January Paraeducator Board Newsletter

Having trouble viewing this email? View it as a Web page.

paraeducator board logo

Next Meeting

March 14, 2018

Radisson Hotel Seattle Airport
18118 International Blvd
Seattle, WA

Future Meetings

May 16

Jul 25

Sep 26

Nov 28

For additional information, visit our Paraeducator Board Meetings Page

Board Members

Jan Byers-Kirsch

Jessica Giffin

Ricardo Iñiguez

Mandy Manning

Cindy Rockholt

Laura Rogers

Loren Sickles

Cathy Smith (Chair)

Ann Willamson


Join the Newsletters

Staff from the Professional Educator Standards Board publish three newsletters monthly! 

Keep up with the ones you want access to by subscribing.



Happy New Year - we hope that 2018 is off to a great start for all. We are pleased to share the Paraeducator Newsletter with you below. In this month's edition, you will find several updates, events, announcements, and an opportunity to get involved with a Paraeducator Subcommittee. We also encourage you to check out our new Paraeducator website for all the best information about the work taking place with the Paraeducator Board. As always, we encourage you to reach out to our talented staff team with any questions you may have.  


Alexandra Manuel, Acting Executive Director


The PESB's website (and the Paraeducator Board) has a fresh new look!

Check out the new website at www.pesb.wa.gov. The design work focused on easier navigability and search, in addition to a more professional look and contemporary feel. 

All of our content is now searchable from one search bar, a feature previously unavailable. We've added upcoming Board meeting information to the home page and added more visual appeal to support the new organization. With a more logically organized site map, areas identified by user and subject, and fewer clicks to get to information, we hope you'll more easily find what you need. 

Let us know what you think using the website feedback form linked to the home page footer.


The Board held its first meeting of the new year in Tumwater, WA, on January 10-11, and approved or adopted many important policies. 

A reminder that the background and presentation materials for the Board's January meeting can be found on our website, Board Meetings

Agenda items for January included:

  • Defining the General Paraeducator Certificate requirements - Tab 7: The Board approved all five recommendations put forward by the General Paraeducator Certificate subcommittee.
  • Defining an instructional paraeducator pre-K to grade 12, or Kindergarten to grade 12 - Tab 12: The Board moved to define instructional paraeducators to be classified public school or school district employees who work in K-12.
  • Presentations and discussions on the methods Washington state tracks professional development for educators, including clock hours, microcredentials, and PGPs (Tabs 5, 6, and 17).
  • A review and discussion on many of the upcoming policy considerations the Board will have to make that are necessary for the effective and efficient implementation of paraeducator professional and career development (Tab 13).

Annotated actions provide Board response to agenda items. Official minutes are reviewed and acted upon at the meeting following the discussion or action, in this case, March 2018.


Critical technical fixes and corrections are currently in process regarding the law which established a number of education and training requirements for paraeducators as outlined in HB 1115. The Paraeducator Board, in collaboration with other stakeholders, is working to ensure that the upcoming training requirements are implemented with an eye on building a feasible on ramp for current practicing paraeducators. Further, there is a proposal to expand the eligibility for Parapipeline Program Scholarship dollars making more widely available necessary resources for paraeducators that are looking to advance towards full certification.  In addition, there is a request to the legislature to increase the available resources for the development of paraeducator specific specialty certificates regarding Special Education and English Language Learner instruction.

All of these changes are included in HB 2698 and its companion SB 6388. These bills are currently in their respective committees awaiting a full hearing and possible executive action moving them further along in the legislative process. The bills have been assigned to the House Education Committee and the Senate Early Learning & K-12 committee. If you'd like to provide feedback on these bills, please direct messages (here is some sample language to consider) to Rep. Santos (SharonTomiko.Santos@leg.wa.gov) and Sen. Wellman (lisa.wellman@leg.wa.gov), you can lend your voice to those calling for the changes outlined in these proposals. You can find other committee members (House & Senate) here that you can also be connected with to ask for a final passage. The more you contribute your voice to these measures, the more likely these necessary changes will take place. If you have any direct questions about the bills or the process ahead, please contact justin.montermini@k12.wa.us.


We are accepting members to participate in a volunteer subcommittee created by the Paraeducator Board. 

The charge of the subcommittee is to review the Advanced Paraeducator Certificate requirements as stated in HB 1115, and submit recommendations to the Board that define how paraeducators may meet the requirements of this certificate. Specifically, discussion will focus on Section 10 of the law, which states that paraeducators may become eligible for an Advanced Paraeducator Certificate by completing 75 hours of professional development in topics related to the duties of an advanced paraeducator.

Details regarding the subcommittee meeting follow:

Date: February 9, 2018, 8 am - 5 pm

Location: The Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction in Olympia, WA

After the meeting, the subcommittee recommendations will be presented to the Board by staff, during the Paraeducator Board’s March 14th meeting in SeaTac.

Individuals who join the subcommittee do so on a voluntary basis and must commit to a full day of review and discussion. Expenses are not covered for volunteer members of the subcommittee by the Paraeducator Board.

If you are interested in being a participant of this subcommittee, then please complete this form by clicking on the link. PESB staff will contact selected individuals to serve on this subcommittee.


The Paraeducator Board is pleased to announce the Pipeline for Paraeducators Conditional Scholarship! This program can provide funding for paraeducators, who have a minimum of three years classroom experience and no college degree, of up to $4,000 towards earning their Associate of Arts (AA) degree from a Washington community or technical college with the intention of becoming a fully certified teacher. Those awarded will be required to complete their AA within two years of being awarded, making them eligible to enroll in an Alternative Route 1 program to earn their certification, and then teach for a minimum of two years. 

More information on the requirements and responsibilities of candidates  are now available: http://pathway.pesb.wa.gov/current-educators/educator-retooling


National Resource Center for Paraeducators Conference

April 26-29, 2018
DoubleTree Hilton Seattle Airport

The 34th National Conference on the Training and Employment of Paraeducators, this is an opportunity to: 

  • Meet and network with paraeducators, teachers and administrators from other school districts, states and countries; and
  • Discover the latest training programs and discuss models for paraeducator-to-teacher career pathways with community college and university personnel; and
  • Attend diverse workshops covering literacy and math common core, small group instruction, ELL, early childhood, supervision, writing, proactive behavior management, autism, strategies for students with significant cognitive disabilities, MTSS (Multi- Tiered Systems of Student Support), and more.

For further information, please visit NRCP.