Associate Director of Special Education

  • New York, NY, USA
  • Full-time
  • Hiring Start Time: Immediate Start (Home Office)
  • HO Team: K-12 Content Development

Company Description

Uncommon Schools is a non-profit network of 54 outstanding public charter schools in grades K-12 across New York, New Jersey and Massachusetts. Our mission is to start and manage outstanding urban public charter schools that close the achievement gap and prepare students from low-income backgrounds for success in college and beyond. We are accomplishing that mission every day, with a college graduation rate that is well above the national average and thousands of stories of our students and alumni achieving their dreams.

Job Description

GENERAL SUMMARY: The Associate Director of Special Education (AD of SPED) will work to ensure that students who are at-risk for academic underperformance due to academic, emotional, and/or physical challenges can succeed in the rigorous academic programs within Uncommon Schools. The AD of SPED is a full-time employee of Uncommon Schools; she/he is hired, supervised, evaluated by the NYC Uncommon Schools Director of Special Education, in consultation with Uncommon’s NYC Associate Superintendents and regional Associate Chief Operating Officers. The Associate Director of Special Education must be certified in New York State as a Special Education teacher or administrator.

Duties and responsibilities:

  1. Responsible for ensuring that our NYC schools provide the academic, emotional, and physical services for students who require additional support to thrive within the schools’ core academic programs, in conjunction with the schools’ instructional leaders.
  2. Coordinate summer and academic year staff professional development with the SPED area and at-risk student services, including:
  • Identifying, training, and coaching school-based Special Education Coordinators, Special Education Teachers, and providers of related services (e.g., occupational therapists, speech and language therapists, social workers, counselors, etc.).
  • Training, supporting, and coaching school leaders and general education teachers.

3. Provide support to the school-based Special Education Coordinators and Special Education Teachers in the following areas:

  • Identifying students with disabilities and students in need of at-risk services.
  • Implementing IEPs and leading the provision of direct services by related service providers approved by the New York City Department of Education.
  • Crafting differentiated instruction and administering rigorous, standards-based assessments to best serve students with disabilities and at-risk students.
  • Ensuring that all gen ed teachers know of, understand, and implement all classroom accommodations and modifications required by IEPs, 504 plans, and for English language learners and at-risk students as appropriate.
  • Coordinating and collaborating with schools Principals to evaluate Special Education staff performance in mid-year reviews.

4. Work with the Uncommon Schools Director of Special Education regarding the sharing of best practices across Uncommon Schools, support of SPED staff, and school-based crisis cases (e.g. formal complaints to the state, legal matters, and complex cases involving the CSE).

5. Coordinate, in collaboration with the Uncommon Schools Recruitment Team, the recruitment of SPED full-time and part-time staff.


Required knowledge, skills, and abilities:

  • Passionate belief in our mission!
  • Experience with providing services under and training in the IDEA, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1974 and Title II of the ADA Act of 1990.
  • Able to develop and maintain collaborative working relationships with school-based SPED staff.
  • Ability to handle complaints, settle disputes, and resolve grievances and conflicts, or otherwise negotiate with others.
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills, including the ability to both speak and write clearly and persuasively.
  • Ability to comfortably present to and work effectively with a wide range of constituents.
  • Excellent organization, time management, and follow-up skills;
  • High sense of urgency;
  • Demonstrated ability to successfully balance multiple projects concurrently;
  • Ability to work independently;
  • Ability to constantly evaluate the effectiveness of SPED services in Uncommon’s schools.


  • Travel to our New York City schools across Brooklyn to provide onsite support.
  • Availability via cell phone, email, and/or in-person to provide timely assistance to schools during working business hours 8:00 AM to 6:00 PM.
  • Availability to attend work functions where necessary that may take place outside of normal working hours including parent meetings and/or professional development workshops.

Minimum educational level:

  • Master’s degree;
  • New York State Special Education certification.

Experience required:

  • 3+ years as teacher or administrator of Special Education services;
  • Ideal candidates will have an advanced degree, K-12 teaching experience, and a track-record of producing high student achievement.

Additional Information

Uncommon Schools offers salaries commensurate with experience and a very generous benefits and vacation package. All staff members receive extensive professional development, and are equipped with a laptop computer and all necessary supplies.

Uncommon believes in the importance of being a diverse, equitable and inclusive organization that enables our students and staff to thrive. We are committed to building a talented team that reflects the diverse backgrounds and experiences of our students. At the same time, we work to ensure an inclusive community through creating a space for meaningful dialogue about issues of race and identity for our staff and students.  As an equal opportunity employer, we hire without consideration to race, religion, creed, color, national origin, age, gender, sexual orientation, marital status, veteran status or disability.

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