March Paraeducator Board Newsletter

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Next Meeting

May 16, 2018

The Hampton Inn
486 Bradley Boulevard
Richland, WA

Future Meetings

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


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The Paraeducator Board is accepting applications for the pilot of the paraeducator certificate program! 

Applications are welcome from single districts or a district consortium (the consortium may be led by an ESD). The application window is one month, with applications accepted until 8:00 am on April 30, 2018.

If your district has interest in submitting an application, we urge you to review our online resource page for further information and to apply!


The Board recently held its March meeting in SeaTac, WA, on March 14, and approved or adopted many important policies. 

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

In March, the Board:

  • Approved utilizing clock hours for the paraeducator certificates and PESBs provider list - Tab 2;
  • Approved the recommendations of the ELL Subject Matter Certificate Subcommittee - Tab 3;
  • Approved the recommendations of the Special Education Subject Matter Certificate Subcommittee - Tab 4;
  • Approved the Advanced Paraeducator Certificate Subcommittee's recommendation on advanced paraeducator standards of practice - Tab 5;
  • Approved an order in which the paraeducator certificate program must be completed; allows for certificates to be "embedded" - Tab 6;
  • Further defined instructional paraeducator, and assigned the role to a specific duty code for S-275 reporting - Tab 7;

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, May 2018.


Technical fix bill SB 6388 was passed by the Legislature to ensure that the upcoming training requirements established by HB 1115 are implemented with a feasible on ramp for current practicing paraeducators in two primary ways:

Minimum Employment Requirements
Paraeducators hired before or for the 2017-18 school year must meet the minimum employment requirements by the 2019-20 school year. First time paraeducator hires for the 2018-19 school year must meet the new employment requirements. 

Fundamental Course of Study
Instead of 30 days, districts who hire paraeducators for the 2018-19 school year have until September 1, 2020, and districts who hire paraeducators for the 2018-19 school year have until September 1, 2021, to train them in the Fundamental Course of Study. 

We urge paraeducators and district leaders to review the bill language (linked above). If you have questions regarding this technical fix bill or the paraeducator certificate program, please contact Jack Busbee (


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:


National Resource Center for Paraeducators Conference

April 27-29, 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.