Pittsford CSD & CypherWorx Paraprofessional Efficacy Study: Data Analysis Results


This Efficacy Study was conducted in collaboration with Pittsford Central School District (Pittsford CSD). Pittsford CSD is a Public School District in New York, serving approximately 5,500 students across elementary, middle, and high school. The district has more than 1,150 employees. Pittsford CSD schools are consistently ranked among the top schools according to US News and World Reports (Pittsford CSD Accolades).

The purpose of this study was to assess the efficacy of CypherWorx courses for paraprofessionals. The training study was conducted on December 18, 2023. The participants took the online course, then attended an in-person session, making this a hybrid training. The diverse pool of participants encompassed individuals with varying levels of experience, including new hires, seasoned professionals, individuals with high school/GED education, and those with higher degrees.

There were 21 adult learners who started this study. There were 2 participants who completed the pre-survey and pre-test, attended the live training session, but never finished the post-test nor the post-survey for the course. A total of 19 participants successfully completed the full hybrid course along with pre- and post-surveys. CypherWorx collected and analyzed the comprehensive dataset, evaluating participant test performance and survey responses. This document summarizes the key findings and insights derived from the comprehensive analysis.

The collaborative effort between Pittsford Central School District and CypherWorx in conducting this study reflects our commitment to enhancing paraprofessional training and ensuring the delivery of impactful and effective eLearning experiences.

eLearning Course

Building Relationships with Students for Paraprofessionals

Course Goals

  1. To understand the importance of taking the time to build positive relationships with students.
  2. To explore tips, techniques, and activities to help paraprofessionals build relationships with students.

Learning Objectives

  • Identify characteristics and attributes that help paraprofessionals build relationships with students.
  • Reflect on personal characteristics and attributes as a paraprofessional.
  • Identify the elements of a safe and supportive classroom.
  • Describe the importance of self-reflection in building relationships with students.
  • Identify techniques and activities to build relationships with students.

Live Training Course

Participants attended a one-hour live training course led by the Director of the Pittsford CSD Teacher Center utilizing generally accepted Constructivist and ARCS Model learning theory approaches.

During the one-hour session participants worked in small groups, and as a whole, to develop personalized plans for implementing learning objectives into actionable classroom strategies. Three worksheets were provided to participants to assist them with reflections and action planning.

Live Training Course Handouts

Participants completed three handouts as part of the training. The handouts assisted them in developing plans to implement long-term strategies for improving relationships with students during the eLearning Module, live training, and closure activity.

Handout 1 – Used by Participants During Live Training

Handout 1 – Closure Activity

Handout 3 – Used by Participants During eLearning Module

Handout 3 – Used by Participants During eLearning Module

Data Collection

Data was collected for the paraprofessional eLearning course. The involved data included:

Pre- and posttest scores

Based on answers to test items aligned with the course’s objectives. The Objective Measures section of this document summarizes test results.

Post-survey responses

From a survey conducted with participants following completion of the final course. The Participant Beliefs section of this document summarizes survey results.

Participant Demographics

Information describing the 21 pilot study participants


Study Participants (n=21)

National Averages for Field *


Study Participants (n=21)

National Averages for Field *


Study Participants (n=21)

National Averages for Field *

Paraprofessional Experience

Study Participants (n=21)

National Averages for Field *

Computer Skills

Study Participants Self-Rating:
How would you rate your level of computer / technical experience?

Objective Measures

A comparison of pre- and posttest performance to determine growth as a result of instruction.

Pretest to Posttest Comparisons

The course in this pilot includes a pre- and posttest instrument. Aligned with the course objectives, these tests were used to assess participant knowledge prior to, and following completion of, the course. This analysis uses mean scores to analyze differences in pre- and posttest performance.

Pretest to Posttest Gains

Study Participants (n=21)

* 21 people took the pre-test and 19 of those people completed the post-test.

Pretest Mean Score
Posttest Mean Score

On average, participants increased their knowledge after taking the course Building Relationships with Students for Paraprofessionals.

We conclude the difference (growth) is attributable to the intervention (in this case, the training provided to participants).

