Supporting Paraprofessionals: A District’s Journey from Action Planning to Handbook Development
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Supporting Paraprofessionals: A District’s Journey from Action Planning to Handbook Development

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Presentation at the 2011 National Resource Center for Paraprofessionals Conference by John E. Szalkiewicz & Maureen A. Pearson.

Presentation at the 2011 National Resource Center for Paraprofessionals Conference by John E. Szalkiewicz & Maureen A. Pearson.

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  • If group is small, consider “Put Yourself on the Line” as an activity. TRIBES
  • 3 levesl: special services concerns, central office concerns, building level concerns

Supporting Paraprofessionals: A District’s Journey from Action Planning to Handbook Development Supporting Paraprofessionals: A District’s Journey from Action Planning to Handbook Development Presentation Transcript

  • Supporting Paraprofessionals:A District’s Journey from Action Planning to Handbook Development
    John E. Szalkiewicz & Maureen A. Pearson
    Supervisors of Special Education
    South Windsor Public Schools
    South Windsor, Connecticut
  • South Windsor Background
    Suburban School District (Hartford County)
    District Reference Group (DRG) - B
    Number of Schools: 7
    5 Elementary Schools
    1 Middle School
    1 High School
    Total Student Population: 5,153
    Special Education Identified: 584
  • Continuum of
    Services
  • Specialty Programs
    Preschool Outreach Program (6 sessions)
    Intensive Preschool Outreach Program (Autism – 2 classes)
    Intensive Elementary Program (Autism – 2 classes)
    Intensive Middle School Program (Autism)
    Elementary Medically Fragile Program
    Middle School Medically Fragile Program
    Middle School Functional Skills
    High School Functional Skills (2 classes)
    Middle School STEP (Behavioral/ED)
    High School STEP (Behavioral/ED)
    High School PEP (Behavioral/ED – off site)
    Project Worth Transition Academy – 18 to 21 year olds
    179 Students
  • How many paraprofessionals do we have?
  • 130
  • Our Story – The Beginning
    • Desire for more appropriate job description
    • Need for comprehensive evaluation tool
    • High number of paraprofessionals
    • Budgetary Constraints
    • Need for fiscal responsibility
    • High number of paraprofessionals
    • Need for building level administrative accountability
    • Appropriate usage of paraprofessionals
    • High number of paraprofessionals
  • Paraprofessional Audit
    Requested by Assistant Superintendent with Board of Education support
    Outside Consultant Conducted Audit
    Included in the Audit:
    Visitations/Observations to classrooms (#)
    Teacher Surveys
    Paraprofessional Surveys
    Building Administrator Surveys
  • Key Findings
    Need for a comprehensive job description
    Need for a comprehensive evaluation instrument
    Additional fiscal responsibility
    Building administrator accountability
    Look closely at the usage of paraprofessionals
    Ongoing professional development (paraprofessionals and teachers)
  • Development of an Action Plan
    Goals
    Objectives
    Responsible Staff
    Date for completion
    Shared with a sampling of the district’s administrative team for feedback, support, and shared ownership
    Shared with Union leadership
    Presented to the Board of Education
  • Development of Documentation
    Job Description
  • Development of Documentation
    Job Description
    Job Description review for paraprofessionals
  • Development of Documentation
    Job Description
    Job Description review for paraprofessionals
    Paraprofessional Evaluation
  • Development of Documentation
    Job Description
    Job Description review for paraprofessionalsl
    Paraprofessional Evaluation
    Paraprofessional Self Evaluation
  • Development of Documentation
    Job Description
    Job Description review for paraprofessionals
    Paraprofessional Evaluation
    Paraprofessional Self Evaluation
    Evaluation follow-up
  • Development of Documentation
    Job Description
    Job description review for paraprofessionals
    Paraprofessional Evaluation
    Paraprofessional Self Evaluation
    Evaluation follow-up
    Intensive needs documentation
  • Development of Documentation
    Job Description
    Job description review for paraprofessionals
    Paraprofessional Evaluation
    Paraprofessional Self Evaluation
    Evaluation follow-up
    Intensive needs documentation
    Building administrator’s paraprofessional request documentation
  • Paraprofessional Handbook
  • Sharing/Training
    Administrators
    Case Managers/Teachers
    Union leadership
    Building administrators reviewed handbook/documents with paraprofessionals
    Case managers reviewed job description and expectations with paraprofessionals
    Special Services administration provided an update to the BOE on the action plan
  • Strengths of Our Work
    Development of processes and documentation
    Paraprofessional Handbook
    Building level administrator “buy in”
    Paraprofessionals feeling supported/valued
    Added fiscal responsibility
    Improved communication
    Action plan update provided to BOE
    More improved allocation of paraprofessionals
  • Areas in Need of Improvement
    Ongoing review of paraprofessional allocation
    Maintaining professional development and training opportunities within contracted time
    Supervisory versus Instructional usage
    Parent understanding of paraprofessional roles in regard to student needs and benefit
    Including paraprofessionals in creating a sense of community at the building level
  • Questions?
    John E. Szalkiewicz
    Supervisor of Special Education
    jszalkiewicz@swindsor.k12.ct.us
    Maureen A. Pearson
    Supervisor of Special Education
    mpearson@swindsor.k12.ct.us