SPECIAL EDUCATION TEACHER

Travis Hill School at The Orleans Justice Center and Juvenile Justice Intervention Center

The Schools. The Background.​

The Travis Hill Schools provide students detained at the Orleans Justice Center (OJC) and the Juvenile Justice Intervention Center (JJIC) with a high-quality education, rooted in restorative, trauma-informed care, a curricular and instructional design that emphasizes relevance, meaning, and engagement, and an approach to learning-centered around relationships, trust, and mutual accountability. The Travis Hill Schools also provide significant transition support for students when they return home by offering support with school placement and retention, workforce development, and ongoing, day-to-day case management.

 

We are currently looking for a Special Education teacher.

 

The Travis Hill Schools are run by the Center for Educational Excellence in Alternative Settings (CEEAS). CEEAS is a nonprofit organization devoted to improving schools in juvenile and criminal justice facilities across the nation. The first Travis School opened in August 2016 at the Youth Study Center (YSC), which was later named the Juvenile Justice Intervention Center (JJIC).  In late August 2017, we opened the Travis Hill School at the Orleans Justice Center (OJC). Additional information about CEEAS and the Travis Hill Schools is available at our website, www.breakfree-ed.org and https://www.travishillnola.org/

 

The School. The Opportunity​.

Approximately 40 students are detained at the JJIC on a daily basis.  They range in age from 11 to 17 years old.  All students attend our school located inside of the JJIC.  Nearly 1,500 individuals are held at the OJC.  We operate a full-time school for approximately 70 students between 17 and 21 years old. 

 

Nearly all the students have faced school failure--many did not attend school regularly when they were younger, most have been suspended or expelled at some point, nearly all of them are far behind their peers academically, and 30-40% of them have special education needs. Despite this, they all have hopes and dreams, skills and talents, and family and friends who care for them.

 

Our mission at Travis Hill is to create a transformative learning environment where students held at the JJIC or OJC develop the academic and socio-emotional skills they need to become positive, contributing members of their community when they are released.

Position Description​

Our teachers play a critical role in establishing the academic foundation and educational climate at our school.  Our schools are small.  Every teacher and every instructional minute matters.  This is an incredibly rewarding and demanding job--one that requires teachers who are fully committed to our students and who are fully invested in doing anything and everything to make education happen there. We are looking for teachers who truly believe all students can succeed, who believe that students who are detained or incarcerated deserve the best education possible and who are relentless and won’t stop working when it gets difficult. We want teachers who are grounded in doing what is right and just, who are self-reflective, aren’t afraid to ask for help, and who are willing and open to trying new and innovative ways to reach students.

 

For the right person, this is the perfect job.

 

We are looking specifically for a special education teacher, with a preference for those who can teach at both the middle and high school level. The ideal candidate will be able to serve as a co-teacher in a range of content areas, work one-on-one and in small group settings with students, and possibly teach one or more classes a day in a therapeutic setting for a small number of students with very significant special education needs.   The teacher will also serve as a case manager for a number of students, facilitating IEP goal setting and meetings and spearheading transition planning.  

 

Primary Responsibilities:

Responsibilities will include but not be limited to:

 

  • Working with the Director of Student Support Services & Special Education to develop sound academic plans for students with special needs, and to establish manageable tools to ensure the development of programming to meet those needs

  • Providing case management to up to 12 students with disabilities by meeting with the students individually on a weekly basis, reviewing their progress in school, creating supportive plans, and supporting the students in leading their own IEP meetings. 

