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6.0 Staffing Standards

Staffing refers to the identification of the required and qualified personnel to deliver the prescribed program according to a pupil's needs.

Each district in the Area Special Education Cooperative have in effect and on file policies, procedures, and programs that are consistent with the State policies and procedures. Each district has a policy that provides for measurable steps to recruit, hire, train, and retain highly qualified personnel to provide special education and related services under this part to children with disabilities.

Required Policies and Procedures

Specific policies, procedures and other documentation to demonstrate compliance will be found on each of the fourteen district's policy web page.

6.0 Staffing Standards

Legal Citations

The districts in providing for the education of children with disabilities within its jurisdiction, must have in effect policies, procedures, and programs that are consistent with the State policies and procedures established under 300.101 through 300.163 through 300.174

34 C.F.R.300.201

The SEA must establish and maintain qualifications to ensure that personnel necessary to carry out the purposes of this part are appropriately and adequately prepared and trained, including that those personnel have the content knowledge and skills to serve children with disabilities.

34.C.F.R.300.156(a)

The qualifications under paragraph (a) of this section must include qualifications for related services personnel and paraprofessionals that:

  1. Are consistent with any State-approved or State-recognized certification, licensing, registration, or other comparable requirements that apply to the professional discipline in which those personnel are providing special education or related service; and

  2. Ensure that related services personnel who deliver services in their discipline or profession:

    1. Meet the requirements of paragraph (b)(1) of this section; and

    2. Have not had certification or licensure requirements waived on an emergency, temporary, or provisional basis; and

    3. Allow paraprofessionals and assistants who are appropriately trained and supervised, in accordance with State law, regulation, or written policy, in meeting the requirements of this part be used to assist in the provision of special education and related services under this part to children with disabilities.

34 C.F.R.300.156(b)

 

The district must ensure that all personnel necessary to carry out Part B of the Act are appropriately and adequately prepared, subject to the requirements of 300.156 (related to personnel qualifications) and section 2122 of the ESEA [primarily related to personnel development, see Chapter 9].

34.C.F.R. 300.207

 

6.0.01 Qualified and Highly Qualified Personnel

For any public elementary school or secondary school special education teacher teaching core academic subjects, the term highly qualified has the meaning given the term in section 9101 of the ESEA and 34 CFR 200.56, except that the requirements for highly qualified also:

  1. Include the requirements described in paragraph (b) of this section; and

  2. Include the option for teachers to meet the requirements of section 9101 of the ESEA by meeting the requirements of paragraphs (c) and (d) of this section.

34 C.F.R. 300.18(a)

 

The term high qualified:

Sec. 9101 (23) of the ESEA, codified at 20 U.S.C. 7801(23)

 

(a) A qualified teacher is one holding a valid license, under this chapter, to perform the particular service for which the teacher is employed in a public school.

(b) For the purposes of the federal No Child Left Behind Act, a highly qualified teacher is one who holds a valid license under this chapter to perform the particular service for which the teacher is employed in a public school or who meets the requirements of a highly objective uniform state standard of evaluation (HOUSSE).

All Minnesota teachers teaching in a core academic subject area, as defined by the federal No Child Left Behind Act, in which they are not fully licensed may complete the following HOUSSE process in the core subject area for which the teacher is requesting highly qualified status by completing an application, in the form and manner described by the commissioner, that includes:

 

(1) documentation of student achievement as evidenced by norm-referenced test results that are objective and psychometrically valid and reliable;

(2) evidence of local, state, or national activities, recognition, or awards for professional contribution to achievement;

(3) description of teaching experience in the teachers' core subject area in a public school under a waiver, variance, limited license or other exception; nonpublic school; and postsecondary institution;

(4) test results from the Praxis II content test;

(5) evidence of advanced certification from the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards;

(6) evidence of the successful completion of course work or pedagogy courses; and

(7) evidence of the successful completion of high quality professional development activities.

