Middle School Learning Specialist
Mary Institute and Saint Louis Country Day School
St. Louis, Missouri
Start Date: July 1, 2019
MICDS has a rich and distinctive history spanning more than 150 years. A leader in independent education, MICDS is a college-prep, coeducational school for grades JK-12. Our mission is to help students discover their unique talents, preparing them for higher education and a life of purpose and service as engaged citizens in our ever-changing world.
MICDS offers employees a competitive salary and comprehensive benefits plan, including a generous 403(b) retirement plan where the School contributes 8% of salary with an employee’s 3% contribution; medical, dental and vision insurance; flexible spending accounts and long term care insurance; life insurance and short-term and long-term disability insurances; tuition benefit; paid leaves; access to a fitness center; and free lunch.
For immediate consideration, complete our online application at https://www.micds.org/our-school/career-opportunities/ and upload a copy of your cover letter and resume.
The Middle School Learning Specialist advances/upholds the MICDS mission by preparing students to think critically, act responsibly, and live virtuously and compassionately by supporting all students in becoming self-aware, self-regulated, strategic learners through direct and indirect learning support processes. The Middle School Learning Specialist coordinates with the Middle School Student Support Committee, Lower and Upper School Learning Specialists and other Student Support Services team members in supporting student academic success. The Middle School Learning Specialist should be innovative and open-minded with a strong background in research and application of best practices in learning support and pedagogy. S/he should be able to successfully maintain an independent workload while collaborating with the Head of Middle School, Deans of Students, Student Services team, faculty/staff, and parents. This person reports to the Director of Student Support Services.
· Develop and evaluate programs and processes to increase Middle School capacity to support a broad range of student needs.
o Expand the student support model through creation, coordination and monitoring of universal, group, and individual intervention systems.
o Demonstrate understanding and application of tiered models of student support.
o Receive student referrals from grade level teams and investigate students of concern. Investigation of concerns can include: observation, student interviewing, academic screening, attention/executive function screening.
o Run small group student sessions that support close reading, reading fluency, executive functioning and general learning strategies.
o Coordinate ERB testing and analysis of data, including partnership with department chairs on use of the data to inform instruction and interventions.
· Advance the Middle School’s understanding of adolescent development, effective pedagogical approaches and best practices that enhance learning of all students.
o Develop and maintain a formal and working knowledge of a broad range of theoretical models of learning, which support and guide teachers as they employ classroom-based research intended to enhance student learning.
o Educate faculty on how to better understand outside evaluation results, student profiles, accommodation plans, and the inextricable link between cognitive and social/emotional development.
o Partner with parents to understand specific learning profiles and promote opportunities for individual student growth.
o Generate and lead educational opportunities for constituents (e.g, faculty, parents, administrators, Board of Trustees) to increase the capacity of support systems both inside and outside of the classroom including topics such as cognitive research strategies for memory, learning, anxiety
o Collaborate closely with faculty and team members to implement programs/services, including but not limited to Middle School Student Support Committee (SSC), Student Support Services, grade level teams, and curricular departments.
· Support student development into strategic and self-aware learners.
o Assist teachers with implementation of cognitive-thought model by supporting lesson and assessment development that promote student evaluation, metacognition and long-term retention.
o Create, update and present grade appropriate, 5th-8th grades, cognitive strategies on a quarterly basis.
o Create accommodation plans for students with a formal educational diagnosis. Work with students, parents and teachers to identify areas of cognitive strength and weakness as well as appropriate interventions. Update plans based on progress.
o Advise parents and students on academic accommodations at the Middle School.
o Coordinate academic support and maintain regular communication with tutors/interventionists.
o Coordinate with the Lower and Upper School Learning Specialists and other Student Services Team members to transition students between divisions and leverage what we know about students as learners.
o Coordinate with Admissions to facilitate a smooth transition for new students entering into the school.
· Perform supervisory duties as deemed necessary by the Director of Student Services.
- Other projects and responsibilities may be added at the school’s discretion.
Job Requirements and Qualifications
· Master’s degree required in school psychology, educational psychology, and/or instructional support with experience working in an Independent School preferred but not required.
· Three or more years’ experience in a school setting preferred.
· A broad base of knowledge in the area of adolescent development, social-emotional needs, and systems thinking as well as a passion for working with Middle School students.
· Demonstrated ability to work independently as well as collaborate and communicate effectively with others to accomplish objectives.
· Commitment to working in an environment that embraces a diverse community of students, educators, parents, and alums.
· High level of interpersonal skills to handle sensitive and confidential situations.
· Strong organization and research skills utilizing technology and computers to work in a 1:1 learning environment.
· High level of intrapersonal skills with strategies for maintaining balance and ability to manage multiple demands on a regular basis.
· A criminal history and background check is required and must be successfully completed.
· Generally works in standard office or classroom conditions and climate.
· May work at a desk and computer for extended periods of time.
· Work intermittently in outside weather conditions, including extreme heat and cold.