Professional Development for Educational Support Professionals

Para Ed Cert Program

The Paraeducator Certificate Program from the Washington State Professional Educator Standards Board offers a statewide standards-based training for all paraeducators, and supports a career growth ladder for those who wish to advance their career as a paraeducator or pursue a teaching profession. Visit the PESB website for more information about the program and its components.


All courses below will be held virtually. For courses with a Part A and Part B, it is highly recommended that you attend Part A courses prior to attending Part B courses to ensure content relevency and continuity.

For more information or if you have any questions about these course offerings, contact Cristy McCorkle or Lama Chikh. The most up-to-date course deadlines and info can be found on the WEA ESP Professional Development page.



Special Education Law for Paraeducators - Two-Part Series

Monday, February 6, 2023 and Wednesday, February 8, 2023
4:30pm-7:30pm

In this course, participants will review the definition of the paraprofessional and the minimal qualifications needed to perform this job. They will navigate through the beginning of special education law and many components that are utilized by paraeducators to effectively support students and staff in instruction and data collection. Finally, participants will apply knowledge to understand power struggles, escalation cycles, behavior intervention plans (BIP), and how these elements contribute to safety in the work environment.
Register: 2/6 & 2/8/23


FCS 01: Introduction to Cultural Identity and Diversity Part A (4 clock hours)

Tuesday, February 7, 2023 & Wednesday, February 8, 2023
5:00pm-7:00pm

Participants will gain an awareness and deeper understanding of ways to engage, build relationships, and communicate with the diverse backgrounds of their students. Participants will leart ways to identify and respond to racism, discrimination, and stereotypes in the classroom, as well as ways to foster and support a safe, positive, and culturally inclusive environment.
Register: 2/7 & 2/8/2023


FCS 02: Educational and Instructional Support (4 clock hours)

Tuesday, February 7, 2023 & Wednesday, February 8, 2023
5:00pm-7:00pm

Participants will learn classroom and building based instructional strategies and supports to assist classroom teachers in various learning environments and with diverse learning styles. Participants will review Washington Learner Standards and have basic awareness of academic achievement goals. Identifying basic instructional support methods to assist classroom teachers, and diverse learning styles and strategies best suited to enhance and complement student learning requirements various learning styles will also be covered.
Register: 2/7 & 2/8/2023


Tier 1: Behavior Interventions Differentiated for Students - Part A  (4 clock hours)

Tuesday, February 7, 2023 & Wednesday, February 8, 2023
5:00pm-7:00pm

This class is for ALL ESPs that work with students. The course is focused on how to work with students who are demonstrating unsuccessful behaviors. Participants will learn why student expectations for behavior should be high and how to redefine discipline as a growth and teaching opportunity rather than punishment. 
Register: 2/7 & 2/8/2023


Communicating Effectively with Diverse Students and Families (4 clock hours)

Tuesday, February 7, 2023 & Wednesday, February 8, 2023
5:00pm-7:00pm

Participants will gain an awareness and deeper understanding of ways to engage, build relationships and communicate with the diverse backgrounds of students and families. This course is designed to help ensure that students experience a positive, consistent, safe, unbiased and equitable space wherever they are in schools.
Register: 2/7 & 2/8/2023


Paras in the Classroom (4 clock hours)

Wednesday, February 8, 2023 and Thursday, February 9, 2023
5:00pm-7:00pm

In this course, the paraeducator will develop a general understanding of their role and responsibilities (NEA ParaProfessional Growth Standards), the importance of meeting student basic needs (SEL), and curriculum delivery, the use of materials and techniques and resources, classes, and requirements for WA State para certification.
Register: 2/8 & 2/9/2023


Know Your Rights - for Custodial and Maintenance WEA Members

Saturday, February 11, 2023
9:00am-10:30am

For years, this unique group of members has faced challenges with navigating the LNI process within their district. This is their chance to hear directly from LNI, including a question and answer period.
Register: 2/11/2023


Tier 2 Behavior Interventions Differentiated for Students - Part B (4 clock hours)

Tuesday, February 14, 2023 & Wednesday, February 15, 2023
5:00pm-7:00pm

Participants will learn how to change interactions with students positively through courageous conversations so that students feel included, valued and respected. Objectives are to understand the guiding principles for developing a Tier 2 culturally responsive behaviour approach, increase awareness of opportunities we have as educators to ensure our interactions promote safe, inclusive buildings, and develop and understanding of Tier 2 interventions that can be applied to your school context.
Register: 2/14 & 2/15/2023


FCS 06: Equity (4 clock hours)

