School district seeks full-time paraprofessional thanks to federal funds

The school district is hiring for a full-time paraprofessional position, which is a change from what it was able to offer a short time ago.

Thanks to federal grant funds, the district was able to make the position full-time and offer benefits including state retirement, health insurance for the employee and dependents, paid holidays, vacation and sick leave.

Paraprofessionals have been needed at all three Wrangell schools for some time, though the current open position will be based at the elementary school level. They work one-on-one or in small groups with intensive-needs children who may have educational, emotional or physical problems.

The part-time position only allowed for 5.75 hours per day and no benefits. Many of the people who are employed as paraprofessionals would leave for other work, such as shrimping, because they could make more money.

The rate of pay for the new full-time position is $14 per hour to $22.57 per hour, depending on experience, the same as it is for part-time work.

Kimberly Powell, administrative assistant with the district, said applicants need to have an associate degree or the equivalent number of college credits or higher, and be able to pass the ParaPro assessment, which is paid for and administered by the district.

The full-time paraprofessional position isn’t the only opening with the district, as they’ve been looking to fill several vacancies.

“We are currently looking for a middle school secretary, a high school secretary, a business manager, this paraprofessional and several extracurricular class adviser positions,” Powell said. “We have been receiving applications, but ideally (the district) would like to build a large applicant pool to pull from so that we can ensure that we have the best-qualified applicants working with our students.”

The start date for the full-time aide is Jan. 4, but the right qualified applicant could be brought on sooner, if possible, she said.


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