Reporting to the Primary School Principal, the Primary School Learning Specialist provides academic support for students with diverse learning needs in order to help them become independent, responsible, and successful learners. The Primary School Learning Specialist also guides teachers in the implementation of appropriate methodologies for diverse learning needs.
Duties and Responsibilities
Contribute to the WIS Mission and Values.
Contribute to a climate of respect and understanding amongst faculty and staff, students, and parents.
As part of the Student Support team, identify, provide and evaluate direct support to students with diverse needs.
Inform faculty of current information and materials which pertain to learning differences.
Analyze student assessment data and monitor progress for those students performing below grade level and/or who are identified by teachers or SST as needing academic support.
Review and make recommendations regarding learner support, both within and outside SST meetings.
Act as a resource to guide all teachers (classroom teachers, specialists, and support teachers) in supporting students with diverse needs.
Evaluate effectiveness of interventions; focus on students who have been identified by SST.
Use data to determine effectiveness of interventions to inform future interventions and support.
Coordinate in-house assessments to determine learning needs.
Conduct classroom observations to develop classroom-based strategies to support students with diverse needs.
Oversee records of students serviced by the SST.
Develop positive relationships with all members of the WIS community and communicate in a collegial, collaborative, and professional manner.
Collaborate and meet with support teachers to refine protocols and procedures for allocation of support resources throughout the school.
Maintain an extensive referral list of testers and tutors and serve as an ongoing liaison between the school and external professionals and services.
Provide resources to parents regarding student support for learning differences.
Summarize outside testing reports, accommodations and intervention strategies.
Coordinate, implement and oversee application of accommodations for standardized testing, including ERBs.
Coordinate with Middle and Upper School Learning Specialists to improve and align school-wide student support structures and practices.
Monitor tutoring approval and review process.
Provide quality professional development related to inclusive practices for students with unique learning needs, via classroom modeling, collaborative planning, professional articles or books, grade level or faculty meetings, or other means.
Remain current on best practices by participating in ongoing professional development.
Execute distance education when directed and needed to include alternative teaching and learning delivery methods: develop online courses reflecting best practices, provide student support to include alternative assignments and assessments, collaborate with colleagues, supervisors, and students online to build a connected and positive learning environment.
Perform other duties as assigned.
Bachelor’s degree or equivalent, from an accredited university or college and/or combination of experience and training in relevant subjects. An advanced degree is preferred.
Spanish and/or French language is preferred.
At least three (3) years of relevant teaching or related experience. Experience working at a PYP or IB school preferred.
At least three (3) years of experience working with students of diverse learning needs.
Founded in 1966, Washington International School is a private, non-profit, Preschool-12 school profoundly committed to its mission: to be an exemplary learning community—enriched by differences, informed through inquiry, global in reach. Serving its full community of 900 plus students on two campuses, the school is multinational, multicultural, and multilingual.
The school’s challenging international program draws on classroom-based research on pedagogical practices and curriculum design from renowned organizations such as the International Baccalaureate (IB) and Project Zero, based in the Graduate School of Education at Harvard University. From Preschool through Grade 5 students follow the inquiry-based IB Primary Years Program; in Grades 6-10 they continue with a multidisciplinary and inquiry-based approach designed to enhance understanding and develop the skills and knowledge needed to succeed in the prestigious IB Diploma Program (DP). All students in Grades 11 and 12 are enrolled in the DP, which prepares them to take exams to receive the International Baccalaureate Diploma in addition to a WIS diploma. IB Diploma results are well above the worldwide pass rate, and WIS gra...duates attend highly selective colleges and universities in both the United States (about two-thirds in a typical year) and abroad.
Commitment to the intensive study of a second language is a core principle, with Pre-School, Pre-Kindergarten and Kindergarten classes taught entirely in French or Spanish. All instruction in Grades 1-5 is “dual language” in English and either French or Spanish. Chinese is an option beginning in Grade 6. Typically, one half to three-quarters of WIS graduates earn the Bilingual IB Diploma, demonstrating fluency in two languages.
The entire school community – alumni, parents, students, teachers, administrators and staff – are ardent advocates for international education. WIS has played a prominent role in setting a standard for a global perspective that many schools now emulate.
The school culture is highly egalitarian, with a strong emphasis on collaboration and understanding differing points of view. There is no typical WIS family: some households consist only of U.S. passport holders, others are all non-U.S. passport holders and many are a mix of nationalities. In addition to this global diversity, WIS also strives to achieve economic diversity: 14% of the students receive financial assistance.