Professional Development Requirement for Paraprofessionals
Please be sure to carefully review all of the information on this page.
Which positions are affected by this requirement?
This requirement only applies to staff in the following positions:
- Special Education Assistant (Special Education Classroom Assistants and 1:1s)
- Special Education Classroom Assistant, Hearing Impaired (in Deaf/Hard of Hearing Programs at Bache-Martin, Hancock and Lincoln only)
- Bus Attendant
- School Aide III
What is the professional development requirement for special education paraprofessionals?
Paraprofessionals supporting special education students and programs are required by the Pennsylvania Department of Education Bureau of Special Education to obtain 20 hours of professional development each year.
Do I Need 20 Hours if I Started After the Beginning of the School Year?
The 20 hour requirement equates to 2 hours for each month in which you work. If you start working in your position after the first month of the school year, the number of hours is pro-rated as follows:
|Month Starting||# of Hours Required|
How Do I Obtain Professional Development Hours?
You can obtain hours by attending professional development sessions offered by the District, even if not specifically designed for you, as well as trainings/courses from external organizations.
Many District trainings can be accessed in Cornerstone, the District’s online professional development system. Using Cornerstone allows you to keep track of the courses you’ve taken and the number of hours you’ve earned.
The Pennsylvania Training and Technical Assistance Network (PaTTAN) provides online trainings that are specifically designed for paraprofessionals. College/university credits can also be used to meet the requirement.
Remember >> Checking your Emails is Important!
What should I do when I need assistance with Cornerstone?
- Click here for the Cornerstone Resources Website.
- If you still need assistance, you may email Cornerstone at email@example.com.
Be sure to check your email for District Wide PD days.
We recommend that you submit your 20 hours of professional development as soon as you complete them, but no later than April 30, 2023 if possible to allow time for any corrections that may be needed.
Final Submission Deadline: June 30, 2023
The completion date for professional development and/or college/university courses must be within the date range for this year, July 1, 2022 to June 30, 2023.
What Do I Have to Submit?
Accepted Document Types:
The ONLY documents that will be accepted are:
1. Certificates of Completion
- Must show either the start/end time of the training (1:30pm to 3:00pm, 9:00 – 12:00, etc) or the total amount of time for the training (3 hours, 2½ hours, etc)
2. Completed, Legible Proof of Attendance Form
- Only to be used if you attend a professional development where a certificate is not being issued
- All fields must be completed, and the presenter/facilitator must print/sign their name and provide their contact information.
3. College/University transcripts obtained from the Registrar’s Office
- The seal or signature of the registrar must appear on the document (unofficial or official)
When attending training, it is your responsibility to make sure you have obtained a certificate (or completed, legible PD Attendance Verification Form – only if a certificate will not be issued).
The following WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED:
- The Training Log
- Copies of sign-in sheets and agendas
- Certificates that do not indicate time for the training (total amount of time or start/end times) will not be counted toward the 20 hour requirement
- PD Attendance Verification Form(s) that are missing information and/or have information that is not readable will not be counted toward the 20 hour requirement.
- College/university course transcripts not obtained from the registrar’s office (i.e. not bearing the registrar’s seal or signature)
How Do I Submit My Hours?
You can now submit your hours online!
Using the Para PD Google Form, you can upload your supporting documents at your convenience. You will automatically receive a copy of your responses as proof of submission.
You MUST Submit:
ANY COMBINATION OF
a. Certificates of completion that specify either the total amount of time for the training (1 hour, 3.5 hours, etc…) or the start/end time of the training (1:30-3:00, 9:00-12:00, etc…),
b. Completed, legible PD Attendance Verification Form(s),
c. Unofficial or official transcripts obtained from the registrar’s office for completed, credit-earning college/university courses (i.e. bearing the registrar’s seal or signature)
**Please note that all documents you submit are subject to review and approval.**
Who do I contact if I have additional questions?
Please view the FAQ document linked here.
If you have questions not covered in the Frequently Asked Questions, you may send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please allow 48 hours for a response to inquiries.