Instructional Assistants

    An instructional assistant, also known as a paraprofessional, is a school employee who works under the supervision of a licensed staff member to assist in providing instruction and other services to children, youth, and their families.  The provisions of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act of 1997 (IDEA), which required schools to serve students with disabilities in the least restrictive environment, has contributed to the rising use of instructional assistants in schools today.  Instructional assistants are often utilized in educational settings to provide direct and indirect services to students with disabilities.

MCPS will be providing training to all instructional assistants employed by the division for the 2016-2017 school year.  Training dates will be as follows:
  • August 31, 2016

       Secondary IA's   1:00-3:00 @ CMS
  Elementary IA's  2:00-4:00 @ CMS

  • September 27, 2016

       Secondary IA's   1:00-3:00 @ CMS
  Elementary IA's  2:00-4:00 @ CMS

  • February 8, 2016

  Secondary IA's   1:00-3:00 @ CMS
  Elementary IA's  2:00-4:00 @ CMS

  • April 26, 2016

       Secondary IA's   1:00-3:00 @ CMS
    Elementary IA's  2:00-4:00 @ CMS

Click here for Instructional Assistants Quick Reference Page. 

The Virginia Paraprofessional Guide to Supervision and Collaboration with Paraprofessionals:  A Partnership


         -National Resource Center for Paraprofessionals  www.nrcpara.org/
Oh, tailor-made!  If paraprofessional are your training concern, or you ARE a paraprofessional, the NRC for Paras is for you.  It publishes six different paraprofessional training manuals, including the Core Curriculum for Paraprofessionals.  The goal of these instructional materials is to provide personnel developers and trainers with resources they can use to improve the performance of their paraeducator workforce.

         -Project EVOLVEhttp://www.uvm.edu/~cdci/evolve/
Project EVOLVE is an OSEP-funded project that's generated a wealth of resources, including the paraprofessional literature from 1990-2009 and A Guide to Schoolwide Planning for Paraeducator Supports.

         -National Clearinghouse for Paraeducator Resources
the Clearinghouse offers a variety of resources including a focus on supporting paraeducators of culturally diverse backgrounds.

         -Paraeducator Resource and Learning Center (PRLC)
The PRLC provides information for paraeductors about six important topics:  Collaborative Teamwork, Inclusive Education, Families and Cultural Sensitivity, Characteristics of Children and Youth with Various Disabilities, Roles and Responsibilities of Paraeducators and Other Team Members, and Implementing Teacher-planned Instruction.

See the Superintendents Memo. 157 to find out how to become a highly qualified instructional assistant, also known as paraprofessional.