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    Fundamental Course of Study (FCS)

    In 2019, the Washington State Legislature and the Professional Educator Standards Board developed new requirements for paraeducators effective this year. The Paraeducator Certificate Program offers paraeducators professional development to enhance their practice and career.

    The first step of the Paraeducator Certificate Program is the Fundamental Course of Study (FCS). The FCS is a prescribed 28 hours of training divided into 12 units. It is the responsibility of the school district to provide this training. Paraeducators should not independently seek out training to meet the FCS requirements.

    During the 2019-20 school year, all instructional paraprofessionals* (see list below) are required to complete 14 hours of the Fundamental Course of Study (FCS) in Schoology.

    FCS in Seattle Public Schools

    For the 2019-20 school year, the Seattle Education Association (SEA) and SPS jointly will provide 14 hours of online training to meet the state requirement. Paraeducators who complete all FCS requirements in Schoology will be paid 14 hours. 

    Online (14 hours)

    FCS 02: Methods of Educational and Instructional Support 4 hours
    FCS 03: Technology Basics 2 Hours
    FCS 04: Using and Collecting Data 1 Hours
    FCS 05: District Orientation of Roles and Responsibilities 3 Hours
    FCS 09: Emergency and Health Safety 1 Hour
    FCS10:  Positive and Safe Learning Environment

    Paraprofessional course completion is tracked in Schoology. The Fundamental Course of Study Schoology course code is J7KM-3FX7-2NMQ8.

    When an employee completes 14 hours of FCS modules, 14 hours of extra time will be submitted to Payroll on their behalf. The employee does not need to submit any additional documentation outside of what is required within Schoology to receive pay for the Fundamental Course of Study. 

    Paraprofessionals should complete ONLY 14 hours of FCS training during the 19-20 school year. 

    If a paraprofessional attended the FCS 01 and 06 in-person training on February 8, 2020, they only need to complete the following courses online to meet the 14 hour requirement of the FCS for the 19-20 school year:

    FCS 03: Technology Basics 2 Hours
    FCS 04: Using and Collecting Data 1 Hours
    FCS 05: District Orientation of Roles and Responsibilities 3 Hours
    FCS 09: Emergency and Health Safety 1 Hour


    icon of clockAction required:

    1. Determine if your job category requires completion of the Fundamental Course of Study.
    2. If yes, join the FCS course Schoology with course code J7KM-3FX7-2NMQ8. Follow the directions on this video tutorial to enroll in the course. 

    Looking for more information about this new law?

    Chapter 28A.413 RCW established paraeducator minimum employment requirements, standards of practice for paraeducators, the Paraeducator Board, and the Paraeducator Certificate Program. The Paraeducator Board further defines the RCW through rules in WAC 179.

    Paraprofessionals Required to take FCS:

    An instructional paraeducator is defined as a “classified public school or school district employee who works under the supervision of a certificated or licensed staff member, from grades kindergarten to grade 12, to support and assist in providing instructional and other services to students and their families, including library assistants, and excluding bus monitors, lunchroom aides, and community service aides.”

    *SPS paraprofessional job titles considered instructional include:

    • Bilingual Instructional Assistant
    • Braillist/Vision Assistant
    • Career Center Specialist
    • Career Ladder Assistant
    • Certified Sign Language Interpreter
    • Corrections Education Associate
    • HS Graduation Success Coordinator
    • Instructional Assistant
    • Language Immersion Instructional Assistant
    • Sign Language Interpreter
    • Special Education Assistant/ISE
    • Speech/Language Therapy Assistant I
    • Speech/Language Therapy Assistant II
    • Visual Arts Assistant
    • Work Based Learning Program Specialist
    • Youth Services Assistant