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Paraprofessionals FAQ

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The UFT and DOE reached an agreement about working hours and responsibilities for paraprofessionals this year. Read the memo.

Updated paraprofessionals agreement, Dec. 7, 2020

What hours will paraprofessionals be working this school year?

Paraprofessionals will not be required to stay in the school building for more than 6 hours and 20 minutes per day. Paraprofessionals will be expected to remotely perform the equivalent of 30 minutes of work.

Are all paraprofessionals permitted to work remotely 30 minutes per day? 

Yes, while schools are operating in the blended learning model, paraprofessionals will not be required to stay in the building longer than six hours and 20 minutes. However, whether that remote half hour is scheduled at the beginning or end of the day is still at the discretion of the principal. In-person paraprofessionals may be able to work remotely for more than 30 minutes out of their day if their duties can be performed remotely and they have no responsibility for any students in the building.

When is the paraprofessional 30-minute remote work time scheduled?

Schools have the flexibility to schedule remote work at the start of the day or at the end of the day. 

What tasks can be assigned to paraprofessionals during the 30-minute remote work time? 

Paraprofessionals are expected to continue to support their assigned students, teachers and colleagues, and perform related tasks. Some examples of remote duties include: 

  • Communicating with students and families
  • Participating in remote PD
  • Supporting teachers with data collection and progress monitoring of remote students

Have there been any changes to the duties that may be assigned to paraprofessionals working in-person at a school?

Yes, during the blended learning period, paraprofessionals may be assigned the following tasks when they are not working directly with a specific student or class:

  • Assist with arrival and/or dismissal including busing
  • Assist with health screening upon entry
  • Provide student and parent outreach
  • Provide other administrative duties, including but not limited to hall duty, cafeteria duty, or attendance processing

Can an in-person paraprofessional who is assigned to a 1:1 student be required to report in person to assist with AM/PM bus duty and hall duty? 

Yes. In this scenario, the employee has on-site duties and and therefore can be assigned to assist with AM/PM bus and hall duty.

My principal has asked me to report early to assist with student arrivals, but is also expecting that I stay until the end of the school day. How long do paraprofessionals have to be on site at school buildings? 

Paraprofessionals are not required to stay in school buildings more than 6 hours and 20 minutes per day. An additional 30 minutes of work done remotely may also be expected to complete your day. Please let your chapter leader know if you are asked to work longer hours than what is required. 

Could paras be assigned more than one student in person and/or remotely?

Nothing about the blended model allows for a child’s IEP to be changed. So, if the child is supposed to have a 1:1 para, the ratio cannot be changed to 1: 2.

Can paraprofessionals working with remote students provide independent support in a virtual learning environment? 

Yes, under the direction of a teacher, a paraprofessional working with remote students may directly assist those students and their families in activities such as virtually facilitating small groups, working with students in video conference breakout rooms while the teacher is in the main room, assisting with the preparation of remote learning materials, or helping a student with asynchronous learning activities. These responsibilities are temporary and only in effect during remote learning.

Will paras have protective equipment for changing students who will be physically in attendance, including gloves, access to hot water and soap?

Yes, paraprofessionals will have all necessary personal protective equipment as will the teachers they are assigned to, and for the task they are being asked to perform.

How will 1:1 paras be able to keep social distancing guidelines when we work in the closest proximity to kids?

Paraprofessionals should be sure to use all personal protective equipment for the task they are asked to perform. If you have any questions, please call the UFT Safety and Health liaison in your borough:

  • Bronx: 718-379-6200
  • Brooklyn: 718-852-4900
  • Manhattan: 212-598-6800
  • Queens: 718-275-4400
  • Staten Island: 718-605-1400

What is the new position of Paraprofessional Classroom Manager? 

This is a posted position. This guidance includes details about the position, including a template that can be tailored by the school leader. The Paraprofessional Classroom Manager (PCM) will receive a per term stipend of $1,750 to perform the additional work set forth below. Priority will be given to paraprofessional applicants that have been accepted into the Lead Teacher Assistant (LTA) pool but have not been selected for an LTA position.

The duties of this position shall be to manage classrooms of students, under the general direction of a pedagogue, while the students: perform independent work; eat during non-instructional lunch; and/or are being instructed by a remote teacher during synchronous learning.

In the event of an emergency, the PCM may teach a scheduled class when no teacher is available to cover. If asked to teach more than five (5) emergency coverages in a term, then the PCM will be paid the teacher’s coverage rate (in addition to the $1,750 stipend).

See the posting and principal guidance about this position. 

Are schools required to offer the Paraprofessional Classroom Manager position? 

No, this is an individual school leader decision. Schools that opt to offer this position must post the position. 

Will paras have to take temperatures or supervise isolation rooms?

Paraprofessionals can be asked to help with health screenings. If a para applies for the new position of Paraprofessional Classroom Manager, they can be asked to cover isolation rooms.