Skilled paraprofessionals are an essential component of effective Special Education programming. Paraprofessionals can support students and teachers in diverse ways to promote a positive learning environment. Whether facilitating small group learning, providing one-on-one instruction, managing behavior plans or assisting with a student’s personal care, paraprofessionals offer invaluable contributions to the continuum of Special Education services.
CASDA’s Struggling Learners faculty is fluent in all legal requirements for Special Education programs and possesses vast instructional, administrative and CSE experience. This body of knowledge is a tremendous asset to any district looking to optimize their use of paraprofessionals in service of improved learning opportunities for students. Faculty experts meet with District, CSE and building leadership as well as instructors and paraprofessionals to review current practices, evaluate available resources and develop a strategy to improve paraprofessional utilization. This process often includes:
Observation and review of current paraprofessional practices.
Seminar presentations for administrators, instructors and paraprofessionals detailing research-supported best practices.
SMART goal development to implement, evaluate and support optimal paraprofessional utilization.
Modeling of best practices for classroom instruction and support, content modification, lesson planning, behavior management and student care.
Follow up evaluation, support and training to ensure sustainable progress.
Highly trained paraprofessionals provide schools the ability to offer struggling learners greater instructional and personal support. When optimally utilized, their work promotes student skill development and facilitates engaged, enriching learning opportunities. Implementing research-supported best practices in this area should be a priority for districts striving for improvement in their Special Education services.
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