Substitute | Paraprofessionals | Cologne Academy | Available: Ongoing


Position: Paraprofessional Building Substitute – Special Education

Reports to: Executive Director and Assistant Director of Special Education

Qualifications and Experience

  • Two-year degree or higher, or 60 credits toward a degree, or obtain a passing score on the MN approved Paraeducator test, which measures math and reading skills
  • Knowledge of the needs of students with special education needs and services.
  • Minimum 3 years experience as a paraprofessional in a K-12 school setting
  • Minimum lifting requirement 35#

Overview: Provide paraprofessional services in the following situations:

  • when paraprofessionals assigned to specific students are absent
  • when a paraprofessional has yet to be hired for a student new to the district or new to special education
  • to assist with a student who is struggling and information is being gathered to address needs

Essential Knowledge, Skills, Abilities

  • Flexibility and ability to manage quick changes to the schedule for the day• Ability to perform all of the tasks in the paraprofessional job description (as follows) 
  • Additional training provided by the district, particularly in the area of positive behavior interventions
  • Willingness to work with students with a wide range of behavioral, academic, physical, sensory, or health challenges 

Paraprofessional Duties and Responsibilities
1.   Understand the basic legal foundations of special education.  

  • Works under the direction of a licensed special education teacher to support students who have Individual Educational Plans (IEPs).
  • Demonstrates an understanding of the implementation of IEP goals, services and accommodations.
  • Ability to locate and interpret accommodations on students’ IEPs.    

2. Demonstrate understanding of individual and unique characteristics of students with disabilities and assist them with their special needs.

  • Assist students with IEPs with personal care services and activities of daily living including toileting and eating 
  • Perform transfers safely for students with physical disabilities
  • Work with students on functional living skills
  • Assist with bus arrival and departure monitoring
  • Monitor and implement accommodations for students with IEPs during unstructured times throughout the day, including playground and lunchroom 
  • Communicate observations of changes in student’s physical, behavioral or academic functioning.
  • Participate in professional development training offered by district special education and building special education teams.    

3. Understand and provide assistance with assessment, data collection, and implementation of individual plans.  

  • Assist special education teachers in monitoring student progress.
  • Assist special education teachers with implementation and monitoring behavior intervention plans/behavior contracts 
  • Follow specific student behavior plans such as behavior intervention plans (BIPs), contracts, point systems as directed by licensed staff.   

4. Assist special education teachers in providing instructional content to students receiving special education.  

  • Facilitate small groups, as directed by the special education teacher.
  • Provide students with clear instructions. 
  • Monitor and document student progress toward goals, as directed by the special education teacher. 
  • Provide assistance to the special education teacher in curriculum and lesson preparation.   
  • Provide support for students’ completing general education class work under the direction of teacher.
  • Assists students with beginning of day/end of day routines.
  • Assists students with organizational skills.
  • Communicate on an on-going basis with special education teachers who direct your work. 3
  • Collaborate with educational professionals who also support and work with students with IEPs  
  • Use visual strategies to support student understanding of academic and social learning (i.e. 5 point scale, graphic organizers, social stories, comic strip conversations, etc.).
  • Assist with differentiating curriculum and materials as directed by licensed staff.

Other Duties and Expectation

  • Demonstrate understanding of the distinctions between roles and responsibilities of professionals, paraprofessionals, and support personnel 
  • Follow district policies and procedures
  • Willingness to learn about children with special needs 
  • Follow rules and expectations of confidentiality for all students 
  • Function as a team player.
  • Demonstrate regular attendance.
  • Flexibility and ability to work with a variety of staff and students.
  • Demonstrate positive, professional relationships with students, teachers, and peers. 
  • Take direction and feedback
  • Demonstrate on-the-job professionalism.
  • Demonstrate an understanding that assignments to work with specific students or types of students are not guaranteed. Any paraprofessional can be assigned to any student who may have behavioral, academic, cognitive, sensory, physical or health based disabilities.

Perform other duties as assigned or requested.