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Paraeducator - Whatcom Discovery Center

Northwest Educational Service District 189

Northwest Educational Service District 189

Bellingham, WA, USA
Posted on Saturday, June 15, 2024


5275 Northwest Dr.
Bellingham, WA 98226

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Position Summary

The NWESD aspires to be a racially and culturally inclusive staff that reflects the diversity of those we serve. We believe this strengthens our organization, stimulates creativity, promotes the exchange of ideas, and enriches staff engagement.


The primary role of the Paraeducator is to assist students in achieving academic and behavioral goals as may be specified in student Individual Education Plans (IEP). The Paraeducator provides essential support in facilitating the overall safety and effectiveness of school operations through supervision, instructional support, behavior intervention and management, as well as operational/clerical support.

Essential Functions:

The following essential functions are common to all program Paraeducators although the application of such may vary by department, or due to the level of student developmental abilities/issues.

  • Provides consistent, active supervision of individual, small groups, and whole groups of students throughout daily programming in the classroom or during non-instructional time. Performs safety searches of students as directed. Monitors student interactions during the instructional day.
  • Maintains active supervision of assigned students in specialized times and settings including alcove areas, in-school suspension, seclusion area, and before/after school detention.
  • Under the direction of, or in conjunction with the teacher, carries out a variety of individual, small group, or whole groups instructional activities to implement academic, social, vocational/life skills, health/safety, technological and recreational curriculum including motivational support and reinforcement of student efforts and achievements.
  • Assists with the assessment of student performance, collects and organizes behavioral data regarding student performance on an ongoing basis. Attends student IEP conferences as directed.
  • May have contact with parents, guardians, former teachers, and administrators, and community agencies as directed.
  • Participates in direct behavioral/social/interpersonal skills instruction with students throughout the course of daily programming. Observes, records, and provides consistent behavioral feedback to students . Assists with the tabulation and management of paperwork related to student IEP goals. De-escalates disruptive student behavior.
  • Monitor student health/hygiene and respond according to established program procedures.
  • As directed by the teacher and/or Director, prepares instructional and programming materials; leads whole group/small group instruction planned by certificated staff, assists with correcting/grading student assignments; orders, schedules, and performs record keeping of student and classroom materials; assists with the utilization of technical equipment; and coordinates classroom activities.
  • Shares in the overall responsibility for maintenance of facilities as well as the health and safety of the school environment.
  • Attends staff meetings and professional development activities.
  • Discovery program Paraeducators also participate in physical management of students in crisis according to established program procedures if warranted.
  • Performs related duties as assigned. Related duties may not specifically be listed but are within the general occupational series and responsibility level typically associated with the employee’s classification of work.

Required knowledge, skills, and abilities:

  • Knowledge of program goals and objectives, and typical child development.
  • Knowledge of human services, judicial systems, and special needs students in relation to program goals and objectives may be required.
  • Familiarity with issues related to children with special needs including severe behavior disorders, substance abuse, developmental disabilities and health impairments.
  • Knowledge of elements of effective instruction to assist teaching and learning as developed by the certificated/licensed staff.
  • Knowledge of characteristics and interpersonal dynamics of at-risk and special needs students. Knowledge and skill in applying behavioral intervention techniques with children and youth.
  • Knowledge in basic academic subject areas and demonstrated competency in such.
  • Ability to work in a diverse educational establishment in which the population consists of students who have serious behavior disabilities.
  • Ability to provide positive behavioral support and management.
  • Ability to adapt to change and demonstrate patience, flexibility, and reliability.
  • Ability to serve as a positive role model.
  • Ability to remain calm in crisis situations; ability to effectively problem solve under highly stressful and rapidly changing conditions.
  • Ability to plan and coordinate activities with other staff members. Must be able to work as a team member and support team efforts.
  • Ability to maintain confidentiality of student records.
  • Ability to communicate effectively in both oral and written format and to follow written and oral directions. Excellent listening and organizational skills are required.
  • Ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships with co-workers, court personnel, probation/parole officers, state employees, counselors, treatment providers, parents, guardians, school district staff, and the general public.
  • Ability to establish and maintain a professional relationship with the students.


High School diploma and one of the following required: Associate’s degree or higher; two years of education from an institute of higher education (72 quarter hours or 48 semester hours); or proof of a score of 455 or higher on the ETS Parapro Assessment. Experience working with at-risk and adjudicated adolescents in an alternative environment is strongly preferred. WSP/FBI criminal history background clearance required. Valid Washington State driver’s license and proof of liability insurance required. Valid First-Aid/CPR certificate required or be willing to obtain.

Employment Conditions and Benefits

7 hours per day, Monday - Friday during the school year, 183 work days per school year

Benefits Include:
Medical Insurance, Dental and Vision insurance with 100% paid premiums for employee and eligible dependents, Annual Paid Leave - (9-10) Vacation days are rolled in to the annualized salary, (10) Sick days, (1) Floating Holiday, (7) observed Holidays, Bereavement Leave, Jury Duty Leave, Tuition Reimbursement, Long Term Disability, Basic Life Insurance $35k (w/voluntary additional coverage), WA State Dept. of Retirement Systems Membership - Schools Employees' Retirement System (SERS), Deferred Compensation Program (DCP) offering 457 deferred savings plan, Flexible Spending Accounts for medical and dependent Care, Voluntary Employees' Benefits Association (VEBA) participation, Employee Assistance Program, and Professional Development opportunities.

Working Conditions/Physical Requirements:
Work is performed in an educational environment for special needs students in which continual observation and awareness of the surroundings is critical. Must have sufficient stamina, fitness, and coordination to safely participate in physical containment procedures and recreational activities for sites where this activity is a possibility. Lifts and carries a maximum of 40 pounds. Transporting students may be required. Adequate manual and finger dexterity, hearing, speech, and vision are necessary to perform the essential functions of this position.

Hazards: Due to the nature of the population of some programs, hazards include but are not limited to exposure to weapons, threats, verbal abuse, spitting, fighting, kicking, hitting, punching, biting, scratching, hair pulling, throwing of objects and other forms of physical aggression.

Salary Range

Schedule I, Range 18a: $37,954.00 - $42,742.00

How to Apply

Submit a complete application at nwesd.org/jobs. Applications for this position must include:

  • Letter of Interest
  • Resume
  • Transcripts (Official/unofficial) or ETS Parapro Assessment score documentation
  • Other documents may be included at your discretion.

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