Paraeducator Professional Development Program 

In Clover Park, we value our paraeducators as critical for the success of our students. We want to invest in our paraeducators by providing relevant and meaningful professional development to enhance their practice.  

Created in 2019 by the Washington State Legislature and the Professional Educator Standards Board, the Paraeducator Certificate Program offers paraeducators a set of standards and professional development to enhance their practice and career.  

Fundamental Course of Study (FCS) 

A key component of this program is the Fundamental Course of Study (FCS), which is a 28-hour learning suite of trainings relevant to a paraeducator’s day-to-day practice.  

  • Instructional Paraeducators hired on or before 9/1/2020 must complete the 28 FCS hours by  THE END OF August 2021. 

  • Instructional Paraeducators hired after September 1 of the school year must complete the first 14 hours within 4 months of that school year.  

  • Instructional Paraeducators hired on or before 9/1/2021 must complete 14 hours by 9/31/21. 

Courses will primarily be offered during work hours. Some courses may be offered for extra pay outside of contract time.  Teaching and Learning will notify Instructional Paraeducators of FCS training opportunities through the monthly newsletter.  

It is the paraeducator’s responsibility to keep track of their completed courses and to sign up for courses that match the requirements outlined in the FCS. It is the responsibility of the school district to provide this training. Paraeducators should not independently seek out training to meet FCS requirements. Each paraeducators administrator will inform him/her of upcoming session obligations. 

 Paraeducators must register for professional development sessions in Frontline at least 3 days prior to the start date of each session. 

 Paraeducators may download their own transcripts of FCS completion directly within their own Frontline accounts via click on My Info > WA State Clock Hour Transcript. 

 Types of Paraeducator Certificates 

 Once the FCS is complete, there are four certificates that a paraeducator can earn: 

  • General Paraeducator Certificate (required) 

  • ELL Subject Matter Certificate (optional) 

  • Special Education Subject Matter Certificate (optional) 

  • Advanced Paraeducator Certificate (optional) 

General Paraeducator Certificate 

The General Paraeducator Certificate (GPC) is earned by a paraeducator who completes 70 additional clock hours of professional development training in addition to the 28 FCS hours. A school district is only required to provide training on the general certificate when funds are provided by the Legislature. Fourteen (14) hours of training are funded for 2021-22 school year.  See Here for GPC professional development offerings  

 ELL and Special Education Subject Matter Certificates 

Subject matter certificates are for paraeducators who wish to further their skills in English Language Learner (ELL) or special education instruction. These certificates are optional and are not requirements. To earn a subject matter certificate, you must complete 20 hours of professional development in the subject area of the certificate. You can only attain a subject matter certificate if they have completed your FCS training first. You may allocate completed subject matter certificate hours towards the attainment of the General Paraeducator Certificate (70 hours).   


If you have questions about the Paraeducator Certification Program or need support, please email [email protected] 

Frequently Asked Questions: 

Q: Are FCS and General Certification trainings mandatory? 
A: Yes, competition is a requirement for employment  

Q: May I attend FCS trainings or General Certification trainings even if I’m not an “instructional paraeducator”? And, will I be paid? 
A: Yes and no. Non-instructional paraeducator may attend as space allows and with permission from your principal. However, they may not claim any supplemental pay for time beyond their contracted workday.  

Q: Which paraeducators are required to attend? 
Only instructional paraeducators are required to attend. An instructional paraeducator is defined as a “classified public school or school district employee who works under the supervision of a certificated or licensed staff member, from grades kindergarten to grade 12, to support and assist in providing instructional and other services to students and their families, including library assistants, and excluding bus monitors, lunchroom aides, and community service aides. 

*Paraprofessional job titles considered instructional include: 

  • Autism Support Specialist 

  • Para-Classroom 

  • Para-EL 

  • Para-Library 

  • Para-SPED 1:1 

  • Para-SPED Functional Academics 

  • Para-SPED Functional Transition 

  • Para-SPED Life Skills 

  • Para-SPED Resource 

  • Para-SPED Self-Contained 

  • Para-SPED Success (EBD) 

Q: What is the annual training schedule? 
A: A summary of course offerings is published each month in the paraeducator newsletter.   

Q: What happens if I must miss part of a training. Do I have to retake the entire class? 
A: Yes.  

Q: How will I be notified of upcoming training dates? 
A: Look for notices in News Briefs, the monthly paraeducator newsletter, as well as email notification directly from your principal.  

Q: What is a clock hour? 
A: Clock hours are individual hours of professional training. They must be pre-approved and are issued by an Approved Clock Hour Provider (i.e. Clover Park Schools).   

Q: How do I get my clock hours? 
A: After registering and attending a training, an employee will be awarded clock hours on their transcript, which they can access via Frontline > My Info > Official Clock Hour Transcript.   

Q: Am I required to report my own clock hours to OSPI? And if so, how do I do that? 
A: Yes. Paraeducators participating in the Fundamental Course of Study training must sign up for an Education Data System (EDS) account through OSPI to log clock hours for the training. Follow these directions to create your account:  

Returning user 

  • From the EDS homepage you may manage account information, select: 

  • View my applications 

  • My Application List 

  • E-Certification 

  • From the E-Certification homepage, you may apply for a certificate, change your role, or use the dropdown menu for a desired action.   

First-time user 

  • Complete the Data for Linking to a Certificate. If you were ever employed by a Washington school district, you have data to claim. 

  • Select Register. You will be prompted to Request Application Roles. This option can take up to 30 minutes to appear. If your school participates in eVAL, you may request a role at this time OR select Not Now to continue to E-Certification 

  • Select Register 

  • From the EDS homepage, select: 

  • View my applications 

  • E-Certification 

  • From the E-Certification homepage, you may apply for a certificate, change your role, or use the dropdown menu for a desired action. 

Q: What RCW and WAC is associated with this program? 
A: Chapter 28A.413 RCW and WAC 179 are the relevant laws and rules associated with this program. The RCW established the paraeducator minimum employment requirements, the standards of practice for paraeducators, the Paraeducator Board, and the Paraeducator Certificate Program. The Paraeducator Board further defines the RCW through rules in WAC 179.   

Q: Whom to I contact for more information? 
A: A good place to start is to visit Chapter 28A.413 RCW, which established paraeducator minimum employment requirements, standards of practice for paraeducators, the Paraeducator Board, and the Paraeducator Certificate Program. 

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