Established in 1887, Winchester Thurston School (WT) (winchesterthurston.org) is an independent, Pre-Kindergarten through grade 12, coeducational college preparatory day school in Pittsburgh, PA, serving more than 630 students. Committed to cultivating confident, curious students who are articulate and self-directed, WT has enjoyed record enrollment and growth with its innovative curriculum. With approximately 36% of those enrolled identifying as students of color, WT strives to be an inclusive community that pursues the social and pedagogical benefits that diversity brings.
WT’s campus, located in Pittsburgh’s Shadyside neighborhood, is situated in the heart of Pittsburgh’s educational, cultural, medical, and research center. Shadyside is approximately five miles east of the city center and is an established area known for its historic homes, distinctive boutiques, and lively restaurant scene. Carnegie Mellon University, Google, the Carnegie Museums, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, and the Pittsburgh Center for the Arts are a few of WT’s renowned innovative and cultural neighbors. WT’s nationally recognized City as Our CampusSM program leverages local resources, community partners, and cultural opportunities to provide experiential learning for students across all grades.
Guided by its founding credo, Think also of the comfort and the rights of others, WT has been a beacon of progressive education in Pittsburgh. In recent years, WT has achieved national recognition as one of five schools in the country to receive both an E.E. Ford Foundation Leadership Grant and an invitation to participate in the Malone Scholars Program.
WT seeks an experienced and visionary leader who will enthusiastically advance the school’s Mission by creating and implementing a long-term vision for the support services program that ensures continuity and equitable access to programs and services across grade levels; researches and implements best practices; promotes education to students, parents, and faculty; incorporates understanding and support of diverse learning styles; and, guides differentiation that supports a rigorous college preparatory program. The individual in this position will lead and support a dedicated, thoughtful Support Services team, which includes academic support and enrichment specialists as well as counselors. The WT community will welcome a leader who is passionate, knowledgeable, and collaborative in ensuring the support services program holistically supports students’ mental, physical, social and emotional health and wellness
Winchester Thurston School actively engages each student in a challenging and inspiring learning process that develops the mind, motivates the passion to achieve, and cultivates the character to serve.
Equity and Inclusion Statement
As a means to fulfill our credo, “Think also of the comfort and the rights of others,” Winchester Thurston will be an inclusive community and will pursue the social and pedagogical benefits that diversity brings.
We will place the highest value on enabling students to understand their own identity and those of others.
It is our moral imperative to be courageous and intentional in promoting understanding, addressing bias, identifying and honoring qualities of justice, respecting multiple perspectives and contributions, and valuing the dignity of all.
Working in conjunction with the Support Services Department members, Assistant Head for Education and Strategy, Division Directors, faculty, administrators, students and parents, the Director of Student Support Services is a visible, positive presence who works to ensure students have success both academically and interpersonally. While the Director is responsible for the daily operations of the support services program, the individual in this position will also need to demonstrate leadership and vision to evaluate, develop, implement and coordinate a support program which ensures equitable accessibility to services and best meets the needs of the students.
The successful candidate will have a Master’s degree and experience in Special Education, School Psychology or a related field with a demonstrated knowledge of child and adolescent development, learning disabilities, psycho-educational tests, reports, and assistive technology. Individuals will have experience in effectively leading a team of support personnel and promoting understanding of differentiated instructional strategies across the curriculum. A commitment to equity and inclusion, communication, collaboration, and support of students is foundational to this work. In addition, WT’s next Director of Support Services will have the following responsibilities:
Evaluate the school’s current student support services across all divisions, encompassing academic support/enrichment and counseling services; recommend and implement improvements to ensure continuity of services, clarify policies and procedures around support and enrichment services, and ensure equitable and inclusive access to services for all students receiving support
Coordinate student support services across divisions, supervising the caseload and work of the learning support specialists, academic challenge and enrichment specialists, and the academic support coordinators
Develop annual goals for student support services and monitor progress toward goal achievement
Coordination of Services
Receive and interpret neuropsychological and psychoeducational evaluations in conjunction with learning support specialists/coordinators and counselors to develop, implement, and maintain appropriate accommodation plans for students in all divisions, as needed
Observe students in classes, in conjunction with counselors and learning support specialists/coordinators, and consult with teachers and administrators regarding situations of concern
Consult with parents across divisions regarding standardized testing and support services for their students
Regularly meet with counselors, learning support specialists/coordinators, and Division Directors to review students and situations of concern, coordinating procedures for accommodation, service provision, screening, referrals and staffing support; maintain written accommodation/learning plans with long-term goals and specific objectives and inform teachers of accommodation plans
Work with learning support specialists/coordinators to provide regular written student progress reports to the school and communicate regularly with parents/guardians with assessment results, recommendations of diagnostic testing and remedial programs for learning-related issues; facilitate transitions from grade to grade and division to division
Collaborate with College Counselors to help them complete applications for accommodations relative to SAT/AP and ACT exams
Maintain confidential student records and keep accurate documentation of meetings and assessments
Coordinate, administer and analyze data from ERB testing and make recommendations based on the analysis
Attend, as needed or required, Division Director meetings, Student Support Team meetings, Bear Care Team meetings, grade-level meetings, etc.
Support and Training
Maintain a file of resources for families seeking professionals for psychoeducational or developmental testing
Coordinate psychoeducational testing when families choose to use the psychologist provided by the IU who services WT
Provide, in coordination with learning support specialists/coordinators, professional development and support for school personnel, promoting understanding of learning differences and empowering them to implement research-based, differentiated instruction for students with learning differences
Build strong partnerships with parents, providing education and consistent communication to them, in helping to support students’ learning plans
Serve as the leader of the Student Support Team
Provide direction and support to the school community in instances of crisis
Participate in the hiring process for learning support specialists/coordinators and counselors, as needed
Perform other duties as assigned
All inquiries are confidential, and a review of candidate materials will begin in April. Please complete an application and provide a resume, letter of interest, and contact information for 3 professional references at https://www.applitrack.com/winchesterthurston/onlineapp.
Winchester Thurston School is an equal opportunity employer.WT is dedicated to the goal of building a culturally diverse and pluralistic community and strongly encourages applications from people of color, LGBTQ candidates, and women.
The successful candidate will have a Master’s degree and experience in Special Education, School Psychology or a related field with a demonstrated knowledge of child and adolescent development, learning disabilities, psycho-educational tests, reports, and assistive technology. Individuals will have experience in effectively leading a team of support personnel and promoting understanding of differentiated instructional strategies across the curriculum. A commitment to equity and inclusion, communication, collaboration, and support of students is foundational to this work.
About Winchester Thurston School
Nationally recognized for innovative
teaching, Winchester Thurston is a Pre-K through Grade 12 independent school providing a
rigorous college preparatory program that
prepares students for the challenges of a
changing world. Situated within Pittsburgh’s university and cultural center, WT offers exceptional learning experiences in partnership with surrounding resources. Learn more at www.winchesterthurston.org.
one of America’s most livable cities,
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