 

Districts must assign a school administrator to serve as a HOUSSE reviewer to meet with teachers under this paragraph and, where appropriate, certify the teachers' applications. Teachers satisfy the definition of highly qualified when the teachers receive at least 100 of the total number of points used to measure the teachers' content expertise under clauses (1) to (7). Teachers may acquire up to 50 points only in any one clause (1) to (7). Teachers may use the HOUSSE process to satisfy the definition of highly qualified for more than one subject area.

(c) Achievement of the HOUSSE criteria is not equivalent to a license. A teacher must obtain permission from the Board of Teaching in order to teach in a public school.

MN S. 122A16

        A person who is providing instruction to a child must meet at least one of the following requirements:

(1) hold a valid Minnesota teaching license in the field and for the grade level taught;

(2) be directly supervised by a person holding a valid Minnesota teaching license;

(3) successfully complete a teacher competency examination;

(4) provide instruction in a school that is accredited by an accrediting agency, recognized according to section 123B.445, or recognized by the commissioner;

(5) hold a baccalaureate degree; or

(6) be the parent of a child who is assessed according to the procedures in subdivision 11.

Any person providing instruction in a public school must meet the requirements of clause (1).

MN S. 120A22, subd.10

 

Each district maintains a complete list of teachers and their qualifications in the district's administrative office.

 

6.0.02 Contracted Services Staff Qualifications

When contracting for evaluations or special education services, a district shall contract with personnel who hold appropriate licenses issued by the Board of Teaching or commissioner of education. If either the board or commissioner does not issue a license for a necessary service, the district shall contract with personnel who are members in good standing of professional organizations that regulate the conduct of its members and set standards for that profession.

A school district may provide direct or indirect special education services by district special education staff to a pupil attending a community-based program. A school district may contract for special education services with a community-based program if the program meets Department of Education rules.

MN R 3525.1550

The ASEC main office maintains a list of professionals that are under contract with the cooperative to provide special education consultation services.

6.01 Personnel Variances

Authority to issue personnel variances.

The Board of Teaching hereby authorizes the issuance of personnel variances which permit a teacher to teach in related subjects or fields for which such teacher is not currently licensed. The designated administrator of a local school district or charter school may request the Board of Teaching to issue a personnel variance which permits a teacher to teach subjects or fields for which that teacher is not currently licensed.

Criteria for issuance.

A personnel variance authorized by subpart 1 shall be issued to the designated administrator of a school district or charter school if the following conditions are met:

 

  1. the designated administrator of the school district or charter school requests a personnel variance according to this part;

  2. the designated administrator of the school district or charter school verifies in writing that:

    1. reasonable efforts have been made to assign existing staff to fill the position with a fully licensed teacher;

    2. no applicant holding a teaching license in a subject or field for which a personnel variance is requested can fulfill the requirements of the position; and

    3. the position has been advertised, and if the position is one-half time or more, the position has been advertised statewide;

  1. the teacher for whom the request is made holds a current valid Minnesota entrance, professional, or nonrenewable license granted by the Board of Teaching; and

  1. the teacher for whom the request is made is aware of the assignment.

Exceptions.

No personnel variances shall be granted based on holding a current valid Minnesota temporary limited license unless the temporary limited license was granted based on having met all requirements except part 8710.0500. No personnel variances shall be granted for educational speech/language pathologists, school counselors, school nurses, school psychologists, or school social workers.

Duration of personnel variance.

An application for a personnel variance must not be submitted prior to July 1 of the school year for which it is requested. A personnel variance is valid for one school year or a portion of a school year from the date of state approval to the following June 30. If the requesting school district or charter school offers summer school, the personnel variance that expires on June 30 is valid for teaching summer school in the year of expiration of the personnel variance

Number of personnel variances allowed.

Beginning with personnel variances issued on or after October 16, 2000, no more than three personnel variances shall be granted for any teacher to teach in subjects or fields for which the teacher is not licensed.

Written conditions for granting or denying personnel variance.

The Board of Teaching shall state in writing to the designated administrator of the school district or charter school the conditions for granting or denying the personnel variance requested pursuant to this part.

MN R 8710.1400

 

When a variance is applied for, each district keeps a record of the variance in the district administrative office. Staff working under a variance are listed as such on the district teacher list.


