The Fundamental Course of Study (FCS) is the core training all paraeducators must receive before working with students and their families, or at a minimum, by the deadlines described below.
Paraeducator standards and course outline
The FCS must include the training competencies that align with the paraeducator standards of practice.
The five standards are:
- Supporting instructional opportunities;
- Demonstrating professionalism and ethical practices;
- Supporting a positive and safe learning environment;
- Communicating effectively and participating in the team process; and
- Demonstrating cultural competency that aligns with standards developed by the PESB.
View the knowledge and skill competencies for each of the five standards.
The Paraeducator Board has approved the following FCS Course Outline and Learning Objectives, which align with the standards of practice and include minimum hours of training.
School district responsibility
It is the responsibility of school districts* to ensure that employed paraeducators complete this 28 hours of training. School districts may collaborate with other school districts or educational service districts to meet the requirements of this section.
Timeline and deadlines:
- Paraeducators hired for the 2018-19 school year must complete the training by September 1, 2020
- Paraeducators not employed for the 2018-19 school year, but employed for the 2019-20 school year must complete the training by September 1, 2021
Beginning September 1, 2021, school districts must provide the FCS for paraeducators hired on or before September 1, by September 30 of that year, regardless of the size of the district.
Beginning September 1, 2021, and beyond, school districts must provide the FCS for paraeducators hired after September 1:
For districts with ten thousand or more students, within four months of the date of hire; and
For districts with fewer than ten thousand students, no later than September 1st of the following year.
* School districts must implement the FCS only in school years for which state funding is explicitly appropriated for the FCS and just for the number of days that are funded by the appropriation.
Free online modules
Created for OSPI by Education Northwest, “Paraeducators: what we do matters” are online modules aligned with the knowledge and skill competencies, and course outline and learning objectives discussed above.
A free resource, these 12 modules are an excellent tool for providers training paraeducators in the FCS. By incorporating these modules into your FCS training, the paraeducator will meet 12 of the 28 required hours.