BASIC FUNCTION: Under the direction of assigned supervisor, assist a certificated teacher in providing instruction to individuals or small groups of students in an assigned educational program; assist children with meeting the goals and objectives of their Individualized Education Plan (IEP); attend to the physical and health needs of students; monitor and report student progress regarding educational performance; perform a variety of clerical and supportive duties related to classroom activities and classroom management. This position is distinguished from other student support roles in that, in addition to providing instructional support to students with disabilities under the guidance of a certificated teacher, employees in these positions are primarily responsible for attendant physical duties to enable students with disabilities to have equal educational opportunities, assisting with basic health needs of students with disabilities, as trained, and assisting the classroom teacher in creating with setting up and maintaining engaging academic environments.
This position may be used as a step towards further professional development opportunities as an Instructional Support Specialist and/or certificated position.
DISTINGUISHING CHARACTERISTICS REQUIRING SPECIALIZED SKILLS:
Deaf and Hard of Hearing Para-Educator: Assist in providing high quality instruction to individual or small groups of Deaf and Hard of Hearing (DHH) as well as other students in a classroom as assigned; must be able to communicate proficiently and effectively using a signing system such as American Sign Language (ASL), Pidgeon Signed English (PSE), Manually Coded English (MCE) and facial expressions appropriate to student's level of understanding.
Visual Impairment Para-Educator: When assigned in a placement supporting students who are blind or visually impaired, must assist the classroom teacher in delivering instruction and meeting goals and objectives of students qualified for special education services for the visually impaired; must be able to read and demonstrate Braille; must be able to operate a supportive equipment, including without limitation, audio devices; Braille printer computer, tactile and Braille production equipment, and copiers; must be able to assist students with moving through the school environment and, where appropriate, use of a cane.
REPRESENTATIVE DUTIES: (Incumbents may perform any combination of the essential functions shown below. This position description is not intended to be an exhaustive list of all duties, knowledge, or abilities associated with this classification, but is intended to reflect the principal job elements accurately.)
- Assist a certificated teacher in providing instruction to students (in Pre-K through Young Adult) in an assigned classroom or program including, but not limited to Special Day Class (SDC) or other programs; assist students with disabilities to meet the goals and objectives included in their IEP.
- Read IEP goals to support instruction to maximize student progress when trained by appropriate staff.
- Communicate with teachers and/or parents as may be required to assist in evaluating progress and/or implementing IEP objectives.
- Implement classwide and individual behavior strategies to effectively maintain a safe learning environment when trained by appropriate staff, when needed.
- Communicate professionally with other staff and parents, both written and verbal, to provide seamless and transparent communication between all parties.
- Implement, under direction of teacher, lesson plans; assist individuals or small groups of students, reinforcing instruction as directed by the teacher; monitor and oversee student drills, practices and assignments for the purpose of presenting and/or reinforcing learning concepts and assisting students in reaching academic goals and grade level standards.
- Assist students with washing, toileting (may include lifting on and off toilet), diapering, dressing and undressing, grooming and other activities necessary for maintaining personal hygiene and neatness.
- Assist with the transportation of students; position and reposition students requiring the use of medical equipment, wheelchairs, braces, and other orthopedic equipment; make minor adjustments on lifting and other equipment as necessary; assure the safe use and operation of wheelchairs, prosthetic devices and other equipment.
- Assist with the loading and unloading of students on and from buses, automobiles, wheelchairs, stretchers and gurneys.
- May volunteer, on an annual basis, to be trained to administer Diastat and will administer Diastat as needed. May also volunteer to perform medical procedures when trained and supervised by appropriate staff.
- Provide basic first aid and specialized health care as needed and directed
- Assure the health and safety of students by following health and safety practices and procedures.
- Assist the teacher in monitoring, motivating and training students with disabilities; observe and manage behavior of students according to approved procedures; report progress regarding student performance and behavior; follow the behavior intervention plan.
- Perform a variety of clerical duties such as preparing, typing and duplicating instructional materials, scoring papers and recording grades; assist in keeping attendance; prepare and maintain student files as assigned.
- Provide support to the teacher by setting up work areas and displays, operating audio-visual equipment, and distributing and collecting papers, supplies and materials; confer with teachers concerning programs and materials to meet student needs.
- Administer, monitor and score a variety of tests and assignments to comply with established test criteria and provide a reliable testing environment; rephrase materials and explain instructions and words.
- Assist students in developing self-help, social and communication skills as assigned.
- Notify immediately appropriate personnel and agencies, and follow established procedures when there is reasonable suspicion of substance abuse, child neglect, severe medical or social conditions or potential suicide.
- Assist in monitoring lunchroom activities and mealtime procedures, including feeding and cleaning.
- Assist in carrying out positive reinforcement procedures and reactive strategies identified in a behavior support plan, such as prompting student to switch to functionally equivalent replacement behavior and debriefing during the school day.
- Respond to emergency situations to ensure immediate resolution and appropriate documentation of safety concerns by appropriate personnel.
- Assist with the supervision of students in and outside the classroom, recess and other playground activities and accompany students on field trips by helping students with physical needs, maintain discipline and reinforcing learning situations.
- Operate a variety of office, instructional and audio-visual equipment as assigned; provide technical assistance in the operation and maintenance of specialized instructional equipment as assigned.
