Learning Specialist – Elementary School

  • Anywhere

Peninsula School

An exciting full-time opportunity is available at Peninsula School, a leader in N-8 progressive education with a focus on fostering intellectual curiosity, social and emotional learning and social justice in a manner that is interactive and responsive to student interests. 

Peninsula School is rich in history and fortunate to have a wooded, 6-acre campus. The school is in an exciting time as it approaches its centennial in 2025. As part of a new strategic plan currently being implemented, the Learning Specialist position is being newly created to complement the existing Reading Specialist position. 

Peninsula School actively promotes the principles and practices of diversity, equity and inclusion throughout the school community. We are an equal opportunity employer and encourage people of under-represented groups to apply. We offer competitive compensation and a progressive community dedicated to learning and engaged citizenship. (http://www.peninsulaschool.org/equity-and-inclusion/)

Job Title: Learning Specialist

The Learning Specialist will be responsible for the learning support program for kindergarten through eighth grade students. The Learning Specialist meets with teachers to discuss individual children; screens children for learning and developmental differences; recommends teaching strategies and appropriate accommodations to meet individual needs; provides service directly to students individually, in small groups and within the classrooms in grades 4-8; and works with teachers and parents to advise and recommend outside testing, tutoring or other indicated special services. The Learning Specialist educates teachers, parents and students about learning and teaching styles and strategies and works closely with the Reading Specialist in the younger grades. The Learning Specialist reports to the Lower School Director.

Learning Specialist – General Responsibilities

  • Support and promote Peninsula School’s mission and values
  • Provide and direct a flexible, progressive Learning Support Program using a broad spectrum of methods and materials that are responsive and appropriate to the intellectual, social and emotional needs of K-8th grade students and that fosters their positive learning and personal growth
  • Promote and maintain an equitable, inclusive, safe and respectful learning environment that honors and values the diversity of our students, staff, and community (e.g., race and ethnicity, gender and gender identities, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, language, culture, citizenship status, religion, family structures, ability, and lived experiences).
  • Recognize and address the unique needs and varied learning styles of all children, ensuring each child’s progress in all areas
  • Work with colleagues in a cooperative manner that encourages problem solving, creativity, and critical thinking
  • Remain current on educational research, topics and progressive practices 
  • Participate in and contribute to the school’s process of continual reflection and evolution of its program
  • Provide a model for positive leadership

Specific Duties and Responsibilities

  • Clearly articulate the Learning Support Program and goals to staff and parents 
  • Monitor and implement a K-8 Learning Support Program integrated with the lower school Literacy Support Program
  • Consult with the Reading Specialist on a regular basis about progress and needs of students in K-3
  • Model and help implement ongoing classroom support systems
  • Work cooperatively with teachers and Reading Specialist when appropriate to develop accommodation plans for students who are struggling in academics
  • Collaborate with teachers on curriculum differentiation for particular students as needed
  • Manage learning progress for identified students 
  • Maintain and secure learning support documentation on students
  • Maintain open lines of communication with parents 
  • Coordinate and foster communication between teachers, tutors, and families
  • Provide small group or individual student support in reading, writing, or mathematics in grades 4-8
  • Attend meetings (Lower School, Upper School (5th-8th), Specialists and Head Teachers & Specialists) to discuss and develop strategies to meet the needs of a variety of learners
  • Coach upper school students to further develop executive functioning as needed
  • Work in partnership with students, parents, faculty, and administration to interpret and understand psychoeducational testing 
  • Provide professional development for teachers and timely presentations to parents
  • Meet with parents as needed
  • Schedule and facilitate Student Support Team meetings
  • Act as liaison with district special education services

Other Responsibilities 

  • Attend and contribute positively at staff meetings, inservice meetings, and other meetings and school events as applicable
  • Participate in school committees as needed

Qualifications and Requirements

B.A. required. Preferred qualifications include Educational Therapist certification or coursework, and a Master’s degree in Special Education or a related field. 

The successful candidate is passionate about working with children, possesses an ability to work with a diverse population, embraces progressive education ideals, is caring, flexible, creative, organized, has good judgment, and a good sense of humor. Current first aid and/or CPR a plus. Good working knowledge of best practices in multisensory research-based instruction such as Orton-Gillingham, Wilson Fundations, Slingerland and/or Lindamood-Bell. Familiarity with Reader’s and Writer’s Workshop. Experience working with students within a school setting is essential. Proficiency and interest in technology to support differentiated learning is important.

