Interim Director of Special Education – KIPP Massachusetts
ORGANIZATION: KIPP (Knowledge is Power Program) is a national network 125 free, open-enrollment, college-preparatory, public charter schools in 20 states and DC serving over 39,000 students, including 85% from low-income households. KIPP prepares students in underserved communities for success in college and in life. More than 95% of KIPPsters graduate from high school and 88% of KIPP alumni have gone on to college. Founded in 2004, KIPP Massachusetts (KIPP MA) is taking advantage of exciting K-12 education reform and charter movement opportunities in the state to expand from its original middle school in Lynn to a KIPP Region of 5+ schools in Lynn and Boston with several hundred staff serving over 2,100 students by the end of its growth plan. In August 2011, KIPP MA opened its second school in Lynn, a high school, and in August 2012, KIPP MA opened its third school, a middle school in Boston. Position Overview Reporting to the Executive Director, the DSE will coordinate all the support services (special education, 504 plans, ELL, speech therapy, occupational therapy, physical therapy, and other services) for all KIPP Massachusetts Schools. The overarching goals of the position are to improve student achievement for all learners, to disseminate best practices for working with students with special needs, to reduce the administrative burden on school-based personnel, and to ensure programmatic compliance with local, state and federal guidelines.
- Consult with School Leaders and school-based Special Education Coordinators to develop, monitor, and evaluate the effectiveness of special education programs and other student supports (Early Intervention, 504, ELL, etc.)
- Ensure the sharing of Special Education resources across schools (i.e. Assessments, Curriculum, etc.)
- Work with the Regional Grants and Compliance team to ensure that we are receiving appropriate Special Education funding
- Maintain central Special Education Information Database for all schools in the region, and customize to fit needs of each school
- Collaborate with school-based staff to maintain student files
- Assist with high-need student cases that involve special placement decisions or unique logistical issues (i.e. transportation, medical services, homebound instruction, etc.)
- Create and implement systems of tracking and reporting that allow schools to measure effectiveness of Special Education program.
- Work with school-based staff to create an annual training for all school staff around basic special education compliance requirements.
- Work with school leadership teams to create specific trainings for Learning Support staff throughout the year.
- Negotiate region-wide contracts with supplemental service providers
Program Compliance and Monitoring
- Meet regularly (1-2x per month) with Learning Specialists to ensure alignment on requirements for compliance.
- Compile school reporting information for submission to the state
- Perform comprehensive annual audit for each school’s Special Education paperwork.
- Perform regular smaller programmatic audits
- Represent the schools for external Special Education department purposes and serve as the point person for state requests for information (i.e. use of restraint report, etc.)
- Compile all necessary requirements for any State Audits
- Create systems for monitoring compliance with the timelines associated with every IEP, RTI, and evaluation request
- Create systems for reporting timeline compliance to School Leaders and Executive Director
Qualifications & Skills
- Bachelor’s degree required; Master’s degree in education preferred
- MA State Certification in Special Education required
- Minimum three years exemplary teaching required
- Knowledge of national, state, and local special education statute and law required
- Excellent communication and interpersonal skills
- Ability to exercise excellent judgment in decision-making; facilitate various size working groups, work collaboratively, and supervise people, and; gather and analyze data, compile information, and prepare reports
- Flexible and able to multi-task within an ambiguous, fast-moving, entrepreneurial environment, while also driving toward clarity and solutions
- Highly organized
- Proficient in MS Office, particularly Word, Excel and PowerPoint
Traits & Qualities:
- Relentless determination to do whatever it takes to help our students succeed.
- Orientation to make decisions in the best interests of students and the sustainability of KIPP MA to fulfill its mission.
- Passion and deep alignment with KIPP MA mission, values, culture, and team.
- Deep customer service ethic.
- Goal-driven, accountable, and reliable
- Flexibility, with a strong work ethic and an entrepreneurial spirit to accommodate a high level of responsibility and multiple priorities
- Humility, self-awareness, integrity, enthusiasm, persistence, flexibility, entrepreneurial, constant learner.
- Proactive and creative problem-solver; ability to identify, analyze, and recommend solutions to problems.
- Strong interpersonal skills and track record of collaborating with diverse stakeholders; capacity to work well with staff, students, families, community members, and outside vendors.
- Enthusiasm and sense of humor.
Compensation Salary is competitive with other Charter Management Organizations (CMOs) and commensurate with experience. Comprehensive benefits package included. KIPP Massachusetts is an equal opportunity employer. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, gender, handicap, age, religion, sexual orientation, or national or ethnic origin. We are committed to hiring a diverse and multicultural staff and encourage applications from traditionally under-represented backgrounds.
How to Apply
Submit a resume and cover letter to Caleb Dolan at email@example.com.
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