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Special Education - Senior Director - 1.0 FTE

Portland Public Schools

HOW TO APPLY: Please visit our website at: and select Job #21766

This job is open until filled. First review of applications will take place the week of February 8th. Portland Public Schools reserves the right to make a hiring decision at any point during the posting period.

Portland Public Schools envisions every student, every teacher, every school succeeding. We are actively seeking talented, driven professionals who are energized by big challenges. If you are solution-oriented, a strong communicator and collaborator, and passionate about urban education, then this is the place for you!


We are seeking a dynamic leader with a demonstrated record of improving student performance and eliminating achievement disparities to join us as our Senior Director of Special Education. As the Senior Director of Special Education you will report to the Chief Student Support Services Officer. You will lead the district's transformational work to develop and support our teachers, school leaders and instructional staff. As the Senior Director of Special Education you will lead the vision to accelerate how school leaders and school site teams, along with district teams, create the conditions for student success. The Senior Director of Special Education is responsible for providing leadership and management for the department of Special Education and programs for students ages five through 21 with the focus on teaching, learning, and student achievement.


The focus of the Special Education department is to provide equal access to high standards and high quality instruction for all students with disabilities, regardless of race or class. The goal is to improve expectations for their achievement, and implement the accountability structures necessary to ensure results. Portland Public School has actively engaged with our stakeholders in the development of a new framework for achieving the Special Education department goals that will include:

- A change in orientation to provide a more inclusive education environment
- Clear parameters about models of special education services
- Attention to issues of program versus services
- Attention to the disproportionate number of students of color in special education
- A focus on parental and community involvement


- Demonstrates a commitment to the Portland Public Schools Racial Equity and Social Justice Commitment by developing a thorough knowledge and application of the district Racial Educational Equity Policy, the PPS RESJ Framework, and the PPS RESJ Partnerships Investment Strategy and other board policies; participate in staff development, in-services and trainings related to diversity, equity and inclusion in the workplace and in K – 12 education; model appropriate behaviors; develop, recommend and implement improvements to educational practices with awareness and understanding of their impact in a racially and culturally diverse community.
- Develops, disseminates, and guides "best practices" for special education programs in collaboration with school leadership.
- Provides an integrated model of service delivery that increases equitable access to high standards and high quality instruction for all students.
- Provides leadership and supervises the planning, development and establishment of new, modified or improved special education programs, services and activities.
- Provides direction, consultation and supervision to program supervisors; consult with centrally based staff and school based staff on individual cases and on interpretation of federal, state and local policies and procedures.
- Develops relationships with building administrators, central office, various employee groups and their union representatives to ensure high quality instruction for students with disabilities both in general and special education settings.
- Ensures cooperation, collaboration and communication with the general education administration and Response to Intervention (RTI) so that special education needs are represented in staff development offerings, curriculum planning, textbook and materials selection and adoption, and instruction.
- Enhances, develops and implements standards, policies and procedures related to exceptional child services; develop short and long range goals; monitor the progress of various services; make recommendations for changes.
- Demonstrates knowledge of innovative and researched-based methodologies used to instruct students with disabilities in a virtual environment.
- Incorporates Response to Intervention strategies to problem solve and monitor progress of all students in reaching standards through research based curriculum interventions.
- Utilizes data analysis and/or program evaluation to make informed decisions with a focus on student achievement.
- Develops and evaluates special education programs based on identified student instructional and behavioral needs and data, rather than services driven by the student category.
- Establish policies and procedures for identification, placement, and provision of services to students with a broad range and types of disabilities.
- Ensures cooperation, collaboration and communication with the general education administration so that special education needs are represented in staff development offerings, curriculum planning, textbook and materials selection and adoption, and instruction.
- Maintains positive, responsive relationships with parents, advocates and community members.
- Cooperates with public and private agencies, organizations and professional personnel and families in securing and providing services for students with disabilities and other conditions that may put students at the risk of failure.
- Directs and coordinates the implementation of State and Federal legislation related to Special Education and 504 programs.
- Develops and manages a complex budget with multiple funding sources and provides expenditure control for the Department of Special Education.
- Consistently operates an area of responsibilities to meet or exceed financial expectations and operating plans. Utilizes existing resources to devise innovative solutions to increase efficiency and effectiveness.
- Stays informed of all legal requirements governing Special Education and participates in legal proceedings.
- Supervises and evaluates special education administrative staff responsible for programs and services to students with disabilities and promotes the recruitment and retention of a diverse workforce.
- Communicates clearly and concisely, both orally and in writing.


- Knowledge regarding state and federal laws, regulations and interpretation regarding the delivery of educational programs for students with disabilities.
- Knowledge regarding state and federal laws, rules and procedures regarding special education finance, budgeting and accounting.
- Knowledge regarding Response to Intervention processes and strategies for intervention and support
- Demonstrated success leading major organizational change initiatives (with the involvement of diverse internal and external stakeholders) that resulted in measurable and sustainable improved student achievement.
- Utilizes basic technology tools designed to communicate, deliver instruction and manage student instructional data.
- Proactively define the needs and interests of all stakeholders and incorporate them into plans and actions.
- Develops and maintains positive relationships with others throughout PPS and the community. Proactively collaborates across departmental boundaries.


- An active Oregon Administrative License issued by Teacher and Standards Practice Commission or the ability to obtain licensure by the first day of employment.
- A minimum of seven (7) years as a licensed school professional including a minimum of five (5) years of experience as building and/or central office administrator with demonstrated results in improving the academic performance of students and decreasing the achievement disparities, with at least three (3) of those years being in the field of Special Education.
- Experience working in a richly diverse school community and environment.

Any other combination of education, training and experience which demonstrates the candidate is likely to possess the skill, knowledge, ability and trait characteristics essential for this classification may be considered.


- Experience as a special education director is preferred.
- Evidence of demonstrated participation and leadership in professional activities related to special education.
- Evidence of demonstrated participation and leadership in professional activities related to special education including school psychology, speech language pathology and behavior specialists.
- Demonstrated experience working with external agencies and community organizations that provide support to our students.
- Demonstrated experience with legislative bodies, which deal with special education legislation.
- Experience in urban schools is preferred.
- Bilingual or multilingual skills.


Salary commensurate with experience.