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Executive Director of Special Education

Company: Massachusetts Association of School Superintendent
Location: Salem
Posted on: March 10, 2023

Job Description:

Executive Director of Special Education, Salem Public Schools
Location: District-wide, Office - 29 Highland Avenue, Salem MA 01970
Application Due Date: Open Until Filled
Reports to: Assistant Superintendent
Position Overview
Salem Public Schools is seeking an Executive Director of Special Education who will be responsible for developing, supporting, and monitoring the delivery of all special education and related services from the age of birth to 22 years for the Salem Public Schools. In collaboration with the administrative team, this position provides leadership in the District's strategic priority to provide all students with an academic experience that is accessible, rigorous, relevant and engaging. The Executive Director of Special Education will actively apply an equity lens by removing any and all structures and/or practices that present barriers to all students being college and career ready upon graduation from the Salem Public Schools.
The Executive Director of Special Education reports to the Assistant Superintendent.
Core Responsibilities:
The Executive Director of Special Education provides oversight and administrative leadership of all special education and related services (including those provided to students who may be placed in out-of-district programs). As such, the ED of Special Education is responsible for:

  • IEP and 504 plan process from referral through evaluation, eligibility determination and the implementation of resulting IEPs and 504 accommodation plans.
  • Ongoing cycles of student evaluation, re-evaluation and assessment
  • Provision of the district's specialized, inclusive instruction
  • Oversight of the district's specialized substantially separate programs
  • Oversight of the Salem Early Childhood Center (ages 3-4)
  • Oversight of the Salem Prep High School (grades 8 to age 22, public day school)
  • District-wide management of student special education records and DESE reporting
  • Oversight of all related services and staff including occupational therapy, physical therapy, speech pathology, school psychologist, etc.
  • Management of the special education budget, including contracted services
  • Oversight of required annual state data reporting cycles, grant preparation, Circuit Breaker submissions through DESE
  • Evaluation of special education administrators
  • Hiring process for special education staff
  • Communication with district's special education attorneys
  • Oversight of the special education mediation, hearing or PRS complaint resolution

    Essential Duties

    • Plans, coordinates, and evaluates the delivery of special education and related services to meet or exceed federal and state laws and regulations as a collaborative member of the District's executive leadership team and in support of the district's vision, mission and goals
    • Ensures that all students with disabilities have access to appropriate educational supports as determined by the Individualized Education Program team
    • Monitors the development and implementation of IEPs throughout the district
    • Oversees all aspects of out-of-district student placements
    • Prepares, administers and monitors budgets related to supplemental and/or special education services in accordance with federal, state, and district laws, regulations, conventions, and quality criteria
    • Oversees the preparation of federal and state grants, data collection and reports related to special education
    • Coordinates the District's use of third-party payment system and participation in state Medicare reimbursement program
    • Oversees the delivery of MCAS accommodations and development of MCAS-ALTs
    • Administers and implements the Salem Public Schools' Special Education Local Plan
    • Develops and monitors regional inter-agency agreements
    • Builds strong relationships and partnership with local special education collaboratives
    • In cooperation with principals, coordinates the work of student review teams and teacher assistance teams.
    • Meets with curriculum committees to advocate for the special education programs
    • Monitors the development and implementation of 504 plans throughout the district
    • Works cooperatively with parents and community on special education matters and attends/participates in meetings of the Special Education Parent Advisory Committee
    • As necessary, represents the Salem Public Schools with the Bureau of Special Education Appeals
    • Acts as a liaison to community agencies, courts, hospitals and clinics on special education and guidance matters
    • Prepares reports as needed for program and state mandates
    • Assumes additional duties and responsibilities as necessary or assigned by the Superintendent or Assistant Superintendent

      Key Skills, Mindsets and Beliefs

      • Holds high expectations for student learning and believes that all students can learn and achieve mastery of the standards when provided with the right supports
      • Commits to developing and internalizing a shared educational vision around world-class outcomes, college and career readiness and responsible citizenship for every student in the Salem Public Schools
      • Demonstrates strong context and audience-specific interpersonal, written and verbal communication skills
      • Demonstrates strong conceptual, analytical, organizational, and management skills and demonstrated leadership ability
      • Experienced in the process of identifying and supporting English language learners (ELs) with special needs
      • Analyzes situations accurately and adopts an effective course of action
      • Works independently with little direction
      • Consistently meets schedules, deadlines and timelines

        Supervision, Evaluation and Development of Staff

        • Builds, develops and sustains effective leadership and teacher teams
        • Participates in the process of hiring direct reports and personnel related to supplemental and/or special education level student supports
        • Supports supplemental and/or special education level staff with professional learning opportunities that ensure adult performance results in improved student outcomes
        • Provides mentorship to special education administrators and team chairpersons through collaboration and consultation
        • Supports and empowers staff to create rigorous standards-based units of instruction that are aligned across grade levels and content areas and meet the needs of diverse learners
        • Ensures that all staff are evaluated annually and receive ongoing, timely, actionable verbal and written feedback & coaching
        • Addresses instances of underperformance with support staff to improve student outcomes
        • Provides technical assistance to general education staff and administrators, ensuring the implementation of Multi-Tiered Systems of Supports (MTSS)
        • Oversees the supervision and evaluation of related services staff, including speech and language pathologists, occupational therapists, physical therapists, etc.
        • Ensures that all staff are sensitive to the cultural and religious needs of students and consistently uphold the civil rights of all individuals in the Salem Public Schools

          Required Qualifications:

          • Master's degree in special education or related field
          • MA DESE certification as a Special Education Administrator
          • Three to five years of experience as a special education administrator, in increasingly challenging roles, evaluating and developing special education programming
          • Three to five years of experience as a classroom and/or special education teacher
          • Demonstrated knowledge of public-school laws and policies as they relate to the delivery of special education services and related programs
          • Citizenship, residency OR WORK VISA in United States
          • Bilingual, candidates of color are strongly encouraged to apply

            Work Year:
            52 weeks
            Salary Range:
            Equal Opportunity Employer
            Salem Public School District is committed to maintaining a work and learning environment free from discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, pregnancy, gender identity, sexual orientation, marital/civil union status, ancestry, place of birth, age, citizenship status, veteran status, political affiliation, genetic information, or disability, as defined and required by state and federal laws. Additionally, we prohibit retaliation against individuals who oppose such discrimination and harassment or who participate in an equal opportunity investigation.

Keywords: Massachusetts Association of School Superintendent, Salem , Executive Director of Special Education, Education / Teaching , Salem, Massachusetts

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