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Standards for Paraeducators under Every Student Succeeds Act

What are the ESSA requirements for paraeducators?

  • All paraeducators who work in Title I targeted assistance programs and all paraeducators in Title I schoolwide schools must have a secondary school diploma or its equivalent. Paraeducators who serve only as translators or who only conduct parental involvement activities must also meet this requirement.
  • Additionally, Title I instructional paraeducators, and all instructional paraeducators in Title I schoolwide schools (both existing paraeducators and new hires) must meet one of the following criteria.
    • Option A. Complete two years of study at an institution of higher education; or
    • Option B. Obtain an associate's degree (or higher) degree; or
    • Option C. Paraprofessional Assessment for Paraeducator II Certification
    • Option D. * Meet a rigorous standard of quality and be able to demonstrate through a formal assessment, knowledge of and the ability to assist in the instruction of reading, writing, and mathematics (or when appropriate, reading readiness, writing readiness, and mathematics readiness).

The New Hampshire Department of Education has developed the formal assessment process (option c) to meet the needs of local school districts and paraeducators statewide. The description of this process is at end of this memo.

Are there certification requirements for Paraeducators?

Certification is not required by the NH State Board of Education. Many school districts require that all paraeducators meet the certification requirements. That is a local decision.

There are two certification options for paraeducators; Para l and Para ll.

The Paraeducator II certification meets ESSA requirements for paraeducators. For Information about paraeducator certification, contact the Bureau of Credentialing.

Do all paraeducators have to meet the ESSA requirements?

No. Only two categories of paraeducators must meet the requirements

  • All paraeducators who provide instructional support in a program supported with Title I, Part A funds
  • All instructional paraeducators who work in Title I schoolwide schools regardless of funding source

How do paraeducators demonstrate they have met the requirements?

Options A and B: Some paraeducators may decide to pursue college course work and or an associate degree to meet the standards. Completion of 48 semester hours or 60 quarter credits with a grade point average of 2.0 meets the requirements fully.

Option C:

Option D: The New Hampshire Bureau of Credentialing facilitates the formal assessment process for paraeducators. Alternatives have been developed for instructional paraeducators to demonstrate that they have met the content knowledge and ability to assist instruction requirements for paraeducators under Option D. These alternatives include, but are not limited to, college coursework, CLEP, or Praxis I to demonstrate knowledge of reading, writing and mathematics, and documentation of participation in professional development activities series to demonstrate competency to assist in the instruction of reading, writing, and mathematics. Contact the NH Bureau of Credentialing for more information.

New Hampshire Department of Education
101 Pleasant Street | Concord, NH | 03301-3494
Telephone: (603) 271-3494 | TDD Access: Relay NH 711