Washington is heavily invested in ensuring that all instructional paraeducators receive training to support our most diverse and vulnerable student populations. In 2017, the Washington Legislature created the nation’s first ever Paraeducator Board, and tasked members to establish, develop and implement paraeducator minimum employment standards and the certificate program.
Paraeducator Certificate Program
The Paraeducator Certificate Program offers statewide standards-based training for all paraeducators, and supports a career growth ladder for those who wish to pursue a teaching profession.
All experienced and newly hired paraeducators will complete a four day (28 hours) Fundamental Course of Study during the 2019-20 school year. Once this training is met, paraeducators are then required to complete an additional 70 hours of professional development, within three years, to meet the General Paraeducator Certificate.
The board shall adopt state standards of practice for paraeducators that are based on the recommendations of the paraeducator work group established in chapter 136, Laws of 2014. These standards must include:
(1) Supporting instructional opportunities;
(2) Demonstrating professionalism and ethical practices;
(3) Supporting a positive and safe learning environment;
(4) Communicating effectively and participating in the team process; and
(5) Demonstrating cultural competency aligned with standards developed by the professional educator standards board under RCW28A.410.270.