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Staff Associates Working to Become Paraeducators & Teachers

Linn-Mar is teaming up with Mount Mercy University and Kirkwood Community College to provide training for members of our support staff who wish to advance in the field of education.

Funding for the program is made available through the American Rescue Plan Act. With that federal funding, the state created the Teacher and Paraeducator Registered Apprenticeship Pilot Grant Program.

Linn-Mar was one of 19 schools chosen for the program. The educational partnership with Kirkwood and Mount Mercy consists of two parts.

  • It provides opportunities for current staff to earn a paraeducator certificate and associate’s degree.
  • It helps paraeducators earn their bachelor’s degree while learning and working in the classroom.

“The program allows our associates and other current employees the opportunity to finish a teaching degree in two years through Mount Mercy.”, said Phil Miller, Linn-Mar Human Resources Manager. “Hopefully at the end of two years, we’ll have some new teachers from within the district.”

More than forty employees are engaged in various aspects of the training. They are working with Kirkwood and Mount Mercy to coordinate how the classes will work with their present work schedules. Regular classes will be held two days a week after school at Linn-Mar High School. There will also be summer programs through Mount Mercy.

The grant program is expected to serve 1,000 paraeducators and students in 134 schools, ultimately creating over 500 new paraeducators and 500 new teachers across the state.