Kansas

Department of Education

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Paraprofessional

Compliance with NCLB

Standards to Measure Professional Growth of Paraeducators

Not evident

Policy that Distinguishes Paraeducators Working with Special Education

  • Special Education Reimbursement Guide; State Categorical Aid
    • http://www.ksde.org/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=88IpRqQS60Y%3D&tabid=5072&mid=12360
    • This following information was located on pages 25-30 of this document
      • Paraeducators (nonprofessionals)
        • Reimbursement for nonprofessionals will be at .40 FTE (2/5 full-time equivalent) of the special education teacher rate, provided minimum standards have been met, staff development requirements are fulfilled, and the paraeducator is supervised as specified in this guide or required by the licensed profession.
        • To be employed as a special education paraeducator, the minimum requirements are:
          • Be a high school graduate, and;
          • Complete an orientation session addressing confidentiality, the services to be provided, and the policies and procedures of the local education agency concerning special education.
        • LEAs are welcome to add additional requirements. Title One schools have different requirements; please see the Title One section of this guide for more information.
      • Paraeducator Duties
        • Paraeducators provide instructional or related services under the supervision of licensed or certified special education professionals in an accredited or approved special education program.
        • Examples of allowable activities include:
          • instructional support under the supervision of a professional;
          • participation in IEP meetings;
          • parent-teacher conferences;
          • staff development;
          • student data collection and record-keeping, such as maintaining observational and anecdotal records;
          • assisting the special education teacher with paperwork related to support provided to students with exceptionalities for whom she/he is responsible; and,
          • supporting students with exceptionalities in a general education program if the paraeducator is supervised by a special education teacher.
        • If paraeducators participate in these activities, the time will be counted as student contact hours for the purpose of computing special education reimbursement.
        • If paraeducators do not participate in these identified activities or some other special education instructional or related services, the time will not be counted as student contact hours for the purpose of computing special education reimbursement. Other duties may be performed by paraeducators but LEAs will not be reimbursed for the time spent on non-special education related activities.
        • Paraeducators must not be:
          • Responsible for selecting or administering formal diagnostic or psychological instruments or for interpreting the results of those instruments;
          • Responsible for selecting, programming, or prescribing educational activities or materials for the students without the supervision and guidance of the special education teacher;
          • Solely responsible for preparing lesson plans or initiating original concept instruction;
          • Assigned to implement the IEP for students with exceptionalities without direct supervision and involvement from the professional;
          • Employed in lieu of certified or licensed special education personnel;
          • Used as substitute special education teachers, unless paraeducators possess the appropriate Kansas certification or license;
          • Performing nursing procedures or administering medications without appropriate supervision/training from an approved health care professional.
        • Paraeducator Reimbursement Issues
          • Medicaid clerical work, even if full-time to obtain special education reimbursement, is not a reimbursable activity;
          • Secretarial, bookkeeping, and clerical support work, even if in the offices of special education cooperatives or inter-locals, are not reimbursable;
          • If a school or district is implementing the components of a state or federal grant, activities are not reimbursable;
          • Contracted half-time employees not working regularly scheduled half-time hours or days, will be pro-rated according to the percentage of hours or days worked, depending on the contract language. Records must be maintained to document number of hours or days worked.
        • Staff Development
          • Each local education agency must prepare and maintain documentation of the annual staff development provided for special education instructional paraeducators for a period of at least 3 years. (Paraeducators may write Individual Development Plans but it is not required.) Paraeducators must participate in staff development, regardless of the number of hours/day or days/week worked.
          • Each staff development program must include the following:
            • An orientation session (e.g., confidentiality of student records, important school policies, etc.) at the time a paraeducator is employed and an annual orientation thereafter to ensure compliance with confidentiality and other requirements. (Note: Beginning of year in-services in which special education issues are on the agenda are considered orientation); and,
            • Staff development activities specifically related to the area and type of program in which the special education instructional paraeducator is employed.
        • Tiered Paraeducator In-service Requirement
          • Staff development requirements are tiered based on the special education experiences and/or credentials of the paraeducator.
          • Staff Development Hours - Locally Determined
            • In-service requirements are determined by the LEA for paraeducators that hold a current Kansas license/certificate in the following areas:
              • Teacher
