Council for Exceptional Children 2014 Convention and Expo

April 9-12, 2014
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Ritu Chopra, Donna Sobel and Rashida Banerjee presented on Thursday, April 10, 2014, 2:45 p.m. - 3:45 p.m. at the Convention Center. This session was titled: “University and Community College Partnership for Quality Paraprofessional Preparation: Lessons Learned.” Given that paraprofessionals are increasingly utilized to deliver an array of services to children with disabilities, the need for their quality preparation has come to the forefront. The presenters shared experiences from three collaborative federally funded projects focused on standards-based preparation of paraprofessionals for early intervention/early childhood education and K-12 settings.

Rashida Banerjee, Ritu Chopra and Geraldine DiPalma presented on Thursday, April 10, 2014, 4:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. a session titled: “Infusing Professional Standards and Inclusionary Practices in 2-year College Courses.” Is there a way to better prepare paraprofessionals before they enter the classroom? The presenters shared a step-by-step process and the results of a project to infuse standards-based and evidence-based special education content and practices into Early Childhood Education courses in 2-year community colleges to prepare paraprofessionals to serve all children. Lessons learned were shared.

Claudia Reinfelds and Ritu Chopra presented a poster session Saturday, April 12, 2014, 8:00 a.m. - 8:45 a.m. The session was titled: “The 3 Rs of Paraeducator Supervision: Roles, Relationships and Responsibilities.” The ever increasing hiring of uncertified employees in the public school system to work alongside certified teachers has heightened the issue of effective supervision of those employees. The title of this employee is often dictated by the role performed, but the varied titles (paraprofessional, paraeducator, teacher’s assistant) does not shift the requirement of teachers being skilled in supervision strategies. Presenters offered research-based components of supervision and tools to implement this supervision effectively.