDS, DCD)
    This category has the same definition as MMMI, however the severity is more

Developmental Delay - The Early Childhood Special Education (ECSE) program serves
    children birth through seven years of age who have developmental delays in their
    cognitive, language, social/emotional, adaptive (self help) and/or motor development.
    Children are referred from preschool screening, parents, physicians, nursery schools, and
    other agencies in the community. There is no charge to parents for those students who
     are eligible.

Emotional or Behavioral Disorder (EBD)
   "Emotional or Behavioral Disorder" means an established pattern characterized by one or
   more of the following behavior clusters:
       a. severely aggressive or impulsive behaviors;
       b. severely withdrawn or anxious behaviors; general pervasive unhappiness,
          depression, or wide mood swings; or
       c. severely disordered thought processes manifested by unusual behavior patterns,
          atypical communication styles, and distorted interpersonal relationships.

     The established pattern adversely affects educational performance and results in either
     an inability to build or maintain satisfactory interpersonal relations.

Other Health Disabilities (OHD)
    "Other Health Disabilities" means a broad range of medically diagnosed chronic or acute
    health conditions that may adversely affect academic functioning and result in the need
    for special education instruction and related services. The decision that a specific health
    condition qualifies as other health impaired will be determined by the impact of the
    condition on academic functioning rather than by the diagnostic label given the condition.

Physically Impaired (PI)
    "Physically Impaired" means a medically diagnosed chronic, physical impairment, either
    congenital or acquired that may adversely affect physical or education and related

Severely Multiply Impaired (SMI)
    "Severely Multiply Impaired" means a pupil who has severe learning and developmental
    problems resulting from two or more disability conditions determined by assessment.

Specific Learning Disability (SLD)
    "Specific Learning Disability" means a condition within the individual affecting learning,
    relative to potential.

     A specific learning disability is manifested by interference with the acquisition,
     organization, storage, retrieval, manipulation, or expression of information so that the
     individual does not learn at an adequate rate when provided with the usual developmental
     opportunities and instruction from a regular school environment.

     A specific learning disability is demonstrated by a significant discrepancy between a
     pupil's general intellectual ability and academic achievement in one or more of the
     following areas: oral expression, listening comprehension, mathematical calculation or

     mathematics reasoning, basic reading skills, reading comprehension, and written

Speech or Language Impairment (SP/L or SLI)
    The Speech or Language program serves students who experience difficulty in
    communicating. A speech clinician may work with a student for stuttering, voice
    disorders, incorrect production of speech sounds (articulation) or language disorders.
    The service can be provided indirectly to parents and teachers or directly to students.
    Sometimes clinicians work in classrooms or other settings with individuals or small

Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
    "Traumatic Brain Injury" means an acquired injury to the brain caused by an external
    physical force, resulting in total or partial functional disability or psycho social impairment,
    or both, that may adversely affect a child's educational performance and result in the
    need for special education and related services. The term applies to open or closed head
    injuries resulting in impairments in one or more areas, such as:                       cognition,
    speech/language, memory, attention, reasoning, abstract thinking, judgment, problem-
    solving, sensory, perceptual and motor abilities, psycho social behavior, physical
    functions, and information processing. The term does not apply to brain injuries that are
    congenital or degenerative, or brain injuries induced by birth trauma.

Visually Impaired (VI)
    "Visually Impaired" means a medically verified visual impairment accompanied by
    limitations in sight that interfere with acquiring information or interaction with the
    environments to the extent that special education and related services may be needed.

                           PARAPROFESSIONAL WEB SITES

State Paraprofessional Web Site

University of Nebraska

National Resource Center for Paraprofessionals in Educational and Related Services


                           SIGNATURE PAGE

After you have completed reading this manual, if you have any
questions regarding material presented, please discuss it with your
supervising teacher. Sign and date below, detach the page and return
it to your supervising teacher who should forward it to the Principal.
You may keep the manual for future reference.

      I have read and understand the contents of the Special
      Education Paraprofessional Handbook.

Name: ____________________________    _________________________________
               (Printed)                          (Signature)

Date: _____________________________


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