Paraeducators are an integral part of the learning and teaching team.  Under the supervision of the teachers, paraeducators assist with multiple levels of support in schools.  Their role can include preparing learning materials, assisting in instructing individuals and small groups of students, and working one-on-one with students with special needs.

Washington State has two distinct efforts to provide assistance for paraeducators.  North Central ESD will provide training and support in both of these areas:

Washington State Recommended Core Competencies

There are 14 competencies which address paraeducator knowledge and skill needs for areas ranging from assisting with general instruction to providing life skills management assistance to students.  North Central ESD provides professional development opportunities to paraeducators and their teachers to ensure students are provided services and instruction through a team approach.  These competencies are for ongoing staff development and not necessarily a requirement for employment at this time.  Individual districts decide how to provide this training for their staff as well as how often.  Districts have different procedures on how to record competency completion and individual paraeducators need to keep certificates for their records.  For a list of the Core Competencies, click here.


Washington State Paraeducator Guidelines

The Washington State Paraeducator Guidelines were developed to meet the necessary requirements of No Child Left Behind, Title I, Section 1119.  These guidelines provide options and pathways for paraeducators to meet the federal requirements of demonstrating content knowledge and skills needed to assist in reading, writing, and math instruction.  To work in most school settings, new paraeducators need to meet these requirements for employment.  North Central ESD provides tools to help meet the requirements through computerized assessments offered monthly.  Study guides are also available at a cost of $35.  For more information on the assessment test, click here.


For more information, contact:

Shanna Brooks

Literacy Specialist/Paraeducator Coordinator



Heather Miller
Administrative Assistant


You may also wish to visit the OSPI Paraeducator website by clicking here.