Training options for employees are available in various formats. You can access online training through the sources listed below including a variety of courses that are not required but may help build skills and knowledge. In addition, the District provides in-person training on many topics ranging from technical to Right Response. Visit the PdEnroller link below to see what is available for employees to access.
Links to online resources for staff:
Instructional Tech Day 22-23
- Washington's Paraeducator Community
- Paraeducator Fundamental Course of Study (FCS)
- Logging Your FCS & Clock Hours with OSPI
- Paraeducator Certificate/Clock Hours
Fundamental Course of Study Standards & Certification - All paraeducators hired are required to complete the "Fundamental Course of Study". This 28 hours of training (21 hours asychronous online training and 7 hours of live training) must be completed by July 31st. All paraeducators, regardless of tenure and possessing teacher certification, are required by OSPI to complete the Fundamental Course of Study.
Paraeducator Certificate The school year following completion of the Fundamental Course of Study, the District will provide 14 state approved clock hours to paraeducators each school year, which will go towards the requirements for the Paraeducator Certificate. These courses must be state approved clock hours and coordinated with the supervisor in the paraeducator's school. Paraeducators will be offered these opportunities throughout the year and may also use non-District approved clock hour providers such as WEA, OSPI or college coursework to count for 14 clock hours. The clock hour trainings are generally provided during non-work, non-paid time and the time spent in the clock hour trainings is submitted via timesheet in Time & Attendance.
Training Overview - The training for the Fundamental Course of Study is provided in a variety of ways, including some in-person training and some online coursework. Below is information about the courses completed online. Suggested "complete by" dates are indicated so you can pace yourself through this training.
When you have completed the online modules, send a screen print of the certificate of completion to HR (email@example.com). Be sure your name shows in the screen print.
Paraeducators: What We Do Matters (all 13 modules must be completed and certificate submitted to Rosie Burns) Complete by September 30th
Hoonuit Courses: (Your login is first name last name (i.e. rosie burns) + the password you use to log into your MISD computer) Complete these by March 30th
- Child Development, Ages and Stages (FCS 08 - Child & Adolescent Development)
- Supporting Standards, Supporting Students (FCS 02 - Methods of Educational and Instructional Sup
- Supporting Diverse Learners (FCS 06 - Equity, FCS 10 - Positive & Safe Learning Environment)
Vector (formerly "SafeSchools"): (select the arrow at the left on your landing page and hover -- it will read "Extra Training", search for the courses listed below) Complete by September 30th
- Classroom Safety (FCS 09 - Emergency & Health Safety)
- Online Safety: What Every Educator Needs to Know (FCS 09 - Emergency & Health Safety
In addition, all paraeducators are required to attend live training for 7 hours
Live training will be scheduled on non-paid, non-work days during the school year.
- 3 hour introduction, technology basics and roles course
- 4 hour cultural identity & diversity and behavior management techniques
Q: Will I be paid for this training time?
Yes, paraeducators will submit timecards to be paid for this time. Please only do training during the work week, not on the weekends or holidays and not to work in excess of 40 hours per week..
Q: Is this training in addition to our optional training & technology training hours?
Yes, these training hours are in addition. You may use optional training hours for the online training modules if you wish to do more than the modules outlined above.
- All paras hired during the school year must complete the FCS training by July 31st.
Q: What happens if I miss the in-person training?
The district will provide one make up opportunities for in-person training when possible.
This information is provided as a service to District paraeducators. The ability to attend, the payment of fees and the competencies covered by a particular training should be discussed with your supervisor prior to registration.
How DO paraeducators track their training?
The Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction Certification Office (OSPI) has adapted “e-cert”, an online tool to track the completion of clock hours, to include paraeducators. It is the responsibility of the paraeducator, with the assistance of the school district, to file completion of the Fundamental Course of Study and training to meet the certificates through e-cert.
Mercer Island School District tracks your FCS and clock hour training completions done through the District through pdEnroller after completion of your FCS. All other clock hour trainings provided by Mercer Island will be automatically logged to e-Cert if your account is linked with pdEnroller.
How do paraeducators create an EDS account?
OSPI’s certification office has created a manual to help paraeducators create an EDS account and file in e-cert the completion of the FCS, and for the subject matter, general and advanced certificates.
What is the necessary documentation needed for e-cert?
