Dean of Student Supports

Immediate Openings - Massachusetts Chelsea Campus, Chelsea, MA


Organization Overview

Excel Academy was founded in 2003 with the mission to provide a high-quality education to students in East Boston and Chelsea. Over the years, we have grown from one middle school to a network of four schools with 1,400 students in grades 5 to 12. At Excel Academy Charter Schools, we believe that when a student has the support and tools to pursue a productive post-secondary pathway aligned to their personal identity and values, it can fundamentally change their life trajectory. 

We present our students with educational experiences that allow them to grow and discover their best selves so that when they leave our halls, they can successfully navigate all of the post-secondary options available to them. You can read more about the impact of the Excel Academy model here.

At Excel Academy we learn from our students, families, and staff and make improvements. We have increasingly adapted to provide a holistic education that values our community as collaborators in the learning process, social-emotional support, equity for diverse learners, and fosters identity development. We prioritize an approach that is both rigorous and inclusive. Our team of passionate, intelligent, driven, and loving staff are at the core of the work we do. 

Growth Happens Here.

About the Role

The Dean of Student Supports (DOSS) ensures that students receiving special education and/or 504 accommodations make significant academic gains in line with the school’s Big Goals and ensures that compliance tasks are completed and deadlines met related to Special Education and directly manages special education staff and teachers. This position will report to the Head of School.

Essential Functions & Responsibilities

Drive High Quality Student Supports, Inclusive Classrooms, and Interventions

  • Coach teachers to create a classroom that reflects Excel’s vision for rigorous and inclusive education in line with the “Least Dangerous Assumption,” where high expectations are the norm for all students 
  • Observe classes regularly and give written and verbal feedback to teachers and co-teachers, with or without the Dean of Curriculum and Instruction or Head of School;
  • Lead professional development, supported by the Dean of Curriculum and Instruction and Head of School, on inclusive teaching practices, differentiation, and student-specific needs and accommodations as needed to ensure that all students receive an equitable education
  • Collect, analyze, and share student achievement and equity data and work with other members of the admin team to ensure data is used strategically to improve quality of student support programs (behavior intervention plans, academic interventions, co-teaching, etc.)
  • Lead the Child Study Team process for the school
  • Partner with the Dean of Student office to ensure that students with disabilities have supportive behavior plans as needed and as indicated in their IEPs

Directly manage and cultivate key staff members

  • Ensure frequent points of contact with all direct reports. Develop structures to ensure presence in all classrooms weekly at a minimum. Meet with all direct reports bi-weekly at a minimum, sending agendas in advance and supporting teachers to develop agendas to maximize the utility of meetings; 
    • Manage and support team including Learning Specialists and ELL Specialists
    • Provide school-based support and direction to the SLP, Reading Specialist, and school-based services like OT.
    • Serve as the leader of the school-based Learning Support Team

Commitment to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

  • Understand how your identity markers (including race, class, and gender) impact your leadership.
  • Demonstrates understanding and respect for the cultures and languages of our communities. 
  • Solicit and welcomes collaboration and feedback from colleagues, students, families and the surrounding community.
  • Understand the impact of historical and structural racism and use this lens in your decision-making. 
  • Take action to demonstrate personal reflections and growth/ be responsive to feedback and lessons learned. 

Manage Special Education Documentation

  • Serve as the final owner of special education evaluations, IEP timelines, and 504 paperwork
  • Serve as evaluation team chair for all special education evaluations 
  • Support network Special Education Parent Advisory Council meeting coordination
  • Serve as Local Educational Agency representative (LEA) for the school
  • Coordinate, monitor, and provide planning support for all modified courses.
  • Support compliance with IEP/504 suspension and other discipline regulations

Support the Head of School in School Leadership

With the head of school,

  • Articulate a vision for Excel’s program and translate that vision into action.
  • Develop and perform regular school health assessments.
  • Create a dynamic and innovative staff culture; including developing and upholding staff norms, and mediating disputes as needed; 
  • Support efforts for knowledge management and continual improvement; 
  • On an ongoing basis, set the tone of highest expectations and urgency; and
  • Oversee relevant programmatic budgets.

Serve as a productive member of the Excel Community

  • Participate in generating and upholding Excel Staff Norms; 
  • Act as a substitute teacher when needed; 
  • Meaningfully participate in Friday meetings, school PD and Family Conferences; and 
  • Meaningfully participate in the network-wide community of instructional leaders.

Serve as a productive member of the Administrative Team

  • Model flexibility, creativity, generosity of spirit by supporting members of the administrative to the best of your ability. 
  • Lean in to difficult situations and conversations, when necessary, while maintaining a generosity of spirit and willingness to “call people” in to work through tension or conflict.


  • A Bachelor’s degree and certification in Special Education is required; a Master’s degree is strongly preferred;
  • A minimum of three years’ special education teaching experience in an urban public school or charter school setting is strongly preferred;
  • A commitment to working toward equity in education;
  • An unwavering commitment to and belief in the mission of Excel Academy Charter Schools, including Excel’s values and educational model;
  • The ability to focus and thrive in a fast paced, entrepreneurial environment;
  • The ability to work effectively in a team environment and the willingness and desire to support others in doing their best work; and
  • An entrepreneurial spirit that reflects an openness to change, a willingness to problem-solve, and an interest in developing new ideas & programs.

Excel Academy Charter Schools is committed to its work as an anti-racist organization. One critical element of that commitment is building and empowering a diverse staff that reflects the community that we serve. We strongly encourage applications from candidates whose experiences share important points of intersection with those of our students. Staff who demonstrate fluency in Spanish, Portuguese or Arabic (languages spoken widely by our diverse community of families) will receive additional compensation, as will staff who are alumni of our schools.

Excel Academy Charter Schools do not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, creed, sex, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, age, ancestry, athletic performance, special need, proficiency in the English language or a foreign language or prior academic achievement.

Applications will be reviewed as they are received and candidates are encouraged to apply as soon as possible.