Special Education Specialist Job Description
WHO WE ARE
Pinnacles Prep believes that ALL students, regardless of background, deserve a meaningful education in a culture where every student matters. We are deeply committed to our mission of cultivating curious, confident, and self-directed students that lead and succeed in college, career, and their communities; with the vision of our graduates becoming the leaders who drive our Valley’s future forward–making it a thriving economic, scientific, and artistic hub for the 21st century. Our school is grounded in the following essential characteristics, which shape the Pinnacles Prep experience for our faculty, students, and families. Our school is small by design. We know every student by name, story, strength, and need. All students meet with their mentor, daily, and we communicate with their parents weekly. We have high expectations: Our EPIC core values guide us:
★ Equity | creates a school culture that celebrates equity and inclusion for all
★ Purpose | leads to resilience which builds agency and empowerment
★ Inquiry | creates ideas and ideas lead to innovation and problem-solving
★ Collaboration | leads to change we want to see in our school, community, and world
We are intentionally diverse: Pinnacles Prep’s students, staff and board is intentionally diverse. We come from different backgrounds and experiences in order to be reflective of the collective diversity of our student body and community. Our staff validates and reflects the multiple identities, intersectionalities and experiences of our students. We value context over content: Students engage in 9-week, place-based interdisciplinary projects rooted in the Wenatchee Valley, with a community partner. These projects apply the standards and competencies students are learning in their foundational courses.
WHO YOU ARE
★ You have an asset-based mindset: You see every student, their background and story as an asset
★ You authentically value relationships: You are excited to mentor 15 students daily, helping them find their purpose. You look forward to communicating with parents weekly
★ You love kids AND have high expectations for all: Your love and empathy don’t preclude you from ensuring students meet their growth goals.
★ You are excited by Pinnacles Prep’s Mission and Vision: You believe that ALL students can be fully ready for college, career and to engage with their community.
★ You have a growth mindset: You thrive on feedback so you can grow, and you expect the same for kids
★ You are passionate about student voice and choice: You believe that students should have ownership of their learning and facilitating passion projects is a goal.
★ You are a data geek: You use data to drive decisions in your classroom, and collaborating with staff around data to make our school a better place is refreshing.
★ You love to collaborate: You are craving to work with teachers outside of your content area on projects.
WHAT YOUR SCHOOL YEAR / DAY LOOKS LIKE:
- SUMMER INSTITUTE: In order to become fully prepared for Pinnacles Prep’s school model, you will attend a 3-week summer institute with all other staff at Pinnacles. Here, you learn and practice our values, culture, systems, and curriculum. You will visit each of your mentees through a family visit where you connect with each student, meet their families, make authentic connections, and build relationships.
- ORIENTATION: The first three days of school you teach schoolwide routines and procedures, practicing expectations with your students and giving all baseline/diagnostic assessments.
- SCHOOL DAYS: You start every Monday in teacher collaboration which is driven by our collective needs for the quarter. Then, you meet your mentees in the Great Hall for Community Meeting where everyone gathers to start the week off to give shout-outs for our core values, weekly announcements, and an inspirational message. After community meetings, you begin your day in mentorship with your 10-15 student mentor group called Basecamp. Here, you teach our purpose development SEL Curriculum by nXu. You get deep and real with kids in conversations where your mentees are exploring what it means to build community, know their stories deeply, expand their perspective and begin to take initiative on the things that matter most to them. You are constantly checking in on the “whole-Child” of each mentee and monitoring their progress toward mastery of academic competencies. After Basecamp, you facilitate 4 periods of your foundational course content. Some days you will help out during the PEAK block (intervention/extension time) in order to make sure every student is on track to meet their growth goals. One day per week, you spend most of the day in the Project-based History block, either getting dirty in the foothills, or energized by working with our community partners. You have two periods of non-teaching every day, which you look forward to– one for your own planning purposes, and one data / or coaching meeting.
