Learning Specialist (co-teaching focus)

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 supported by a growing coalition of philanthropic partners, building on the generous support of the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative.

Our approach has three defining characteristics:

  • We start early. We start working with children as young as 18 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 2021, we opened our second site in the East Bay.


We are continuing to grow our East Palo Alto site and are excited to launch 6th grade for our 2023-2024 school year. In our school program, we currently serve over 350 students across two preschool grades (3 and 4 year olds) and kindergarten through fifth grade. Integrated into our program are the other core components of our model including our parent program - partnering closely with parents throughout their child’s development and providing wellness programming for caregivers; our birth to 3 program - coordinating early developmental screenings and intervention services; and our medical home partnerships - working with existing health care providers in the community to coordinate care for children.


The Learning Specialist co-teacher is a special education teacher who has demonstrated excellence in differentiating instruction, building relationships with students, and collaborating with colleagues. They will co-teach 6th grade English class with the general education teacher and support a caseload of students with identified special education needs. The co-teacher will engage as a 6th grade advisor to build connections with students. The co-teacher will collaborate closely with the 6th grade team to support the needs of students with identified and suspected disabilities by planning modifications and accommodations to ELA and history content lessons. In addition, planning and facilitating inclusive push-in small groups and individualized differentiated instruction based on their IEP. The co-teacher will provide the necessary accommodations and modifications on ELA unit assessments and ELA performance tasks. 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 will participate actively in the process to design and implement Tier 2 & 3 ELA academic goals for students in their grade level.


  • Co-teach daily with the general education teacher with a focus on accommodations and modifications for students with special needs as well as planning and leading small group instruction
  • Collaborate with general education teachers at your grade level to plan for scaffolding of whole group content lessons and differentiated instruction for small groups and individuals
  • Gather and compile relevant data for school district referrals and follow the process through to the initial IEP with the support of the Special Education Manager
  • Lead and participate in Multidisciplinary Collaboration meetings for the appropriate grade level
  • Participate in COST meetings with your grade level band
  • Design and implement Tier 2 and Tier 3 academic support plans for students at your grade level
  • Track student progress towards goals through data driven instructional cycles
  • Participate in Instructional Support Team meetings to coordinate supports for students with suspected and identified disabilities
  • Create and participate in Accommodation Plan meetings and support with implementation
  • Collaborate with other support staff (SLPs, OTs, Behaviorists, Mental Health Clinicians) as needed to assure alignment of students’ services and needs
  • Case manage a subset of students in your grade level, which includes:
    • Acting as the primary point of contact for families
    • Facilitating mid-year growth circles in which students, general education teachers, and parents review and revise student support plans.
    • Support students to reflect and set goals at Student-Led Circles twice a year
  • Commit to ongoing professional development in supporting students with special needs

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.


  • Minimum of 3 years of experience as a teacher and hold deep and diverse instructional competence.
  • Experience working with students in upper elementary and/or middle school
  • Experience with coordinating and tracking the IEP process.
  • Belief that every child can demonstrate growth and reach their unique potential when they have the right supports in place
  • Track record of accelerating student academic and social emotional growth in a diverse classroom setting.
  • Demonstrated ability to create a transformative classroom culture for all students.
  • Experience using data to understand student needs and differentiate instruction
  • A mindset and practice that demonstrates trauma-informed and culturally responsive practices
  • Experience building deep and trusting relationships with diverse populations of students and families.
  • Alignment with our TPS values - excellence, courage, growth, soul and community.

A Plus If…

  • Degree in Special Education
  • Fluent Spanish speaker
  • Experience with co-teaching model


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.


Annual salary range begins at $73,000-$101,725 compensation is commensurate with qualifications and experience, plus excellent health benefits (medical, dental, and vision), 401k retirement plan, flexible spending account (FSA), dependent care FSA, and generous paid time off, including a competitive paid parental leave benefit. TPS will cover 93% of the total premium cost for individual team members in our HMO and PPO plans, and 95% for individual team members in our HDHP plan. TPS also covers 50% of enrolled partners and/or dependents' costs on all three of our medical plans (HMO,PPO, HDHP). Please note that in order to be considered for this position, you must be legally authorized to work in the U.S. We are unable to offer sponsorship.

To ensure fair and equitable compensation for all of our employees, The Primary School has a no-negotiation policy on all offers extended. Final offers are determined using role descriptions, job market data, internal parity, and semi-annual benchmarking. Our goal is that this policy, paired with ongoing transparency in our compensation process, will make TPS a more fair, inclusive, and diverse workplace. 

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