Director of Special Education (SY 20-21)
- Boston, MA, USA
- Hiring Start Time: July 2020 Start
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.
The Director of Special Education is passionate about supporting the students who are at-risk for academic underperformance due to emotional and/or physical challenges or language acquisition barriers so that they can succeed in the rigorous academic programs within Uncommon Schools Boston. The Director of Special Education must be certified as a Special Education teacher or administrator and hold an ESL license.
Essential Duties & Responsibilities The Director of Special Education holds primary responsibility for ensuring that Uncommon Schools Boston provides the academic, emotional, and physical services for students who require additional support to thrive within the schools’ core academic programs:
- Coordinate summer and academic year staff professional development in the areas of special education, English Language Learner instruction, and at-risk student services.
- Identify, train, support, and coach school-based special education coordinators, special education teachers, providers of related services (e.g., occupational therapists, speech and language therapists, social workers, counselors), and English Language Learner instructors.
- Train, support, and coach general education teachers in the areas of special education, English Language Learner instruction, and at-risk student services.
- Coordinate, in collaboration with the Uncommon Boston Principals, the recruitment of full-time and part-time staff in the areas of special education, English Language Learner instruction, and at-risk student services.
- Provide support to the school-based special education coordinators in the following areas:
- Conducting “Child Find” activities in accordance with State and Federal law.
- Identifying incoming students’ needs for special education, English Language Learner instruction, and at-risk student services as indicated by family questionnaire responses.
- Reviewing the results of intake assessments of new students to identify students in need of special education, English Language Learner instruction, and at-risk student services
- Pre-referral and referral processes for special education, English Language Learner instruction, and at-risk student services.
- Coordinating classroom observations and testing (i.e. psychological) as needed using service providers when appropriate.
- Participating in the development and maintenance of IEPs.
- Implementing IEPs, including managing the provision of direct services by the schools.
- Ensuring that all general education teachers know, understand, and implement all classroom accommodations and modifications required by IEPs.
- Designing curricula and differentiating instruction to best serve students in need of special education, English Language Learner instruction, and at-risk student services.
- Complying with Special Education regulations and the maintenance of accurate special education records and reports in accordance with state and federal law.
- Ensure that students receive the instruction and services required by state and federal regulations.
- Create and implement programs to support the families of students in need of special education, English Language Learner instruction, and at-risk student services.
- Help to create a culture of order, structure, humanity, and academic rigor in the classrooms and schools within Uncommon Schools.
- Collaborate with teachers, other school staff, and administrators to ensure that all our students climb the mountain to high school and college.
- Work with the Principals to ensure sharing of best practices across Uncommon Schools in the areas of special education, English Language Learner instruction, and at-risk student services.
- Document Uncommon Schools protocols and best practices in the areas of special education, English Language Learner instruction, and at-risk student services.
Required knowledge, skills, and abilities:
- Strong organizational skills; extremely careful attention to detail and follow-through.
- Strong analytical and problem-solving skills.
- Strong communication and negotiating skills.
- Ability to work well in a team.
- Exceptional ability to bridge and enhance cooperative working relationships.
- Ability to create, monitor, and maintain systems that enhance organizational efficiency.
- Ability to thrive in a fast-paced, entrepreneurial environment; flexible, able to work autonomously as well as take direction as needed.
- Knowledge of state and federal laws and regulations regarding Special Education and English Language Learner service
Minimum educational level:
- Bachelor’s Degree; Master's preferred
- Certification in Special Education and English Language Learner instruction
- 4+ years working in classrooms with special education and/or ELL students, preferably in urban schools and/or communities.
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.