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Professional Development

Professional Development

Support Personnel Training

About Paraprofessional Educator Training

The Paraprofessional Educator Training Strand includes many aspects of classroom instruction including content, child development, instructional technology, communication skills, and working with children from impoverished backgrounds. This strand is research based, using best practices to enhance the skills of paraprofessionals and increase student achievement. The strand is comprehensive with over 150 hours of instruction. While paraprofessionals are encouraged to complete all classes in the Paraprofessional Educator Training Strand, participants have the option of choosing the courses that best meet their needs as instructional paraprofessionals.

The goals of the Paraprofessional Educator Training Strand are to:

  • Increase student achievement
  • Improve the knowledge and skills of paraprofessionals
  • Provide an avenue for instructional paraprofessionals to meet the NCLB highly qualified requirements by preparing to take the ParaPro test
  • Prepare for the Florida Teacher Certification Exam General Knowledge Test (FTCE-GKT), assessing knowledge of teacher certification candidates
  • Stabilize the instructional support staff in schools
  • Assist paraprofessionals in gaining opportunities for career advancement


Paraprofessional Educator Training Courses

Greetings! We hope you had a great fall semester. We are ready to begin training for spring 2014. Schedules for clerical, paraprofessional, transportation, student nutrition and custodial employees are attached to this document and can be found at any school, in PDS, or online at http://www.sdhc.k12.fl.us then click on “employees” and then click on “Instructional Support Training Opportunities.”

Courses classified as “Clerical” are for clerical employees, courses classified as “Paraprofessional” are for paraprofessionals. Courses classified as “Support Personnel” are for transportation, student nutrition and custodial employees. Since some employees do not work the traditional 8:00AM-4:45PM schedule and 12 month employees work 10 hour days during some weeks, you will need the permission of your principal/supervisor before you register for any classes during your scheduled work hours. You will also not receive a stipend for taking classes while you are “on the clock.”

Please note: All personnel will register for training using the PDS system in IDEAS. You will need to be sure you have a district email account and know how to access the PDS system. Directions for registering using PDS are attached to this document.

Registration for clerical, paraprofessional, transportation, student nutrition and custodial employees will be available in PDS on Thursday, December 12, 2013. If you have questions concerning registration, pleasecall our office at 840-7032 or 840-7031 between the hours of 9:00 AM and 1:00 PM.

Please be aware that seats are limited in all courses, not all courses are offered every semester and registration is on a first come, first served basis. Participants will be paid the board approved $9.00 per hour attended stipend for completing each course (partial attendance is not paid). Participants will not be paid if they decide to take any course a second time. In addition, participants will not be paid the additional stipend for attending training during their regularly scheduled work hours. Please note that substitute employees will not be paid for attending optional training. Additional training opportunities and new courses will be available in the summer.


WorkPlace Essentials - This program provides 75 hours of instruction for participants including computer and interpersonal skills. The program offers the same $9.00 per hour stipend for attending each class and a special bonus of $100.00 when you complete the entire 75 hour program. The $100.00 stipend will be paid in July following the completion of the program. You must be able to attend all sessions for this course before registering. We recommend not registering for this class/taking this class if you do not speak English. No se recomienda registrarse para esta clase/ tomar esta clase si usted no habla inglés. (SEATS ARE LIMITED)

WorkPlace Essentials Modules (Individual Classes): participants can register for each of the modules listed below and upon completion of all modules they will receive a $100.00 stipend for completing the program.


  1. Communication Skills (12 hours) - This course focuses on skills necessary for effective communication with students, staff and parents. Participants develop written and oral communication skills through practical activities and will return to their workplace with strategies they can use. *We recommend not registering for this class/taking this class if you do not speak English. No se recomienda registrarse para esta clase/tomar esta clase si usted no habla inglés.

  2. First Aid/CPR (6 hours) - This course focuses on the life saving skills of first aid and CPR. Participants will receive their CPR card at the end of the course. *We recommend not registering for this class/taking this class if you do not speak English. No se recomienda registrarse para esta clase/tomar esta clase si usted no habla inglés.

  3. Time/Stress Management (4 hours) - This course focuses on how to manage your time and the stress associated with the workplace. *We recommend not registering for this class/taking this class if you do not speak English. No se recomienda registrarse para esta clase/tomar esta clase si usted no habla inglés.