Tuesday, February 14, 2023 & Wednesday, February 15, 2023
5:00pm-7:00pm

Paraeducators will gain an awareness of the legalities, polices, procedure and practices surrounding discrimination and how to respond to such violations. This course is designed to help foster a learning environment that is unbiased, safe and promotes the academic success of all students.
Register: 2/14 & 2/15/2023


FCS 11/12 Communication Basics and Challenges (4 clock hours)

Tuesday, February 14, 2023 & Wednesday, February 15, 2023
5:00pm-7:00pm

Participants will gain an understanding of essential communication strategies, conflict management, conflict resolution and how to effectively work in a team environment. This course is designed to help enhance collaboration and communication between paraeducators and other applicable stakeholders that will enhance student success and achievement.
Register: 2/14 & 2/15/2023


Organizing Your Workplace and Beyond (no clock hours)

Tuesday, February 14, 2023 & Wednesday, February 15, 2023
5:00pm-7:00pm

Why is an organized clerical space important for Students? Why is the office so important for students? As office professionals it is very important to be able to provide the resources for staff, students, and families. Resources from district or community education partners are essential for the process to help and support all those involved in the growth and advancement of educators, ESPs, and accordingly, students. This class does not provide clock hours and is for Clerical Services Staff.
Register: 2/14 & 2/15/2023


PD 4 Paras (up to 14.5 clock hours)

Four (4) Modules/Sessions:
Wednesday, January 25, 2023 - 5:30pm-6:30pm - Module 1: Going Beyond the Label
Wednesday, February 15, 2023 - 5:30pm-6:30pm - Module 2: Helping Kids Become Independent
Wednesday, March 8, 2023 - 5:30pm-6:30pm - Module 3: Decoding the ABC's of the IEP
Wednesday, March 22, 2023 - 5:00pm-7:00pm - Module 4: Dealing with Big Emotions

This asynchronous and live four-part series was designed specifically for PreK-12 paraprofessionals, teaching assistants, and one-on-one aides! And you read it right; it’s for PreK through 12th grade. ALL really does mean all. The series includes sessions about going beyond the label, helping kids become independent, decoding the ABCs of the IEP, and dealing with big emotions. In addition to the on-demand four-part series, there will be three 1.5-hour and one 2-hour live virtual sessions to come together, reflect, and discuss the on-demand content. Participants will understand the 13 federal categories of disability and the implications of labeling students; gain strategies for promoting independence and interdependence using the Prompting Ladder and other practical strategies; understand the role of the paraprofessional in supporting what is written on the IEP and to ensure students’ access, participation, and progress in the general curriculum; and gain effective strategies for understanding how behavior is communication and how to support students when they need us most.
Register: 1/25, 2/15, 3/8 & 3/22/23


ESP Community Conversations: Professional Development 

Thursday, February 16, 2023
4:00pm-5:30pm

Join us for a virtual networking session where you'll connect with fellow NEA ESP members across the country to discuss your professional development experiences and the resources and support you need for professional growth. Open to NEA/WEA ESP members only.
Register: 2/16/2023


ESP Learning Network Webinar: Pensions 101 for Advocates 

Thursday, February 23, 2023
4:00pm-5:00pm

This webinar will give you a working knowledge of pensions and access to additional resources so that you can be an effective advocate for pensions and protect our members' futures.
Register: 2/23/2023


New Discipline Rules-Moving Away from Exclusionary Practice (2 clock hours)

Thursday, February 23, 2023
5:00pm-7:00pm

Participants explore and understand the new student discipline rules adopted by OSPI in July 2018. Participants review the rationale for the new rules and the requirements the rules place on classroom-level educators. They also problem-solve and review resources to support best practice implementation in the classroom in order to enhance student learning.
Register: 2/23/2023


Embracing Diversity with True Colors (4 clock hours)

Saturday, February 25, 2023 or Saturday, March 11, 2023
9:00am-1:00pm

In this training, participants use the True Colors system to focus on embracing diversity in the classroom and in the larger school community to improve learning opportunities for all students and enhance communication between student, teacher, staff, and parents. The True Colors system identifies intrinsic values, motivations, self-esteem, sources of dignity and worthiness, causes of stress, communication styles, listening styles, non-verbal responses, language patterns, social skills, learning styles, environmental motivators, cultural appeal, negative mental states, relationship orientation, and ethical behaviors.
Register: 2/25/2023; 3/11/2023


Building Winning Teams: Effective Communication, Collaboration, and Instruction (4 clock hours)

Saturday, February 25, 2023
9:00am-1:00pm

Participants in this course learn tools and resources to better support students and increase student achievement. Topics include Characteristics of New Paraeducator and Teacher Teams, Guiding Principles for Paraeducators, Paraprofessional Responsibilities, and Planning and Working Together: Strategies for Clear Communication Between Teacher and Paraeducator.
Register: 2/25/2023


