About Fortune School
Fortune School of Education (FSE), established in 1989, provides preparation programs to fill the "pipeline" of educators needed in today's schools. It was the brainchild of Dr. Rex Fortune, who saw an opportunity to bring more diverse teaching candidates into public schools, especially in the shortage areas of science and mathematics instruction.
Training teachers and school administrators is only part of the story. In 2008, Dr. Margaret Fortune joined Fortune School of Education as its President and CEO. Under her leadership, Fortune School of Education has expanded to include a network of tuition-free, college preparatory, and public charter schools. Located in Sacramento and San Bernardino, which boast the second and third highest Black student populations in California, the schools focus on closing the African American achievement gap.
To graduate high achieving students of good character, prepared for college and citizenship in a democratic society.
To prepare teachers for service in public schools with competence and sensitivity that will enable them to develop students to their fullest potential.
At Fortune School, our education philosophy is The Five Pillars--1) High Expectations, 2) Choice and Commitment, 3) More Time, 4) Focus on Results, 5) Citizenship. We follow this philosophy in all our academic programs in service to the wide range of people we serve from preschool to masters.
To learn more about Fortune School, please visit the FSE website.
Renowned for its commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion, Fortune School of Education seeks an experienced, knowledgeable, and compassionate Director of Special Education to lead a department in meeting the needs of FSE’s student population. Part of FSE’s vision is to transform the lives of students and enrich communities by delivering a high-quality educational choice to families. This vision relies on both differentiation of instruction and Special Education to meet the needs of each student by ensuring all achieve their fullest academic, personal, and social-emotional capabilities. Building on a strong foundation of Special Education and effective placement practices, the Director of Special Education will lead a dedicated team who will continue to raise the caliber of services provided.
Under the direction of the Chief Academic Officer, the Director of Special Education will assume responsibility for the planning, development, coordination, and management of all special education programs, services, legal compliance, budgets, and personnel and will ensure compliance with state and federal regulations governing the delivery of services to students with disabilities. The Director of Special Education is also responsible for the development, implementation, and evaluation of the organization’s Special Education programs, serving as a liaison with appropriate public and private agencies.
Dedicated to the mission and collaborating with other FSE leaders, the Director of Special Education will have the opportunity to work within a passionate, results-oriented, professional culture filled with other thought leaders. The Director of Special Education will be part of a team that is focused on sharpening best practices and sharing ideas with the goal of better educating more students through Fortune’s inclusive education model of delivering services. The Director will manage a team of 25 including classified and certificated service providers such as special an Assistant Director, education specialists, school psychologists, special education counselors, occupational therapists, speech and language pathologists, and speech and language assistants.
While no one candidate will possess every competency, the ideal candidate will have many of the following attributes:
Special Education Expertise with a Data Oriented Mindset
With the goal of improving the quality of education for the community, the Director of Special Education will possess expertise and leadership in developing, implementing, evaluating, and revising the organization’s Special Education programs, for all TK through 12th grade students, while maintaining knowledge of current educational issues. The Director will demonstrate instructional leadership within a dynamic educational organization and will assist in the recruitment and employment of properly licensed personnel required to provide service to students with disabilities consistent with their IEPs. Willing to roll up their sleeves and get the job done, the Director will meet the needs of school leaders, staff, and community by developing policies and procedures to govern the delivery of special education and related services, providing an environment where optimal student growth may take place.
Strategic & Solutions Oriented Thought Partner
With the drive to succeed, the Director of Special Education will face challenges head on, be adept at identifying problems, able to conduct appropriate analysis, and reach effective solutions to guarantee ongoing compliance with state and federal regulations. Ensuring that all students with disabilities at Fortune schools are provided a free and appropriate public education through the provision of instructional programs and related services, the Director will use supervision, staff development, and performance evaluations to improve the performance of their employees. With the ability to pivot in a fast-paced environment, this leader will be someone that staff can call upon to solve problems, providing constructive criticism with a coach-like mentality.
Resource Management and Fiscal Oversight
The Director of Special Education will effectively develop systems and manage the budgets for special education while managing all resources for which they are responsible, including personnel, finances, facilities, and programs related to the delivery of special education and related services. They will conduct ongoing assessments to identify needs within the network for use in budget and program planning for all students with disabilities. In cooperation with administrators, staff, and the community, the Director will conduct ongoing evaluation of programs and services to coordinate long-range planning processes to meet the needs of current and future students.