  4. Customer Service Skills (3 hours) - This course focuses on effective methods for working with our customers (students, parents, community members). *We recommend not registering for this class/taking this class if you do not speak English. No se recomienda registrarse para esta clase/tomar esta clase si usted no habla inglés.

  5. Professional Total Image (4 hours) - This course focuses on how a professional image helps achieve success both in and out of the work environment. The training will cover the importance of appearance, communication and appropriate behavior. *We recommend not registering for this class/taking this class if you do not speak English. No se recomienda registrarse para esta clase/tomar esta clase si usted no habla inglés.

  6. Diversity Awareness (3 hours) - This course focuses on how to enhance skills to communicate respectfully and effectively in a diverse world. Emphasis will be on understanding the impact of stereotypes and biased statements, even when casually said. *We recommend not registering for this class/taking this class if you do not speak English. No se recomienda registrarse para esta clase/tomar esta clase si usted no habla inglés.

  7. Resume Writing/Interview Skills (12 hours) - This course focuses on the development of effective resume writing and interview skills. Participants will develop a resume and practice interviewing through various activities in the class. You must take Keyboarding Skills or be able to type 25 words per minute before taking this course. *We recommend not registering for this class/taking this class if you do not speak English. No se recomienda registrarse para esta clase/tomar esta clase si usted no habla inglés.

  8. Keyboarding Skills (12 hours) - This course focuses on teaching participants how to type “by touch” using appropriate techniques. Participants will advance at their own pace while completing individual lessons. The instructor will provide support. Please note: This course is not required if you can type at least 25 words per minute; notify our office to request an exemption from this course. *We recommend not registering for this class/taking this class if you do not speak English. No se recomienda registrarse para esta clase/tomar esta clase si usted no habla inglés.

  9. Windows Basics (6 hours) - This course has been revised to focus on the new features and functionality of Windows 7. Participants will become familiar with Windows 7 and learn how to use basic programs utilized district-wide. You must take Keyboarding Skills or be able to type 25 words per minute before taking this course; notify our office to request an exemption from this requirement. *We recommend not registering for this class/taking this class if you do not speak English. No se recomienda registrarse para esta clase/tomar esta clase si usted no habla inglés.

  10. IDEAS/FirstClass (3 hours) - This course focuses on the basics of using the District’s email system - IDEAS/FirstClass. You must take Windows Basics before taking this course or be proficient using the computer. *We recommend not registering for this class/taking this class if you do not speak English. No se recomienda registrarse para esta clase/tomar esta clase si usted no habla inglés.

  11. Word Basics (6 hours) - This course focuses on the basics of using Microsoft Word. You must take Windows Basics before taking this course or be proficient using the computer. *We recommend not registering for this class/taking this class if you do not speak English. No se recomienda registrarse para esta clase/tomar esta clase si usted no habla inglés.

  12. Excel Basics (6 hours) - This course focuses on the basics of using Microsoft Excel. You must take Windows Basics before taking this course or be proficient using the computer. *We recommend not registering for this class/taking this class if you do not speak English. No se recomienda registrarse para esta clase/tomar esta clase si usted no habla inglés.

  13. PowerPoint Basics (6 hours) - This course focuses on the basics of using Microsoft PowerPoint. You must take Windows Basics before taking this course or be proficient using the computer. *We recommend not registering for this class/taking this class if you do not speak English. No se recomienda registrarse para esta clase/tomar esta clase si usted no habla inglés.
  14. The following courses are not part of the WorkPlace Essentials Program

  15. Computer Skills Advanced for Clerical/Paraprofessionals (24 hours) - This course provides advanced technology skills for employees who have already completed the WorkPlace Essentials Program. *We recommend not registering for this class/taking this class if you do not speak English. No se recomienda registrarse para esta clase/tomar esta clase si usted no habla inglés.

  16. NEW - Microsoft Industry Certification for Clerical/Paraprofessionals (24 hours) – This course provides instruction to allow employees to become Industry Certified in Microsoft Word. Participants must have completed Computer Skills Advanced to be eligible for this course. *We recommend not registering for this class/taking this class if you do not speak English. No se recomienda registrarse para esta clase/tomar esta clase si usted no habla inglés.

