At Rocketship Public Schools, we believe in the infinite possibility of human potential. We believe that every student deserves the right to dream, to discover, and to develop their unique potential. And it is our responsibility and our privilege to unleash the potential inside every Rocketeer we serve. Our non-profit network of public elementary charter schools propels student achievement, develops exceptional educators, and partners with parents who enable high-quality public schools to thrive in their community.
Based in the Bay Area and reporting to the Senior Director of Personalized Learning & Achievement, the Director of Integrated Special Education (ISE) will be a key strategic leader on the Schools team and critical to driving forward the quality of and vision for Integrated Special Education within Rocketship. Rocketship currently has thirteen elementary schools in the Bay Area serving 6,600 total students of which just over 500 are students with disabilities. The Director of ISE will manage a team towards ensuring that all Rocketeers are served in a compliant, effective and high-quality environment, with the goal to achieve 1.5 years of growth in both math and literacy.
In addition, with this team, the Director of ISE will strive to continue to establish Rocketship as the premier national model for meaningful inclusion among charter schools and traditional districts. At Rocketship, we aim to aggressively support and resource our ISE team and work. The Director of ISE will be entrusted to manage the special education program resources such that schools and the Bay Area region will achieve financial self-sufficiency at scale, meaning they will operate solely on public dollars. The Director of ISE will also manage Rocketship’s Integrated Special Education service provider teams (including Speech and Occupational Therapy), the program specialist team and additional department support employees. The Director will provide on-site support, consultation and coaching for school teams in order to meet and exceed all network goals and initiative.
The Director of Integrated Special Education must work relentlessly to drive on key network initiatives which include instructional excellence for all students, department compliance and collaborative practice to ensure all students at school sites receive the top-notch education and supports they need and deserve.
- Serve as a trusted strategic partner to the Senior Director of Personalized Learning & Achievement, Schools Team and the ISE Network Support team, providing support to maintain the high achievement levels of all Rocketeers.
- Develop and lead a high performing team of special education team members toward supporting schools and school leaders across multiple sites; ensure exceptional outcomes for students with unique learning and behavioral needs; model and sustain a culture of high performance and service orientation among team members.
- Attract, hire, develop and motivate an Integrated Special Education team of highly skilled and driven individuals who execute at the highest level of excellence and consistent with the culture and mission of the organization; oversee training and support for school-based staff in serving students with Special Needs and other core areas.
- Implement, develop, and manage Rocketship’s vision and approach to Integrated Special Education in collaboration with all key stakeholders; ensure high-quality outcomes for students with unique learning and behavioral needs, within present and envisioned future scale of the network; fortify Rocketship Education’s continued presence as the premier national model of meaningful inclusion and leader in the field for effective, efficient and high-quality services for students with special needs.
- Create, evaluate, enforce and maintain policies, systems and procedures across the network that meet the highest standards of compliance; stay abreast of current special education policies and best practices for all regions and demographics; ensure all internal special education policies and procedures meet and exceed federal, state, local authorizers; and, meet LEA or SELPA guidelines and recommendations; provide on-site support to schools regarding any compliance matters pertaining to students, authorizers or otherwise.
- Own the budgeting and planning processes in collaboration with the Senior Director of Personalized Learning & Achievement; develop plans that are consistent with Rocketship’s long term self-sufficiency goal; recognize resource constraints, while at the same time always making decisions that support the goal of closing the achievement gap.
- Design and execute professional development opportunities related to special education for a range of audiences (school leaders, special education teachers, general education teachers, etc.); design and lead regular team meetings and routines, which inspire ISE team leaders to support the vision for special education services in Rocketship schools; facilitate learning and sharing of best practices related to special education and student services across Rocketship’s regional special education teams.
- Identify, understand and secure resources across the network that support the mental health needs of Rocketeers; manage relationships with external stakeholders providing mental health services in Rocketship schools; provide oversight for coordination of services.
