Brand New Professional Development
Specifically for amazing and busy PreK-12 paraprofessionals, teaching assistants,
and one-on-one aides!
What is it?
Para-Bytes are innovative and user-friendly professional development designed specifically for busy PreK-12 paraprofessionals, teaching assistants, and one-on-one aides. Para-Bytes are organized into four categories that cover EVERYTHING paraprofessionals need to know to provide incredible inclusive support to all students. Each “Byte” is conveniently organized around the most common questions paraprofessionals ask.
Foundational Practices – These bytes get everyone ready to provide inclusive supports. From understanding the definition of inclusion to learning basic legal tips about the paraprofessional’s role.
Academic Strategies – These bytes cover all the ways paras can support students in academic situations. Learn magical strategies for in-class support, how to read and understand IEP, how to adapt just about anything, and more!
Behavior Strategies – These bytes ensure paras understand the science of the brain, how to support students with challenging behavior, and how to calmly and compassionately respond to students, even when they are exhibiting big emotions.
Independence, Interdependence and Supporting Students’ Need to Belong – These bytes are all about the art of providing excellent support to students without creating dependence on adult support.
Focused & Practical
- Each main category includes several byte-sized sessions— 24 in all!
- Each byte-sized sessions co-taught by inclusion experts Dr. Julie Causton and Dr. Kristie Pretti-Frontczak
- Bytes includes activities, reflection, and a handy-handout to help paras put their learning immediately into practice
- There is accountability embedded and a downloadable Certificate of Completion
Aligned with PD 4Paras & The Paraprofessional’s Handbook
- Para-Bytes builds upon the learning from our PD4Paras by diving more deeply into specific questions about providing inclusive support.
- Connections to the Paraprofessionals Handbook are made throughout Para-Bytes to complement the book and bring the book’s learning to life in engaging and powerful ways!
Certificate of Completion
Certificate for Completion of 24 Bytes
A Variety of Learning Tools
Videos with closed captioning, printable key PPT slides, AND a downloadable handy handout for every single Para-Byte.
How Does it Work?
You will receive immediate access to the password protected Para-Bytes dashboard (aka content hub with the 24 bytes) to share with ALL paraprofessionals (current and future). With this license you can also share with anyone else in your district! We also share email copy administrators can use to introduce and share Para-Bytes with their staff in an engaging and detail-oriented way.
What are the questions covered in the 24 Para-Bytes?
Download a handout of this Table of Contents Handout (click here)
- What is inclusive education?
- What are the benefits of inclusive education?
- What does having a special education label mean and how should I talk about the labels?
- What does it mean to presume competence?
- How can I best support students who do not use verbal speech?
- How can I “rethink” and “re-story” students?
- What am I legally allowed to do?
- What is my role in supporting students in an inclusive school?
- What are great on-the-fly supports to have at the ready?
- How do I read and understand a student’s IEP?
- What are magical strategies for providing academic supports?
- What is my role alongside the teacher during a lesson?
- How can I help students when the direction from the teacher is “find a partner”?
- How can I create choices for students?
- What are easy ways to adapt just about anything for students?
- How can I better understand “bad” or challenging behavior?
- How can I respond to big emotions?
- What are magical behavior strategies that work nearly all of the time?
- How can I recognize and reduce stressors for students?
- How can I help students feel safe, seen, soothed, and secure?
- What are the behavioral strategies I should have at the ready?
- How can I provide invisible supports?
- How can I fade supports?
- How do I facilitate relationships between students?
What are the handouts we get aligned with each of the 24 Bytes?
Download a handout of this Table of Contents Handout (click here)
FOUNDATIONAL BYTE HANDOUTS
- Definition of Inclusion
- Benefits of Inclusion
- Federal Categories of Disability AND Identity Wheel
- Strategies for Presuming Competence
- 11 Tips for Supporting Students without Verbal Speech
- Turning Lead to Gold AND Transition to an Equity Lens
- Legal FAQs for paras
- Paraprofessional job description poster
ACADEMIC BYTES HANDOUTS
- Academic Supports on the Fly
- How to Read an IEP and IEP at a Glance
- Magical Strategies for Providing Academic Supports
- Co-Teaching Models for Paras
- 45 Ways to Inclusively Group Students
- Learning/Working Ways Menu
- 100 Ways to Adapt Anything
BEHAVIOR BYTES HANDOUTS
- Human Ways of Being and Reactive vs. Ready Brain
- Turning Problems Into Possibilities AND 4 Steps for Responding to Big Emotions
- 9 ideas for Replacing Behavior Charts and Clips
- Common Stressors AND 10 Ways to Reduce Stressors
- 4 S’s (Safe, Seen, Soothed, Secure)
- Lifelines to Have at the Ready
INDEPENDENCE BYTES HANDOUTS
- Invisible Supports
- Blank Prompting Ladder AND Prompting Ladder with Examples
- Building Bridges article
What do I get when I purchase the district license?
