Rhode Island

Department of Education

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Teacher Assistant

Compliance with NCLB

  • Teacher Assistants
    • http://www.ride.ri.gov/TeachersAdministrators/OtherToolsInformation/TeacherAssistants.aspx
    • Several pieces of information can be found upon this web page:
      • Legal Requirements
        • Rhode Island law (RIGL 16-11.2) establishes requirements related to the employment, training and use of teacher assistants. As required by this law, the RI Department of Education (RIDE) has established state standards that identify pre-employment requirements related to preparation required for all entry-level teacher assistants. In addition to state legal requirements, in January 2002, federal legislation, the No Child Left Behind Act, was signed into law. This law establishes requirements for the qualifications of teacher assistants in certain roles.
      • Becoming a Teacher Assistant
        • Meet one (1) of the following requirements:
        • Successfully pass the ParaPro Assessment OR
        • Complete at least 2 years of study at an institution of higher education OR
        • Obtain an associates or higher degree.
      • Preemployment Training
        • Pre-Employment programs are run by individual organizations. All instructional and non-instructional TAs hired after 1/1/99 must meet the minimum requirements
      • ParaPro Assessment
        • One requirement for instructional teaching assistants hired after 2001 is to demonstrate, through a formal State or local academic assessment
          • (i) knowledge of, and the ability to assist in instructing, reading, writing, and mathematics; or
          • (ii) knowledge of and the ability to assist in instructing, reading readiness, writing readiness, and mathematics readiness, as appropriate.
      • In RI, the assessment designated to meet this requirement is the ParaPro Assessment.  The RI Board of Regents for Elementary and Secondary Education recognizes a score of 461 or better as passing the ParaPro Assessment.

Standards to Measure Professional Growth of Paraeducators

  • RIDE Standards for Teacher Assistants
    • RIDE Standards for Teacher Assistants
    • The standards are as follows:
      • Standard 1. Teacher assistants demonstrate a level of professionalism in communication and collaboration among members of the school community, including colleagues, families, and related agencies.
        • 1.1 exhibit an understanding of the differentiated staffing patterns that exist in the learning environment and the distinctions among the roles and responsibilities of professional and paraprofessional personnel.
        • 1.2 demonstrate an understanding of school policies and procedures.
        • 1.3 exhibit attributes of reliable attendance, promptness, and dependability.
        • 1.4 use a cooperative approach.
        • 1.5 respect confidentiality and other professional ethics.
        • 1.6 exhibit sensitivity and understanding of individual and cultural differences.
        • 1.7 provide an appropriate role model for children in areas of dress, language, and behavior.
        • 1.8 use effective communication skills (spoken, written and non-verbal):
          • to plan with team members •
          • to review student needs and concerns •
          • to report student performance
        • 1.9 select and use the appropriate channels for resolving concerns.
        • 1.10 demonstrate a knowledge of the legal and human rights of children and youth and their families.
        • 1.11 demonstrate an awareness of standards-based education reform in RI
      • Standard 2. Teacher assistants support teachers by participating in instructional opportunities.
        • 2.1 use appropriate strategies and techniques developed by teachers and other professional staff to support individual students’ needs.
        • 2.2 use age and developmentally appropriate instructional procedures and reinforcement techniques.
        • 2.3 assist the teacher in planning, modification, and implementation of curriculum, instruction, and assessment.
        • 2.4 gather and maintain data about the performance and behavior of individual students.
        • 2.5 demonstrate awareness of basic educational technology.
        • 2.6 demonstrate an understanding of and respect for cultural diversity.
        • 2.7 assist the teacher in providing instruction in reading, writing and mathematics or reading readiness, writing readiness, and mathematics readiness
      • Standard 3. Teacher assistants support a learning environment that encourages appropriate standards of behavior, positive social interaction, active engagement in learning, and self-motivation.
        • 3.1 follow discipline guidelines in accordance with school policy and legal requirements.
        • 3.2 implement positive behavioral supports.
        • 3.3 maintain and monitor compliance with classroom rules, procedures and behavior standards.
        • 3.4 serve as an appropriate behavior role model.
        • 3.5motivate and assist students in acquiring interpersonal skills, increased self-esteem, and independence.
      • Standard 4. Teacher assistants exhibit knowledge of health, safety, and emergency procedures of the learning environment.
        • 4.1 demonstrate knowledge of universal health care precautions.
        • 4.2 demonstrate knowledge of lifting techniques.
        • 4.3 participate in sustaining a clean, healthy, and safe learning environment.
        • 4.4 recognize indicators of abuse (substance, physical, sexual, emotional) and demonstrate knowledge of Rhode Island reporting laws.
  • Guidelines for teacher assistants Working with Students Who have English-as-a-Second Language
    • Guidelines for teacher assistants Working with Students Who have English-as-a-Second Language
    • These reflect the role of the teacher assistant working with students who have English as a second language as an integral part of that student’s Instructional Team. In this role, the teacher assistant supports and reinforces (but does not replace) instruction of the teacher. While these Guidelines focus on students who have English as a Second Language, the Guidelines are important considerations for ALL children, including students who are and are not English speaking. This is particularly true in RI given the broad spectrum of cultures represented in our schools. In addition, school districts are reminded that they must comply with RI’s law related to the Education of Limited English Proficient Students, RIGL Chapter 16-54 and accompanying regulations.
    • Standards remain as given in the RIDE Standards for Teacher Assistants document, but additional, job specific indicators are given.
  • Guidelines for Teacher Assistants assisting with Community-Based Instruction
    • Guidelines for Teacher Assistants assisting with Community-Based Instruction
    • These teacher assistants may have varying job titles from one district or program to another, e.g., job coach, instructional coach, employment specialist, one-on-one workplace coach, etc. However, no matter their job title, these guidelines apply to individuals who meet the following description. Working under the supervision and direction of the classroom teacher or other appropriately certified professional staff, Teacher Assistants Assisting With Community-Based Instruction support students in learning how to be as independent as possible in a variety of community settings. This learning may take place in school-based and community-based settings. Because instruction takes place in both settings, the teacher assistant plays a key role in supporting students in transferring skills learned in-school to community-settings and, then, collecting data and reporting strengths and needs in community-settings that need to be addressed via school-based instruction. Depending on the program model in which s/he works and student needs, the teacher assistant may work with students in large or small groups or provide individualized support. The teacher assistant must be able to work effectively with students, teachers, employers and other community contacts and parents.

Policy that Distinguishes Paraeducators Working with Special Education

  • Guidelines for Teacher Assistants: Teacher Assistants Working under the Supervision of a Classroom Teacher with Students with Speech/Language Impairments
  • Guidelines for Teacher Assistants: Who Support Students with Behaviors that Interfere with Learning and/or Relationships
  • Guidelines for Teacher Assistants: Teacher Assistants Who Support Students with Diverse Academic Needs
    • Guidelines for Teacher Assistants: Teacher Assistants Who Support Students with Diverse Academic Needs
    • Pre-employment standards for those teacher assistants that work in a variety of assignments with students who have diverse academic needs that require some form of special intervention in order to help them meet general education standards, e.g., students in Title I programs, students with mild or moderate disabilities, at-risk students, or students with 504 plans.
    • Standards remain as given in the RIDE Standards for Teacher Assistants document, but additional, job specific indicators are given.

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

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

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Document Previewed by Alice Woods, Education Specialist, Office of Student, Community and Academic Supports, RI Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, March 28, 2013