              • KSDE Certificate stating NCLB requirement met during current school year.
              • Related service provider, (SLP or OT, PT, etc.)
              • Occupational Therapy Assistant (OTA)
              • Physical Therapy Assistant (PTA) or,
              • Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN)
            • Twenty Staff Development Hours Required:
              • Paraeducators who have worked as a Kansas special education paraeducator less than 3 years (within the past 3 years)
            • Ten Staff Development Hours Required:
              • Paraeducators who have worked as a Kansas special education paraeducator for more than 3 years (including each of the past 3 years). A school year may be counted if it was 9 months (or the full school year) AND the appropriate amount of in-service was obtained. Short breaks may have been taken during the year.
        • College Credits
          • College hours in related subjects may be substituted for special education in-service hours. Each college hour will be counted as twenty staff development hours, applied to the school year in which the coursework was obtained. College hours should be reported as the college credit earned because the conversion to staff development hours is automatically calculated within Personnel Web.
        • Incomplete staff development
          • For paraeducators who have worked the entire nine month school year, if a LEA does not produce evidence that a paraeducator has completed the required staff development, categorical aid will be prorated based on the required number of staff development hours. Auditors will compute the paraeducator FTE, by computing the percentage of staff development (actual divided by needed) and then compute the adjusted FTE. For example, the paraeducators works 750 hours, and has only 8 hours of in-service, but needed 10.
            • 750 hours / 1116 = .67
            • 8 hours / 10 required = .80
            • .67 X .80 = .54 audited FTE
            • The maximum number of hours that will be credited in this equation is 1116 (1.0 FTE) regardless of the number of hours claimed.
        • Partial Year
          • This table (not copied for this document) may be used as a guide for LEA administration to determine the number of staff development hours for paraeducators hired after the start of the school year.
          • A month is figured from the date of employment to that same date next month (e.g., August 25 to September 25). This includes school holidays.
        • Supervision and Assignments
          • The assigned supervisor of a paraeducator generally is the professional responsible for the provision of special education and related services who is receiving assistance from that paraeducator.
          • The identified supervisor must be:
            • Claimed on the personnel report for special education categorical aid and,
            • Responsible for the paraeducators day to day job performance and evaluation.
          • Unless otherwise indicated, paraeducators must be directly supervised a minimum of 10% of the time they are working with students. In addition to locally determined paraeducator supervision policies, the following supervision requirements apply:
            • When the supervising special education teacher is not in the building on school property
              • When the assigned special education teacher is not present, a paraeducator must have a designated principal or teacher available in the building for assistance and supervision as needed.
            • When the paraeducator is assigned to a learning site off school property
              • The special education teacher must work with the paraeducator and the student at least twice a week if services are provided daily. If services are provided at least once a week, 20% of the sessions per month must be supervised. If services are provided less than one time a week, 20% of the sessions per quarter must be supervised.
            • Paraeducators claimed for more FTE than supervisor
              • Due to scheduling requirements, there may be situations where a paraeducator is claimed for more FTE than the assigned supervisor. This is a rare occurrence, and LEAs should be able to provide an identified process to ensure adequate supervision has been developed and implemented for all such instances.
        • Specific Paraeducator Assignments
          • Administratively Assigned Paraeducator
            • There are three reimbursable administrative paraeducator assignments. The following should be assigned to an administrator for supervision and must meet all teaching paraeducator requirements.
              • Management Information System (MIS) Paraeducators:
                • Reimbursement as a paraeducator is authorized for persons responsible for collecting, entering, and verifying MIS data for an LEA. MIS clerks attend trainings that count towards a LEA’s Indicator 20 points. MIS clerks may assist with the review, maintenance, and storage of IEPs and accompanying paperwork. Responsibilities that do not qualify as MIS duties include maintaining the personnel database, processing Medicaid claims and serving as an administrator’s secretary. Records must be maintained for part-time clerical/part-time MIS work, to record the number of hours spent with MIS data entry, maintenance, and storage. Part C data clerks are not eligible for categorical aid as MIS clerks.
              • Special Education Instructional Media Center (SEIMC) Paraeducators:
                • Authorized for persons responsible for the organization, inventory, tracking and movement of SEIMC materials. The paraeducator may be assigned to a special education administrator or an SEIMC professional. The SEIMC paraeducator may NOT be responsible for selecting materials to be ordered and maintained in the media center. Documentation records are required.
              • Translator:
