Middle School Learning Specialist

  • San Francisco, CA
  • Full Time
  • Experienced



Description: Macintosh HD:Users:macloaner:Desktop:CDS_Logo_2colorB.pdf



Middle School Learning Specialist

Children’s Day School (CDS) is a co-educational preschool through eighth grade school serving over 470 students in the Mission Dolores neighborhood of San Francisco. Spanning two campuses, and home to a diverse community of students, faculty, and families, CDS is a vibrant learning community. Our teachers practice constructivist teaching; born of “learning by doing,” it is how we achieve excellent academics. We believe by encouraging children to fully engage in complex topics, and in myriad ways we are giving them tools to become lifelong learners and passionate citizens of the world. To learn more about CDS, visit our website at www.cds-sf.org.

CDS is located on a beautiful, secluded half-acre in the Mission near Dolores Park. Our after care program employs the use of indoor classrooms, environmental ed. kitchen, wood chips area and climbing structure, farm and garden (featuring eleven chickens and two sheep!), and a play yard among the largest of independent schools in the city.

Job Summary

Reporting to the Division Director, our Learning Specialist works closely with our other Learning Specialists across our K-8 program to provide direct learning support to students [and their families] who are experiencing learning challenges in the classroom. The Learning Specialist has demonstrated proficiency with building strong collaborative partnerships with teachers, students, and families to support student learning, particularly in the areas of early literacy and numeracy which will  provide the foundation for future learning, as well as SEL support and developments as needed. The Learning Specialist also has demonstrated expertise in the areas of assessment, differentiation, and case management, as well as strong communication skills that include listening to and building understanding of the student and family experience as it relates to a child’s academic needs and challenges.  The ideal candidate will also have expertise in coaching and mentoring faculty, an understanding of the Universal Design for Learning (UDL) framework, and research based frameworks that support academic development for all children including those with diagnosed and undiagnosed  learning differences.

CDS faculty engage in rigorous diversity, equity and inclusion work and demonstrate a commitment to ongoing learning and reflection. They bring a critical lens to discussions and are equity and justice orientated, always asking how can we do this better?  Communication skills, wanton curiosity and a strong desire to support children and families with learning differences to achieve and demonstrate agency in their learning process  is a must. 

Key Responsibilities: 

Direct Student Support 

  • Academically screening struggling students to determine skill development and to help create support plans
  • Provide direct student support in either 1:1 or small group settings that align to goals of class or individual students
  • Support the development of learner goals and reflections 
  • Provide academic remediation for students with specific and undiagnosed learning differences
  • Help develop strategies and supports that aid in classroom management that effect improvement in student attitude and learning environment
  • Pedagogical recommendations and support for individual students to deepen personalized learning experience that aren’t on the student support caseload

Educator Coaching and Mentoring|Division Professional Growth Support

  • Coach educators on level 1 and 2 interventions [RTI type approach] - including modeling for educators and utilizing an I do, we do, you do style approach
  • Supporting whole class, small group or individual student interventions (behavioral and academic)
  • Helping teachers design and implement strategies and accommodations to support individual students’ learning styles
  • Leading professional development for faculty that supports and enriches teachers’ understanding of different learning styles and best practices for supporting all learners

Case Management/Family Support

  • Teaming with teachers, administrators, parents and students to develop, implement and monitor effective educational plans that meet individual students’ need
  • Responsible for all needs capturing, case management and progress monitoring for students on the learning support caseload
  • Referring families to outside resources for remediation and in-depth testing and maintaining up to date allied professional services banks
  • Interpreting and analyzing academic, neuropsychological, occupational therapy and speech and language assessments and relating this information simply and efficiently with stakeholders
  • Working with the admission team to assess and give feedback about student applicants throughout the spring. Assessments are both group format and individual 1-on-1 evaluations and include at least two Saturday assessment days.

The Ideal Candidate:

Demonstrated Knowledge and Experience

  • working with students with diverse needs and honoring a child-driven approach to learning
  • effective teaching practices and approaches
  • demonstrates outstanding written communication and verbal communication skills.
  • experience with personalizing work structures and curriculum; providing a range of modifications and accommodations for learning
  • knowledge of social-emotional, sensory, and academic needs and possible strategies to develop programmatic support for each student
  • Successful facilitation of meetings with multiple perspectives
  • Good working knowledge of current principles, practices, techniques and objectives of instructional methods, including differentiated instruction ; multisensory evidence-based instruction (i.e., Orton-Gillingham, Making Math Real, etc.); current neuro-based instruction (i.e., structuring information for optimal processing and retrieval); knowledge of broad and narrow cognitive abilities and how these overlay with areas of achievement; understanding and application of assessment and educational planning successful for students with mild to moderate disabilities.
  • Experience with coaching educators to refine instructional practices
  • Ability to organize time and support across multiple projects

Demonstrated Mindset

  • the belief that all students can learn and achieve
  • deep respect for children as beings that are qualitatively different from adults and have very different needs
  • deep empathy for educators, students, and families - has the ability to see any situation from multiple perspectives
  • value in active listening as a leadership approach
  • solution-oriented and proactive approach
  • dedicated to collaborative problem solving
  • values and incorporates feedback
  • Deeply committed to equity and inclusion for all students
  • lifelong learner
  • ability to pivot and demonstrate high amounts of flexibility
  • humility

Qualifications and Experience

  • Bachelor’s degree in special education or related field. Master’s degree preferred.
  • Experience working with middle school aged students [Gr.5-8]
  • Experience in working in special education or working with similar cohorts of students in other settings
  • Special Education Credential / Certification in educational therapy or equivalent [preferred]


Salary will be based on qualifications and experience. Excellent benefits offered including medical, dental and vision insurance and a retirement plan.


Clearances Required: 

Required Screenings: TB Assessment Clearances: LiveScan background check: E-Verify

CDS is an equal opportunity employer. Our community is diverse in many ways, inclusive of race/ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender spectrum, age, ability, and more. We welcome and value the same in our faculty and staff.


Contact Information

To apply, visit http://www.cds-sf.org


Please provide a cover letter & resume.


Please do NOT call regarding this position.  If we believe you are a match, we will contact you to schedule an interview.


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