The Fundamental Course of Study (FCS) is the core training that all paraeducators must receive before working with students and their families, or at a minimum by the deadlines described below.
It is the responsibility of school districts* to ensure that employed paraeducators complete the 28 hours of training that encompass the FCS. School districts may collaborate with other school districts or educational service districts to meet the requirements of this section.
Paraeducators must complete the FCS by the following:
- Paraeducators hired for the 2018-19 school year, by September 1, 2020;
- Paraeducators not employed for the 2018-19 school year, but employed for the 2019-20 school year, by September 1, 2021.
Beginning September 1, 2021, and beyond, school districts must provide the FCS for paraeducators hired on or before September 1st, by September 30th 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 1st:
- 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.
Paraeducator Standards and Course Outline for the FCS
The FCS must include the training competencies that align with the paraeducator standards of practice, which have been approved by the Paraeducator Board.
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.
To view the knowledge and skill competencies for each of the five standards, follow this link to the online document.
Also, 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.
“Paraeducators: what we do matters” 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 utilizing these modules, the paraeducator will meet 12 of the 28 required hours.
To access the modules, please follow this link to the online learning service provided by Canvas.