  • Providing one-on-one and small group instruction to students, either by ‘pushing in’ and supporting students in a traditional classroom setting or through pull-outs and tutorial settings--both to meet agreed-to IEP goals and to address the reading and literacy needs of students

  • Teaching socially acceptable behavior, as determined by the students’ individualized education programs (IEPs), by employing techniques in an overall positive behavioral support system and developing and implementing individual behavior plans designed to promote prosocial, achievement-oriented, and values-centered student behavior

  • Modifying the general education curriculum for students with disabilities based upon a variety of instructional techniques and technologies

  • Maintaining accurate and complete student records and prepare reports on student progress and activities

  • Supporting other teachers--both formally and informally--with strategies and tools to help them meet the wide-ranging needs of students

  • Integrating blended learning into the fabric of planning and instruction, in order to make learning more engaging, more targeted, and more student-centered

  • Modeling and contributing to a school culture built on hope and high expectations for achievement

  • Developing and maintaining productive working relationships with YSC secure care staff--both in school and by participating in agreed-to unit-based activities and meetings

  • Building positive, lasting relationships with students and families as well as key student support networks, including, volunteers, local attorneys, case management, and aftercare staff

  • Contributing your talent, creativity, and passion to enrich the range of academic and enrichment activities the School can offer to students in our care

  • Understanding and committing to what it means to work with students who are detained, including taking on roles and functions that extend beyond those of a traditional teacher working in a traditional environment

 

Essential Competencies:

At Travis Hill, we are looking for teachers who are committed to developing a set of essential competencies.  These include: 

  • Preparing and delivering multi-tiered and multi-course instruction. Students may be enrolled in two or more courses during a single class period and teachers are expected to use stations, full and small group instruction, and blended learning tools to facilitate this sort of classroom design.

  • Developing a curriculum that is modular (fits within ~20-day unit cycles) and thematic, incorporates project-based learning, and is aligned with Louisiana Student Standards. Our curriculum and related instructional materials need to be created, saved and made accessible using a school-wide framework that emphasizes relevance and meaning.

  • Working collaboratively with members of our student support services team and special education staff.  Our teachers work with others to modify instructional material, accommodate students’ needs, and support students’ social-emotional development.

  • Taking on responsibilities that lie outside of your content specialty. In light of student needs, our teachers must be flexible and willing, with professional development and support, to meet students where they are.

  • Investing fully in the school’s ongoing efforts to use restorative justice practices. We believe in and use a solution-focused approach to misbehavior.

  • Understand that students with significant behavioral, mental health and trauma-related challenges will attend school.  Nearly 50% of the students at Travis Hill have diagnosed special needs; nearly all have experienced significant trauma.  Our aim is for all students to attend school every day.

  • Meeting basic administrative expectations.  Timeliness, grading, turning in lesson plans, reading and responding to emails, and staff communications are essential to the success of our school.

 

 Additional Qualifications and Experiences:

  • Two or more years of teaching experience, certified in special education

  • Interest in using technology and blended learning

  • An understanding of what it means to make learning relevant and meaningful

  • An unyielding belief that with the appropriate supports, coupled with high expectations, all students can significantly improve their academic skills, and can develop prosocial and skills and habits that will enable them to succeed at school and beyond

  • The firm belief that all students have strengths and talents and that a good teacher helps students find these and use them to address weaknesses or overcome fears

  • Embrace and nurture a school culture that requires all staff to work beyond the traditional school hours and school year in order to create an environment filled with hope and high expectations, where students will radically improve their academic, employment, and socio-emotional skills

  • Possess an unrelenting belief that all students can achieve and succeed

 

Salary and Benefits:

BreakFree Education offers Travis Hill staff a competitive salary and benefits package.  Our salaries are on par with local schools and youth-serving nonprofit organizations, taking into account experience and skills. BreakFree offers a Simple IRA plan for all staff and provides a 3% employer contribution once staff has worked for six months. BreakFree provides health care coverage for all staff and covers approximately 80% of the monthly premiums and 50% for dependents of employees. 

 

The English, Social Studies, and Math positions are 10.5 months, full-time positions.  The Special Education Position is a 12 month, full-time position.  Vacation time primarily is aligned with the school calendar.  In addition, special education staff at Travis Hill work through the summer with agreed-to time off.

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BreakFree Education is an equal opportunity employer.  We believe that a diverse staff is a better staff.  Women and persons of color are encouraged to apply to work with us at the Travis Hill Schools.  

For additional information about BreakFree Education and the Travis Hill Schools, please visit our website at www.breakfree-ed.org or https://www.travishillnola.org/.

©2020 Travis Hill School is a BreakFree Education School