The League School is seeking an ambitious leader with deep experience in Special Education, Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and school administration for its next Executive Director. He or she will join an established and greatly respected residential and day school with the opportunity to scale its reputation and its service to the regional community and beyond.
About League School of Greater Boston For more than 50 years, League School of Greater Boston has been on the cutting edge of specialized education for children and young adults with autism. As one of the first schools in the United States devoted exclusively to educating students with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), innovation and pioneering approaches are core to League School's culture and values.
SCERTS Model League School is the only school in Massachusetts, and one of the few schools in the country to fully integrate the SCERTS Model into the educational curriculum. The approach supports the School's goal of helping students apply relevant skills in a variety of settings. SCERTS also emphasizes the consideration of student wellbeing, experience and needs.
SCERTS stands for:
Emotional Regulation, and
Transactional Support (interpersonal and learning supports and supports to families) Learn more about the SCERTS Model at http://scerts.com/.
Programs League School provides year-round curricula for a diverse group of 100-125 students from more than 60 cities across New England, a fourth of whom which are residents. Employing 168 staff members, 48 of whom are residential, League School guarantees an impressive classroom ratio of 1:4 staff members to students, which typically lands closer to 1:1. In addition to content area academics, each incorporates a full array of services, including speech and language, occupational therapy, behavioral and counseling services and vocational services. Each program is structured to include at least one Occupational Therapist (OT), Speech Therapist (SLP), Program Coordinator, Clinician, Behaviorist and BCBA to provide well-rounded support to students.
The school offers a broad range of curriculum through three distinct programs, each designed to meet the varying strengths and needs of its student population:
Foundations and Content Teaching/Life Skills Development (CT/LS serves early childhood and elementary-age students 3-16 with a curriculum focusing on functional academic, social communication, emotional regulation, behavior, leisure, and daily living skills.
Pathfinder serves students ages 6-22 who are highly verbal and near or at grade level but who require support and are striving for a high school diploma.
Transitions serves students ages 17-22 with a focus on functional academics, vocational training, social communication, emotional regulation, independent living skills, community experiences and safety awareness. The goal is to provide a progression of onsite vocational experiences to facilitate a smooth transition to adult services.
League is regulated and approved by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education under the auspices of MGL c71B. The School program and curricula meet the requirements of the Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks and publicly funded students from Massachusetts are required to pass MCAS to earn a high school diploma.
Growth It is an exciting time of growth for League School. Over the last few years, the School has strengthened its national reputation, acquired new property and welcomed an increasing number of students and staff. In addition, the Pathfinder program has experienced a rapid increase in enrollment, doubling since 2017. To support the arrival of these new students and families, additional space will continue to be a top consideration for the Board and incoming Executive Director. A recently acquired real estate site, the abutting 4+ acre Moose Hill Property, represents a variety of exciting expansion possibilities.
About the Position This search is to replace the current Executive Director, Frank A. Gagliardi, Ed.D, who plans to retire in the Spring of 2020. Dr. Gagliardi has been providing strategic leadership and oversight to League School for the past eleven years. A true expert in the field, he came to his present role with 30 years of leadership experience in Special Education. As he transitions out, Dr. Gagliardi plans to support the acclimation and onboarding of the incoming Executive Director as appropriate, for a limited amount of time.
In the first three months, the Executive Director will be responsible for conducting a comprehensive assessment of the organization and presenting recommendations to the Board of Directors for new goal setting and achievement.
Beyond managing operations, the Executive Director will take on the School's strategic priorities including:
Joining and contributing to the planning committee exploring possibilities for the Moose Hill Property
Assessing and leading planning for the expansion of the Pathfinder program
Improving consistency of communication across teams, programs and tiers of staff
Partnering with the Board of Directors, Development Department and Admissions Coodinator to become an advocate and external spokesperson on behalf of the School
Working towards establishing League as a leader in the field, differentiated by its demonstrated success and use of the SCERTS Model
Collaborating with Head of Development, Board of Directors and community members to generate strategic and philanthropic support and create a network of potential/active donors
The Executive Director will shape the future of League School. He or she will develop, articulate and drive the overall vision for long-term organizational growth, culture and impact. This is a unique opportunity for an ambitious leader to join an established and highly effective specialized education institution and scale its reputation in the field and service to the regional community.
Report regularly to the Board of Directors on all pertinent matters. Inform and make recommendations to the Board, as appropriate.
Hire and supervise department directors; monitor the recruitment, hiring, training, supervision and dismissal of all staff. Establish staff organizational structure, position descriptions and performance standards.
Maintain all League School facilities.
Provide direction to the Chief Financial Officer to develop and monitor all program budgets, rate-setting work for establishment of appropriate tuition and tuition billing.
Provide direction to the Principal in planning and implementing curricula, individual student service plans and services for families.
Keep informed of current research and development relevant to the work of the organization, including the general status of private special education schools in the state and the nation, especially those serving a similar population, and the more specific developments in the field of education and treatment of children and young adults with ASD and other developmental disabilities.
Maintain liaison with government and private agencies whose policies and actions may affect the operation of the organization and keep informed of relevant new legislation, regulations, judicial decisions and administrative rulings; ensure compliance with all regulations.
Collaborate with the Head of Development as appropriate, seek out information on funding sources beyond the regular tuition income and drive applications, where appropriate.
Maintain a presence onsite, in classrooms, and at residences at varying hours throughout the day, evening and weekends.
Key Qualifications Required
Authentic commitment to the League School mission and model, as well as the ability to persuasively communicate a case for support
Ability to craft, articulate and drive a strategy and vision for the school
10+/- years' experience in Special Education/school leadership, with a record of job continuity
Significant volunteer and/or board management and development experience
Appreciation for fundraising and aptitude to drive philanthropic strategies/priorities
Capacity to navigate and drive tactical property management, acquisition and expansion
Experience in an external relations/representation role; ability to develop and sustain multiple "external" professional networks
Relevant financial and personnel management experience
Demonstrated ability to negotiate significant change in a highly regulated environment
Commitment to continuing innovative use of technology and social media
Innovative, proactive, and resourceful
Collaborative, honest and ethical
Wide-ranging experience with autism and related fields
Knowledge of Massachusetts special education environment
Experience with management/oversight of education programming
Extensive financial and personnel management/contract experience
Public relations experience
MBA, PhD/EdD, credentials in Special Ed, Education Administration