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    Fundamental Course of Study (FCS)

    In 2019, the Washington State Legislature and the Professional Educator Standards Board developed new requirements for paraeducators effective this year. The Paraeducator Certificate Program offers paraeducators professional development to enhance their practice and career.

    The first step of the Paraeducator Certificate Program is the Fundamental Course of Study (FCS). The FCS is a prescribed 28 hours of training divided into 12 units. It is the responsibility of the school district to provide this training. Paraeducators should not independently seek out training to meet the FCS requirements.

    During the 2019-20 school year, school districts are required to provide and all instructional paraprofessionals* (see list below) are required to complete 14 hours of the Fundamental Course of Study (FCS).

    FCS in Seattle Public Schools

    For the 2019-20 school year, the Seattle Education Association (SEA) and SPS jointly will provide 7 hours of online training and 7 hours of in-person training to meet the state requirement. Paraeducators who complete all FCS requirements will be paid 14 hours.

    In Person (7 hours – one Saturday)
    FCS 01: Introduction to Cultural Identity and Diversity
    FCS 06: Equity

    Online (7 hours)
    FCS 03: Technology Basics 2 Hours
    FCS 04: Using and Collecting Data 1 Hours
    FCS 05: District Orientation of Roles and Responsibilities 3 Hours
    FCS 09: Emergency and Health Safety 1 Hour

    SPS and SEA have secured the following dates (all are Saturdays) for in-person trainings (paraprofessionals only need to attend ONE of these dates):

    • February 8, 2020 (SEA members only) ALL LOCATIONS FULL ON THIS DATE
    • March 28, 2020 (SEA members onlyALL LOCATIONS FULL ON THIS DATE
    • April 4, 2020 (SEA members only)
    • May 9, 2020 (SEA members only)
    • May 16, 2020 (open to non-SEA members)

    Each training will be offered from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. (lunch provided). Trainings will be led by WEA-trained facilitators.

    Each training date will be available at four locations:

    • Ballard High School Library
    • Nathan Hale High School Library
    • Rainier Beach High School Library
    • Garfield High School Library

    Each training location is limited to 50 participants. Registration for the Saturday in-person trainings will be done via Employee Self Service (ESS). Pre-registration is required.

    Information about the online courses will be posted and communicated soon. When available, the online courses can be completed during red or yellow early release Wednesdays.

    icon of clockAction required:

    1. Determine if your job category requires completion of the Fundamental Course of Study.
    2. If yes, pre-register for FCS 01 and 06 in ESS. Follow the directions on this video tutorial to easily find and register for their preferred location and date. 

    Details about how to submit time for pay, course tracking, and online coursework will be communicated by SPS Human Resources in upcoming weeks.

    Looking for more information about this new law?

    Chapter 28A.413 RCW established paraeducator minimum employment requirements, 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.

    Paraprofessionals Required to take FCS:

    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.”

    SPS paraprofessional job titles considered instructional include:

    • Bilingual Instructional Assistant
    • Braillist/Vision Assistant
    • Career Center Specialist
    • Career Ladder Assistant
    • Certified Sign Language Interpreter
    • Corrections Education Associate
    • HS Graduation Success Coordinator
    • Instructional Assistant
    • Language Immersion Instructional Assistant
    • Sign Language Interpreter
    • Special Education Assistant/ISE
    • Speech/Language Therapy Assistant I
    • Speech/Language Therapy Assistant II
    • Visual Arts Assistant
    • Work Based Learning Program Specialist
    • Youth Services Assistant