  17. NEW - Focus on the Positives (6 hours) – This course is designed to address benefits of focusing on the positive aspects of the work and home life. Participants will take part in discussions and activities that will focus on examining each situation with a positive outlook. *We recommend not registering for this class/taking this class if you do not speak English. No se recomienda registrarse para esta clase/tomar esta clase si usted no habla inglés.

  18. NEW – Team Building for Clerical/Paraprofessionals (6 hours) – This course focuses on developing a strong foundation for team building. Participants will take part in discussions and activities that will focus on the effective elements of teams and how to develop a strong team in the workplace.

  19. Building Trust (3 hours) - Is maintaining confidentiality important to your job? This workshop is designed to help participants understand the importance of “walking the talk” in their interactions with others. Participants will receive communication tools that will assist them to “model” and practice the skill of trustworthiness. Among topics covered are privacy matters, confidentiality, and having a fiduciary responsibility. *We recommend not registering for this class/taking this class if you do not speak English. No se recomienda registrarse para esta clase/tomar esta clase si usted no habla inglés.

  20. Dealing with Complaints (3 hours) - Does anyone ever complain to you? Though these “complaints” may be combinations of whining and insight, participants learn to address and resolve each “complaint.” This workshop shows how to resolve simple complaints and grievances by engaging others to rectify issues, and retain cooperation and participation of various stakeholders. *We recommend not registering for this class/taking this class if you do not speak English. No se recomienda registrarse para esta clase/tomar esta clase si usted no habla inglés.

  21. Microsoft Publisher (6 hours) - This course focuses on the basics of using Microsoft Publisher. You must take Windows Basics before taking this course or be proficient using the computer. *We recommend not registering for this class/taking this class if you do not speak English. No se recomienda registrarse para esta clase/tomar esta clase si usted no habla inglés.

  22. Grammar and Usage Parts 1, 2, 3 and 4 (6 hours each) - Clerical/Paraprofessionals Only -This series of courses focuses on the effective use of grammar in the workplace. It is a 4 course series and must be taken in order.

  23. Additional Courses for Paraprofessionals - NOT PART of the WorkPlace Essentials Program


  24. Paraprofessionals in High Poverty Schools (12 hours) – This course focuses on the unique skills needed by paraprofessionals working with children from impoverished backgrounds. Topics focus on the needs of the students and alternative methods for helping them achieve success.

  25. Strategies for Dealing with Challenging Behaviors for Paraprofessionals (6 hours) – This course focuses on dealing with challenging behaviors. It is composed of research-based techniques and activities to help the paraprofessional develop a successful plan.

  26. Paraprofessionals 101 (12 hours) - The Basics of Working with Children – This course serves as an overview of the basics of working with children and provides paraprofessionals with the fundamental knowledge and skills to be successful in the classroom. Participants learn basic teaching methods and other skills that help them become more effective in the classroom.

  27. ParaPro Math Preparation (12 hours) - This course focuses on preparing the paraprofessional educator to successfully pass the math portion of the ParaPro test and become “highly qualified.” Participants review basic math skills and take a practice test to help them prepare for the test. (There is NO stipend for this course)

  28. ParaPro Reading and Writing Preparation (12 hours) – This course focuses on preparing the paraprofessional educator to successfully pass the reading and writing portion of the ParaPro test and become “highly qualified.” Participants review basic reading and writing skills and take a practice test to help them prepare for the test. (There is NO stipend for this course)

  29. General Knowledge Reading Test Preparation (6 hours) – This course focuses on preparing the paraprofessional educator to successfully pass the reading comprehension portion of the General Knowledge test. Participants will practice and apply skills needed to pass all of the reading objectives measured on the test. (There is NO stipend for this course)

  30. General Knowledge Essay Test Preparation (6 hours) – This course focuses on preparing the paraprofessional educator to successfully pass the essay portion of the General Knowledge test. Participants will practice and apply skills needed to pass all the essay objectives measured on the test. (There is NO stipend for this course)

  31. General Knowledge English Language Skills (ELS) Test Preparation (6 hours) – This course focuses on preparing the paraprofessional educator to successfully pass the ELS portion of the General Knowledge test. Participants will practice and apply skills needed to pass all of the objectives measured on the test. (There is NO stipend for this course)

  32. ParaPro Math Preparation (30 hours) - This course focuses on preparing the paraprofessional educator to successfully pass the math portion of the ParaPro test and become "highly qualified." Participants review basic math skills and take a practice test to help them prepare for the test.
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