Position: Paraprofessional – Severely Handicapped Salary Ranges: 111, 112, 114
Department/Site: School Site FLSA: non-exempt
Reports to/Evaluated by: Principal
Performs a variety of activities in support of special instructional programs including special
education for severely handicapped students. Assists teachers and staff in development and
implementation of programs, materials, and exercises to enhance the student learning
experience and develop life skills.
Distinguishing Career Features
The Instructional Assistant for Severely Handicapped provides support, reinforces curriculum,
and assists students with medical procedures and physical hygiene. Instructional Assistants for
Severely Handicapped start at level I and advance based on education.
Essential Duties and Responsibilities
Works on an in-depth basis with small groups and individual students on special subjects
and exercises, and with the special needs of the severely handicapped, to execute
individual lesson plans and strategies for maximizing learning. Provides information on
student progress and discusses student daily activities, progress, academic needs and
needed course(s) of instruction.
Communicates with students throughout the instructional day. May require the use of
Prepares and may develop age-grade appropriate instructional aids and exercises to
support the curriculum being taught.
Assists students in developing and maintaining life skills such as purchasing and
preparing food, making change, locating and taking public transportation, and interacting
Assists teachers, specialists, therapists, and parents with developing and evaluating
individual and educational goals and objectives. Assist with implementation of special
Level Education and Training
I High School diploma or equivalent (GED), experience working with children, competency
exam for NCLB. May require an additional competency exam for language or subject matter.
II High School diploma or equivalent (GED), 15 college semester units directly related to
working with children in a classroom environment, experience working with children, and
competency exam for NCLB.
III High School diploma or equivalent, 48 college semester units directly related to working with
children in the classroom, or Associates degree or higher, experience working with children,
and competency exam for NCLB.
Instructional Assistant – Severely Handicapped
Monitors classroom activities when a teacher is absent from the classroom.
Accompanies students going from one location to another. Observes, monitors, and
controls behavior of students within approved procedures.
Develops and uses incentives as positive reinforcement. Exercises constant supervision
of children. Assesses the need for, and uses appropriate discipline in accordance with
grade level and student’s ability to understand discipline.
Reports student academic and behavior progress and performance to teachers.
Documents student progress by correcting assignments, administering and scoring
criterion referenced exercises or tests.
Confers, as needed, with teachers, resource staff, and other school personnel concerning
programs and materials to meet student needs.
Provides clerical and technical assistance to teachers such as filing, ordering school
supplies, maintaining a workroom inventory, maintaining lunch counts, toileting and
behavior modification charts, filing, taking attendance and copying.
Assists with loading and unloading of students onto buses. Supervises students on buses,
and during lunches and snacks. Assures safety of students following health and safety
Assists students with certain medical and hygiene functions. Assists students with
personal hygiene and in developing self-help grooming skills such as, but not limited to,
dressing and undressing, eating, washing, oral care and toileting. Assists in changing
diapers as needed.
Lifts, moves, and adjusts students, especially non-ambulatory students. Loads students
onto tables or adapted toilets.
If trained, may be required to dispense medications, facilitate tubular feeding and limited
invasive connections, and other applications in compliance with medical and legal
requirements and established guidelines and procedures.
Performs other duties as assigned that support the overall objective of the position.
Knowledge and Skills
The position requires working knowledge of the principles and practices of age
appropriate child development and guidance applicable for an educational setting.
Requires working knowledge of the subjects taught in the District schools, including
math, grammar, spelling, language and reading, with sufficient competency to assist
students with individual or group studies. Requires a basic knowledge of teaching and
instruction methods. Requires knowledge of basic clerical and record keeping processes.
Requires knowledge of special education programs. Requires knowledge of and skill at
using special adaptive devices for handicapped children. Requires a basic knowledge of
medical and therapeutic protocols and procedures used for student hygiene and comfort
Requires knowledge of and skill at using personal computers, audiovisual, and other
Instructional Assistant – Severely Handicapped
equipment to support learning, record information, and send communications. Requires
well-developed human relation skills to work productively and cooperatively with
teachers, students, and parents in formal and informal settings, to exercise patience when
conveying information to students having difficulty with verbal and written
communications, and demonstrate sensitivity to the special needs of students. May
require competency in a second language.
Requires the ability to assist teaching staff with implementation of instructional goals and
activities. Requires the ability to assess the needs of individual students and develop
instructional support techniques and materials to meet those needs. Requires the ability to
interact with teachers, parents, therapists, and specialists in order to carry out assigned
duties. Requires the ability to oversee students, administer assignments and tests, and
perform general clerical tasks. Requires the ability to make formal demonstrations to
individuals, and small groups of students and assist with demonstrations of assigned
subject matter to classroom sized groups. Requires the ability to relate positively to
students in a teaching/learning environment in a way that builds confidence, recognizes
and works on learning disabilities and physical barriers. May require competency in a
second language and/or the ability to learn basic sign language gestures.
Requires the ability to perform indoors in an office and/or classroom/laboratory
environment engaged in work of a moderately active nature. Requires near visual acuity
to read and write printed materials and computer screens. Requires hearing and speech
ability for ordinary and telephonic conversation, to speak to groups, and to hear sound
prompts from equipment. Requires ambulatory ability to move about office,
classroom/laboratory, and school grounds, to tutor, assist with presentations, and reach
work materials. Requires sufficient manual and finger dexterity to demonstrate teaching
aids, to point out important words/figures to students, and to operate personal computers.
Requires sufficient hand/arm body positioning to work with and assist children. Requires
the ability to lift, carry, push, and move supplies, fixtures, wheelchairs, etc., of medium
weight (under 50 pounds) on a regular basis, and more than 50 pounds on an intermittent
basis with assistance or with the use of labor saving devices.
Education and Experience
Any combination equivalent to: Graduation from High School and experience working
with students in a classroom or equivalent environment.
Licenses and Certificates
May require a valid driver’s license. May require a valid first aid card and CPR certificate
within 90 days of employment.
Work is performed indoors and outdoors with some exposure to health and safety
considerations from physical labor, aggressive voluntary or involuntary student behaviors,
possible exposure to bloodborne pathogens and assisting with hygiene.
About Del Norte Unified School District
The Del Norte Unified School District and County Office of Education is a combined District and COE. Our mission: In Del Norte Unified School District, the youth in our schools will be life-long learners who can creatively and effectively communicate, collaborate, and problem solve in a global society.