Paraeducators are fully staffed for the first time in years

Special educators are grateful for the increase in paraeducators on staff

Abby Riggs, JagWire reporter/photographer

This school year, the number of paraeducators on staff has skyrocketed. For the first time in many years, paraeducators are fully staffed. This is being noticed by students and staff alike throughout the building. 

Special education teacher Sara Evans believes that paraeducators are imperative to running her classroom smoothly. 

“Having paras is not just important for our department and our building, it is essential for the whole education process,” Evans said. “I quite simply could not do my job without them and I know many teachers feel the same. Paras help ensure that we can promote student learning.” 

Evans is not the only teacher who appreciates the tireless effort the paraeducators put in to help students. Special education teacher Jamie Pollard agrees that the use of paras is vital.

“[Paraeducators] help teachers and students in the classroom with daily operations, they help students be successful,” Pollard said. “They can help one on one with students. They can also assist the teachers, but more importantly help the students that need extra help.” 

Evans believes that the increased number of paras around the school is appreciated by all staff and that a full staff of paraeducators should continue in future years.

“I would say [the increase in paraeducators] is definitely noticed building wide,” Evans said. “I think my fellow special educators have been able to focus more on the needs of their programs rather than stressing about student coverage.”

Paraeducators are a crucial component of many special education classrooms that can be utilized in many different ways throughout the building. Evans uses paraeducators to work individually with students when she is unable to give her attention to more than one student at a time. 

“My paras are typically one on one with students to help teach lessons and activities, promote independence and facilitate appropriate peer interactions,” Evans said. 

Shannon Greenhlagh is a paraeducator who has noticed the increase of paraeducators throughout the building. 

“In the past years, we have been short on the number of paras we should have had,” Greenhalgh said. “This year we are more fully staffed.” 

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