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Teacher Assistants

Teacher assistants play an integral role in the schools of Rhode Island.

Teacher assistants, or paraprofessionals, provide instructional and other direct services to students under the supervision and direction of the classroom teacher or other certified professional staff. Teacher assistants are required to be trained before they are employed and to engage in ongoing professional development during employment so they can support school improvement and student achievement goals.


Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the annual conference for Teacher Assistants has been postponed.  Additional information will be posted here when it is available.


Pre-Employment Training:

This training class is required for most people interested in working as a Teacher Assistant in RI.  Please contact individual organizations for their schedule and fees.  

Information about some upcoming classes may be posted here but check with specific organizations for their training schedule and fees.

Please contact the organization where you wish to attend class to find out their schedule. See the link under "Pre-Employment Training"(below).


       Program        Start Date   End Date       Schedule       Format       For More Information     
CCRI August 2, 2022 August 30, 2022 Tues., Wed. & Thurs. 6:00-9:00 pm Online Contact Person: Val Serpa - 401.333.7282/vserpa@ccri.edu
CCRI September 13, 2022 October 11, 2022 Tues, Wed & Thurs 6:00-9:00pm Virtual Contact Person: Val Serpa -
*ILSR September 20, 2022 October 13, 2022 Tues & Thurs 5:30-8:30pm Online Contact Person: Gilak Alvarez - galvarez@riilsr.org
*ILSR October 18, 2022 November 10, 2022 Tues & Thurs 5:30-8:30pm Online Contact Person: Gilak Alvarez - galvarez@riilsr.org
NRIC September 12, 2022 September 21, 2022 Mon, Tues, Wed & 9/22 (Thurs) 4:00-6:30pm In-Person Contact Person: Lisa Berthiaume - lberthiaume@nric-ed.org
Education Exchange September 14, 2022 November 23, 2022 Wednesdays 6:00-8:30pm Online Contact Person: Maria Durfee - 



*Some individuals may be eligible to enroll at no cost.

*English Language Learners encouraged to apply.


September NRIC Training

Education Exchange September Training

Upcoming Professional Development Opportunities:

Links to other training and workshops that may be appropriate for teacher assistants will be posted here.


Legal Requirements

Become a Teacher Assistant

NOTE: The RI Department of Education does not certify individual teacher assistants, but sets minimum qualifications that school districts must follow in hiring TAs. Applicants should always check with the district(s) where they want to apply to learn about their specific employment requirements. These are minimum requirements, and districts have the right to make their requirements more stringent.

  1. Be of good character;
  2. Have a high school diploma or general equivalency diploma;
  3. Completion of a Teacher Assistant Pre-Employment Training Program approved by the RI Department of Education (RIDE). Three (3) exceptions to this particular qualification:
    1. Those hired before January 1, 1999
    2. Those with certification as a TA in another state,
    3. Those with an associates degree or bachelors degree AND who have completed coursework or other training consistent with the teacher assistant program standards. It is a district's decision whether coursework or other training is consistent with the teacher assistant program standards.
  4. Meet one (1) of the following requirements:
    1. Successfully pass the ParaPro Assessment. OR
    2. Complete at least 2 years of study at an institution of higher education OR
    3. Obtain an associates or higher degree.

Pre-Employment Training

List of RIDE-Approved Training Programs - Updated August 2022

Pre-Employment programs are run by individual organizations. All instructional and non-instructional TAs hired after 1/1/99 must meet the minimum requirements, as listed above. For your convenience, here is a list of currently approved Teacher Assistant Pre-Employment Training Programs.

Please contact each program for information on schedules, cost, and registration.

ParaPro Assessment

Take the ParaPro Assessment

One requirement for instructional teaching assistants hired after 2001 is to demonstrate, through a formal State or local academic assessment:

(i) knowledge of, and the ability to assist in instructing, reading, writing, and mathematics; or
(ii) knowledge of and the ability to assist in instructing, reading readiness, writing readiness, and mathematics readiness, as appropriate.

In RI, the assessment designated to meet this requirement is the ParaPro Assessment. The RI Board of Regents for Elementary and Secondary Education recognizes a score of 461 or better as passing the ParaPro Assessment.

The ParaPro Assessment is developed and scored by Educational Testing Service.

Teacher Assistant Program Standards

Get Updates and Stay Informed

Sign up for the Rhode Island Teachers Assistant electronic mailing list to receive our newsletters and current information regarding Teacher Assistants in Rhode Island. You do not have to be currently employed to join the mailing list.

To join the Rhode Island Teachers Assistant electronic mailing list, send an e-mail to alice.woods@ride.ri.gov and, in the text of your message write: SUBSCRIBE Para List Serve. Please include the following information in that email:

  • First and Last Name
  • School District
  • School (if working)

You will receive an e-mail that requests you to confirm that you sent the e-mail, and you need to follow the directions in the confirmation e-mail to be added.

NOTE: This list is solely for the purpose of sharing information from the RI Department of Education regarding Teacher Assistants. The list will not be shared with others. It is expected that the number of messages will be minimal over the course of a year. We ask that you post, forward and share this information.