Welcome to the Bellingham Public Schools General Paraeducator Certificate Program Training site–information regarding the program, training opportunities and important steps you must complete will be maintained on this webpage. If you have any questions, please email ParaRequirementsBPS@bellinghamschools.org.


General Paraeducator Certificate (GPC)

All experienced paraeducators (hired prior to 2019) should have already completed 14 hours of the Fundamental Course of Study (FCS) during each of the 2019-20 and 2020-21 school years.

Newly hired paraeducators will complete 14 hours of the Fundamental Course of Study (FCS) in their first year of employment and complete the remaining 14 hours in their second year of employment.

  • All Current paraeducators (hired before Sept. 1, 2019) must complete 28 hours of the Fundamental Course of Study (FCS) training by Sept. 1, 2021. Bus Monitors, student supervision, and preschool paraeducators are encouraged to participate, however, it is not required for those positions.
  • Paraeducators that were employed new for the 2020-21 school year should have completed 14 hours of Fundamental Course of Study by Sept. 1, 2021 and be fully trained (28 hours) on the Fundamental Course of Study preferably by Dec. 31, 2021.
  • Paraeducators employed new for the 2021-22 school year after Sept. 1, 2021 must complete 14 hours of the Fundamental Course of Study within 4 months of the date of hire and be fully trained (28 hours) on the Fundamental Course of Study by Sept. 1, 2023.

Fundamental Course of Study (FCS)

The Fundamental Course of Study (FCS) is the core training developed to assist paraeducators working with students and their families. Seven (7) hours of the FCS must be taught in-person (or via zoom); the remaining training hours may be provided online.

The district partnered with NWESD 189 who developed the Fundamental Course of Study (FCS) courses, Units 1-12, through the online Canvas training platform: https://waesd.instructure.com/enroll/T33RJD to self-enroll register your account. Keep this site on your computer as a ‘Favorite’ and remember your password. Once logged in the paraeducator will be able to access all the FCS training modules.

The window for the FCS training modules during the 2021-22 school year is open now through Friday, June 17, 2022 — paraeducators must complete the courses by June 17 to assure uninterrupted employment for the 2022-23 school year. Paraeducators may complete the training modules during their contracted/paid time, if possible, or on early release Thursdays as scheduled on the district calendar. Additional pay is available (up to 14 hours) if you are unable to complete the training during your regular workday:

FCS 01: Intro to Cultural Identity and Diversity (4 clock hours)
FCS 02: Methods of Educational and Instructional Support (4 clock hours)
FCS 03: Technology Basics (2 clock hours)
FCS 04: Using and Collecting Data (1 clock hour)
FCS 05: District Orientation of Rules & Responsibilities (3 clock hours)
FCS 06: Equity (3 clock hours)
FCS 07: Behavior Management Strategies including de-escalation techniques (3 clock hours)
FCS 08: Child & Adolescent Development (2 clock hours)
FCS 09: Emergency & Health Safety (1 clock hour)
FCS 10: Positive & Safe Learning Environment (3 clock hours)
FCS 11: Communication Basics (2 clock hours)
FCS 12: Communication Challenges (1 clock hour)

Remember! This is required training for all paraeducators (returning and new) regardless of post-secondary degree or experience.

In-Person Training Opportunities for New Employees – register through HRMplus ProDev account. Paraeducators will be compensated for time spent on any training that is outside their workday hours.

Tell Me More

Where do I find the Clock Hour form?

  • It is located under Forms below or included with emails regarding training opportunities

Will I get paid for training?

  • Yes, if training is completed outside the paraeducator’s workday

How will I know if I have completed training?

  • Paraeducators who have completed the Fundamental Course of Study (28 hours) will receive original clock hour forms/transcript via ProDev. The original clock hour forms must be retained by the paraeducator. Paraeducators will also receive instructions to set up their eCert account which will be used to record General Paraeducator Certificate and Subject Matter Certificate training.

Forms, Links & Additional Resources