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Sacramento County Office of Education Job Description

Classification Title: Para-Educator – Severely Handicapped Program


Under supervision of the appropriate administrator and general direction of the special education teacher, assists in the instruction and care of students with severe disabilities, including self-care activities, assisting in management of student behavior, recordkeeping, instructional assistance, medical care, classroom organization, and interaction and communication with students, support staff, parents/guardians, and agencies.


Para-educators serving the severely handicapped program work with a variety of students from three to twenty-two years of age. The students’ disabilities include: cognitive, emotional, behavioral, health, and orthopedic impairments.


Appropriate Administrator




(Any one position may not include all of the listed duties, nor do all of the listed examples include all tasks which may be found in positions within this classification.)

Medical/Health Assistance

Assists with personal hygiene skills: toileting, diapering, cleaning, hand washing, and grooming; maintains toileting schedule; assists and instructs students in dressing and changing; assists and instructs students in eating skills; assists students with gastronomy tube feeding and other specialized feeding requirements; maintains a health awareness in the classroom and monitors student health daily; notifies staff regarding changes in student’s needs; performs specialized health care procedures according to an established Individual Specialized Health Plan (ISHP) after initial training with a school nurse as allowed by law, including gastronomy tube feeding ; provides proper positioning for physically challenged students; administers medications and maintains records of medications as directed by school nurse and as allowed by law; monitors seizure signs and cares for students who may have seizures; works with students who may have chronic conditions according to established universal health care procedures to ensure personal and student safety; administers first aid and cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) if necessary; maintains and inventories medical supplies and equipment.

Student Safety

Identifies and reports unsafe environments and assists the teacher by supervising activities during the course of the instructional day to maintain a controlled and safe environment for students and staff; maintains a safe and healthy environment when out in the community; monitors students during yard and bus duty; assists students to and from buses in a safe manner; uses safety procedures in lifting students and in operating wheelchairs and other equipment; communicates safety issues regarding students to teacher or administrator; implements school’s emergency procedures; disinfects equipment and materials; sanitizes laundry and dishes; keeps toxins and medications out of reach and locked; inspects equipment and monitors for minor repairs and preventative maintenance as needed.

Program/Staff Support

Under direction of the classroom teacher, assists in the preparation of materials for lessons and conducts one-on-one and small group instruction in academic areas; assists the teacher in the physical setup and cleanup of the classroom for group instruction, projects, and activities; assists the teacher with daily and weekly lesson/work plans and follow-through; may provide teacher with input for student programming; participates in team meetings to coordinate classroom goals; assists in using and preparing a variety of adaptive equipment and mobility programs following the instruction of the teacher and/or therapist; instructs students during community based instruction (CBI) and at vocational job sites; instructs students in appropriate social skills and in domestic skills such as clothes washing, dish washing, food preparation, etc.; develops and maintains work relationships to provide for integration; shares appropriate program information to assist in integration activities; preplans materials necessary for CBI and classroom; works cooperatively with a wide variety of students and staff in various settings; adapts tools/materials necessary to perform class activities in integrated settings including inclusive environments; assists teacher in implementing Individualized Education Program (IEP) goals; discusses IEP goals and plans with other staff to maintain consistency; assists and provides the instructional team with new ideas for student goals; follows daily instructional schedule; assists in directing substitutes and other support staff on classroom processes; carries out behavior management techniques according to student behavior plans and participates in plan development; observes students and monitors daily behaviors to support classroom order, and reinforces appropriate behaviors while in the classroom and in the community; redirects negative behaviors; implements appropriate consequences for inappropriate behavior; physically restrains students if necessary for classroom safety; attends in-services and staff meetings as required.


Assists the staff in maintaining accurate records and reports including attendance charting, grades, daily charts of student progress, anecdotal notes, individualized health care procedures, lunch count and money, medical records, and IEP and behavior management goals; prepares, files, and maintains student files, emergency forms, and records; maintains and disseminates student accident and incident reports; assists the teacher in ordering and maintaining the classroom supplies, equipment and materials; may operate computer for preparation of schedules, documents, and record keeping; operates fax and copy machines.


Communicates effectively in writing and in person with students, parents/guardians, school staff, support staff, bus drivers, school, district, and agency personnel as directed by the administrator or classroom teacher; maintains a professional rapport with program staff; demonstrates sensitivity to needs of students, staff, and parents/guardians; maintains confidentiality of information regarding students; maintains logs; answers and directs phone calls; collects and delivers mail; assists in seeking and gathering information to inform the staff and public regarding student’s special needs; may assist bilingual students and parents/guardians with interpretation or translation as appropriate.


Education, Training, and Experience

Possession of a high school diploma or equivalent; any combination of training and experience which demonstrates ability to perform the duties and responsibilities as described, including previous experience working with groups of children; previous experience working with children or adults with severe disabilities highly desirable.

Knowledge of:

Basic reading, writing and math, as identified by passing a proficiency test in those three areas; basic clerical and recordkeeping procedures.

Skill and Ability to:

Read and understand instructions, teaching manuals, and/or guides; communicate effectively in both oral and written forms with diverse populations; successfully supervise students; follow instructions with a minimum of direction; follow and give clear directions; work independently and make decisions within the framework of established guidelines; work in a team environment; adapt to individual needs of teachers and students and work with interruptions; adapt to changing conditions as needs dictate; respond quickly to emergency situations; work with students and staff; understand and maintain confidentiality of student information; perform general clerical duties including recordkeeping and filing; accept, understand, and relate to students who have behavioral, learning, or physical disabilities; ability to stand for long periods of time; ability to lift and position students; ability to push students in wheelchairs and assist with other adaptive equipment; basic signing skills desirable in some programs for nonverbal students; willingness to be trained and updated in first aid and CPR, safety/security and behavior management procedures; willingness to be trained and to use alternative feeding techniques; willingness to change diapers and deal with alternative toileting techniques for all ages; willingness to work with students with chronic conditions; ability to assist students in use of computers in classroom; ability to operate standard office and classroom equipment; willingness to be trained in the use of various adaptive equipment for students.


Possession of a valid certificate indicating training and proficiency in the use of cardiopulmonary resuscitation (Incumbent must obtain the certificate within the first six months of employment.)

Job Type: Full-time

Pay: From $19.01 per hour


  • Dental insurance
  • Health insurance
  • Retirement plan
  • Vision insurance


  • Monday to Friday

Work Location: One location