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Special Education Training Series for Paraprofessionals

OSSE is pleased to announce a new five-part training series for paraprofessionals and aides serving students with disabilities. This series provides an overview of paraprofessional roles and responsibilities, principles of special education, specialized instruction and instructional supports, curriculum and content knowledge, and classroom and behavior supports. At the conclusion of the series participants will engage in a community of practice session to share best practices in special education.

This training opportunity is ideal for paraprofessionals, aides, and similar staff that serve students with disabilities in pre-K-12 educational environments, and it will be offered twice in 2023. The first series will occur each Thursday and Friday from June 1-June 16, 9-11 a.m. The second series, which will cover the same content, will occur each Friday from Aug. 18-Sept. 22, 9-11 a.m. Details on the training series content and schedule are available below.

For questions about the paraprofessional training series, please contact Christie Weaver-Harris at [email protected].

Register for the trainings here, or access the trainings directly using the links below.

Module 1: Paraprofessional Roles and Responsibilities: Participants will learn about paraprofessional responsibilities related to students with disabilities, including instructional and behavioral support, health and personal support, and general classroom support roles. This session will include differentiation between the roles of the supervisory staff or classroom teacher and the paraprofessional; effective communication and collaboration across classroom teams; confidentiality of student information; and a review of the boundaries of paraprofessional responsibilities.

Series II: Friday, Aug. 18, 2023 – 9-11 a.m. Registration coming in June!

Module 2: Principles of Special Education: Participants will learn about the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), including important special education terms and concepts, the responsibility to provide a free appropriate public education (FAPE), District of Columbia disability categories, the components of an individualized education program (IEP), and accommodations and modifications for which a paraprofessional may provide support.

Series II: Wednesday, Aug. 23, 2023 – 9-11 a.m. Registration coming in June!

Module 3: Special Education and Instructional Supports: Participants will learn about specialized instruction and paraprofessional instructional supports, including different types of special education classroom environments, related services, assistive technology, and instructional modifications and accommodations.

Series I: Thursday, June 8, 2023 – 9-11 a.m. Register here.

Series II: Friday, Sept. 1, 2023 – 9-11 a.m. 

Module 4: Curriculum and Content Knowledge: Participants will learn about paraprofessional skills related to instruction in reading, writing, and mathematics, including key terms and concepts of special education and instruction, differentiating and individualizing instruction and supports, adapting instructional strategies, and supporting the individualized needs of students with disabilities.

Series II: Friday, Sept. 8, 2023 – 9-11 a.m.

Module 5: Classroom and Behavior Supports: This training focuses on classroom and behavior management techniques and strategies for students with disabilities, including classroom management techniques, models of group and individual behavior management, de-escalating challenging behaviors, positive behavioral interventions and supports (PBIS) strategies, and the role of the paraprofessional in supporting classroom and behavior management.

Series II: Friday, Sept. 15, 2023 – 9-11 a.m. 

Paraprofessional Community of Practice: Participants will work together to intentionally learn from and share practices and ideas with each other about special education and classroom supports. Participants will engage in best practices through a shared collaborative learning model.

Series II: Friday, Sept. 22, 2023 – 9-11 a.m.