Documenting Paraeducator Support
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Special Education Paraeducators: How Do You Document Support You Provide Students?
How do we know students who are expected to receive curricular and personal supports recommended in Individual Education Programs (IEP’s) are not only receiving them—but that these supports are actually working to improve student learning.
What We Collaboratively Designed
In recent work with a talented group of paraeducators from the Lamesa Independent School District in Texas, documentation log examples were reviewed – and new ones developed – to best meet documentation needs for each of the 4 schools in Lamesa (two versions for elementary; one version for middle school and one for high school). Each version represents different preferences; for example, some are set up weekly while others reflect three weeks of documentation. Some are more anecdotal; others use a number key to refer to a 1-8 scale. One instrument is designed to document individual student support, and another the entire class. Whatever the design, these documentation logs are meant to gather specific information in a way that respects the time of paraprofessionals and teachers.
What We Do with the Collected Information
There is a critical follow-up activity at the end of each week, or each 3-week period, i.e. for the paraeducator and teacher to review the data collected on each student. Note a general summarizing statement of the supports that have been successful for the student’s learning, and those supports that are not being utilized by the student. A valuable tool to use in these summary discussions is the Accommodation Rubric. These summaries are crucial for evaluating the IEP.
The four documentation logs are available to you to use directly or as examples to redesign a tool that meets your own needs.