While performance on the pretest often varied based on key demographics, posttest scores proved consistent regardless of potential demographically-based advantages and/or disadvantages.

The average level of performance on all posttests was determined to be consistent, regardless of the participants’:

  • Gender
  • Age
  • Level of education
  • Years in the profession
  • Computer skills

Pretest to Posttest Gains

Gender Pre-Test Post-Test Change
Female (including transgender women) 63% 88% +25
Prefer not to answer 71.6% 94.7% +23.1
Age Pre-Test Post-Test Change
30-39 years 38% 88% +50
40-49 year 80.7% 96.6% +15.9
50-59 years 70.7% 94% +23.3
60+ years 75% 88% +13
Education Level Pre-Test Post-Test Change
Some college / technical training 56.5% 100% +43.5
2-year degree 63% 100% +37
4-year degree 75.2% 92.8% +17.6
Advanced Degree (Masters or Doctoral) 73.3% 94% +20.7
Professional Experience Pre-Test Post-Test Change
0-5 years 74.2% 94% +19.8
6-10 years 75.2% 92.8% +17.6
11-15 years 63% 94% +31
16-25 years 58.7% 100% +41.3
Computer Experience Pre-Test Post-Test Change
Intermediate Level 68.6% 94% +25.4
High Level 70.2% 97% +26.8
Exceptionally Skills 83.7% 92% +8.3

Participant Beliefs

A look at participant self-assessment responses following instruction.

Post-Survey Questions

Project participants completed the post survey after they finished the blended course experience. Participants were asked a variety of questions about their understanding of course material, ability to implement learning objectives, and their beliefs in each area of the training experience.

The online module was interactive and engaging.
The in-person training was interactive and engaging.
I gained knowledge in this training that I can now implement in my daily classroom experience.

What are your professional goals for using the information you learned in the modules and in-person training session?

  • Apply at least a couple of strategies daily in order to establish a stronger connection with my students.

  • My goal is to continue to build meaningful connections with students and fellow staff members. I realize the focus was on relationships with students, but our staff relationships impact the teacher-students relationship as well. Our staff relationships have an impact on classrooms and how the children view us as well.

  • Try my best to be that trusted adult in our students’ life.

  • I am always looking for ways to improve and to continue to learn to better support the students.

  • Staying Positive and keep learning how can I help the students.

  • Continued interaction in both gen ed and needs population. I have interactions with both classes and feel I can facilitate relationship building with both populations. I feel I can continue to bridge connections.

  • To learn more about building relationships with students and enhance my contributions to the classroom.

  • Reminding myself student behavior isn’t personal.

  • I plan to implement the strategies I learned to strengthen my relationships with students.

  • Develop better relationships with students that are more difficult to reach.

  • To engage and connect with all students.

  • I loved finding new ways to interact with students and connect with them.

  • My goals were to refresh what I already knew about building relationships. I did learn some strategies that I will use going forward.

  • To understand students needs and have more flexibility in ways to approach those needs.

  • Truly understand why we need to understand students in order to help them, and how we can support individuals with different needs and personalities.

  • I learned new method that i can apply.

  • Would want the kids to interact more.

4.5 stars

I would rate the overall training experience, including the online module and in-person training session


I feel competent and confident implementing what I learned from the training.


Would you like more training like this?

“We are thrilled to be in partnership with CypherWorx. They have been outstanding in tailoring our mandatory training content and professional learning modules to meet our needs. Their responsiveness coupled with the high-quality content has been a significant value added to the district.”

Pittsford Schools

Shawn Clark
Assistant Superintendent for Human Resources
Pittsford Central Schools

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CypherWorx Efficacy Studies follow process and data collection policies created by James Marshall, Ph.D., Co-Director & Professor Educational Leadership, San Diego State University. Dr. Marshall’s scholarship, teaching, and consulting combine our understanding of human performance and organization development to assess strengths, devise strategy, and improve even the most vexing of challenges.

Learn more about Dr. Marshall’s work at San Diego State, or contact Dr. Marshall for consulting projects and how he can help your organization.