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Background Information

Employment History

Associate Research Professor of Education
University of Colorado at Denver

Director of the Para Center
University of Colorado at Denver

Associate Research Professor
University of Colorado at Denver

PAR2A Center

Classified Retiree (Pera)
University of Colorado Denver

Professor Special Education
University of Colorado Denver

Roles Researcher
University of Colorado Denver

Executive Director of the Center and Research Professor
School of Education and Human Development of the University of Colorado Denver


The PAR²A Center

PAR2A Center



Paraeducator Supervision Academy

Web References (26 Total References)

Managing Paraeducators in Your School - IRIS Media Inc.

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Nancy K French

"Nancy French's new book provides wide-ranging information, ideas, and strategies to effectively utilize paraeducator support in today's schools.
French gives specific guidelines for working with paraeducators in Special Education, Title 1, Bilingual (ESL), School Library/Media Center, General and Special Education Classrooms, Speech/Language Pathology, and Health Care Services, helping teachers and administrators make the right decisions for their districts and schools.
Nancy K French, Ph.D., is an Associate Research Professor at the University of Colorado at Denver. She is also the Director of the PARA Center, which developed the CO-TOP Model for training paraeductors.

Paraeducator Supervision ...

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Paraeducator Supervision Academy Created by: Nancy K. French, Ph.D. Associate Research Professor The University of Colorado at Denver Director, The PAR2A. Paraeducator Supervision Academy Created by: Nancy K. French, Ph.D. Associate Research Professor The University of Colorado at Denver Director, The PAR2A.

Para-Educators Help Teachers with LD Students

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To make the best use of these potentially important resources, teachers may be able to forge strong ties with para-educators who assist LD students, according to a September 2002 paper by Nancy K. French, an associate research professor of education at the University of Colorado at Denver, and director of the Denver-based PAR2A Center, which has resources for training para-educators.French's key recommendations for teachers working with paraprofessionals:

Provide early orientation.Paraprofessionals should be made familiar with their schools before beginning work, "to ensure the safety and privacy of [special education] students." Anticipate work styles.By observing the para-professional's work habits early on, potential differences and problems can be avoided. Assign jobs.Supply written detailed task information and work plans (legally and ethically, para-educators cannot develop their own plans).French advises that tasks be delegated "judiciously" to para-professionals to maximize productivity and foster new skills. Give feedback.Para-educators benefit from continuous, specific feedback on job performance to develop and hone work skills. Document performance.Consistent observation of their work will help improve para-educators' overall job performance.
By following her suggested strategies, French contends that para-educators are more likely to "function appropriately in an LD program" and successfully assist teachers with students they otherwise may be unprepared to educate.

Dow Jones Interactive

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Community colleges, however, are particularly flexible and are "rushing to meet the EsEA demand for paraeducator preparation," said Nancy K. French, the director of the Para Center at the University of Colorado at Denver."They see this as a way of responding to their communities, and also-as a windfall for new revenues."

"Unfortunately," she continued, "the lack of published research, appropriate training needs, and formats makes it difficult for [community] colleges to develop programs based on data."
Building on Relationships
The handful of teacher-training providers that are serving school districts are able to do so because they have tried-and-- true approaches that can be expanded or tailored.Many also have personal relationships with district leaders, thanks to other endeavors, that have provided inroads.
Cambridge College in Massachusetts is one of the few schools nationally that were able to secure agreements to train teachers this year to meet the federal requirements.

Staff Bios - PAR²A Center

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Nancy K. French

Founder of the PAR²A Center
Dr. Nancy French, Ph.D. founded the PAR²A Center in 1994. She retired from her position as the Executive Director of the center and Research Professor at the School of Education and Human Development of the University of Colorado Denver in December 2006. After her retirement, Dr. French has continued to maintain ties and remain involved in many activities of the center. Dr. French has had more than 35 years of experience in education. She studied the employment and supervision of paraprofessionals in education for many years. She also researched the roles and responsibilities of paraprofessionals and has used her research findings to develop a statewide training system for paraeducators in Colorado. Dr. French has published over 50 articles and chapters - many of which are about paraprofessionals.

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