[Filed July 1, 2020, 8:29 a.m., effective July 1, 2020, 8:29 a.m.]
Effective Date of Rule: Immediately upon filing.
Purpose: Amending this section of WAC will allow school districts to be able to meet the one day in-person fundamental course of study training requirement through online synchronous instruction with an instructor. The emergency rule would be valid through September 1, 2021.
Citation of Rules Affected by this Order: Amending WAC 179-09-040.
Statutory Authority for Adoption: Chapter 28A.413
Under RCW 34.05.350
the agency for good cause finds that immediate adoption, amendment, or repeal of a rule is necessary for the preservation of the public health, safety, or general welfare, and that observing the time requirements of notice and opportunity to comment upon adoption of a permanent rule would be contrary to the public interest.
Reasons for this Finding: Since March 13, 2020, schools have been closed due to the public health crises arising from COVID-19. On June 27, 2020, Governor Inslee and Secretary of Health John Wiesman announced putting a pause on counties moving to Phase 4 though [through] the "Safe Start" phased approach. "Rising cases across the state and concerns about continued spread of the COVID virus have made Phase 4, which would essentially mean no restrictions, impossible at this time." As we approach the start of the next school year, it is apparent that all school districts will not open in a traditional manner for the start of the 2020-21 school year. If schools are closed, school districts are unable to meet the in-person fundamental course of study training requirement. This amendment will allow school districts to meet the in-person training requirement in a virtual setting, so long as the training is synchronous and led by an instructor.
Number of Sections Adopted in Order to Comply with Federal Statute: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; Federal Rules or Standards: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; or Recently Enacted State Statutes: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.
Number of Sections Adopted at the Request of a Nongovernmental Entity: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.
Number of Sections Adopted on the Agency's own Initiative: New 0, Amended 1, Repealed 0.
Number of Sections Adopted in Order to Clarify, Streamline, or Reform Agency Procedures: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.
Number of Sections Adopted using Negotiated Rule Making: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; Pilot Rule Making: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; or Other Alternative Rule Making: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.
Date Adopted: July 1, 2020.
AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 19-21-070, filed 10/11/19, effective 11/11/19)
WAC 179-09-040Fundamental course of study.
(1) School districts must implement this section only in school years for which state funding is appropriated specifically for the purposes of this section and only for the number of days that are funded by the appropriation.
(2)(a) School districts must provide a fundamental course of study on the state standards of practice, as defined by the board in WAC 179-09-050 of this chapter, to paraeducators who have not completed the course, either in the district or in another district within the state. At least one day of the fundamental course of study must be provided in person. School districts must use best efforts to provide the fundamental course of study before the paraeducator begins to work with students and their families, and at a minimum by the deadlines provided in subsection (3) of this section.
(b) Beginning March 1, 2020, through September 1, 2021, virtual learning environments that use synchronous learning with an instructor will meet the one day in-person training requirement of the fundamental course of study.
(3) Except as provided in (b) of this subsection, school districts must provide the fundamental course of study required in subsection (2) of this section by the deadlines provided in (a) of this subsection:
(a)(i) For paraeducators hired on or before September 1st, the first two days of the fundamental course of study must be provided by September 30th of that year and the second two days of the fundamental course of study must be provided within six months of the date of hire, regardless of the size of the district; and
(ii) For paraeducators hired after September 1st:
(A) For districts with ten thousand or more students, the first two days of the fundamental course of study must be provided within four months of the date of hire and the second two days of the fundamental course of study must be provided within six months of the date of hire or by September 1st of the following year, whichever is sooner; and
(B) For districts with fewer than ten thousand students, no later than September 1st of the following year.
(b)(i) For paraeducators hired for the 2018-19 school year, by September 1, 2020; and
(ii) For paraeducators not hired for the 2018-19 school year, but hired for the 2019-20 school year, by September 1, 2021.
(4) School districts may collaborate with other school districts or educational service districts to meet the requirements of this section.
(5)(a) Providers of the fundamental course of study must provide to the paraeducator written documentation of each unit completed by a paraeducator. The documentation is as published by the professional educator standards board.
(b) Upon request, if such request is made within seven calendar years of unit completion, the provider shall provide the paraeducator with documentation of unit completion.
(6) The fundamental course of study must include the training competencies that align with the standards of practice in chapter 179-07 WAC.
(7) The paraeducator shall be responsible for completing filing requirements with the superintendent of public instruction, in accordance with WAC 179-01-020, the completion of the fundamental course of study.