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Emerging Practices with Promise

Submitted By: Carolyn Vang-Walker, Ventura County Adult Education Consortium


Paraeducator, volunteer training program helps increase classroom support

  • Type of Practice: Supportive Services
  • Targeted Population: English Language Learners, Teachers, Faculty and Staff, Vocational Certificate Students, Other: Parent, Community Member, and Senior Volunteers and/or Job Seekers
  • Program Area(s): Adult Basic & Secondary Education, English as a Second Language & Citizenship , Career Technical Education
  • Consortia Involved:
    Victor Valley Adult Education Regional Consortium: Conejo Valley Unified School District, Oxnard Unified School District, Santa Paula Unified School District, Simi Valley Unified School District, Ventura County Community College District, Ventura Unified School District

The Challenge

The Ventura County Adult Education Consortium (VCAEC) found that one of its consortium members had a need for English-speaking, Spanish-speaking and bilingual paraeducators, as well as a need for professional training for parent, family and community volunteers. One of the consortium’s members already had developed a curriculum and DVDs in English and Spanish for the Family, School, Community Partnership (FSCP), so the next step was to find the best teacher to develop the paraeducator training component. Additional planning was required to determine the venue, fund dinners for FSCP participants and hire child care providers for the children of participants.

The Solution

Finding the best teacher to deliver a new curriculum was of paramount importance, yet in this case it was easily facilitated. The district's classified administrative assistant in charge of paraeducators had been a teen mother who participated in the district's parenting classes, was hired as a bilingual paraeducator, became the office manager at her children's elementary school, and was ultimately promoted to the district's classified administrative team. When approached about developing the paraeducator curriculum and becoming a certified teacher for the program she was elated. The paraeducator curriculum was offered in 10 weekly sessions of three hours each.

Outcomes

The paraeducator and volunteer training program has provided increased opportunities for K-12 academic interventions in regard to support for students and classroom teachers, and enhanced interactions and relationships between school districts and families. The curricula for both the FSCP and paraeducator training is being provided to all VCAEC members upon request.

The Data

For FY 2016-17, 60 students enrolled in the FSCP and paraeducator training program – and all 60 were awarded certificates and passed the qualifying exam. Twelve paraeducator candidates were hired by Ventura Unified School District.


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