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[2023-2024] High School Dean of Student Supports

May 08, 2023

New York, NY


Originally founded in 1991 as Harlem RBI, DREAM has grown to annually serve more than 2,500 youth across East Harlem and the South Bronx through a network of six PreK-12, extended-day, extended-year DREAM Charter Schools and community sports-based youth development programs. Through our commitment to rigorous academics, social-emotional learning, deep family and community engagement, and health and wellness, we create lifelong learners who are equipped to fulfill their vision of success in and out of the classroom. We dream big, as well, with an aggressive five-year plan to expand to serve 3,500 students across seven schools—growing our organization's impact and leveling the playing field for all children. To learn more, visit

Reporting to the Principal, this position will serve as a leader for staff and parents with regard to special education services and regulations. In addition, the Dean of Student Supports will work closely with the Network Director of Special Education and the school-based leadership team to ensure the implementation of special education policies and the integration of student support services.

The Dean of Student Supports should thoroughly understand state and federal regulations and local policies regarding children with special needs. The candidate should have experience leading IEP Meetings, coaching teachers when writing IEP reports, adhering to all timelines/deadlines, and demonstrating a solution-oriented mindset when working through challenging situations. The Dean of Student Supports should be flexible, self-motivated, a team player, and be able to manage up effectively.

Like all DREAM employees, the Dean of Student Supports should demonstrate a strong commitment to the mission and values of DREAM and have substantial expertise in all areas of responsibility. Candidates must also value DREAM's comprehensive approach to education and desire to make a lasting impact in underserved communities as part of a growing organization.

The Dean of Students Supports will be required to start on Monday, July 3rd, for training, planning, and production of professional development materials to be implemented during Staff Institute. This role includes both teaching and leading responsibilities.

Big Bucket Focus Areas:

Special Education Compliance
Teaching Caseload Students with IEPs & Below Grade Level
Response to Intervention (RTI)
SPED Teacher/Dept Leadership


General Leadership:

  • Serve as a member of the School Leadership Team, and advocate for special education in team meetings;

  • Reinforce clear expectations and routines that are aligned with the school's overall vision for meeting the needs of all learners;

  • Create a positive, achievement-oriented, structured learning environment with a high joy factor so that students are excited about and invested in their academic excellence.

Teaching Caseload: (Teaching caseload to be determined based on the number of students with IEPs by School)

  • Teach and progress monitor a caseload of students to determine strengths and needs, analyze data, and provide and plan interventions with fidelity;

  • Provide a variety of research-based reading intervention strategies to promote student reading growth;

  • Maintain continued communication with content area teachers and ensure knowledge of grade-level standards and concepts through weekly participation in grade team meetings;

  • Model responses and provide visual anchors/agendas/materials and lead students through guided and independent practice and regularly check for understanding;

  • Demonstrate understanding within the field of Special Education by integrating a student's Individual Education Plan (IEP) into the designated reading intervention program by planning and monitoring student IEP goals, sharing student data both verbally and in writing during IEP meetings;

  • Create a positive, achievement-oriented, and structured learning environment with a high joy factor so that students are excited about and invested in their academic excellence;

  • Engage parents and families in their children's academic success through regular communication of success and challenges; communicate regularly with parents about student progress and IEPs.

Special Education Compliance:

  • Oversee and manage a caseload of approximately 100+ special education students and implement their IEP/504 plans, including pull-out settings;

  • Ensure appropriate delivery of both special education instruction and related services, including outside related service providers, as stipulated on IEPs/504 plans, including consistent IEP Goal progress monitoring;

  • Ensure compliance by the school with all local and Federal laws and regulations relating to students with IEPs/504 plans and students referred to special education;

  • Facilitate IEP meetings in partnership with the DOE by using a strengths-based and family-centered approach;

  • Work with the DOE to schedule IEP meetings prior to the IEP compliance deadline;

  • Ensure IEPs are developmentally appropriate, curriculum/standards-based, strength-based, relevant to individual students, and incorporated into the daily lesson plans;

  • Coordinate with the student's special education team to ensure all documents are completed in a timely manner (according to state, local, and school policies and procedures);

  • Coordinate with teachers and the Data Team effective implementation of IEP Testing Accommodations for all formative and summative assessments;

  • Ensure all data platforms are up to date with the most current information: SESIS, Power School, ATS;

  • Set, monitor, and enforce clear expectations for students new to DREAM coming in with IEPs by ensuring parents have accurate information regarding special education programming; teachers are aware of the student needs within the IEP, and the IEP program is implemented with fidelity upon enrolling at DREAM.

Response to Intervention:

  • Be an active member of the Response-to-Intervention Team by participating in the monthly meeting process of developing strategies to service students in need led by the Director of Special Education;

  • Attend and support grade-band RTI Scholar Talks;

  • Coordinate with the Network Director of Special Education, Academic Deans, Teachers, and the Data Team in the creation of RTI academic and social-emotion groups;

  • Monitor implementation of plans through the use of observation and feedback, support in facilitation of scholar talk meetings, and initiating meetings as needed with a student's team to reflect back on the RTI plan;

  • Ensure RTI data is entered into student plans weekly for their grade bands and follow up with teachers to check in on plan implementation.

