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Utah Paraprofessional Consortium

Consortium History
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June 24, 2003 USOE Minutes

Attending Gail Johnson, Marshall Garrett, Bryan Norton, Peggy Dooling- Baker, Linda Alsop, Diana Filmore, Pat Burton, Bryan Sprague, John Latkiewicz, Mary Kay Kirkland, Tammy Youngman, Ginny Wimmer, Bob Morgan, Marilyn Likins, Ann Miller, Cynthia Burchett, Sharon Neymh, Joan Patterson, Ginny Eggen

Peggy Dooling-Baker welcomed participants and opened with a performance task warm-up activity. A history of the Utah Paraprofessional Consortium was given to those who were not present at the May meeting. Peggy also passed around a signature page in order for group members to add their best wishes to a gift for Jill Morgan who is moving back to Wales.

 ::Standards Committee
Marshall Garrett led the group to review the work of the Standards Committee. The committee gave each participant an information document, which explains in a text format the history and intended use for the standards created. Marshall reviewed the document and answered questions. It was suggested that the date January 8, 2006 be inserted in the Legal Foundations section. He next distributed the most recent draft from the committee of 4 Standards, Core Competencies and Supporting Competencies. It was noted that only the first page (standards and core competencies) would be presented to the Educator Development Advisory Committee (EDAC) and the Utah State Board of Education for approval.

Discussion took place about the use of the word "proficiency" in Standard 2. It was discussed and agreed upon that each district could determine proficiency guidelines. Since the standards have been created to be a "roadmap" to assist paraprofessionals to be "highly qualified," it was determined that it is important to keep proficiency in the standard statement. Marshall agreed to include the suggested guidelines for proficiency in the information document. A decision was also made to add a statement in bold at the bottom of the Standards page indicating that the standards only apply to instructional paraprofessionals. Another recommendation that was approved was to include the initial Special Education Standards for Paraprofessionals in Appendix B of the information document in order to document the precedence for standards and to assist an uninformed reader of previous work that had been done in Special Education.

Gail Johnson, USOE, presented the Lines of Evidence page that was designed by the Portfolio Committee. Participants were reminded that only existing paraprofessionals would be allowed to use the portfolio option as evidence of being "highly qualified." Because only Standard 2 is required by NCLB, it is the only standard included in the portfolio assessment rubric. With minor changes, the group supported including the rubric with materials to be presented to the State Board.

A timeline for submitting the materials to the EDAC and the State Board was debated. In order to have time to inform and get feedback from the state special education directors and members of the paraprofessional consortium, it was decided to wait until the August EDAC meeting and the September Board Meeting to present the proposed standards, information document (including 3 appendices) and portfolio guidelines. It is hoped that a decision would be made by November. It was agreed that the edited/revised materials would be sent to the Paraprofessional Consortium members by July 15, 2003. Each Paraprofessional Consortium representative will be reminded to disseminate the materials to as many stakeholders as possible.

Marilyn requested that committee members review and make suggestions for the Lines of Evidence Documentation Key that will be given to paraprofessionals as a tool to be used in creating their portfolios.

  ::Salt Lake Community College
John Latkiewicz presented his request that the Consortium act as an advisory board for the SLCC Paraeducation Program. He outlined the program, its history and strengths and weaknesses. Questions were raised about setting a precedent if other programs have the same need. The group agreed to approve the request with the following guidelines: 1) SLCC Advisory Board will be an agenda item once every 3-4 months for about 30 minutes; 2) the situation will be evaluated in a year; and 3) SLCC Advisory Board business will be included as part of the regular meeting.