Learning Specialist (Middle and High School) 2022-23
START DATE: August 2022
Overview of Position: A strong and dedicated faculty is paramount to best serving our students and families and to establishing Unity as an exemplary school. Most critically, our faculty equip students with the knowledge and skills needed to experience secondary and postsecondary success, including the desire and capacity to learn independently, think critically, and communicate proficiently. Our Learning Specialists are essential to our success as a faculty and school. They use their expertise in Universal Design for Learning (UDL) principles and effective methods for differentiation to make sure the curriculum and instruction reflect the unique talents, needs, and multiple intelligences of our students with disabilities. In addition, Unity’s Learning Specialists develop strong partnerships with students and families to ensure that students are empowered and engaged members of our school, our community, and the world at large.
Overview of Unity – Our Model and Approach: Unity Preparatory Charter School of Brooklyn (Unity) is a tuition-free, open-enrollment, independent charter school that offers a progressive education in the liberal arts & sciences to over 500 students in grades 6-12. As a community-based school, we proudly serve the communities of central Brooklyn in New York City. Our middle school and high school campuses are located in the neighborhoods of Bedford Stuyvesant and Williamsburg, respectively.
Unity’s mission is to empower students as scholars and citizens so they may lead fulfilling academic, personal, and professional lives. We accomplish our mission through the integration of seven key elements that serve as the backbone of our school’s design. Collectively, these elements reflect our beliefs on what makes for an exceptional secondary education in today’s world:
- A Grades 6-12 College Preparatory Curriculum: a college-preparatory liberal arts and sciences program of study in mathematics, English language arts (ELA), science, and history that fosters in students the desire and capacity to learn independently, think critically, and communicate proficiently so that they are fully prepared to succeed in their postsecondary studies
- Excellent Teaching: an enthusiastic faculty of expert educators who are demonstrably successful in promoting student learning, couple high expectations with high support, go above and beyond the call of duty for students as scholars and as citizens, and serve as role models for students as life-long learners and as individuals who take the utmost pride in perfecting their craft
- More Time for Learning: an extended day, week, and year for academic enrichment and extracurricular activities that deepen learning and engagement, accelerate academic growth, and expose students to new pursuits
- Intensive and Differentiated Academic Support: customized settings and support provided by caring specialists for remediation and acceleration, including small class sizes, integrated co-teaching, literacy interventions, after-school and weekend tutoring, as well as advanced-level course offerings at our middle school and high school
- Ample Enrichment Courses and Extra-Curricular Activities: enrichment courses in the performing arts, visual arts, computer science, and foreign languages, as well as elective clubs, athletic teams, internships, and other “beyond-the-classroom” activities that serve to reinforce what students learn in their core courses, accommodate individual student interests, and develop important professional and citizenship skills through real-world, meaningful application
- A Positive and Supportive School Culture: a culture built on a framework of Positive Behavioral Interventions & Supports (PBIS) in which compassionate adults explicitly guide students in the following:
- modeling the behaviors that contribute to a positive and productive learning environment
- developing socio-emotional skills needed to be successful, including how to manage emotions, reduce stress, make healthy decisions, and learn from one’s mistakes
- Active Family and Community Involvement: ample opportunities for family engagement and community service that promotes open communication, meaningful collaboration, and active involvement and service within Unity’s community and beyond
Our Recent Accomplishments: Regardless of where students are academically or otherwise as they enter our school, our focus is on accelerating growth and on cultivating long-term academic and non-academic success. This focus has reaped impressive results for our students and families in recent years. Among our accomplishments:
- 95% of our first two graduating classes earned their high school diploma in four years.
- 100% of our graduates had formal college and career plans with a college matriculation rate of 76%. This compares favorably to a 58% college matriculation rate for students in NYC.
- 95% of our graduates complete at least one Advanced Placement (AP) course in high school. This compares favorably with the 33% of NYC graduates who enroll in AP courses during their high school tenure.
- Our students who comprise subgroups that are traditionally least effectively served by our education system, including students classified as economically disadvantaged, Black, Latino, and students with disabilities, have consistently outperformed their district and state peers on state exams and in our high school graduation rates.
- Our 8th grade students have consistently outperformed their district peers in mathematics and ELA on state exams.
- In holding true to our belief in providing a truly empowering education, a vast majority of our students experience the following over their seven years at Unity:
- After-school extra-curricular activities, including athletics and clubs;
- Formal community service initiatives;
- End-of-year Roundtable presentation – a 45-minute oral presentation given to families, Unity faculty, and community members, and;
- Intensive counseling in College & Career Readiness beginning in 9th grade.
Core Responsibilities: Key responsibilities of Unity’s learning specialists include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Collaboratively plan a rigorous, differentiated, engaging, and culturally responsive curriculum that caters to the unique talents, needs, and multiple intelligences of students with disabilities
- Implement Specially Designed Instruction (SDI) in integrated co-teaching (ICT) and/or special education teacher support services (SETSS) settings with a focus on teaching to mastery and/or conceptual understanding
- Utilize data from formative assessments in the classroom and school-wide interim assessments to adjust instruction on a regular basis
- Provide additional remediation and acceleration based on formative assessments so that individual students are appropriately challenged according to their zones of proximal development
- Ensure that classroom time is well-utilized through sound classroom management practices and by developing strong and trusting relationships with students
- Develop, implement, and/or manage individualized behavioral intervention plans to support students meeting established academic and non-academic goals
- Actively participate in opportunities to strengthen their own pedagogical skills as well as contribute to the learning of colleagues
- Serve as the advisor to a group of students to support their academic and non-academic growth and development
- Contribute to the school’s smooth and efficient operation by fulfilling required administrative duties and responsibilities and maintaining open and proactive communication with colleagues
- Build strong relationships with families through consistent communication and in following through on commitments
As professionals, all Unity teachers may participate in the school’s innovative teacher-career ladder, which provides a formal and transparent pathway for teachers to:
- develop their craft and improve as educators through multiple forms of support and training
- assume titles with commensurate responsibilities while remaining classroom practitioners
- be generously compensated and formally recognized for their positive contributions to the school
Core Qualifications: An ideal candidate for this position is equipped with:
- At least two years of formal teaching experience in New York
- A proven track record in accelerating student growth and mastery
- A demonstrated capacity to plan rigorous, engaging, and culturally responsive curricula that align to Common Core standards
- A balance of high expectations and high support, a growth mindset, and an innate joy in working with adolescents
- Strong interpersonal and classroom management skills with a focus on building strong relationships with students and families
- An openness and responsiveness to constructive feedback and a strong commitment to continuous improvement and professional growth
- A strong work ethic that features organization, multi-tasking, flexibility, an orientation toward solutions, and a pride in meeting deadlines
- Expertise in working with diverse populations of students and families, and in differentiating instruction to fully support the needs of diverse learners
- Strong written and oral communication skills and experience working collaboratively in team settings
- Approaches the profession with maturity, humility, versatility and, of course, a sense of humor
- A Master’s Degree and certified as a teacher in New York
To Apply: If you seek to contribute meaningfully to the development and successful operation of an innovative public school with a strong team of talented educators, please visit http://www.unityprep.org/careers to begin the application process.
As an equal opportunity employer, Unity Preparatory Charter School of Brooklyn hires without consideration to race, religion, creed, color, national origin, age, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, marital status, or disability.
To apply for this job please visit www.unityprep.org.