                • Reimbursement as a paraeducator is authorized for persons responsible for translating special education documents from English to another language. Reimbursement will be pro-rated for clerical duties and for translating non-special education paperwork. Documentation records are required.
        • Audiologist Paraeducator
          • Paraeducators assigned to audiologists must be supervised a minimum of 10 percent of the time they are working with students (training time does not count toward this minimum percentage). Audiologists are required to train, monitor, supervise, and evaluate paraeducators/assistants assigned to them. A speech-language pathologist or audiologist who holds a temporary license shall not be eligible to supervise assistants. Refer to of KAR 28-61-8 in Appendix G. Audiologist paraeducators/assistants performing hearing screening must have the appropriate current level of training for the type of hearing screening performed (Level 1 and 2 - every two years).
        • Behavior Specialist Paraeducator
          • Certified as a Board Certified Associate Behavior Analyst (BCaBA) through the Behavior Analyst Certification Board (BACB).
        • Braille Transcription Paraeducator
          • Must be supervised by a qualified professional.
        • Interpreter Paraeducator
          • Paraeducators who are interpreting for students who are deaf/hard of hearing may be claimed on the Personnel Report if they scored less than a level 4 and do not have an approved EIPA professional development plan on file as described in the professional interpreter section. The paraeducator interpreting for students should show an interpreting (IN) assignment in the Personnel Report. They must be supervised by a qualified professional and must meet staff development requirements for paraeducators.Documentation of a current assessment and score should be kept on file and be made available for auditors.
        • Nurse Paraeducator / Attendant Care
          • Paraeducators who provide nursing or school health services are persons who, by specialized training from registered professional nurses, are qualified to carry out basic nursing tasks or procedures in the care of students, according to the students’ Individualized Health Care Plans, which become part of their IEPs. Special education reimbursement is authorized for school nurse paraeducators, whose personnel agreements designate them as paraeducator/aide for a school nurse, who provide nursing or school health services specified in students’ Health Care Plans and/or IEPs and that are appropriately delegated and supervised by registered professional nurses. First aid is not a special education service and is not reimbursable. See the requirements of KAR 60-15-101, Performance**of Selected Nursing Procedures in School Settings, in Appendix H.
        • Occupational Therapist and Physical Therapist Paraeducator
          • Paraeducators assigned to OTs and PTs must be supervised according to statues and regulations established by the Kansas State Board of Healing Arts (http://www.ksbha.org/). Licensed OTAs and PTAs have no set minimum supervision, the supervising OT/PT will determine the appropriate supervision level. Unlicensed personnel must be supervised 100% of the time by either a licensed OT/OTA or PT/PTA. For reimbursement, the overall supervising OT/PT should be listed as the supervisor, but LEAs should be prepared to show that a licensed person (OT/OTA or PT/PTA) was supervising unlicensed personnel at all times.
        • School Psychologist Paraeducator
          • Paraeducators who are school psychology practicum students and are placed in a LEA by a training institution, may participate in those activities normally carried out by the fully-endorsed school psychologist. All psychological evaluations, including testing and behavioral observations, must be reviewed and signed by the supervising psychologist. The supervising psychologist, as a member of the IEP team, must maintain responsibility for special education decisions.
          • Paraeducators who hold a baccalaureate degree, preferably in psychology or education, may be reimbursed if:
            • Responsibilities of the paraeducator are planned and supervised by a qualified professional and are based on the person’s competency to carry out the responsibilities. If needed, pre-service or staff development may be provided in relation to the duties;
            • The paraeducator is not involved in psychological counseling or therapy, or in psychological evaluation; and,
            • The paraeducator is under the direct supervision of a licensed school psychologist.
          • Paraeducators not holding a baccalaureate degree must follow the restrictions and supervision requirements above AND are limited to performing tasks such as gathering assessment data for purposes of evaluation, record review, ecological or computer based observation, and administering locally developed curriculum based measurements (CBMs).
        • Social Work Paraeducator
          • Paraeducators must hold a baccalaureate degree in social work and
            • may perform tasks related to school social work for which they are trained;
            • may not be involved in conducting intervention techniques, including psychotherapy; and,
            • must be under the supervision of a licensed school social worker who provides direct supervision at least 4 hours per week for each paraeducator. (K.A.R. 102-2-8)
        • Speech Language Pathologist Paraeducator
          • Must be supervised a minimum of 10 percent of the time they are working with students (training time does not count toward this minimum percentage) by a licensed speech-language pathologist. Speech-language pathologists are required to train, monitor, supervise, and evaluate paraeducators/assistants assigned to them. (KAR 28-61-8 in Appendix G.)

Resource Guide for Supervisors: Assisting Local Agencies in Supervision of Paraeducators Beyond NCLB Mandated Expectations

Not evident

Standards to Measure the Professional Growth of Teachers in a Position to Supervise Paraeducators

Not evident