6.02 Requirements for a Special Education Director

The school board in every district shall employ, either singly or cooperatively, a director of special education to be responsible for program development, coordination, and evaluation; in-service training; and general special education supervision and administration in the district's total special education system. Cooperative employment of a director may be through a host district, joint powers agreement, or a service cooperative. A director may not be assigned direct instructional duties.

MN R. 3525.2405, subp. 1

The Area Special Education Cooperative is a joint powers cooperative composed of 14 school districts. The districts, employ through the coop Gary Jones, Special Education Director; Colleen Goltz and Julie Aumock, Assistant Special Education Directors to oversee and be responsible for the districts total special education system.

6.03 Paraprofessionals

(c) (1)Each district receiving assistance under this part shall ensure that all paraprofessionals hired after January 8, 2002, and working in a program supported with funds under this part shall have:

  1. completed at least 2 years of study at an institution of higher education;

  2. obtained an associate's (or higher) degree; or

  3. met a rigorous standard of quality and can demonstrate, through a formal State or local academic assessment:

    1. knowledge of, and the ability to assist in instructing, reading, writing, and mathematics; or

    2. knowledge of, and the ability to assist in instructing, reading readiness, writing readiness, and mathematics readiness, as appropriate.

(2) The receipt of a secondary school diploma (or its recognized equivalent) shall be necessary but not sufficient to satisfy the requirements of paragraph (1)(c)

(d) Each district receiving assistance under this part shall ensure that all paraprofessionals hired before January 8, 2002, and working in a program supported with funds under this part shall not later than 4 years after January 8, 2002, satisfy the requirements of subsection (c) of this section.

(e) Subsections (c) and (d) of this section shall not apply to a paraprofessional:

  1. who is proficient in English and a language other than English and who provides services primarily to enhance the participation of children in programs under this part by acting as a translator; or

  2. whose duties consist solely of conducting parental involvement activities.

(f) Each district receiving assistance shall ensure that all paraprofessionals working in a program supported with funds under this part, regardless of the paraprofessionals' hiring date, have earned a secondary school diploma or its recognized equivalent.

(g) Duties of paraprofessionals

  1. Each district receiving assistance under this part shall ensure that a paraprofessional working in a program supported with funds under this part is not assigned a duty inconsistent with this subsection.

  2. A paraprofessional may be assigned:

    1. to provide one-on-one tutoring for eligible students, if the tutoring is scheduled at a time when a student would not otherwise receive instruction from a teacher;

    2. to assist with classroom management, such as organizing instructional and other materials;

    3. to provide assistance in a computer laboratory;

    4. to conduct parental involvement activities;

    5. to provide support in a library or media center;

    6. to act as a translator; or

    7. to provide instructional services to students in accordance with paragraph (3).

  3. A paraprofessional:

    1. may not provide any instructional service to a student unless the paraprofessional is working under the direct supervision of a teacher consistent with this section; and

    2. may assume limited duties that are assigned to similar personnel who are not working in a program supported with funds under this part, including duties beyond classroom instruction or that do not benefit participating children, so long as the amount of time spent on such duties is the same proportion of total work time as prevails with respect to similar personnel at the same school.

20 U.S.C.6319(c)-(g)[Elementary and Secondary Education Act]

"Paraprofessional" means a district employee who is primarily engaged in direct interaction with one or more pupils for instructional activities, physical or behavior management, or other purposes under the direction of a regular or special education teacher, school nurse, or related services provider.

MN R 3525.0210, subd. 33

Districts are encouraged to review the needs of identified students when considering adding a paraprofessional to the student's IEP. A tool that is available to IEP teams is the Request for Para Support form. This form is designed to assist team in determining the specific times or activities for which the student needs support. It is also helpful to determine the specific duties the para will be providing to the student. These duties will be listed on the IEP Service Grid page under "Child Specific Paraprofessional Supports".

Whenever the case manager anticipates that the team will be discussing the possible addition of paraprofessional support, it is always appropriate to alert the building principal in advance of the meeting so the principal is prepared for reassigning or hiring a para.

