Archdiocese of Philadelphia
  • Catholic Education
  • Philadelphia, PA, USA
  • Full Time

Director of Special Education

Archdiocese of Philadelphia

Office of Catholic Education

222 N. 17th Street

Philadelphia, PA 19103

Overview:

The Archdiocese of Philadelphia seeks an energetic, experienced and dynamic leader for the position of Director of Special Education. Through creativity and option thinking, this highly motivated individual will engage others, create opportunities and advance the mission of Catholic Education. The successful candidate will participate in an organization driven by the virtues of excellence, integrity, innovation, enthusiasm, collaboration, and respect.

The Director of Special Education reports to the Superintendent of Secondary Schools and will lead the execution of the "Strategic Goals for Special Education," as an administrator of the Office of Catholic Education, under the Faith in the Future Foundation. The Director will manage the full continuum of Special Education services in our high schools and four stand-alone schools of Special Education and support the elementary schools as needed. These recommendations include hiring essential, specialized personnel for the Schools of Special Education and related services. The Director will oversee the budgeting process, financial aid distribution, address facilities issues at the four Schools of Special Education and will expand the technology infrastructure needed to meet the demands of today's learning environments. This leader will need to forge relationships with college and community partners, advocate for students and families and support the Director of Advancement.  Further, there is the need to provide special opportunities in the full Catholic school environment, specifically to add resource rooms for learning support in the regular education schools and provide professional development to enable teachers to meet special learning needs-inclusion via differentiated instruction.

There are four schools of Special Education: Saint Lucy School for Children with Visual Impairments; Archbishop Ryan School for the Deaf; and schools for children with cognitive impairments: Our Lady of Confidence School and St. Katherine Day School. In addition, there are 17 Secondary Schools and 104 Elementary Schools in the Archdiocese that are inclusive of students with special learning needs, whose individualized learning plans can be accommodated with available resources at the respective schools. All school programs are underwritten by tuition, grants and institutional advancement. The Secondary Schools have local governance subject to the constraints of the Secondary System.

Qualifications:

  • Master's Degree in Special Education or related educational field.
  • Pennsylvania Certification in Special Education, K-12; PA special education supervisory certification preferred
  • Administrative leadership experience and certification preferred.
  • Demonstrated knowledge and success in obtaining government funding.
  • Excellent communication skills, both oral and written.
  • High degree of flexibility.
  • Technologically proficient.
  • Strong knowledge and experience with special education instructional models.
  • Understanding of special education transition planning.
  • Knowledge of needs of vision and/or hearing-impaired students.
  • Comprehensive understanding of IDEA, ESSA, Section 504 and ADA laws and regulations; Child Find & Equitable Participation protocols; identification and services for students.

Responsibilities: 

  • Review staffing, program needs, materials, and technology at the present Archdiocesan Schools of Special Education.
  • Make site visits and meet quarterly with principals of Special Education schools and with principals of schools hosting learning support programs.
  • Work with principals to interpret the results of psycho-educational evaluations, IEPs and 504 plans; and monitor student progress.
  • Manage compliance with special education laws, requirements, and timelines.
  • Collaborate with members of school teams concerning all facets of programming for students with special needs, including pre-referral intervention and transition or dismissal.
  • Support schools with technology and assistive technology decisions.
  • Provide recommendations regarding enrollment growth for Schools of Special Education.
  • Provide consultation and support for expansion of learning support programs to general education schools.
  • Develop guidelines and policies for learning support programs and resource rooms.
  • Consult with County Intermediate Units regarding Equitable Participation for delivery of student services along with IDEA, 504, and ADA.
  • Oversee establishment of a database of private providers, community agencies, mental health clinics, etc.
  • Study current information related to Special Education laws, programs, and student resources.
  • Support schools in implementation of specially designed instruction.
  • Plan, implement, and evaluate professional development for teachers.
  • Remain informed of current information related to enrichment programs and student resources.
  • Report to and collaborate with both the Faith in the Future Board and the Schools of Special Education Board of Limited Jurisdiction.

The Archdiocese offers a competitive salary and benefits package commensurate with experience and education.

Must be a practicing Catholic as verified by the pastor of the parish in which the applicant is registered.

PA required clearances and Safe Environment Certification and official transcripts would be required before employment can begin.

As a religious organization, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia is also bound by Canon Law and Catholic teachings.  For this reason, there may be occasions when an employee's failure to adhere to the truths of the Catholic faith are a factor in employment-related decisions.  In the event an employee fails to adhere to, or takes a position publicly that is contrary to, Catholic doctrine and teachings, or any policy or procedure maintained by the Archdiocese, the employee may be subject to disciplinary action up to and including termination of employment.

Employment practices will not be influenced by an individual's legally protected status or any other basis as may be required by local, state and/or federal law as those laws apply to the Archdiocese. 

Any employee with questions or concerns about any type of discrimination in the workplace is encouraged to bring these issues to the attention of Human Resources.  Employees can raise concerns and make reports without fear of reprisal.  Anyone found to be engaging in any type of unlawful discrimination will be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination of employment.

Archdiocese of Philadelphia
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