Lead Learning Specialist- Special Education 2021-2022

The Primary School - East Palo Alto, California - Full time


The Primary School is creating a new school model that brings together all of the adults in a child’s life, including parents, educators, and medical and mental health providers, starting from a very early age. We recognize the entrenched racism that exists within our public systems and the unjust impact this has had on families of color. Our aim is that children and families most impacted by systemic poverty and racism receive the multidisciplinary support they deserve to be well, learn, and thrive.

Long-term, we hope to create a game-changing school model that can be replicated across the country. As we continue to learn and grow, we plan to share what we’ve learned and pursue policy and systems change on a local, state, and national level. We are proud to receive funding from the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, a major national philanthropy.

Our approach has three defining characteristics:

  • We start early. We start working with children as young as 8 months and provide full-time school starting at age three to reach them at a critical stage in development.
  • We partner with parents. We believe that when parents thrive, children thrive, so we support the wellness and growth of parents alongside the growth of their children.
  • We integrate services. Our unique model unites health care and education, building a multi-disciplinary team and holistic system of care around a child’s full needs.

In 2016, we opened our flagship school in East Palo Alto, California, with our first class of four year olds. We have grown to serve over 300 children and their families through a birth to three program, parent wellness program, full-day preschool, and elementary school, which will grow through eighth grade. In 2020, we began programming at our second site in Hayward, California.


We are continuing to grow our East Palo Alto site and are excited to launch 4th grade for our 2021-2022 school year. In our school we currently serve ~250 students across two preschool grades (3 and 4 year olds), kindergarten, first grade, second grade and third grade. Beyond school, core components of our model include partnering closely with parents throughout their child’s development and supporting parent wellness; coordinating early screening and developmental support; and working with existing health care providers in the community to coordinate care for children.


The Lead Learning Specialist is an experienced special education teacher who has demonstrated excellence in differentiating instruction, building relationships with students, and collaborating with colleagues. Learning Specialists focus on supporting students with academic interventions, targeted data-driven instruction, and teacher support with modifications and accommodations. All Learning Specialists work within the Instructional Support Team to ensure that students receive the individualized instruction they need to meet their learning goals. They participate actively in the process to design and implement Tier 2 & 3 academic goals for students in their grade level. In addition, the Lead Learning Specialist is part of the school’s Coordination of Services Team (COST) focused on accelerating student growth, directed specifically toward the academic and SOUL (social emotional and behavior) goals of every child. The Lead Learning Specialists coordinates services with the local school district, and provides professional development to other Instructional Support Staff as well as General Education teachers.


  • Support students through data driven instructional cycles
  • Support Learning Specialists in ongoing education through weekly meetings
  • Actively participate in the Instructional Support Team to design and implement Tier 2 and Tier 3 academic support plans for students at your grade level
  • Actively participate in meetings with Grade Level Chairs to ensure cohesion, alignment and collaboration between General Education teachers and the Instructional Support Team.
  • Work purposefully on both the Instructional Support Team and Grade Level team to and support students with suspected and identified disabilities
  • Gather and compile relevant data for school district referrals and follow the process through to the initial IEP.
  • Provide Professional Development to teachers and staff on relevant topics such as Autism, ADHD, SLD, OHI and Cognitive Delay
  • Participate in weekly COST meetings for appropriate grade developmental band
  • Commit to ongoing professional development in supporting students with special needs
  • While you may be the main person of contact for the children on your Children’s Circle caseload, at The Primary School we are each responsible for every child’s well being and to foster relationships with their families.

The critical features of this role are described above but are not all encompassing; as our school grows and evolves your responsibilities may shift accordingly.


  • You are entrepreneurial and eager to build a new role within The Primary School
  • You believe that every child can demonstrate growth and reach their unique potential when they have the right supports in place
  • You have a minimum of 5 years of experience as a Special Education teacher and hold deep and diverse instructional competence.
  • You have worked across grade levels and with a wide range of students
  • You have experience developing and implementing training for teachers and other special education staff.
  • You have experience with coordinating and tracking the IEP process.
  • You have a track record of accelerating student academic and social emotional growth in a diverse classroom setting.
  • Your work demonstrates the ability to create a transformative classroom culture for all students.
  • You diligently utilize data to understand what a student needs and to personalize instruction accordingly.
  • You have a parent- and family-centered mindset.
  • You recognize the multidimensional needs of children and families, because in your own way, you’ve been trying to weave education, health, and family support services together for your students.
  • You get that starting a new school and organization is no easy task and are not scared - in fact, you’re energized - by the idea of putting in the long hours and deep commitment needed to bring The Primary School to life.
  • You are unafraid of diversity and engage confidently across differences.
  • You exemplify our TPS values - excellence, courage, growth, soul and community.
  • You have a degree in Special Education

A Plus If

  • You have an understanding of early childhood education and child development
  • You speak fluent Spanish

Physical Demands

The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this position. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the functions. While performing the duties of this position, the employee is regularly required to talk, hear, and communicate with both adults and children. The employee frequently is required to use hands or fingers, handle or feel objects, tools, or controls. The employee is frequently required to stand, walk, sit, and reach with hands and arms. The employee must occasionally lift and/or move up to 50 pounds. Specific vision abilities required by this position include close vision, distance vision, and the ability to adjust focus. The noise level in the work environment is moderate to high.


Compensation is commensurate with qualifications and experience, plus excellent health benefits, 401k retirement plan with employer matching, flexible spending account (FSA), dependent care FSA, and generous paid time off, including a competitive paid parental leave benefit.


TPS values diversity; people of all backgrounds are encouraged to apply. In particular, we deeply value staff who share the identities and lived experiences of the historically underrepresented students and families we serve. TPS is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate in its employment decisions.

Please complete the following application and submit your most recent resume. These short-answer questions are designed to replace a cover letter, so take your time with them and copy in your answers from a separate document. If you feel that the questions do not accurately capture what you have to offer The Primary School, you are also welcome to attach a cover letter. Applications are being reviewed on a rolling basis so we encourage you to submit yours soon. We look forward to reading your application!

Apply for this job

Apply for this job



Experience Level

Mid Level

The Primary School

The Primary School is creating a new school model that brings together all of the adults in a child’s life, including parents, educators, and medical and mental health providers, starting from a very early age.
Share this job
Get our email newsletterSign me up
Keep up to date with our email newsletterSign me up