6.03.01 Responsibilities of Paraprofessionals

For paraprofessionals employed to work in programs for students with disabilities, the school board in each district shall ensure that:

  1. before or immediately upon employment, each paraprofessional develops sufficient knowledge and skills in emergency procedures, building orientation, roles and responsibilities, confidentiality, vulnerability, and reportability, among other things, to begin meeting the needs of the students with whom the paraprofessional works.

  2. annual training opportunities are available to enable the paraprofessional to continue to further develop the knowledge and skills that are specific to the students with whom the paraprofessional works, including understanding disabilities, following lesson plans, and implementing follow-up instructional procedures and activities; and

  3. a districtwide process obligates each paraprofessional to work under the ongoing direction of a licensed teacher and, where appropriate and possible, the supervision of a school nurse.

MN Stat.125A.08(b)

Building principals and case managers have a responsibility to provide each new para with sufficient training and support in order to accomplish the duties assigned. Case managers go over the ASEC Paraprofessional Handbook, which covers a wide variety of topics appropriate to the duties of a para.

Each district within the ASEC provides training opportunities on a yearly basis for paraprofessionals within the district. These trainings include such topics as CPR (Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation) , blood born pathogens, CPI (Crisis Prevention Intervention) and other more job specific inservices appropriate to each para. The web based Para eLink is also available and used by districts to provide further training opportunities as needed.

Training agendas for paraprofessionals can be found in the administrative office of the district in which the para is employed. ASEC provides paraprofessional training in CPI and that documentation is found at the main office in East Grand Forks.

6.03.02 Requirement for Early Childhood Special Education (ECSE)

A teacher's case load must be adjusted downward based on pupils' severity of disability or delay, travel time necessary to serve pupils in more than one program alternative, and if the pupils on the teacher's case loads are receiving services in more than one program alternative or the pupils are involved with other agencies. The maximum number of pupils that can be assigned to a teacher in any early childhood program alternative is:

  1. birth through two years: 12 pupils per teacher;

  2. three through six years: 16 pupils per teacher; and

  3. birth through six years: 14 pupils per teacher.

District early childhood special education (ECSE) classes must have at least one paraprofessional employed while pupils are in attendance. The maximum number of pupils in an ECSE classroom at any one time with a teacher and a program support assistant is eight. The maximum number of pupils in an ECSE classroom at any one time with an early childhood team is 16.

MN R. 3525.2340, subp.5

6.04 Skilled School Interpreters

6.04.01 Requirements for American Sign language/English Interpreters

Legal Citations

(a) In addition to any other requirements that a school district establishes, any person employed to provide American sign language/English interpreting or sign transliterating services on a full-time or part-time basis for a school district after July 1, 2000, must:

(1) hold current interpreter and transliterator certificates awarded by the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf (RID), or the general level interpreter proficiency certificate awarded by the National Association of the Deaf (NAD), or a comparable state certification from the commissioner of education; and

(2) satisfactorily complete an interpreter/transliterator training program affiliated with an accredited educational institution.

 

(b) New graduates of an interpreter/transliterator program affiliated with an accredited education institution shall be granted a two-year provisional certificate by the commissioner. During the two-year provisional period, the interpreter/transliterator must develop and implement an education plan in collaboration with a mentor under paragraph (c).

 

(c) A mentor of a provisionally certified interpreter/transliterator must be an interpreter/transliterator who has either NAD level IV or V certification or RID certified interpreter and certified transliterator certification and have at least three years interpreting/transliterating experience in any educational setting. The mentor, in collaboration with the provisionally certified interpreter/transliterator, shall develop and implement an education plan designed to meet the requirements of paragraph (a), clause (1), and include a weekly on-site mentoring process.

 

(d) Consistent with the requirements of this paragraph, a person holding a provisional certificate may apply to the commissioner for one time-limited extension. The commissioner, in consultation with the Commission of Deaf, DeafBlind and Hard-of-Hearing Minnesotans, must grant the person a time-limited extension of the provisional certificate based on the following documentation:

(1) letters of support from the person's mentor, a parent of a pupil the person serves, the special education director of the district in which the person is employed, and a representative from the regional service center of the deaf and hard-of-hearing;

(2) records of the person's formal education, training, experience, and progress on the person's education plan; and

(3) an explanation of why the extension is needed.