- Support the consistent implementation of evidence-based behavior, social-emotional and academic interventions in Rocketship schools; create user-friendly resources that support school leaders in the implementation of these interventions; design and implement professional development opportunities to build school leader capacity to implement a multi-tiered system of behavioral supports in Rocketship schools; conduct professional development for school leaders in a manner that deepens the partnership with Rocketship’s School Management team, ensuring alignment between school-wide culture, behavior supports and supplemental interventions.
- Serve as an ambassador of Rocketship Education internally and externally – from school directors to funders to authorizers; create deep partnership by communicating proactively, knowledgeably and passionately about Rocketship Education’s mission and core characteristics, as well as Rocketship’s vision for inclusive special education and services.
- Maintain a close working relationship with other members of the Network Support Team (NeST—Rocketship’s centralized office that operates in support of its schools and regions), school directors, and all school staff (teachers, school leaders, support staff, etc.) to ensure exchange of best practices, coordination of efforts, data driven decision-making, and general support for the Integrated Special Education department.
- Ensure the Integrated Special Education Team is viewed as integral to the organization’s mission, aligned with Rocketship’s Core Characteristics (Innovation, Pursuit of Excellence, Authenticity, Community, and Tenacity), not as bureaucratic obstacles to serving the needs of the students.
- Collaborate with Rocketship’s recruitment team to ensure the Integrated Special Education Team is fully staffed with high quality professionals in all departments to ensure students are served across campuses; establish contracts with contractors to provide related services, as needed.
- Create development plans for all direct reports to ensure rigorous professional growth goals are met and exceeded; Provide/suggest professional development opportunities and direct coaching for all direct reports.
- Valid Special Education teaching credential or administrative license; Master’s degree in Special Education or related field strongly preferred.
- Successful experience managing special education instructional and compliance initiatives across multiple school sites.
- Demonstrated track record of improving academic outcomes for students with disabilities.
- Embrace the mission of Rocketship Education and our inclusive approach to serving students with disabilities.
- Knowledge of federal and state laws and regulations associated with special education.
- Experience working with students with a range of disabilities (learning disabilities, emotional and behavioral disorders, autism, etc.).Experience implementing student supports through a Multi-Tiered Systems of Support (MTSS) Experience working with elementary-age students (strongly preferred)
- Excellent written and oral communication skills.
- Thrive in a fast-paced, dynamic work environment.
- Ability to be flexible and adaptive in a work environment that is constantly evolving.
- Perform a variety of specialized and responsible tasks: maintain records, establish and maintain cooperative working relationships with students, parents, other school personnel, meet schedule and compliance deadlines.
- Possession of a valid driver’s license: willingness to provide own transportation in conduct of work assignments as you will be required to travel from site to site to work with students and faculty at all sites.
The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this position. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the functions. While performing the duties of this position, the employee is regularly required to talk, hear, and communicate with both adults and children. The employee frequently is required to use hands or fingers, handle or feel objects, tools, or controls. The employee is frequently required to stand; walk; sit; and reach with hands and arms. The employee must occasionally lift and/or move up to 50 pounds and occasionally climb ladders. Specific vision abilities required by this position include close vision, distance vision, and the ability to adjust focus. The noise level in the work environment is moderate to high.
Commensurate with qualifications and experience, plus excellent health and welfare benefits, 403b retirement plan, flexible spending account (FSA), and generous paid time off.
Rocketship Public 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. Rocketship Public Schools complies with applicable state and local laws governing non-discrimination in employment in every location in which the company has facilities. This policy applies to all terms and conditions of employment, including, but not limited to, hiring, placement, promotion, termination, layoff, recall, transfer, leaves of absence, compensation, and training.
Rocketship Public Schools expressly prohibits any form of unlawful employee harassment based on race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, national origin, age, genetic information, disability, or veteran status. Improper interference with the ability of Rocketship Public Schools’ employees to perform their expected job duties is absolutely not tolerated. Click here for our Sexual Harassment Policy and here for our Title IX Policy. For questions, concerns, or complaints, please contact Equity/Discrimination Title IX Compliance Officer, Email: [email protected] Address: 350 Twin Dolphin Drive, Suite 109, Redwood City, CA 94065. Phone: 877-806-0920 ext. 115.