SPED Department & Teacher Development:

  • Observe the implementation of research-based interventions and integrated co-teaching models: diagnose challenges and provide effective feedback to ensure student academic improvement;

  • Provide coaching and teacher development on student support best practices by co-facilitating Intellectual Planning meetings with the Academic Deans in Math and ELA to support differentiated and IEP goal instruction within lesson plans; Observe weekly implementation of lessons and provide feedback;

  • Collaborate with Academic Deans to co-create Data Day agendas to set goals and backwards map action plans aligned with the needs of students with disabilities; Facilitate Data Day agendas for learning specialists using time strategically to prioritize what matters most for student learning;

  • Provide professional development and technical assistance to teachers and related service providers on all aspects of IEP management: Understanding of DREAM's special education processes, writing and progress monitoring of goals, progress reports, annual reviews, teacher collaboration, and parent communication;

  • Supervise, coach, and develop reading intervention teachers and ELL teachers;

  • Oversee all ELL compliance and coordination;

  • Collaborate with Mental Health Providers when onboarding paraprofessionals for their grade bands (BIPS, Parent Communication, School Culture) and ensure alignment on student needs making adjustments to IEPs as needed (i.e., FBAs, BIPs, placement);

  • Provide coaching and teacher development on best practices for student support by leading Special Education Department Meetings and coaching Learning Interventionists.

Family Engagement:

  • Effectively communicate the special education process to parents and guardians, including the process for referrals, evaluations, annual IEPs/504 plans, and re-evaluations, as well as parental rights granted by IDEA;

  • Engage parents and families in their children's academic success through regular communication of success and challenges; communicate regularly with parents about student progress and IEPs;

  • Lead monthly parent forums to provide consistent training for families when best supporting their child/children with disabilities within the home environment.

Student Recruitment & Enrollment:

  • Communicate the DREAM's special education process and DREAM's special education services to prospective parents and guardians.

  • Schedule meetings with newly enrolled families to review student's current IEP, to assess the student's special education needs, to determine what services DREAM is able to provide, and to support the family in determining if DREAM is the appropriate placement for their student.

  • Provide support to newly enrolled families in the collection of their child's IEP from their current school.


  • Three years of teaching experience in a special education setting with a record of high student achievement;

  • Master's Degree in Special Education from a competitive college or university preferred;

  • Appropriate New York State certification in Special Education preferred;

  • A strong belief in the mission and values of DREAM, including the desire to make a difference in the lives of our students, families, and community.

  • A commitment to working with diverse populations of families and students, including those at risk of educational failure;

  • Bilingual (Spanish) preferred.

  • Student Focus: Belief that all students, regardless of background, have the ability and opportunity to go to and through college; demonstrated commitment to the school's unique community

  • Direction Setting: Ability to set the direction for a team and motivate others to action

  • Achievement Orientation and Performance Management: Demonstrated student achievement results in their own classroom and from teachers that they manage

  • Cultural Competence: Demonstrated ability to create inclusive environments that honor and supports a diversity of backgrounds and perspectives

  • Achievement Orientation: Demonstrated resilience and focus on student outcomes

  • Instructional Leadership: Adept at data analysis; ability to extract meaningful insights across school-wide data

Instructional Leadership:

  • Expertise in what the school-wide academic standards and state assessments require of students' knowledge and skills to demonstrate mastery; able to translate student mastery requirements into instructional plans and strategies

  • Deep understanding of appropriate application and differentiation of high-leverage instructional strategies based on comprehension of child development and pedagogy


  • The salary range for incoming Deans of Support is $90,000 to $105,000. Incoming salaries are determined based on the number of years of leadership experience and internal equity. All leaders are eligible for annual performance-based salary increases. Because we value staff tenure in each role, we do not currently cap salary ranges.

  • We offer a comprehensive benefits plan, covering the majority of the employee premium for medical plans and subsidizing the majority of costs for a spouse/domestic partner and children. Other benefits include dental and vision plans, disability, life insurance, parenting benefits, flexible spending account options, generous vacation time and paid holidays, referral bonuses, professional development, an employee assistance program (EAP) and a 403(b) retirement plan with employer matching up to 4%.


DREAM requires vaccination against COVID-19 for all employees. Reasonable Accommodations based on a qualifying disability or sincerely held religious belief are being considered in accordance with applicable law.


At DREAM, diversity, equity, and inclusion are a matter of mission.

From our schools to our playing fields, DREAM is committed to building a team where each individual can bring their full identity and experience to work because representation matters—it enriches our team culture, enhances our ability to innovate, and strengthens our impact in and out of the classroom. DREAM engages staff that represent and appreciate the diversity of our majority Black and Hispanic student body, while working to ensure that our practices are equitable, welcoming, and productive. We are dedicated to creating a world where youth, especially youth of color, have permission to dream—along with the tools and opportunities to make their dreams reality.
Come dream with us.


All Kids Can. This Kid Can.
DREAM is Family.
Fun is a Serious Value.
Teamwork Makes the DREAM Work.
Fail. Persist. Exceed.

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