As a condition of receiving the extension, the person must comply with a plan and the accompanying time line for meeting the requirements of this subdivision. A committee composed of the director of the Minnesota Resource Center Serving Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing, or the director's designee, a representative of the Minnesota Association of Deaf Citizens, a representative of the Minnesota Registry of Interpreters of the Deaf, and other appropriate persons selected by the commissioner must develop the plan and time line for the person receiving the extension.

 

(e) A school district may employ only an interpreter/transliterator who has been certified under paragraph (a) or (b), or for whom a time-limited extension has been granted under paragraph (d).

MN Stat. 122A.31, Subd. 1

 

6.04.02 Oral or Cued Speech Transliterators

(a) In addition to any other requirements that a school district establishes, any person employed to provide oral transliterating or cued speech transliterating services on a full-time or part-time basis for a school district after July 1, 2000, must hold a current applicable transliterator certificate awarded by the national certifying association or comparable state certification from the commissioner of education.

 

(b) To provide oral or cued speech transliterator services on a full-time or part-time basis, a person employed in a school district must comply with paragraph (a). The commissioner shall grant a nonrenewable, two-year certificate to a school district on behalf of a person who has not yet attained a current applicable transliterator certificate under paragraph (a). A person for whom a nonrenewable, two-year certificate is issued must work under the direction of a licensed teacher who is skilled in language development of individuals who are deaf or hard-of-hearing. A person for whom a nonrenewable, two-year certificate is issued also must enroll in a state-approved training program and demonstrate progress towards the certification required under paragraph (a) sufficient for the person to be certified at the end of the two-year period.

(c) Consistent with the requirements of this paragraph, a person holding a provisional certificate may apply to the commissioner for one time-limited extension. The commissioner, in consultation with the Commission Serving Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing People, must grant the person a time-limited extension of the provisional certificate based on the following documentation:

(1) letters of support from the person's mentor, a parent of a pupil the person serves, the special education director of the district in which the person is employed, and a representative from the regional service center of the deaf and hard-of-hearing;

(2) records of the person's formal education, training, experience, and progress on the person's education plan; and

(3) an explanation of why the extension is needed.

As a condition of receiving the extension, the person must comply with a plan and the accompanying time line for meeting the requirements of this subdivision. A committee composed of the director of the Minnesota Resource Center Serving Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing, or the director's designee, a representative of the Minnesota Association of Deaf Citizens, a representative of the Minnesota Registry of Interpreters of the Deaf, and other appropriate persons selected by the commissioner must develop the plan and time line for the person receiving the extension.

MN Stat.122A.31, subd.2

 

6.04.03 Qualified Interpreters

The Department of Education and the resource center: deaf and hard of hearing shall work with existing interpreter/transliterator training programs, other training/educational institutions, and the regional service centers to ensure that ongoing staff development training for educational interpreters/transliterators is provided throughout the state.

MN Stat. 122A.31,subd.3

 

6.04.04  Reimbursement

(a) For purposes of revenue under section 125A.76, the Department of Education must only reimburse school districts for the services of those interpreters/transliterators who satisfy the standards of competency under this section.

 

(b) Notwithstanding paragraph (a), a district shall be reimbursed for the services of interpreters with a nonrenewable provisional certificate, interpreters/transliterators employed to mentor the provisional certified interpreters, and persons for whom a time-limited extension has been granted under subdivision 1, paragraph (d), or subdivision 2, paragraph (c).

MN Stat.122A.31,subd.4

ASEC is committed to working closely with existing interpreter/transliterator training programs, Regions I and II Low Incidence Project and other agencies to ensure the ongoing staff development training for educational interpreters/transliterators in their employ. Because of the low incidence nature of Deaf and Hard of Hearing students, the ASEC has interpreters on staff who are available to work with deaf/hard of hearing students within the 14 cooperative school districts.

 

Last modified November 23, 2009