- Maintain basic knowledge of computers including Microsoft Office.
- Assist with data collection; take data on goals and determine when a student has reached a benchmark to ensure continued and ongoing student progress when trained by appropriate staff.
- Work as part of a team of professionals for the betterment of the special education programs and site as a whole.
- Help keep classrooms and other school facilities neat, clean, orderly and safe.
- Direct group activities of students.
- Maintain confidentiality of student records and information.
- Adhere to site and department codes of conduct.
- Participate in staff meetings, professional development and attend various in-service meetings to acquire and/or convey information relative to job functions to support and maintain an effective educational environment.
- Perform related duties as assigned.
The District determines whether a candidate is qualified based on fulfillment of prerequisites, relevant work experience, ability to perform the essential functions, reference checks, effective interpersonal and communication skills demonstrated by interview performance and/or writing samples, and achievement on performance-based assessments (if applicable) that demonstrate the candidate possesses the requisite knowledge, skills and abilities. Meeting prerequisites only satisfies the initial screening process and does not indicate the candidate is qualified to perform the essential functions of the position.
- Special needs, issues, and requirements of special education students
- Common Core Standards, Content Standards, District Curriculum, Response to Intervention, Full Service Community Schools
- Positive reinforcement systems and behavioral strategies to maintain safe learning environments
- The 13 disability categories outlined in California Education Code and how they affect students' ability to access education
- Utilization of various forms of assessment to guide and design instruction
- Basic concepts of child growth and development and developmental behavior characteristics
- Methods, techniques and procedures for lifting and moving children incapable of providing assistance
- The special needs of students who have behavioral, and/or learning disabilities
- Child guidance principles and practices
- Safe practices in classroom and playground activities
- Instructional methods and techniques
- Effective pedagogy for ethnic populations, English, and Standard English Learners
- Applicable federal, state, and District codes, regulations, policies and procedures governing work scope
- Planning, organization and coordination needed for assigned program
- Diverse academic, socio-economic, cultural, ethnic, and disability backgrounds of District students
- Basic record-keeping techniques
- Classroom procedures and appropriate student conduct
- Safe contact with bodily fluids, blood-borne pathogens, and communicable diseases
- Effective student management techniques
- Technology and computer software applications relative to instruction, administration, and education
- Accepted record keeping and reporting methods and strategies
- Operation of office, instructional and audio-visual equipment
- Assist with instruction and related activities in a classroom or assigned learning environment
- Reinforce instruction to individual or small groups of students as directed by the teacher
- Add, subtract, multiply and divide quickly and accurately
- Communicate effectively in the English language, both orally and in writing
- Assist students with disabilities in areas related to activities of daily function, such as feeding, toileting, exercises, and positioning
- Reinforce instruction to students with disabilities, communication, and behavioral problems
- Demonstrate an understanding, patient, and receptive attitude towards children with special needs
- Understand and follow oral and written directions
- Learn the procedures, functions and limitations of assigned duties
- Remain calm and exercise judgment in dealing with emergencies and special health needs
- Gather data and prepare reports, as directed
- Establish and maintain cooperative relationships with students, school personnel, parents, co-workers, and the public
- Work independently with appropriate direction and follow established policies and practices
- Work confidentially and with discretion
- Analyze situations accurately and adopt an effective course of action
- Supervise and discipline students according to approved policies and procedures
- Learn and use technology and computer software applications as appropriate to the work environment
- Use tact, patience, and courtesy when dealing with people, and discretion in handling of confidential records
- Understand and be sensitive to those of culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds
- Use initiative and judgment in discussing problems involving practices and policies with the public and District staff
- Read, understand, interpret, and follow laws, rules, regulations, processes, policies, and methods of the office, the District, and the State of California in accordance with assigned duties
- Qualify for a Standard First Aid and CPR certificate
- Apply integrity and trust in all situations
- Meet Highly Qualified requirement of No Child Left Behind: A high school diploma or equivalent AND a) an Associate of Arts degree or higher, or b) 48 or more college units, or c) a passing score on a test (CBEST, ParaPro or CODESP) and relevant training or course work in child growth and development, instructional technology or closely related field.
- One year of experience working with children of various age levels in a classroom setting and experience attending to students with physical needs preferred
- Possess and maintain a valid First Aid Certificate and CPR Certificate
- Willingness to complete at least 15 hours of additional training as required to perform the duties of the job; including, without limitation, annual training describing the duties as mandated reporters of child abuse
- Valid California Driver's License, if applicable
Office, diverse school site and classroom environments; driving a vehicle to conduct work; fast-paced work; constant interruptions; may need to physically guide or restrain students; potential contact with blood and other body fluids and communicable diseases.
Consistent mental alertness; sitting or standing for extended periods of time; walking on uneven terrain, play yards and school grounds; lifting, carrying, pushing, and pulling objects up to 50 pounds, must be able to lift, carry, push or pull objects that are greater than 50 pounds, with assistance; bending and twisting at the waist, reaching overhead, above the shoulders and
horizontally; dexterity of both hands and fingers while performing duties; seeing to read, write, use a computer; use educational materials, books and other printed materials, with or without vision aids; seeing to monitor students; hearing and speaking in audible tones to exchange information in normal classrooms, outdoors, in person or on the telephone.
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