Emergency rule offers flexibility with in-person training for the Fundamental Course of Study

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July 1, 2020


As communities within our state continue to be affected by COVID-19, school districts have begun planning for the 2020-21 school year with new health and safety guidelines. To support districts as they navigate traditional and virtual classroom options, the Paraeducator Board has issued an emergency rule providing greater flexibility to meet training requirements for paraeducators on the Fundamental Course of Study (FCS).

How does the new rule impact training requirements?

The FCS consists of 28 hours of training, seven of which are required to be provided in person. The new emergency rule allows districts to meet the in-person requirement if they provide training to paraeducators through a virtual format with an instructor that uses synchronous learning. Synchronous online learning that took place with an instructor beginning on March 1, 2020 will count towards meeting the in person requirement of the FCS. This rule is in effect until September 1, 2021. 

What is synchronous learning?

Virtual learning environments that use synchronous learning allow groups of participants and the instructor to engage in instruction or learning at the same time. An example of synchronous learning includes instructing paraeducators during a live Zoom meeting, or similar software.

What is not considered synchronous learning?

  • Assigning an online course for paraeducators to complete (e.g., Paraeducators: what we do matters)
  • Assigning paraeducators to watch videos

This type of learning, known as asynchronous, does not include interaction with an instructor.

What are school districts required to do for the 2020-21 school year?

School districts are required to provide 14 hours of FCS training to all instructional paraeducators that have not completed the FCS. Training for the 2020-21 school year may begin July 1, 2020. 


Contact us at paraboard@k12.wa.us