You will receive a welcome email that will outline everything you need to know including how to share the PD with your paraprofessionals.
We will also follow up with you in greater detail to provide additional support as you begin to use the Para-Bytes.
How much time, credit and/or pay should paras get for taking this PD?
Districts vary from giving paraprofessionals 6.5 hours – 100 hours depending whether or not paras are asked to complete reflections, come together to complete activities, reflect and discuss, and implement learning and debrief at a later date. Administrators can add additional time if paraprofessionals are also expected to read the Paraprofessional Handbook 2nd edition as supplemental material. You can use the breakdown below to guide your decisions.
- 6.5 hours to watch all 24 bytes
- 10 – 20 hours for watching each byte and completing a basic reflection (option to use the provided accountability measures) about what was learned and what action(s) will be implemented.
- 21 – 50 hours for watching, completing a basic reflection, discussing each byte’s learning with others in small groups, determining action steps, and implementing them on the job.
- 65 -100 hours for watching, completing a basic reflection, discussing each byte’s learning with others in small groups, determining action steps and implementing them on the job, debriefing implementation of learning, and reading The Paraprofessional’s Handbook as a supplementary resource.
Is there accountability built in for paraprofessionals?
Accountability Measures to Keep Everyone on Track
- First, we follow key principles of effective adult learning principles to make sure your paras have:
- the “right” amount of time to engage with the learning (15 to 20 minutes!)
- time and support to reflect on new ideas
- opportunities to apply new learning right away
- Second, at the end of each Byte, we include an “Application and Reflection” segment that can be used in a variety of ways. For example, aAfter the Byte-sized learning, paras can:
- write their application and reflection up and submit it to you or another supervisor
- discuss their application and reflection with another paraprofessional or with the director of special education in a group setting or
- create a video of themselves applying the skill or strategy in the classroom
- Lastly, we have included two different choices to support reflection and application of learning. They are designed for two different learning styles — because choice is the friend of inclusion!
- Graphic organizer to copy doc and use [Google Doc]
- Highly visual printable [pdf]
We are a small district or we have a few paraprofessionals who want access. What options are there for us?
Contact us to learn about individual “by the seat” and small district licenses.
When does Para-Bytes begin and end?
Paraprofessionals can begin any time and will have immediate and unlimited access to course content. That means they can move through the course at their own pace or at a scheduled determined by administrators.
Is this only for paras who work in inclusive settings?
No, this is for paraprofessionals who work in a variety of settings. However, we do discuss the paraprofessionals’s role in helping to create more inclusive educational opportunities throughout.
We don’t have paraprofessionals-- we have aides, one-on-ones etc.
Yes, people call paraprofessionals different things. This PD is for one-on-one aides, resource room paras, general education paras, teaching assistants, teaching aides, educational technicians, educational assistants etc.
Will the content be updated?
Yes, we keep the Bytes up to date if there are change in Federal law in the U.S. We also add bonus bytes from time to time. We also monitor to make sure all links are functioning properly.
How long will we have access to the PD?
You will have lifetime access to the PD. This way you are able to use and reuse the content every year with all of your new or returning staff. No renewal fees either!
A deep dive into inclusion with sought-after inclusive education experts Dr. Julie Causton and Dr. Kristie Pretti-Frontczak — paras will get practical and focused answers to all of the most important questions they have about inclusive supports for students.
Dr. Julie Causton
MAGICAL INCLUSION EXPERT
A best selling author, inspiring speaker, and inclusion advocate, Dr. Julie Causton began her career as an educator and then 14 years as a tenured professor at Syracuse University. In 2012 she founded Inclusive Schooling, a premiere company solely devoted to delivering professional development which transforms schools and lives. She has spent the past 25 years nearly obsessed with discovering innovative practices and teaching others about inclusive education through her wildly engaging presentations.
Dr. Kristie Pretti-Frontczak
INCLUSION THOUGHT LEADER
FIERCE PLAY ADVOCATE
A highly sought-after speaker, accomplished author, and educators’ educator. Dr. Kristie Pretti-Frontczak began her career as an early interventionist and then spent 16 years as a tenured professor at Kent State University. Since 2013 she has followed her true passion for designing and delivering transformative professional development. As a result, she has accumulated over 50,000 hours of helping educators and leaders work from a place of compassion, hope, and love in locations from Cincinnati to Singapore.