Assistant Director of Special Populations

Job Description

Position Overview:

Under the direction of the Executive Director of Student Support Services, the Assistant Director of  Special Populations is responsible for providing leadership and direction for the planning, implementation, and monitoring of the critical functions of Special Education, 504 planning and the Response to Intervention (RTI) Process. The  Assistant Director of Special Populations ensures the effective operation of Student Support by developing, managing, and supporting all activities essential to increasing student achievement and social-emotional growth for students with any of these designations. This position reports to the Executive Director of Student Support Services.

Primary Accountabilities:

  • Responsible for the vision, strategic direction, planning and oversight of programming to support students with unique learning needs

SPED and Section 504 Compliance

  • Ensures the LEA maintains compliance with federal and state laws/mandates relative to the provision of special education and 504 services 
  • Serves as the first point of contact for engagement with the Office of the State Superintendent of Education on matters related to special education 
  • Oversees/Audits the quality of IEPs to ensure compliance with IDEA and proper program placement
  • Responsible for oversight of SEDS and 504 planning database
  • Responsible for oversight of students with IEPs in nonpublic school settings
  • Conducts audits to ensure compliance with SEDS, IEPs, and 504 Plans
  • Communicates new developments in special education law to SPED, network, and school leaders
  • Stays apprised of federal and state legislation/regulations related to special education; shares any relevant requirements and their impact
  • Plans, trains, implements, and monitors a comprehensive system for auditing special education records to ensure compliance with state and federal laws and regulations
  • Manages cases with litigious implications 
  • Facilitates and/or participates in all matters of dispute resolution pertaining to students with disabilities; manages meditation and due process procedures
  • Oversees cases that are in active litigation including attending IEP meetings and depositions, assisting with responses to interrogatories, communicating with outside counsel, and other related tasks designed to ensure the best possible outcome in litigation, including representing the LEA in legal hearings when assigned
  • Provides supervision and oversight of Student Support Coordinators to ensure the delivery of high-quality, compliant educational services for students with IEPs and 504 Plans
  • Provides supervision and professional coaching to the Student Support Coordinators
  • Oversight of case management for students with IEPs and 504 plan
  • Ensures accurate database and records of former and current students served in special education
  • Responsible for oversight  and coordination of services in non-public placements 
  • Oversees the coordination of ESY, service provider, and evaluation services 
  • Troubleshoots and investigates complaints from parents and staff related to SPED
  • Examines programmatic issues within the organization to advise LEA on compliance

Student Support Services

  • Oversees special education services and service providers for all identified students 
  • Collaborates with school teams to ensure the delivery, monitoring, and adjustment of high, quality student support plans 
  • Participates in instructional walks provides feedback, to ensure students are receiving a high quality, appropriately differentiated learning experience
  • Oversees and supports Student Support Coordinators in promoting student independence and student advocacy, including understanding and owning their data
  • Reviews data and oversees progress monitoring of students with IEPs and 504 Plans
  • Shared oversight of Dedicated Aides- Student Assignments, Billing, Professional Development
  • Supervise Language Access  Support Coordinator and oversees progress monitoring of support services for Students with Limited English Proficiency (LEP and their families)
  • Serves as a collaborator of the RTI  (Response to Intervention ) process  and provides coaching around the implementation of the RTI strategies

Planning and Collaboration

  • Collaborates with the Executive Director of Student Support Services to design, implement and monitor the organizational vision and philosophy of a minimally restrictive environment for serving special needs students (IEPs, 504, and students in the Student Support Process)
  • Leads the development of short and long-range plans for achieving special education goals associated with students with IEPs, and  504 Plans in alignment with organization and school-specific strategic plans
  • Collaborates with the Student Support Coordinators to implement an educational program for parents and community on various aspects of the special education laws, fostering communication, understanding, and trust between parents/community and school personnel
  • Coordinates and supports all staff training necessary for the oversight of Section 504 and SPED and their understanding of compliance with the special education laws and regulations
  • Serves as a member of the core leadership of the Student Support Services Department
  • Assists Executive Director of Student Support Services with programmatic development tasks

General Functions

  • Interviews and provides guidance relative to the functions and evaluation of special education and related staff; recommends professional growth and development opportunities as appropriate
  • Provides accurate and timely data to local regulatory agencies as required
  • Manages contracts with agencies needed for outside support
  • Maintains open lines of communication regarding special education and student support services with all stakeholders; leads responses to stakeholder concerns 
  • Facilitates research regarding trends and best practices to support appropriate recommendations for student success through rigorous, innovative, and technological programming
  • Plans, implements, and facilitates professional development/ in-services for special education  service staff
  • Serves as the network’s subject matter expert in all matters concerning special education and student support 
  • Serve as a priority lead for the organization’s strategic plan


Washington, DC


Competitive salaries, excellent benefits, an innovative work environment, and an opportunity to rethink school as we know it and change the lives of our students. This is a 12-month position.


  • Master’s degree required; degree in Special Education or related field preferred
  • Minimum of 5 years in teaching AND minimum of 3 years in school or central office leadership
  • Prior management experience required with demonstrated success in coaching and growing leaders, ideally as a SPED Coordinator or Student Support Coordinator
  • Demonstrated success building/maintaining special education programming
  • Demonstrated success using data to drive practice
  • Belief that all students can achieve at the highest levels with no excuses
  • Ability to effectively analyze school data to improve student and staff achievement
  • Ability to exercise excellent judgment in decision-making
  • Strategic thinker and proactive problem-solver
  • Embodies the highest ethical standards
  • Works independently with little direct supervision and as part of a team

Application Information

Please send a thoughtful cover letter and resume to The subject line should read Application for Assistant Director of Special Populations. Resumes without a cover letter will not be considered and replies will only be sent to qualified applicants.