Assistant Director of Student Support

JCFS Chicago-1
Chicago, Illinois

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Support Staff
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JCFS Chicago strives to enhance social-emotional well-being for adults, children, teens and families as well as maximize potential for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. JCFS operates a therapeutic day school in the West Rogers Park Community of Chicago. The Knapp School & Yeshiva serves more than 150 students annually in grades K-12+ with special needs who have struggled to succeed in other educational environments. We believe students can reach their full potential when given the opportunity to journey towards a path of self-discovery. Driven by nurturing relationships and strengths-based supports, the Knapp School provides a holistic educational experience to K-12+ learners with diverse social/emotional and academic needs. The school includes a Yeshiva program to meet the need of Jewish children who have struggled to succeed in local Jewish day schools and would benefit from a therapeutic education milieu with support for Jewish studies.

Each school day we welcome a diverse group of students, and each child is supported in ways that address their specific needs. We support students who are classified in the following special education categories: Emotional Disability (ED), Specific Learning Disability (SLD), Intellectual Disability, Autism including autism spectrum disorders, Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and Other Health Impairment (OHI).

We work with Chicago Public Schools and with school districts from the Suburban Cook County, Lake County, and the Western Suburbs to serve students who are referred based on their need for a highly structured, therapeutic school setting and individualized approach to learning.  Students who are referred by a public school district are educated at Knapp School & Yeshiva at no cost to their families. In doing so we provide both academic and social and emotional supports that are aligned with each student’s specific strengths and needs.

We have an empathetic, trauma informed interpretation of student behavior, and believe that behavior is a student’s way of communicating their needs. Our educators, clinicians and specialists collaborate with parents and guardians to better understand our students and develop practices that enable them to better function within a school setting and ultimately reintegrate. We provide students with explicit social emotional skill-based instruction and opportunities for practice, reinforcement, and collaborative problem solving. We are confident that compassionate relationships, restorative practices, and the development of lagging skills will help students respond to school stressors in adaptive ways.

We are seeking a creative school leader who is committed to the integration of therapeutic and restorative practices throughout the school building. The Assistant Director of Student Support role is meant to further promote the school’s mission by ensuring that training opportunities align with the most updated best practices and, further, that these trainings are integrated into the daily function of the school by providing intentional, on-the-floor modeling and coaching for staff.

The purpose of this position is to support the Director of Student Support Services to develop and maintain programs and projects related to student issues.


  • Be initial contact for staff on the floor; provide consultation for staff when working with challenging behaviors of students. Consult with Director of Student Support Services and Assistant Director of Student Support Services as applicable and necessary.
  • Co-facilitate Ukeru and Therapeutic Crisis Intervention (TCI) training, including initial training of new staff hires and ongoing training of existing staff.
  • Collaborate with Director of Student Support Services and other team members to plan training curriculum for staff based on floor observations and information gathered from incident reports and debriefs, focusing on concepts within Ukeru and TCI.
  • Maintain staff training records as required by the Illinois State Board of Education.
  • Provide on-the-floor coaching of staff in practices of Ukeru, TCI, and Collaborative Problem Solving.
  • Review and, as necessary, revise program practices to ensure they align with Ukeru and TCI principles (i.e., incident debriefs, crisis support plans.)
  • Collaborate with school team regarding individual student behavior issues. Facilitate pod and debrief meetings and share updates with necessary team members.
  • Facilitate student conferences and restorative conversations as applicable and share updates with necessary team members.
  • Participate in administrative team, including all required meetings. Plan and co-facilitate department meetings.
  • Submit physical restraint and non-voluntary time away information in state database and provide documentation to guardians in the event of Director of Student Support Services absence in order to remain in compliance with Illinois State Board of Education requirements.
  • Provide coverage on the floor in the event of a Support Team member absence that cannot be covered otherwise.
  • When students’ behaviors pose a danger to themselves or others, use and model Ukeru and TCI prescribed physical intervention techniques with students who are a variety of heights, weights, and strength capacities. This task may involve taking the student from a standing position to the floor; deflecting hits, kicks, and other physically aggressive acts; and moving furniture or other large, heavy objects in order to clear a space in which the student can be safely restrained.


  • Represent JCFS and its programs in a positive manner to both internal and external contacts.
  • Performs other duties as assigned.


  • Bachelor’s degree preferred in special education, school administration, social work, or related field.
  • Prior experience working with ED/BD populations.
  • Must be able to successfully complete Therapeutic Crisis Intervention and Ukeru initial and trainer training.

New hires would need to be fully vaccinated with 1 or 2 doses and booster and provide their card upon hire OR begin receiving the booster within 2 weeks of being hired and participate in weekly COVID testing until fully vaccinated OR provide documentation for an ADA or religious exemption and participate in weekly COVID testing. 

JCFS Chicago offers an array of benefits including Medical, Dental, Vision, Wellness, Paid sick and vacation time, Agency holidays, Pension, 403(b), Flexible Spending Plans, and Life Insurance.

Please visit us at

JCFS Chicago is committed to serving the needs of the diverse Chicago metropolitan area. Accredited by COA, Charter member of CWLA, Licensed by DCFS

JCFS Chicago is an Equal Opportunity Employer: disability/veteran JCFS provides a reasonable accommodation to those who need assistance in completing this application


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