5th-8th Grade Learning Specialist 

  • Full Time
  • San Francisco
  • March 15, 2021

Website Presidio Hill School

School Description

Presidio Hill School is an independent, progressive school located in the Presidio Heights neighborhood of San Francisco and serves a diverse population of 220 students enrolled in transitional kindergarten to 8th grade, with a faculty and staff of approximately 45 people. Established in 1918 by artist-educator-activists Helen Salz and Flora Arnstein, Presidio Hill School is the oldest continuously operating progressive school in California and has a mission and deep history connected to equity and justice. Our new 5th-8th Grade Learning Specialist will have demonstrated passion and experience teaching and working with students and a school community that explicitly strives to be inclusive.

Presidio Hill offers its students a challenging, project-based curriculum that attends to their intellectual and social-emotional needs and prepares them to be agents of positive social change. Guided by a skilled and caring faculty, students learn to be confident and curious, to be creative problem solvers and independent, critical thinkers. Learning at PHS is collaborative and active. We place great value on the arts as both an academic discipline and an essential element of a meaningful life. Situated on the edge of the Presidio, our school takes full and frequent advantage of the park’s 1500 acres; whether they are studying science, art, social studies, or literature, the Presidio is a rich and vital “classroom” to our students.

Our vibrant, diverse, and supportive community allows students to explore their unique voices, traits, and talents and encourages them to develop self-awareness, personal character, resilience, and an understanding of their role as stewards of the planet and citizens of the world.

Presidio Hill School seeks a faculty and staff that reflects the broad range of diversity in the San Francisco Bay Area. Our school is strongly committed to promoting cultural competency in all interactions and programs. Invested in the growth, happiness, and preparation of our teachers, we provide generous support for their professional development.

Position Description

Presidio Hill School seeks an outstanding 5th-8th Grade Learning Specialist with successful experience supporting a range of elementary and middle school grades. The ideal candidate will have substantial experience with learning support, and will demonstrate a deep understanding of inclusive, anti-bias teaching practices and multicultural educational experiences.

Candidates should be well versed in progressive pedagogical approaches to classroom instruction and comfortable working in collaborative environments. A passion for working with children ages 9-14 and their parents/guardians, a commitment to lifelong learning, and a sense of humor are essential.

In addition to creating and maintaining a supportive learning support program, and maintaining effective communication with colleagues, parents, and students, the 5th-8th Grade Learning Specialist is expected to contribute to the greater PHS community through work on various committees and school events. PHS teachers and all faculty work closely with each other and collaborate and engage in a positive manner; excellent interpersonal skills are a necessity.

Primary Responsibilities

Case Management

  • Interpret, advise, and assist faculty and parents with implementing recommendations for accommodations for students with identified learning differences
  • Draft annual PHS-specific learning plans based on outside learning evaluations
  • Meet and communicate with parents for consultation and discussion of individual student’s learning needs on an as needed basis. Start of school year meetings to review, revise, and update new and existing learning plans are standard
  • Act as a liaison between faculty and outside professionals to support students with learning differences who receive outside support
  • Update digital files with current information on students’ learning needs to ensure important history and current information is communicated to teachers at each grade level
  • Meet and communicate with parents, and outside professionals for consultation and discussion of individual student’s learning needs on an as needed basis.
  • Meet 1:1 with students for direct support inside and outside the classroom, as needed
  • Review progress reports for all caseload students twice each year

Curricular Support & Team Collaboration

  • Participate in Student Support Meetings in order to collect data about how individual students are doing across the program and disseminate notes and recommendations to those teachers who teach the student.
  • Collaborate with classroom teachers in order to support delivery of differentiated curriculum and specific accommodations for students with identified learning needs
  • Join weekly team meetings in order to support teachers with accommodations implementation, and to support differentiated curriculum
  • Participate in professional development opportunities related to learning support services, educational pedagogy and/or other aspects of progressive, anti-bias, and multicultural education
  • Serve on admissions committees, and evaluate 5th-8th grade applicants
  • Recommend outside evaluation and services to students/families as needed, and keep referral lists up to date.
  • Participate in other all-school events, trips, and processes as needed or requested by the Head of School and other lead administrators.
  • Collaborate with Head of School and Division Directors as needed on long-term planning of the learning services department
  • Implement in-house screenings (language, processing skills, memory, etc..) when needed, and follow up with parents and teachers.

Faculty and Community Education/Resources

  • Design and execute faculty education opportunities on topics of learning diversity and differentiation in a variety of formats, several times per year.
  • Work in collaboration with Learning Specialist team to create communication to current and prospective families around learning differences, support, and resources on the school website.

Secondary Responsibilities:

Attend limited number of evening or weekend school events
Skills, Qualifications, and Experience

  • Training as a Learning Specialist, Educational Therapist, or Special Educator
  • Specific training in or expertise in providing interventions for students with learning differences, attentional challenges, executive functioning weaknesses, sensory integration needs, and/or fine/gross motor challenges
  • Familiarity with assessment and screening tools for elementary and middle school-aged students in the areas of reading, writing, math, and organization skills
  • Experience working in a multicultural classroom and sensitivity to the needs of children from diverse backgrounds
  • Ability to comfortably and effectively work with teachers and parents
  • A Bachelor’s degree. Candidates with a Graduate Certification or Master’s Degree highly preferred.
  • Knowledge of Progressive Education
  • Demonstrated commitment to the mission and core values of Presidio Hill School
  • Specific experience using technology to support teaching and learning including Google Suite, iPads and iOS.
  • Instructional experience with varied pedagogical approaches
  • Good humor, energy, and a love of learning
  • Strong organizational, communication, and interpersonal skills

Interested candidates should send a cover letter, résumé, contact information for two to three references, and/or letters of reference via email (with 5th-8th Learning Specialist in the subject line) to James Wygant (Middle School Director): james@presidiohill.org

Interested candidates should send the above information by no later than March 15, 2021.

To learn more about PHS, please visit our website.

Presidio Hill School
San Francisco, CA
Job Title: 5th-8th Grade Learning Specialist
Status: Full-Time
Reports To: Lower School & Middle School Directors
Contract Start Date: July 1, 2021 (faculty officially returns to school in August)

To apply for this job email your details to james@presidiohill.org