This position is a visible, key position that touches all members of the school community.  The successful candidate must possess a nurturing teaching style, and interact with students, parents, and co-workers in a supportive and collaborative manner. The position requires an undergraduate degree and experience supporting successful access to curriculum through differentiation, small group support or one-on-one coaching.  

Physical Demands 

The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of the job.  Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

The employee must occasionally lift and/or move up to 25 pounds.  Specific vision abilities required by this job include close vision, ability to adjust focus, and sound hearing. The ability to speak clearly and coherently is required.  While performing the duties of this job, the employee is regularly required to sit; use hands, talk and hear.  The employee is frequently required to reach with hands and arms.  On occasion, the employee is required to stand, walk, stoop, kneel, or crouch. Employee is required to operate a computer and office productivity machinery, communicate across a variety of media, and work in close proximity to others. The role may also require the employee to work in inclement weather during special activities. 

Competencies

To perform the job successfully, an individual should demonstrate the following competencies: 

  • Diversity, Equity, Inclusion – A demonstrated commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion and an ability to work with and support a diverse population of students and families. An ability to remain sensitive to the experiences of students, parents and faculty in all situations and integrate feedback into practice. 
  • Ability to Learn and Teach – Recognizes the importance of learning and motivates others by own enthusiasm. Stays abreast of best practices in schools and educates, encourages, mentors, and guides others in learning and implementing effective strategies. Ability to build an atmosphere of constructive and on-going dialog about best practices in teaching and learning. 
  • Relational Skills – Ability to relate well to a wide range of people, including building rapport with students, parents, faculty, staff, and administrators. Willingness to work to understand the culture of the school. Knowledge of each child’s challenges and strengths. Skill with conflict resolution, consensus building and decision-making.
  • Emotional Intelligence and Maturity – Ability to interact with individuals in heightened emotional states and navigate complex and emotionally challenging situations involving children and adults. A high degree of emotional stability, ability to separate one’s own emotions from a situation, and ability to maintain perspective in the midst of emotional situations is essential. 
  • Communications Skills – Ability to communicate effectively with a wide range of constituents. Maintains open communications channels with teaching staff, parents and administrators. Able to present information formally and informally in an effective manner both through oral presentations or conversation and through written means. Has a strong understanding of the power of word choice and the need for a high level of tact and professional, accurate communication. Ability to edit documents and communications from staff and faculty. 
  • Time Management Skills – Ability to manage many tasks and projects simultaneously and to prioritize them appropriately. 
  • Organizational Skills – Ability to balance many tasks and processes, including keeping track of progress on longer term projects or goals, managing details accurately, and following through in a timely fashion. 
  • Problem Solving Skills – Ability to recognize immediate issues and take decisive action when appropriate. Ability to consider a broad range of internal and external factors when solving problems. Grasps complexities and perceives relationships among different problems or issues. Uses various problem-solving strategies appropriate to the situation, including enlisting others when appropriate. 
  • Strategic Thinking Skills – Ability to work with others to gather, synthesize, and analyze quantitative and qualitative information and to develop plans for meeting short and long-range goals which support the vision and further the broader strategic direction of the organization. 
  • Knowledge and understanding of the Mission Statement and purpose of the school 
  • Proven competency in the classroom, including innovative teaching and recognition of an appropriate response to various learning profiles. 
  • All prospective employees must be able to clear a background check and TB screening.

To Apply

Peninsula School is an equal opportunity employer and we actively promote the principles and practices of diversity throughout the school community. We offer competitive compensation and a progressive community dedicated to learning and engaged citizenship. (http://www.peninsulaschool.org/equity-and-inclusion/)

We encourage people of under-represented groups to apply.

Please fill out an employment application https://www.peninsulaschool.org/s/PS-Application-for-Employment-2018-V02.pdf

and send it with a cover letter and resumé, in MS word or PDF format, to HR@peninsulaschool.org or fax to (650) 325-1313.

To apply for this job email your details to hr@peninsulaschool.org