The following email was sent on April 1 from Paraprofessionals Chapter Leader Shelvy Young-Abrams to all Paraprofessionals.
Today is National Paraprofessional Appreciation Day, so it is a perfect time to say thank you for all that you're doing to make remote learning possible for your students and their families. I know it's been a rocky transition under unprecedented circumstances, but you've stepped up to the plate in a big way. I'm so proud to be your UFT chapter leader.
I want to assure you that your union continues to work with the city Department of Education to seek further guidance about the role and responsibilities of paraprofessionals in this special time.
In the meantime, I want to share again the guidance that the DOE has issued so far.
According to this guidance, paraprofessionals are expected to continue to support teachers in the delivery of instruction. Key expectations are as follows:
- Participate in scheduled school-based professional development regarding online learning.
- Support classroom teachers with preparing assignments, content and activities.
- Assist with collecting materials that will be sent to students.
- Maintain regular communication with teachers and related service provider(s).
- Communicate and check-in with students as determined by classroom teacher and school leadership.
- Under the direction of the teacher or related service provider, support families and students in accessing and participating in remote learning and therapy experiences, including supporting families in implementing behavior supports and structures, as needed.
Again, thank you for your hard work. You're truly coming through for the students when they need you most, and it's appreciated.