- EACH QUARTER: At the end of each quarter you celebrate our student learning through Exhibition Night where students showcase their project creations to our whole community. You meet every parent through student led conferences, and feel excited that you’re not the one doing all the talking. You have one non-teaching day at each quarter’s end where you participate in a school-wide data day, tracking school-wide growth goals.
- END OF YEAR: At the end of the school year you work with your mentor team to help them figure out their summer plan- for academic, social, and extracurricular growth, until you see them again in August.
Special Education Specialist General Responsibilities
● Daily Instruction of students
● Serve as a mentor in our Advisory Program
● Embody mission and vision of school
● Teach, re-teach and enforce school-wide systems, routines, and procedures
● Provide engaging, motivating, and rigorous instruction in whole-class and individual settings
● Supervise targeted academic support and tutoring to small groups or individual students based on data from formative assessments
● Analyze student data in collaboration with the principal, content, and grade level team.
● Implement data tracking system and use data to inform instructional development and delivery
● Communicate regularly and proactively with students and families
● Provide weekly feedback for students that reflect mastery on learning targets, standards and competencies
● Collaborate with grade level team to develop and implement 9-week interdisciplinary units that have ambitious, and standards-aligned lesson plans reflecting the current standards and competencies taught in the foundational blocks for our Place-Based Education block.
● Collaborate with other staff members and actively participate in all professional learning activities
● Work to continuously improve effectiveness in your instructional practices, and incorporate weekly feedback from weekly observations by the principal
● Use feedback to make productive changes in performance
● Participate in additional activities including field trips, intensive academic support sessions, and other required programs as needed throughout the year, such as parent empowerment workshops.
● Be open to feedback, continue development as professional, and take responsibility for student outcomes and achievement
● Oversee all aspect of our Special Education Program, including compliance
● Manage IEPs
● Participate in weekly Student Success Team
● Create individualized plans for students with IEP’s
● Serve on PBIS/SEL committee
● Supervise accommodations and specially-designed instruction in an inclusive setting
● Ability to confidently support general education teachers to meet the needs of students
● Facilitate professional development around relevant topics in special education for all staff
● Support the Washington Integrated System of Monitoring Audit in year 1
● Support paraprofessionals to work with students with disabilities in an inclusive setting
● Relevant teaching experience and a record of gap-closing results is highly preferred
● Current WA State Teacher Certificate or ability to acquire by June 2021
● Special Education Endorsement required
● BCBA is preferred
● Spanish speakers and persons of color are strongly encouraged to apply
Salary is commensurate with WA State teacher salaries, depending on experience. All employees receive a full benefits package, and enrollment into the WA School Employees Benefits program.
If you are someone for whom this job description just made you excited we highly encourage you to apply. Please submit answers to the following questions along with your resume, cover letter, and contact information by February 28th HERE or by using the “Submit Application Here” button on our website.
- What is the mark of a successful teacher? How does a teacher know if s/he has been successful?
- Why do you want to work at Pinnacles Prep? Please provide concrete details.
- Which of the following quotes speaks more to you and why? “It’s important to avoid getting bogged down in the details. Life is about thinking big and freeing your mind to think those big thoughts.” “It’s the little details that are vital. Little things make big things happen.”
- Why does the opportunity gap persist in so many schools? If you had to pinpoint one reason for their failure to produce equal results with students, what would it be?
EQUAL EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY: Equal employment opportunity and respect in the workplace are fundamental principles at Pinnacles Prep. Pinnacles Prep prohibits and does not tolerate harassment, intimidation, bullying, discriminatory, or retaliatory behavior. All aspects of your employment are based upon your personal capabilities and qualifications, without regard to race, color, religion/creed, sex/gender (including pregnancy and gender identity), sexual orientation or perceived sexual orientation, national origin, alienage or citizenship status, disability, age, military status, marital status, partnership status, status as a victim of domestic violence, genetic predisposition or carrier status, or any other protected class as established by federal, state, or local law. The following employee has been designated to handle questions and complaints of alleged discrimination: Please contact Jill Fineis, Principal, firstname.lastname@example.org.