Relationship Builder, Manager, and Effective Communicator
Responsive, high touch, and supportive, the Director will be a clear communicator in both written and verbal formats. With high emotional intelligence, this leader will establish and maintain consistent and transparent communication with the administration and general/special education staff. The Director of Special Education will be guided by a deep belief in fostering a culture that amplifies collaboration and partnership, creating a sense of shared purpose. This executive will have a people-first orientation, be passionate about inspiring and mentoring others, encourage the best efforts of each employee, and serve as a model of collaborative leadership.
Passion for the Mission
With patience and confidence in their ability to lead, the Director of Special Education will have a passion for FSE’s mission “to graduate high achieving students of good character prepared for college and citizenship in a democratic society.” They will be an effective partner with teachers, principals, families and other educational stakeholders, developing and implementing a coordinated and effective approach to keeping children engaged and attending school. Acting as an ambassador of FSE, the Director of Special Education will establish and maintain working relationships with various public and private agencies and will involve parents and community in the development, implementation, and evaluation of the network’s special education programs.
Essential Duties & Responsibilities
Duties include but are not limited to:
- Develop policies and procedures to govern the evaluation of students referred for Special Education services, including staffing patterns and organizational structure
- Supervise the curriculum development activities of certificated and classified Special Education staff
- Coordinate and monitor the organization’s Special Education programs such as speech and language, school psychology, counseling, occupational therapy, and specialized academic instruction.
- Manage the workforce assigned to the Special Education office including talent acquisition and retention, professional development, performance evaluations, timesheets, and other personnel related duties
- Work with school principals and Human Resources to determine the assignment of Special Education employees to schools
- Proceed with orderly implementation of Master Plan for Special Education by providing leadership within Fortune School of Education and cooperation with other agencies including the Special Education Local Plan Area (SELPA)
- Work with principals, teachers, and other network employees to solve problems related to tardiness or absenteeism and develop methods of disseminating information regarding the importance of regular school attendance and laws relating to families and children for the use of parents, pupils, and school staff
- Establish and maintain a system of keeping records and make reports for future referral
- Maintain effective working relationships with various public and private agencies involved in social services and/or law enforcement
- Participate in community events and act as a community liaison for the network
- Prepare mandated state and federal reports and Board of Directors reports within the area of responsibility
- Inform the President/CEO and/or the Board of Directors regarding any topics related to students with disabilities including but not limited to attendance, academic achievement, compliance, staffing, special programmatic needs and behaviors
- Recommend employment of staff on extra-duty contracts to support school programs
- Participate on organization and professional committees
- Direct the preparation and maintenance of a variety of narrative and statistical reports, records, and files; provide for appropriate research and compile reports for State and Federal agencies
- Represents the School in legal proceedings, participates in IEP meetings, discussions, informal conferences, mediations, and due process hearings to resolve issues regarding special education students
- Assists in the development of policies and procedures related to special education.
- Performs regular program reviews and recommends changes in program administration, methodology, curriculum and/or procedures as necessary
Compensation & Benefits
Salary is competitive and commensurate with experience. The salary range for this role is $115,000 - $130,000 with a generous benefits package.
Koya Partners l Diversified Search Group has been exclusively retained for this engagement, which is being led by Michelle Bonoan and Jennifer Smith. Express interest in this role by filling out our Talent Profile, or email Jennifer directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. All inquiries and discussions will be considered strictly confidential.
Koya Partners is committed to providing reasonable accommodation to individuals living with disabilities. If you are a qualified individual living with a disability and need assistance expressing interest online, please email NonprofitSearchOps@divsearch.com. If you are selected for an interview, you will receive additional information regarding how to request an accommodation for the interview process.
Fortune School is an equal opportunity employer and strongly encourages applications from people of color, persons with disabilities, women, and LGBTQ+ applicants.
About Koya Partners l Diversified Search Group
Koya Partners, a Diversified Search Group company, is the nation’s premier search firm dedicated to mission-driven leadership. Since its founding in 2004, Koya has had an exclusive focus on mission-driven clients and was founded on the belief that the right leader can transform an organization and have a deep and measurable impact on our world. Koya works with nonprofits & NGOs, responsible businesses, and social enterprises in local communities and around the world.
Diversified Search Group is consistently recognized by Forbes on its top 10 list of “America’s Best Executive Recruiting Firms” and is an industry leader in recruiting transformational leaders for a changing world. The firm is deliberately different in its approach, with best-in-class teams who have decades of experience in cultivating inclusive leaders, understanding the dimensions of diversity, and building equitable teams.
Learn more about Koya Partners l Diversified Search Group via the firm's website.