Austin Public Schools: Paraprofessional recognition week

Published 6:02 pm Tuesday, February 1, 2022

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By Jill Rollie

Woodson Kindergarten Center Principal

This week is Minnesota Paraprofessional Recognition Week, and we are honoring and celebrating the work of our highly skilled paraeducators throughout the state of Minnesota and in the Austin Public School district. In the state of Minnesota, there are more than 20,000 paraeducators serving in a variety of educational settings to support students’ academic and social emotional success. Here in Austin, we are fortunate to have 150 of these incredible staff members in our school district.

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If you are not familiar with what a paraeducator does on a daily basis within our school system, let me paint a picture of the very diverse services they provide to our students. On any given day, you will see these individuals partnering with teachers to reinforce instruction for a student or a small group of students. You might find them comforting or coaching a child who is having a hard time regulating their feelings and needs someone to help them manage those big feelings.

Each day, our paraeducators encourage our students to persevere through challenges and celebrate success when a student reaches his/her goals.  These professionals assist many students with functional and medical needs, so all students are safe and comfortable in our schools. Additionally, our paraeducators engage in many other tasks, such as cafeteria and recess supervision, technical support, and language support with our families.

As you can see, our wonderful paraeducators are a valuable contributor to our students’ daily success.  I have the fortunate experience to work alongside many talented paraeducators at Woodson Kindergarten Center, and each day I see them providing care to hundreds of students as if they were their own. They are extremely passionate about serving students and go above and beyond to ensure our students are making progress towards their educational goals. We are grateful for our paraeducators at Woodson and throughout our district for their dedication and commitment to serving the students in our community.

If you find a spare moment, please don’t hesitate to show appreciation to this incredible group of professionals who are absolutely invaluable to our school system.