Reporting directly to the Chief Academic Officer, the Assistant Superintendent for Special Education Services is a critical leadership role that directly affects the acceleration of improved student outcomes for GCS’s 10,534 students with special needs. This role directs, monitors and strengthens programs and ensures all services are implemented within federal, state, and local regulations. The Assistant Superintendent will coordinate the efforts of federal, state and local agencies, private specialists, parents, and division supervisors to provide the services needed by GCS students, working to eliminate disparities in achievement and ensure college and career readiness for students with special needs.
This role develops and implements GCS’s policies and procedures for identifying and meeting the needs of diverse learners, leads comprehensive planning and coordination; manages the administration of a large and complex budget with funds from district, state, and federal sources; and provides system leadership to ensure equitable access to high-quality special education and related services.
Specific Duties and Responsibilities
Equity Leadership and Student Success
- Set a clear vision and goals for the Exceptional Children department to increase academic achievement and provide supports for students with special needs.
- Cultivate a commitment among all district staff that all students will achieve high standards.
- Confront preconceptions and model open dialogue about race, culture, class and other issues of difference with peers, staff, students and the community.
- Demonstrate cultural proficiency, sensitivity, and equity to ensure students’ needs are met.
- Assess the distribution of Special Education supports ensuring allocation is equitable and provides the best resources to efficiently and effectively meet the needs of all GCS’s students, families, and schools.
Instructional Leadership and School Support
- Direct and supervise the Exceptional Children department including directors, Exceptional Child Services Coordinators, Program Administrators and Compliance Officers.
- Plan, develop, and implement a comprehensive program for students with disabilities, which assesses the needs of students, establishes objectives and priorities, develops strategies to achieve objectives, and evaluates programs.
- Apply research and best practices to inform the development of theories of pedagogy, intervention programs and improve the delivery of special education and related services.
- Effectively communicate and collaborate with principals, principal supervisors, district departments to provide supports for a variety of school settings and build school support systems with necessary resources.
- Assist with the administration of the district’s two special schools for students with disabilities.
- Work in conjunction with the State Department of Public Instruction, the Office for Civil Rights, and other agencies to meet the needs of students; prepare and monitor contracts with individuals and agencies for special services not available through GCS and ensure compliance of programs with federal, state and local regulations.
Systems and Policies
- Assess the effectiveness of the department and effectively prioritize, plan and implement improvements, as needed.
- Establish processes for quality controls, operational efficiency and accuracy in departmental work.
- Ensure responsive and efficient services including appropriate due process in the best interest of students with special needs.
- Create proactive systems that garner feedback from schools to inform district-level policy and practice.
- Use and analyze data to drive decisions and guide problem-solving to achieve the best student outcomes.
- Share data with broad audiences to improve transparency and communication.
- Facilitate problem-solving and dispute resolution to ensure appropriate services and resources for students.
- Address systemic issues efficiently, effectively, and consistently.
- Consult with central and school-based staff on specific individual cases when further interpretation of federal, state and local policies is required.
- Provide technical assistance to staff, families, and outside agencies related to the implementation of legal mandates.
Talent Management and Professional Learning
- Supervise, mentor, and provide professional growth and development opportunities for staff by identifying and utilizing individual strengths among team members to serve the department as a whole.
- Build and cultivate positive relationships among staff internally and within the broader Guilford district including principals, support staff and the larger community.
- Support staff in developing, implementing, and evaluating strategy and project plans to achieve goals.
- Increase the effectiveness of school-based special educators:
- Assist in the recruitment, selection, and matching of candidates for special education and related services.
- Collaborate to refine and implement GCS’s evaluative frameworks, tools, and professional growth opportunities.
- Potential to supervise principals of district-run separate day schools for special education.
- Strategically manage and allocate resources (including money, people, time, etc.) aligned to students’ needs.
- Partner with central office to create district-wide professional development programs that build the capacity of district teachers and leaders to:
- Implement inclusive practices for students with special needs.
- Make decisions based on research and best practices in special education, psychology, social work, health, counseling, student support team, and related services.