Supporting Paraprofessionals’ Growth Leads to Increased Effectiveness of Special Education

Webinar Details

Paraprofessionals play a critical role in special education supporting classroom teachers and helping students get the most out of their instructional time. This support is vital when it comes to addressing disruptive student behavior and providing one-on-one help for students who need it. Districts can support their paraprofessionals by providing high-quality professional development that’s specific to their role, including training to handle student behavioral issues and supporting students with special needs.
Learning Objectives

In this session, Andrea Burrell, Special Education Instructional Specialist for the 136,000-student Prince George’s County Public Schools in Maryland, shares:

  • Top considerations for effectively implementing a PD program for paraprofessionals.
  • How PGCPS’ structured its successful rollout of paraprofessional PD, including strategies:
    • Communicating often and with a consistent message.
    • Getting input from stakeholders.
    • Creating a PD plan that is flexible and responsive to employee needs.


EDU - K12 - Andrea Burrell_Headshot
Andrea Burrell

Special Education Instructional Specialist, Prince George’s County Public Schools

Andrea Burrell is a passionate and driven educator of 20 years. Throughout her career, she has held several leadership roles in Prince George’s County Public Schools, including Special Education Chairperson, Central Office Mentor Teacher, National Board of Professional Teaching Certification Cohort Lead, and Mentor. She has also taught special education Continuing Professional Development courses for teachers fulfilling requirements for state certification. She is currently a Special Education Instructional Specialist with Prince George’s County Public Schools who creates, plans, facilitates, coaches, and monitors the professional learning of district personnel charged with educating students with disabilities. 

In addition to being a Nationally Board Certified Teacher, Andrea holds certifications in special education and school administration. She earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Special Education from the University of Maryland Eastern Shore and her Master's Degree in Teacher Leadership from George Washington University.

Andrea is also a certified Social-Emotional Learning Facilitator and yoga instructor who is passionate about the well-being of others.  She actively seeks opportunities to embed wellness practices into the professional learning she shares with educators, students, and families.

EDU - K12 - Justin Moore
Justin Moore

Director, K-12


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