What types of supports paraeducators provide to students?

The following example of McKinley Elementary School illustrates the types of supports paraeducators provide in a typical urban/suburban school:

McKinley Elementary School

At McKinley Elementary School, 21 people work in instructional support positions alongside a professional faculty of classroom teachers, art, music, and physical education teachers, as well as special education and early childhood teachers. Some paraeducators work alongside itinerant related-services personnel (school psychologist, school nurse, speech-language therapist, physical therapist, occupational therapist, and an adapted physical education teacher) to provide support for McKinley students. Paraeducators also work in the school library, the lunchroom, in the school bus loading zone and on the playground.

  • Barbara and Mark are paraeducators assigned to the special education program.
  • Judy is a special education paraeducator, dedicated to a single student, who needs substantial support throughout the day.
  • Estella and Diane are schoolwide Title I program paraeducators.
  • Michelle, Kristy, Becky, Peg, Jorge, and Maria all work as classroom paraeducators – each is assigned to a team of teachers at a particular grade level.
  • Cruz, Silvia, Amparo, and Elena are ESL / Bilingual paraeducators. They all speak bothSpanish and English. Each is assigned to a particular classroom to work with monolingual Spanish-speaking students. They often act as interpreters between the school and Spanish-speaking parents.
  • Rae and Tami deliver speech language services to special education students under the direction of an itinerant speech language pathologist.
  • Helen is the health clerk and runs the school health room, distributing medications, providing routine respiratory care, tending to minor injuries and illnesses.
  • Joye works full time as a library assistant to manage the school’s media center and assist students and teachers to support instruction and learning.
  • Lorraine and Delores work in the lunchroom, supervising students as they eat lunch and on the playground, and supervising students according to the recess schedule. Lorraine works in a Kindergarten classroom before and after lunch and Delores works as a clerk assisting the school secretary when she is not in the lunchroom or on the playground.

Source: French, N. K. (2003). Managing paraeducators in your school: How to hire, train, and supervise non-certified staff. Thousand Oaks: Corwin Press, Inc. To purchase this book click on http://www.corwinpress.com/