Navigating Every Student Succeeds Act

Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA)

Every student should have access to a quality public education, regardless of where they live, how they learn, or how much money their parents make.

What is ESSA?

The federal Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) works to support equal opportunity for disadvantaged students and eliminate barriers to student success. ESSA requires all paraprofessionals working in a Title I funded school to meet certain proficiency in reading, writing and math.

How do I qualify?

If you would like to be considered for positions at Title I schools, you will need to upload documents in your application that show you meet these requirements. There are two ways to do this:

Method 1: College Courses Taken

If you have already taken COLLEGE COURSES or have a DEGREE

  • Say “yes” to the appropriate ESSA question on your application, then
  • Upload your college transcript that shows one of these:
    • Completion of college credit courses with a “C” grade or better that show you have college-ready reading, writing, and math skills; or
    • Completion of two years of college courses (72 quarter credits or 48 semester credits) at 100 level or higher; or
    • Completion of an Associate’s degree or higher

Method 2: Use exam scores

If you have not already taken college courses, submit EXAM SCORES.

  • Say “yes” to the appropriate ESSA question on your application, then
  • Upload your exam scores for one of the following:
    • EMBARC – Offered face to face in Salem at Willamette ESD for $20
    • ParaPro – Offered Online through ETS for $91
    • Some community college placement exam scores could also be considered. If you have already completed a placement test at a university or community college, please contact us before registering for another ESSA qualifying exam.

Frequently Asked Questions

What will I be tested on if I take one of the ESSA qualifying exams (EMBARC or ParaPro)?

Both exams measure the skills and knowledge in reading, writing and math possessed by prospective and practicing paraprofessionals. They also measure their ability to apply those skills and knowledge when assisting in classroom instruction. They were designed to satisfy the requirements of the federally legislated No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB). The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), which has replaced NCLB, leaves these requirements in place.

How do I register for an ESSA qualifying exam?

EMBARC is a computer-based exam offered in person at Willamette ESD, 2611 Pringle Road South. Space is limited, so please visit On-Site Paraprofessional Assessment Dates & District Office Proctor webpage for more details on the exam, study materials, practice test, and to sign-up.

Please arrive at 8:15 AM on the day of the assessment. Fee is $20.00 and can be paid in cash, check payable to the WESD, or online in advance.

ParaPro is a web-based exam that can be taken from home.

If you take this exam, please save the unofficial scores that are available onscreen after your assessment as official scores will not be mailed out for an additional 2-3 weeks.

You can access study materials and to sign-up for the exam on the ParaPro Assessment page. Fee is $91 with a $45.50 additional fee if you need to reschedule.

Which SKPS schools are supported with Title I funds?

The following Salem-Keizer Public Schools receive Title I funds and would require ESSA documentation for Instructional Assistants. Title I status is reviewed annually and may change for the 2023-24 school year.

Title I Elementary Schools

  • Auburn
  • Bush
  • Chavez
  • Cummings
  • Englewood
  • Eyre
  • Four Corners
  • Grant
  • Hallman
  • Harritt
  • Hayesville
  • Highland
  • Hoover
  • Keizer
  • Kennedy
  • Lamb
  • Miller
  • Richmond
  • Scott
  • Swegle
  • Washington
  • Weddle
  • Wright
  • Yoshikai

Title I Middle Schools

  • Claggett Creek
  • Houck
  • Leslie
  • Parrish
  • Stephens
  • Waldo

Title I High Schools

  • McKay
  • North
  • Roberts

Do I need to have fluency in the English language to qualify for the ESSA?

Yes, demonstrating you are competent in basic literacy skills, including the ability to speak and write standard English, is a requirement and is measured by the completion of one of the ESSA requirements above.