The State of Vermont recently conducted a study of the use of paraprofessionals to enhance the public understanding of the role and impact of paraprofessionals, as well as the conditions surrounding and influencing their use in the delivery of special education services in Vermont public schools.

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This study shows that the state and many individual supervisory unions and school are engaged in examining the system of supports that they offer. We encourage everyone to review these important findings.

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The following are some of the topic areas contained in the UMass report:

  • Understanding Patterns of Paraprofessional Use
  • Effects of Differing Approaches to Paraprofessional Use on Academic and Behavioral Outcomes
  • Broadening the Focus: In what ways and with what effects are students with special needs being served in schools across Vermont?
  • The Student Behavior Challenge
  • Barriers to Change or Progress
  • Next Steps in Advancing this Work


This UMass report coincides with a study recently conducted by the District Management Council (DMC) which looks specifically at Franklin West Supervisory Union. The DMC document identifies ways to better align staffing with student needs and seeks to address many of the same topics as the UMass study. These reports will guide our ongoing conversation about ways to build a Multi-Tiered System of Support (MTSS) for all learners at FWSU.

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