Location: New Orleans, LA
About FirstLine Schools
In 1998, FirstLine Schools started the first charter school in New Orleans. FirstLine now operates four Pre-K-8th grade schools. Our mission is to create and inspire great open admissions public schools in New Orleans. Our faculty is a diverse and talented group dedicated to our students’ success and to their own growth as teachers. Our schools are led by leaders who hold themselves accountable for student achievement and teacher development.
The Director of Student Support Services (DSSS) is responsible for helping FirstLine Schools achieve its mission of creating great open admissions public schools by supporting the development and implementation of high quality student support services at each school site. These services include: Special Education, related services such as social work, counseling, and therapeutic supports for social/emotional/behavioral needs, speech, OT, PT, APE, nursing, orientation and mobility, Braille instruction, interpretation and sign language, gifted and talented services, as well as support services for English Language Learners and their families and the oversight of Section 504 services. It also includes academic and behavioral Response to Intervention.
Working in partnership with the school-based Special Education Coordinators, RTI Coordinators, school leaders, network leaders, and student support personnel; the DSSS ensures quality provision across a range of services. The job is unique in that most of the services will be provided by team members who are directly supervised by others, while the DSSS will work with these colleagues to ensure high quality services across a range of work streams. The DSSS will directly manage a few key team members.
Overall Vision and Leadership
Working with the Director of Special Education and school based Special Education Coordinators, develops and implements systems to ensure timely service provision in accordance with student IEPs
Ensures collaborative planning and professional development between special education coordinators and their school based teams, related service providers, and RTI coordinators and school based interventionists
Facilitates the on-going embedding of the network commitments:
Develops and implements systems to identify students at risk for poor learning outcomes and ensures appropriate interventions are conducted in the areas of academics and behavior across schools through collaboration with school based RTI Coordinators and network leaders
Serves as a liaison between various external student support partners and FLS Mental health services (with social workers and counselors): the DSSS will take primary responsibility for the development and implementation of a plan for comprehensive mental health services for students in need, with the support of school social workers. The DSSS will also support the lead network social worker in creating a system for evaluating and communicating the quality of external service providers.
Nursing and health services: The DSSS will work with school nurses to ensure quality health service provision at each of the schools that include direct nursing services and support for students with special needs as well as compliance with regulations related to nursing services in schools (screenings, immunizations, medication, CPR/First Aid/AED training).
Response to Intervention: The DSSS will work with network and school content leads, school-based RTI Coordinators, and City Year leaders to train staff, identify students, evaluate programming, and track outcomes for students in need of interventions in the areas of behavior and academics.
Special Education Services: The DSSS will work with the Director of Special Education and school-based SPED Coordinators to develop an overall vision for the Special Education program, including the development and implementation of a comprehensive plan for curriculum, instruction, documentation, and professional development for special education coordinators, teachers, and support service providers.
Medicaid reimbursement: The DSSS coordinates with external Medicaid reimbursement partners to ensure all service providers, FLS school based teams and the Finance team work to maximize all systems that ensure the highest levels of medicaid reimbursement.
Leadership and Programming Support across Student Support services
In addition to the areas of direct management, the DSSS ensures high quality services in Special Education, Health/Nursing, Mental Health, and Speech through:
Strategic management: Leads long-term and annual strategic planning processes that result in three-year and annual strategic plans with needs assessments, clear priorities, measurements of progress, action steps, and annual budgets
Performance evaluation: Assists school leaders with performance evaluations of specialist personnel: nurses, social workers/counselors, speech therapists, RTI and special education coordinators
Professional development: Designs and implements professional development for special education coordinators and their school based teams, related service providers, and RTI coordinators and school based interventionists and facilitates the on-going embedding of the network values (Service, Results, Leaning, and Collaboration) across each of the student support service areas
Direct Management Responsibilities
Directly manages itinerant teachers, and contracted student support service providers
For each of these areas of responsibility, the DSSS recruits and selects staff as needed, provides regular performance evaluation feedback, provides general leadership and support as outlined below
Manages the Director of SPED who develops and implements the strategy and academic systems to ensure compliance with local and federal law related to special education.
*Responsible for direct oversight of the department including but not limited to ensuring meeting schedules, goal setting and achievement, and overall performance towards achieving the overall organizational goal
*NOTE: The candidate with a combined skill set of an advanced degree and leadership/supervisory expertise/experience would assume this level of responsibility consistent with a Director IV classification.
Education & Experience: Bachelor’s degree required; M.B.A./M.S./M.A./M.Ed. or equivalent preferred (required for Director IV classification)
SPED Teaching experience is a requirement and SPED Coordinator experience is preferred
Five years experience in the field of education and/or nonprofit leadership required; leadership skills preferred (required for Director IV classification)
Proficiency with PowerPoint, Excel, and electronic communication
Passion for improving educational opportunities for urban students and for building a strong, mission-driven organization
Proficient in using data in the decision-making process
Experience at systems design and continuous improvement
Enjoy working collaboratively with a range of colleagues
Enjoy managing multiple workstreams in a fast-moving environment
Enjoy an environment characterized by on-going innovation and continuous improvement
Desired Qualities & Characteristics:
Believe in every student’s ability to achieve in a rigorous college or career prep curriculum
Achieve results based on agreed-upon expectations
Take personal responsibility
Collaborate effectively with a range of stakeholders
Share a commitment to creating great schools in New Orleans
Strong written and verbal communication skills
Model the FirstLine values of Service, Learning, Collaboration and Results
While performing the duties of this job, the employee may be required to sit, walk, stand, talk, and hear.
Light lifting of equipment may be required (up to 20 lbs.)
DIRECTOR OF STUDENT SUPPORT SERVICES reports to: Chief Academic Officer
How to Apply: Please apply online via: http://www.firstlineschools.org/careers
Salary & Benefits:
Salary is competitive and commensurate with experience. FirstLine Schools offers a comprehensive benefits package with a generous 403b plan.
Annual Base Salary Ranges:
Director III: $85-98,000/yr
Director IV: $90-104,000/yr
FirstLine Schools provides equal employment opportunities (EEO) to all employees and applicants for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, national origin, age, disability, genetic information, marital status, amnesty, or status as a covered veteran in accordance with applicable federal, state and local laws.
Base - Dir III: $85-98K/yr | Dir IV: $90-104K/yr