The Student News Site of Berkley High School

THE SPECTATOR

The Student News Site of Berkley High School

THE SPECTATOR

The Student News Site of Berkley High School

THE SPECTATOR

Parapros: The Vital Staff of BHS

Senior+Brennan+Szuber+and+Ms.+Fawn
Austin Daugherty
Senior Brennan Szuber and Ms. Fawn

Among the staff at BHS, you’ve seen the various paraprofessionals around the building, but might not know who they are. For those who don’t know, a “para” is a school employee who is trained to assist students and teachers in the classroom, primarily helping students with learning disabilities such as dyslexia and autism. Berkley High School currently has around 20 paras working in the building, mainly in the special education classrooms.

In order to get an idea of what they do on an average day, I observed and interviewed the paras in Mrs. Sclafani’s ASD Resource Room. Typically, they work alongside students who need help with their work, as well as helping the teacher with lesson plans and explaining the content to students. When I asked what they typically do in their classes, para Will Parkinson explained “I come in before the students and help them get off the bus and get ready for the day. Then I help them transition between classes during most of the day”. During transitions, you will likely see a few paras leading a group of students from one class to another. After asking what his favorite part of being a para was, Parkinson said “I like getting to see a lot of different classes and relearn things when I’m helping students with their work.” Paras are often working in general education classes with students, so it gives them a chance to learn certain subjects, such as art and science, alongside the students.

I also interviewed a couple students to see what they liked about having paras in their class. Sophomore Michael Segvich said “I like how they understand kid’s emotions and when they’re upset or need to take breaks. They take us for break walks in the hallway a lot.” Senior and LINK (Berkley’s peer support class who often work in special ed classrooms) student Arianna Tovarez had similar words, saying “I enjoy having them work alongside the students to ensure they get their work done and get the help they need”. So if you ever see the paras working in the building, now you know who they are and what they do.

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About the Contributor
Austin Daugherty, Staff Writer
Hi everyone! My name is Austin, and I am a staff writer this year. This is my first year on staff, and I wanted to join the team because I have a passion for writing. I am super excited to tell the stories of people and things going on at BHS, so I’m interested in writing all kinds of articles on a variety of topics. When I’m not buried in schoolwork, I am the student chair of Peer2Peer and the BHS Gaming Club as well as working on the BearPod podcast. I also work as a storyboard artist/script revisor on several indie animation projects such as Helluva Boss and Lackadaisy! Other than that, I’m an avid dog lover, and you’ll likely catch me running around my neighborhood with my Labrador husky, Zoey. (My go-to Donut Cutter order is chocolate frosted with sprinkles)

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