Director of Special Education - Salt Lake City, UT

Career Center ,

School District:  Salt Lake City School District
City/State:   Salt Lake City, Utah
Where to Apply:
Position Open Until: 11/6/2021

Job Description: 
Purpose: The Director of Special Education (Director) in fulfilling the goals and mission of the district performs a variety of administrative duties including, but not limited to: providing comprehensive direction, leadership and supervision of the Special Education Department, its personnel, and programs; maintain a working knowledge and ensuring district compliance to federal, state, and local laws and regulations; and providing information and recommendations to the Board, Superintendent, staff and/or public. The Director provides positive leadership and guidance to create continuous improvement toward equity, excellence and achievement for students with disabilities (SWD). The Director will engage in activities such as: creating stability and consistency across school-based special education services; provide support and inspiration for innovative educational services for SWD; collaborate with district employees and community members; provide supervision, evaluation, coaching and growth-evoking feedback to Special Education Department personnel; implement policies/procedures/processes to improve educational experiences for SWD; develop and deploy professional development activities for staff; communicate across all constituencies in a professional, persuasive manner; develop and deploy research-based improvement strategies to better serve SWD; responsible for implementing the Board of Education’s Inclusive Schools Resolution, etc. This position reports to the Executive Director of Educational Equity and Student Support.

Essential Job Functions:

  1. Oversee the general operation of the Special Education Department.
  2. Maintain a vast and wide ranging understanding of current special education law, neurodiversity research, spectrum of special education programming, and inclusive practices.
  3. Maintain laser-like focus on leadership, direction and commitment to equity, excellence and achievement for SWD; develop and implement procedures to improve learning and working outcomes.
  4. Advocate acceptance and knowledge of the neurodivergent community, and provision of services for SWD.
  5. Model and teach effective leadership qualities, including but not limited to, providing staff development to improve communication, improve instructional practices, and foster a culture of collaboration.
  6. Establish relationships with school administration and district departments to ensure compliance with IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act); ensure the needs of SWD are being met and inclusive learning environments are being created.
  7. Openly communicate and consult with parents, teachers, and administrators in matters pertaining to the education of SWD.
  8. Represent the district in contacts with local, state, and federal agencies in matters pertaining to special education.
  9. Prepare and present reports and recommendations to the Board of Education on a wide range of topics including the Inclusive Schools Resolution, Special Education programs and innovation activities.
  10. Implement policies/procedures/programs for the purpose of providing direction and ensuring compliance with state and federal law, including IDEA.
  11. Provide support for the development, implementation, and assessment of educational models focused on the academic, social and emotional progress of SWD, including students of color, twice exceptional students, and multi-language learners.
  12. Respond appropriately and timely to concerns of school leadership, supervisor, district leadership, staff, and community members.
  13. Coach, mentor, evaluate and deliver growth-evoking feedback of the performance and conduct of all assigned personnel; develop and deliver professional growth activities designed to engage staff to support individual school/district goals and programs to improve student achievement.
  14. Incorporate culturally competent strategies and utilize culturally responsive communication/engagement strategies with all members of SLCSD learning community.
  15. Analyze and interpret data to evaluate effectiveness of Special Education Department programming; develop and implement plans for continued improvement.
  16. Manage budgets in alignment with the district mission and Student Achievement Plan, following district budget, procurement and accounting policies and procedures with integrity and ethics.
  17. Oversee student identification, testing, and evaluation for special education services in compliance with IDEA.
  18. Consistently demonstrate strong diplomacy.
  19. Demonstrate excellent organizational and planning skills.
  20. Ability to work effectively: independently and as part of a team.
  21. Provide support and inspiration for students, staff and the learning community to achieve the mission of the district.
  22. Engage in ethical, courteous and professional conduct throughout employment activities.
  23. Demonstrate and maintain regular and predictable attendance for the purpose of fulfilling job requirements efficiently and effectively. Will be required to attend activities, events, and meetings outside of normal work hours on a regular basis.
  24. Critical thinking skills for successful crisis management/resolution.
  25. Respond to any state and/or federal complaints brought against the district regarding special education programs.
  26. Other duties as assigned.

Work Environment Requirements:

  1. Risks found in the typical work environment, which is adequately lighted, heated and ventilated, e.g., safe use of office equipment, avoiding trips and falls, observing fire regulations.
  2. Driving to work locations.

Minimum Qualifications:

  1. Masters degree in Education, Special Education, Administration or related field.
  2. Special Education Endorsement.
  3. State of Utah Administrative/Supervisory License or an out of state license that is transferrable to Utah.
  4. At least 5 years of teaching experience in a special education classroom.
  5. At least 5 years administrative experience in a public elementary, middle/junior, or senior high school.
  6. Professional communication skills, including excellent written and verbal communication skills. Confident, articulate, and professional speaking abilities; empathic listening and persuasive speaking skills.
  7. Extensive knowledge of applicable laws, rules, regulations and/or district policies and procedures.
  8. A valid driver's license that allows the applicant/employee to operate a motor vehicle in Utah legally.
  9. The selected candidate must be fingerprinted and clear a criminal background check. (When applying for an administrative position, candidates must meet the minimum qualifications as listed on the appropriate position vacancy announcement.)

Preferred Qualifications:

  1. At least five years of experience as a school principal at the high school level.
  2. Experience as an educator or educational leader at all levels—elementary, middle, and high school.
  3. Experience effectively managing and demonstrating financial responsibility with multi-million-dollar budgets driven to maximize available resources for students and increase student achievement.
  4. Proven track record of providing appropriate professional special education services to SWD. Experience writing state and federal reports.
  5. Demonstrated knowledge of current and emerging trends related to SWD, determining educational needs, developing programs, supervision/evaluation of implemented programs, and experience managing District, State, and Federal programs for compliance.
  6. Excellent writing, presentation, speaking and listening skills.
  7. Demonstrated history of initiative and resourcefulness.
  8. Communicate effectively and maintain good working relationships with people from diverse backgrounds - ability, culture, ethnic, and socioeconomic backgrounds.
  9. Experience with facilitating professional learning communities with educators, educational leaders, and district leadership.
  10. Effective experience in creating and facilitating collaborative work groups and supporting staff in continuous development.
  11. Ability to develop and maintain the confidence and trust of senior leadership at the district.
  12. Spanish Speaker: speaks, reads, writes and understands spoken Spanish.