Instructional Assistants Professional Development
Instructional Assistants in the West Chester Area School District are provided with professional development opportunities throughout the school year. Generally, there are two full day workshops, one in August and the other on a non-student day in the fall. Also there are three half day workshops scheduled on student half days. The dates of training are communicated via email in June of the preceding year. The training topics for these days are developed by the Special Education Department, but are beneficial to all Instructional Assistants in the District. If you have questions regarding registering for training workshops, scheduled course topics, or training evaluations, please contact Pupil Services Clerk, Courtney Eissele.
For Special Education Instructional Assistants, the Chapter 14 Regulations mandate that 20 hours of professional development related to the employee’s assignment is completed annually. Compliance to this requirement is the responsibility of the employee. However, participation in all District provided workshops will provide the necessary training hours each year. Should you miss a scheduled training and need additional training hours PaTTAN: Paraeducators, PaTTAN: Main and CCIU are great resources for training opportunities.
In an effort to track these hours, Instructional Assistants now must register for their professional development workshops (including CPR/First Aid and CPI training) through PDExpress. If you participate in trainings outside the district you must submit a certificate of completion that indicates the hours awarded. To have this training included in your file and added to your PDExpress record, please send documentation to the Human Resources Department, ATTN: Joanne Redden.
Staff can login in to PDExpress to check training progress for the current school year.
The Human Resources Department will periodically review the training progress for Special Education Instructional Assistants. If there is concern regarding the accumulated hours, notification will be sent via email requesting specific plans to complete the hours. After the final training for the year has been presented and PDExpress updates are completed, an email notification will be sent verifying the completion of the 20 hours training requirement.
********Important Reminders about Training Days********
Credit for Training Participation - To ensure receiving hours credit for training participation, please remember the following:
- Make sure to register for the training through PDExpress
- Sign in and out as directed at the workshop
- Complete the online course evaluation through PDExpress during the designated timeframe
Scheduled training is part of the regular work year - If you are unable to attend a training workshop, you must use approved leave time and obtain the approval from your building principal to miss the workshop prior to the training date.
Student half days are full days for staff - If training is scheduled on a student half day, attendance to training is expected. Should you be unable to attend, you must obtain the approval from your building principal to miss the workshop prior to the training date.
20 Hours and Scheduled Training – If you have participated in outside training and have completed the 20 hour requirement for the year, you can request approval from your building principal to miss the workshop and remain in your building on a scheduled half day training day. Similarly, if do not plan to attend the workshop or stay at the building, you can request to use approved leave time for the afternoon from your principal.
Hours Status – It is important to personally keep track of your training participation, both district and outside training. Complete hours status for the current school year is available by checking your record through PDExpress.