Paraprofessional Certification

ETS ParaPro Exam Registration

A paraprofessional is an individual with instructional duties. Individuals who work solely in non-instructional roles, such as food service, cafeteria or playground supervision, personal care services, and non-instructional computer assistance are not considered to be paraprofessionals for Title I purposes.


No Child Left Behind gives all paraprofessionals working in Title I programs until the end of the 2005-06 school year to meet the highly qualified requirement in one of three ways:

1. Earning an associate’s degree or higher;
2. Earning a minimum of 48 college credits; or
3. Passing the designated Parapro state test.

Please note that this does not apply to paraprofessionals newly hired into Title I programs; such paraprofessionals must meet one of the qualification requirements before they are hired.

Each fall, the department of education will automatically grant certificates to paraprofessionals who are currently working in a Title I program if they have met the above-listed qualifications during the past year.

If a paraprofessional is NOT working in a Title I program but has met the above-listed qualifications, or if the paraprofessional achieves the "qualified" status during the school year but after the PRF data collection has been completed in the fall, send the paraprofessional's name, Social Security Number, and proof of the qualification that has been met to Pam Hoepfer and a certificate will be granted to the paraprofessional.

Passing Score

Official Passing Score - SD ParaPro
The South Dakota Department of Education has set 461 as the official passing score for the ParaPro exam that determines whether a paraprofessional meets the “qualified” requirements.

South Dakota adopted the ParaPro Test for paraprofessionals as its official state test. A standards-setting event was convened by the vendor, Educational Testing Service (ETS) on April 29, 2003, in Pierre, for the purpose of determining a recommended cut score for South Dakota. A panel of South Dakota paraprofessionals and supervising teachers participated in the process. ETS analyzed the judgments of the panel and recommended a cut score to state officials.

On June 11, 2003, the Title I Committee of Practitioners (COP) and the Title I School Support Team (SST), both required groups under Title I Part A, met in Pierre to review the work and make a recommendation to the Department of Education.

Paraprofessionals are responsible for presenting ETS documentation to school officials verifying that their score on the ParaPro exam is 461 or higher in order to be considered a “qualified” paraprofessional as defined in Title I Part A, Section 1119 and its corresponding regulations.

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