High School SEL Specialist

Chicago, IL, US
Nov 20, 2020
Grade Level
High School
Chicago Public Schools (CPS) is the third largest school district in the United States, serving over 360,000 students in 600+ schools and employing nearly 36,000 people, most of them teachers. CPS has set ambitious goals to ensure that every student, in every school and every neighborhood, has access to a world-class learning experience that prepares each for success in college, career and civic life. In order to fulfill this mission we make three commitments to our students, their families and all Chicagoans: academic progress, financial stability and integrity. Six core values are embedded within these commitments - student centered, whole child, equity, academic excellence, community partnership and continuous learning.

The High School Network SEL Specialist (reports to High School SEL Support Manager, Office of Social & Emotional Learning) will serve as lead in evidence-based strategies to support a coordinated and effective school climate, classroom management, social-emotional learning, restorative practices, and behavioral interventions process at schools as part of MTSS.

  • Leading the development of positive school climate and culture throughout the network (3-4 days weekly providing direct support to school teams)

  • Providing prioritized support to a cohort of high need Network schools

  • Ensuring that schools and other network staff can integrate the social, emotional, and academic needs of their students into instructional design, school management and MTSS processes.

  • Participating in a bi-weekly professional learning community (PLC) led by the Office of Social & Emotional Learning for professional development, consultation, and facilitation of learning across networks

The High School Network SEL Specialist will be held accountable for the following responsibilities:

  • Leadership Development and Strategic Planning

  • Support effective leadership of school administrators at the intersection of social, emotional, and academic issues;

  • Collaborate with school teams such as ILT, School Climate, and MTSS and assist with CIWP and strategic planning to ensure better student outcomes;

  • Consult with administrators on matters relating to attendance, misconduct and incidents and look for trends in order to assist schools in managing these issues in a proactive manner;

  • Advise Leadership Teams within the schools on various management issues and provide advice and guidance on pertinent Board policies and procedures;

  • Conduct on-site school visits to assess climate and culture in order to provide recommendations and further support to administrators and teachers

SEL Integration

  • Integrate school climate, social emotional learning (SEL) and behavioral intervention strategies in network and school professional development, PLC activities, assessments, walk thrus and principal meetings;

  • Ensure integration of SEL and positive behavior supports with district priorities, particularly Framework for Teaching and Common Core implementation;

Professional Development

  • In partnership with central office and other HS Specialists, coordinate initial professional development and ongoing professional learning communities across network schools to support the implementation of evidence-based SEL and behavioral supports;

  • Provide trauma-focused professional development and coordinate of interventions for school staff and students

  • Facilitate parent, teacher, administrator and community meetings to build knowledge around school climate and SEL supports;

Restorative Discipline Supports

  • Review and respond to referrals for expulsion hearing and suspensions where network approval is required;

  • Advise and assist schools in administering the SCC to provide consistent and fair application throughout the Network and support the use of behavior interventions;

  • Support services for students transitioning into schools from juvenile justice, residential placement, or other prolonged absence;

  • Participate in family meetings in response to expulsion referrals and/or re-entry meetings to determine the best next steps for student (intervention, placement, expulsion hearing);

Data Monitoring and Analysis

  • Monitor schools' attendance and discipline data in in order to support climate development, SEL interventions, suspensions reduction and restorative practice efforts, and expulsion alternatives;

  • Develop and ensure SEL and climate practices that lead to attendance growth;

  • Ensure schools develop strong systems to regularly review climate and student SEL, behavior, and attendance data and plan targeted student interventions accordingly

  • Provide general technical assistance to schools on data analysis for attendance, climate improvement, policy development, especially using Dashboard;

Coordination and Provisions of Targeted Supports

  • Provide more intensive, targeted support to subset of higher need school sites;

  • Facilitate community social service partnerships, RP Coaching, and linkages for schools;

  • Advise schools during and following emergency and crisis situations and facilitate communication and collaboration with other CPS Departments and government agencies;

  • Connect network schools to key city, county and district resources necessary to support high risk schools and/or students

In order to be successful and achieve the above responsibilities, the High School Network SEL Specialist must possess the following qualifications:

Type of Education Required:

  • Masters Degree preferred in Education, Social Work, Psychology, Counseling or a related field.

Type of Experience and Number of Years:

  • Experience (3-5 years minimum) working in or with an urban education system with a focus on social, emotional, and behavioral supports strongly preferred.

  • Familiarity with CPS supported SEL strategies (e.g., PBIS, Foundations, ISBE SEL standards, CHAMPS/DSC, Check in Check Out, Restorative Practices, Tier II & III Interventions, BHT)

  • Classroom teaching or school-based management experience highly preferred. High School experience preferred.

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:

  • Knowledge of best practices in school climate and SEL strategies and supports

  • Expertise in guiding the analysis of data and data-based inquiry to ensure improvement in professional practice.

  • Experience using data to drive critical conversations and continuous improvement among peer and non-peer colleague groups

  • Experience providing consultation and technical assistance to peer and non-peer audiences

  • Ability to coordinate and collaborate with diverse groups of professionals across multiple departments and organizations to achieve unified, consistent practices

  • Experience coordinating and delivering professional development for a variety of internal and external stakeholders

  • Skilled multi-tasker and excellent time manager; ability to effectively achieve multiple goals and manage multiple projects simultaneously. Strategic and critical thinker

  • Passion and urgency for the critical role of SEL/School Climate in improving the lives of students and families in Chicago

  • Access to car and ability to travel and transport materials as needed.

Residency Requirement:

As a condition of employment with the Chicago Public Schools (CPS), employees are required to live within the geographic boundaries of the City of Chicago within six months of their CPS hire date and must maintain residency throughout their employment with the district.

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