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Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Special Education Teachers Are Given Uncertified Substitute Paraprofessionals in D75 Schools and ICT Classes


Because uncertified substitute paras are cheaper, and untenured. So, they will do whatever they are told to do by the principal. What they are told to do may have nothing to do with the health, safety, and welfare of any student.

This is serious stuff. If you, a tenured teacher, ask why the para is uncertified, or why you and/or the substitute don't have the Individualized Education Plans (IEPs) of the students, you will be charged with 3020-a.

What is the solution?

Speak up, document your speech (tape and email), and when charged, hire someone who will fight for your rights under 3020-a (2)(a) - probable cause -, Just Cause, New York State Special Education Law, 75-B, and all of the other laws and rules you can submit to defend your rights.

Betsy Combier

Careers in NYC Schools

Substitute Paraprofessionals

Currently Employed Substitutes

Responsibilities of the Substitute Paraprofessional

Substitute Paraprofessionals are contacted on an as-needed basis to cover absences reported by school-based full-time paraprofessionals.  The role of the substitute paraprofessional is to assist teachers with class work and/or assist with the daily care of students with emotional, cognitive, physical handicaps, autism and other special needs.  Their responsibilities may include, but are not limited to, the following tasks:

• One-on-one or small group instruction as outlined by the teacher 
• Reinforcing behavior through the use of positive behavior support 
• Teaching daily living skills such as independent feeding, dressing, toileting 
• Aiding occupational therapists, physical therapists, speech therapists and adaptive physical education providers during instruction 
• Guiding and assisting students in small group instruction settings with class routines and in transitioning from one activity to the next 
• Teaching students, under direction of teacher in the following areas: recreation, motor, vocational, socialization and communication
• Assisting students with ambulation within the school premises and on class trips 
• Lifting, feeding, toileting and diapering after receiving appropriate training 
• Collecting data documenting student behavior for instructional purposes 
• Writing anecdotal information concerning student behavior 
• Providing language assistance for bilingual students

Pay Rate & Incentives

Substitute Paraprofessionals are paid at the contractual rate of $132.22 (as of January 2015), for the actual days worked; they do not receive any benefits. 
• Substitute Paraprofessionals who complete 25 days of service and possess the New York State Teaching Assistant certificate are eligible for consideration for full-time Paraprofessional positions.  Please note: Appointment to a fulltime position is based on each school's vacancies, personnel needs, budget, and other considerations, is competitive and NOT guaranteed. 
• After 30 days of service, Substitute Paraprofessionals who do not have any college credits become eligible to participate in the Career Training Program, which pays for tuition for up to 6 credits of undergraduate study at a participating college/university. 
• Substitute Paraprofessionals are represented by the United Federation of Teachers (UFT).

Eligibility Requirements

The minimum eligibility requirements to apply for a Substitute Paraprofessional position are the following:

• Online Nomination by a school Principal 
• A high school diploma (or its recognized equivalent, e.g., GED) 
• Proficiency in reading, writing and speaking the English language 
• Authorization to work in the USA

The Hiring Process

Applications for the Substitute Paraprofessional position are only made available to individuals who have been nominated by a school principal, using our online process.  Each school may nominate candidates for the position based upon the prevailing or projected vacancies (i.e., number, location, schedule, etc.) and the special requirements for some positions (e.g., gender, foreign language proficiency, lifting/toileting, CPR).  If you are interested in becoming a Substitute Paraprofessional, contact the school(s) of your choice directly.
After a principal has completed the online nomination, an email will be sent to the nominee with instructions on accessing and completing the online application form for the Substitute Paraprofessional position.  Once the nominee submits the application form, an email will be sent to the candidate listing the next steps, to be processed as a Substitute Paraprofessional in the New York City public schools.

Application Stages

In order to become a Substitute Paraprofessional, the candidate will be required to satisfy various requirements, at different stages, as listed below.

Stage I:  Nomination

• Have a high school diploma or equivalent.  
• Be proficient in reading, writing and speaking the English language. 
• Have authorization to work in the USA.
• Obtain nomination from a school principal and subsequently complete application
Stage II:  Assessment
Candidates meeting the requirements listed in Stage I will be invited to advance to Stage II.  Those invited must complete the requirements listed below, within a specified time period.

• Demonstrate oral proficiency in the English language. 
• Demonstrate proficiency in written English by responding to an assigned topic.  

Any candidate who does not demonstrate English language proficiency will not be permitted to reapply for the position for 12 months from the date of assessment.

Stage III:  Pre-Processing

Candidates meeting the criteria listed in Stage II will be emailed detailed instructions for Stage III, which requires completing the requirements listed below, within a specified time period.

• Complete NYCDOE’s mandatory Employment Forms online
• Be fingerprinted and photographed by the NYCDOE.  There is a fee of $130 for this service.  Candidates who have already been fingerprinted by the NYCDOE or have sent their fingerprint results to the New York State Education Department (NYSED) need not be re-fingerprinted.  However, they are required to be photographed and must submit the appropriate forms.  
• Successfully complete a NYSED approved workshop on Child Abuse Identification. 
• Successfully complete a NYSED approved workshop on School Violence Prevention. 
• Successfully complete a NYSED approved workshop on the Dignity for All Students Act (DASA).
• Successfully complete the New York State Assessment of Teaching Assistant Skills (NYSATAS) test or provide proof of registration for the test.  
• Successfully complete the NYCDOE supported and authorized online training program for Paraprofessionals.  There is no additional fee for this online training program.   Information on this online training program will be disseminated at a later stage.  
• Create an online profile with the New York State Education Department, Office of Teaching Initiatives.  There is no additional fee for the online profile.
• Use the NYCDOE’s online portal to schedule a date for the Processing Event 

Stage IV:  Processing Event

Candidates meeting the requirements listed in Stage III will be invited to a processing event where they will:

• Submit documentation confirming the fulfillment of the requirements listed earlier.
• Submit a $30.00 money order payable to the NYC Department of Education 
• Receive information on handling Blood Borne Pathogens, and SubCentral, the NYCDOE’s automated absence management system.
Stage V: Staffing
Subject to receiving clearance (fingerprint & appraisal of record) from the New York City Department of Education’s Office of Personnel Investigations, the nominee will be staffed as a Substitute Paraprofessional and approved to serve throughout the New York City Public Schools, for the current school year.
Stage VI:  Continuation of Substitute Status
To continue substitute status for the next school year, the substitute is required to fulfill the renewal requirements, which are updated annually and can be accessed via the following link:

Substitute Paraprofessional Renewal Requirement for 2015-2016

The renewal requirements include the following:

• Provide at least 20 days of service as a Substitute Paraprofessional during the school year.
• Maintain a positive record in the schools worked and be in good standing (as determined by the Office of Personnel Investigations)
For additional information, write to or visit NYC Department of Education, Office of HR School Support, 65 Court Street, Room 504, Brooklyn, NY 11201.

Click for information about 
Substitute Teachers.


Anonymous said...

They constantly put ATRs in District 75 classes at East Bronx Academy for the Future.

Anonymous said...

I can see the concern about by putting uncertified paras in ict classes. But, paras under state ed laws do not get tenure. That's why a large majority of paras will do whatever the principal wants, even do secretarial/clerical work, because they can be dismissed very easily. My concern has always been why are paras NOT in the classroom with teachers helping their student(s) as per the IEP. When I see Paras doing lunch duty, or in the library or office doing clerical work, it is an injustice to the special needs student, who needs the extra support, and to the teacher who relies on a para to guide the student(s). It stirs my ire when I see principal violate the iep of a student when a para is needed for that child but she/he is being used in a cheaper capacity.