On the Front Line: Nurses and Health Clerks Are Essential

Saturday, February 25, 2023
9:00am-10:30am

The School Nurse Organization of Washington (SNOW) supports school nurses in the delivery of health services designed to improve the health and academic success of students. SNOW recognizes the stress and pressure of our essential health care workers within the school setting. Come spend 90 minutes with experts that can help you navigate these difficult times, answer questions that may help you improve your practice, and generally provide the support you need to weather this storm.
Register: 2/25/2023


Keeping the Wheels on the Road: Transportation and Student Success (7 clock hours)

Three Sessions:
Saturday, February 25, 2023 - 9:00am-12:00pm  and 
Monday, February 27, 2023 & Tuesday, February 28 - 5:30pm-7:30pm

To close the opportunity gaps and help all students succeed, schools need to expand classroom cultural practices, policies, and strategies to transportation employees. Transportation employees are critical to the student's success. They are the first educator that students see in the morning and may be the last one they see in the afternoon. Setting the tone for the day, creating relationships, safely transporting students, and managing behavior are the keys to success for any bus driver.
Register: All Sessions (2/25, 2/27 & 2/28/2023)


FCS 01/06 Intro to Cultural Identity and Diversity/Equity (7 clock hours)

Saturday, March 4, 2023
9:00am-4:00pm

Participants will gain an awareness and deeper understanding of ways to engage, build relationships and communicate with the diverse backgrounds of their students. There will also be a focus on the legalities, polices, procedure and practices surrounding discrimination and how to respond to such violations. This course is designed for paraeducators to help ensure that students experience a positive, consistent, safe, unbiased and equitable classroom which will enhance educational opportunities and student achievement.
Register: 3/4/2023


FCS 02/11/12 Educational and Instructional Support Communication Basics/Challenges (7 clock hours)

Saturday, March 4, 2023
9:00am-4:00pm

Participants will learn classroom and building based instructional strategies and supports to assist classroom teachers in various learning environments and with diverse learning styles. This training will also focus on essential communication strategies, conflict management, conflict resolution and how to effectively work in a team environment in order to increase student achievement.
Register: 3/4/2023


Building Winning Teams II: A Deeper Dive to Focus on Discourse/Scenario-Based Immersion (4 clock hours)

Saturday, March 4, 2023
9:00am-4:00pm

In this follow-up to Building Winning Teams, participants will take a deeper dive into the paraeducator-teacher relationship/partnership and work effectively together to have a positive impact on student learning through scenarios, role-playing and discussion. Participants in this course practice tools and resources through role-modeling and scenarios to better support students and increase student achievement.
Register: 3/4/2023


Getting Started with Google Classroom (1.5 clock hours)

Saturday, March 4, 2023
9:00am-10:30am

Google Classroom isn’t just a place to post homework; it can help improve your ability to connect with your students, respond to their needs, and challenge them with personalized assignments. Come learn how to set-up your very own Google Classroom and get up and running with remote teaching & learning quickly! This is a beginning level course, designed for participants who are not familiar with the basics of Google Classroom.
Register: 3/4/2023


Facilitating Quality Practice (1.5 clock hours)

Saturday, March 11, 2023
9:00am-10:30am

Quality practice looks, sounds and feels different virtually. Let's practice with tools that teachers and para-educators can use with students. We will learn about best practices for online learning, including instructor presence, learning objectives, real world applications, clear expectations, engaging students, prompt feedback, and netiquette. The session will focus on two platforms: Seesaw and Google Classroom.
Register: 3/11/2023


Maintenance and Custodians: Frontline Heroes

Saturday, April 1, 2023
9:00am-12:00pm

Explore the different styles of cleaning buildings and the chemicals recommended for cleaning and facilities maintenance, including examples of ways to combat the effects of COVID-19. Learn about the power of school building or district Safety Teams and how to become a member to advocate.
Register: 4/1/2023


Chemical Use and Hazards

Saturday, April 29, 2023
9:00am-12:00pm

Being informed about chemicals enables you to make good decisions about the necessary safety precautions to take in your workplace. Learn about safety requirements and how to limit exposure.
Register: 4/29/2023


Accident Prevention, Reporting and Recording

Saturday, May 13, 2023
9:00am-12:00pm

When Districts follow safety rules and policies it will reduce accidents, and will keep workers working. In this course you will learn about the WAC 296-800-140 - Accident Prevention for Employers, preventative measures, and how to report and record safety hazards and injuries on the job.
Register: 5/13/2023