When you complete your FCS, the District will issue you a FCS Clock Hour Form. Paraeducators can either email the completed form to firstname.lastname@example.org or mail in a physical copy. Paraeducators can also wait to upload FCS documentation when they file for the general certificate.
What is the necessary documentation needed for e-cert?
When you complete your FCS the District will issue you a FCS Clock Hour Form. Paraeducators can either email the completed form to email@example.com or mail in a physical copy. When a paraeducator does clock hour courses, they log those to their EDS "ecert" account.
GENERAL PARAEDUCATOR CERTIFICATE
Once the FCS is complete, the next required component is the general certificate. The general certificate is the only required certificate, if funded, of the program. The certificate is not required for paraeducators with a teaching certificate. The District will provide opportunities to earn up to 14 hours of approved clock hour training each year it is funded. The training must be done through an approved state clock hour provider and the District is an approved clock hour provider. These courses must be state approved clock hours and coordinated with the supervisor in the paraeducator's school. Paraeducators will be offered these opportunities throughout the year and may also use non-District approved clock hour providers such as WEA, OSPI or college coursework to count for 14 clock hours. The clock hour trainings are generally provided during non-work, non-paid time and the time spent in the clock hour trainings is submitted via timesheet in Time & Attendance. Consult with your building supervisor to determine what training being offered in your building may be appropriate to attend for the 14 para clock hours each year.
HOW TO EARN THE CERTIFICATE
To earn the general certificate, a paraeducator must complete 70 clock hours of professional development focused on improving their instructional practice. In order for training to count towards the general certificate, it must be completed after July 1, 2019 AND be state approved clock hours. Examples of training opportunities you and your supervisor could identify are: teacher professional development, building and/or department staff meetings with training around instructional practice topics, Right Response, etc.
For the current school year, there is funding for two days (14 hours) of training on the certificate program. If a paraeducator has completed all 28 hours of their FCS the previous year, the employee will be provided opportunity to earn 14 hours of clock hour approved training which will go towards their paraeducator certification.
Training requirements for the general certificate can include any clock hour training that will assist the instructional practice of a paraeducator. The general certificate uses the same standards of practice as the FCS. This gives districts and paraeducators the opportunity to create and take clock hour training that will apply to specific roles and interests.
Due to consistent partial funding, the Paraeducator Board has removed the requirement that requires paraeducators to complete the general certificate within three years of completing the FCS (WAC). Paraeducators must complete training requirements as funded by the Legislature, and for the amount funded.
“Embedding” the subject matter certificates
Paraeducators who complete hours towards an ELL or Special Education subject matter certificate may use (“embed”) those hours towards earning the general certificate. Find more information on the subject matter certificates.
For example, if a paraeducator completes the ELL subject matter certificate, which is 20 hours of training, they may allocate those hours towards the general. In doing so, instead of 70 hours a paraeducator will only have to complete 50 hours of training, rather than 70, to meet the general certificate. If a paraeducator completes both subject matter certificates (a total of 40 hours), they may allocate both certificates towards the general certificate. In doing so, a paraeducator will only have to complete an additional 30 hours of training to meet the general.
Embedding the certificates is an excellent opportunity to meet the required hours and receive focused training in a subject area. Certificate embedding can only be used to fulfill the general certificate, and cannot be used to earn the advanced certificate.
Paraeducators enrolled in college courses can use their college credits towards their general certificate. Any credit taken on or after July 1, 2019 can count towards their general certificate.
Paraeducators will enter credits in their e-cert account towards the general certificate the same way they enter clock hours. In the e-cert panel labeled “educator professional development hours”, there is a drop-down menu where educators can choose credits or clock hours. Paraeducators should maintain transcripts showing credits earned in the same way they maintain their clock hour forms.
It is the responsibility of a paraeducator, with the help of their district, to track their general certificate training in e-cert. Paraeducators should record clock hours as they earn them in e-cert. They should upload or send documentation of clock hours or equivalents in the form of transcripts or in-service registration forms. School district administrators will be able to view a list of all the paraeducators in their district who have completed the FCS. Please note that Mercer Island uses the pdEnroller system which will automatically transfer PD through the District to the employee's e-cert account.
Once a paraeducator completes their general certificate, it will cost them $74 to receive the certificate. Because this is a lifetime certificate, this will be a one time cost.