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Marcella:  Is my paraprofessional allowed to be alone with my RSP middle school students during library time (in the library with a librarian) without me present in order for my students to to check books in and out for 15 minutes while I am observing other students to fulfill IEP support service requirements?

  1. Ideally, the state education agency should have a guidance document on the use of all paraprofessionals.. The district could/should have policies, & procedures on their use, & required training.

  2. I did not see a definitive response. Does it depend on whether they have a 30 day permit? Or can they be by themselves for a certain amount of time? Before, my para said I could do two hours, since I told her not to disagree with me in public when she does not have all the information, she has refused to do it now.

  3. Can a parapro have a classroom and teach health or exercise all day in that class, while teacher is in gym with another class .

  4. I recall being the general ed. teacher in this situation. I don’t know if it was common or unusual, but most of our paras at that school were also qualified as substitute teachers. So, yeah, they could take over classrooms.

  5. Can a paraprofessional lead a class under the direction of a teacher? In other words, there are 40 students, can the para take a group of 20 kids and teach the lesson the teacher has prepared while the teacher has the other 20 in another room? This is not a graded class. It is an enrichment, higher level thinking activity.

  6. I have a similar question. Are Para’s allowed to be alone with ES students while the teacher is at an IEP meeting. The meeting took most of the morning and the Para was instructing and alone with students.

  7. Paras are alone with students a lot, especially during specials like library, gym, art, etc. They should be highly qualified and trained. In larger school districts, this is very common. In the best cases, the librarian, gym teacher, etc,, all accommodate and work with the para and students to achieve goals.

    • This is the exact same thing the teacher is doing! So, why isn’t the para being paid the exact same thing?!

      • I’ve been a para for 7 years. I’ve been thinking the same thing for years!

        It feels illegal.
        Unfair and like a way to take advantage of paraprofessionals.

        • Marissa, if the child isn’t receiving academic instruction / special ed and related services in the IEP by a certified special ed teacher or related services provider, it is also unfair to the students who aren’t receiving the school agreed to provide to ensure the child receives a FAPE.

          • I am a special education para who is alone with a student with behavioral issues for 1 hour. He has minimal instruction, a worksheet. Otherwise, we are on our own, no certified teacher instruction. Is this legal?

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