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.



The annual conference for Teacher Assistants is scheduled for October 21, 2023. Additional information will be sent through the list serve 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 March 19, 2024 April 24, 2024

Tues., Weds., and Fri.


Online Contact Person 
Valerie Serpa
CCRI April 2, 2024 May 7, 2024

Tues, Weds, & Thurs


Online Contact Person: 
Valerie Serpa
*ILSR April 9, 2024 May 2, 2024 Tues & Thurs
Online Contact Person: 
Gilak Alvarez
Sargent Center May 1, 2024 May 22, 2024




800 Quaker Lane

Warwick, RI 


Contact: 401-886-6600

Registration Link

*ILSR May 7, 2024 May 30, 2024 Tues & Thurs
Online Contact Person: 
Gilak Alvarez
CCRI May 7, 2024 June 4, 2024

Tues, Weds, Thurs


Online Contact Person:
Valerie Serpa
*ILSR July 30, 2024  August 22, 2024 Tues & Thurs
Online Contact Person:
Gilak Alvarez
*ILSR August 6, 2024 August 29, 2024 Tues & Thurs
Online Contact Person:
Gilak Alvarez
*ILSR September 3, 2024 September 26, 2024 Tues & Thurs
Online Contact Person:
Gilak Alvarez
*ILSR October 1, 2024 October 24, 2024 Tues & Thurs
Online Contact Person:
Gilak Alvarez
*ILSR October 22, 2024 November 14, 2024 Tues & Thurs
Online Contact Person:
Gilak Alvarez

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

*English Language Learners encouraged to apply.

Upcoming Professional Development Opportunities:

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

Rhode Island law (RIGL 16-11.2) establishes requirements related to the employment, training and use of teacher assistants. As required by this law, the RI Department of Education (RIDE) has established state standards that identify pre-employment requirements related to preparation required for all entry-level teacher assistants. In addition to state legal requirements, in January 2002, federal legislation, the No Child Left Behind Act, was signed into law. This law established requirements for the qualifications of teacher assistants, which were extended by the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) in 2015.

A Teacher Assistant is someone (no matter the job title) who provides instructional or other direct services related to the school’s curriculum to students (and/or their parents/legal guardian) under the supervision and direction of the classroom teacher or other appropriately certified professional staff. This includes those who:

  • Provide one-on-one instructional reinforcement (referred to as tutoring in Title I programs) if such is scheduled at a time when a student would not otherwise receive instruction from a teacher,
  • Assist with classroom management, such as by organizing instructional materials,
  • Provide instructional assistance in a computer laboratory,
  • Provide instructional support in a library or media center,
  • Provide instructional assistance along with acting as a translator, or
  • Provide instructional support services under the direct supervision of a highly qualified teacher.

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 standardsIt 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.

List of RIDE-Approved Training Programs

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.

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.

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 kathleen.perry@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.