Content Area Specialist



JOB CODE: 2290

PAY GRADE: 1160

SALARY RANGE: $32,215 - $54,842

LOCATION OF WORK
Department of Human Development and Services

GENERAL DESCRIPTION
Under the administrative direction of the Program Administrator Head Start or designee, performs highly responsible work in development and implementation of early childhood education services, educational curricula, and the supervision, training, and evaluation of the Head Start teaching staff in a manner to support school readiness for all children enrolled in the Head Start Program. Plans the coordination and supervision of all Head Start services for children with special needs; coordinates a wide range of comprehensive health and mental services; performs responsible professional work in the design, implementation, and supervision of parent and volunteer activities; oversees the training of volunteers in classroom procedures and activities; coordinates duties over sub-professional Family Advocates who are engaged in performing a variety of social services activities including counseling, referral, care management, related services plans, and implements some family needs assessment programs designed to identify special needs and concerns of students, parents, and teachers by acting as a liaison with the proper community service agencies; coordinates contacts with community agencies to meet Head Start Performance Standards. General supervision is exercised over a moderate staff of sub-professional employees. Performs other work as requested within federal and state guidelines.

ESSENTIAL WORK TASKS
EDUCATION AND TRANSITION: Develops and implements an educational program designed for preschool aged children. Supports curriculum implementation based on materials provided by the program and reviews and critiques all lesson plans weekly to assist staff with the execution of lesson plans; provides feedback as needed. Works with staff and parents to ensure that children demonstrating delays or concerns are referred to appropriate resources. Monitors classroom activities, staff, and children for evaluation purposes in accordance with agency policies. Assists in supervising and evaluating teaching staff to ensure that goals and objectives are achieved. Communicates with teachers on referral status during monthly meetings. Assists in implementing a parentally-involved educational program for both classroom and home. Monitors home visits to Head Start families made by teaching staff. Organizes, assigns, and trains classroom volunteers; prepares annual assessment of equipment and materials needed; ensures that education staff has needed equipment, furnishing, and educational resources. Participates in external partnership meetings with the Program Administrator Head Start to facilitate transition planning and other efforts that address aspects of education and disability services. Designs and implements strategy to ensure smooth transition from Head Start to K-12 system and maintains the connection with the children. Participates in management team meetings as assigned. Provides educational recommendations to Head Start Center Supervisors for performance evaluation and professional development plans for assigned staff. Monitors child related referrals through ChildPlus monthly data system. Maintains and monitors ChildPlus, CLASS, TS GOLD, Ages & Stages III, and Brigance databases while meeting grant goals. Maintains ChildPlus data and teacher staff credentials to ensure all staff meets qualifications which align with Head Start Performance Standards. HEALTH AND MENTAL HEALTH: Designs and coordinates a full range of comprehensive services which meets Head Start Performance Standards for identifying and serving all professionally diagnosed children and their parents. Coordinates with education supervisor, the development of Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) for children with special needs; attends IEP meetings. Coordinates and arranges services at community agencies for children and parents. Coordinates the procedures for responding to medical and dental emergencies which occur at the centers; develops and maintains up-to-date medical records on all Head Start children. Coordinates with medical providers the development of health plans for children with major health problems. Plans, coordinates, and conducts staff and parent training sessions on a regular basis. Coordinates with Program Administrator and the state bureau of licensing on the identification and reporting of suspected child abuse cases and provides the necessary support services to the child, the family, and the Child Protection Agency. Organizes Health Services Advisory Committee and serves as staff liaison. Updates the annual health, safety, and mental health plans in conjunction with the Program Administrator, Policy Council, parents, and other center staff. Develops the Health and Mental Health service plan and assists with the development of the program budget to ensure that adequate funds are budgeted for disabilities-related services. DISABILITY: Designs and coordinates a full range of comprehensive services which meets Head Start Performance Standards for identifying and serving all professionally diagnosed special needs children and their parents. Coordinates with the education supervisor on the development of initial and annual Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) for students with special needs to make certain they are receiving disability services and have been evaluated; ensures children demonstrating delays or concerns are referred to appropriate resources; attends IEP meetings. Utilizes revised Head Start diagnostic criteria to determine a child's eligibility for special education and related services. Supports inclusive classrooms and ensures that required modifications needed are made (including consultations with preschool special education staff from the East Baton Rouge Parish Public School System). Participates in external partnership meetings with the Program Administrator Head Start to facilitate transition planning and other efforts that address aspects of education and disability services. Develops the disabilities service plan and assists with the development of the program budget to ensure that adequate funds are budgeted for disabilities-related services. SOCIAL SERVICES: Identifies families and children in need of social services; implements a needs assessment and develops programs to meet those special concerns. Certifies as to the eligibility of all Head Start enrollees, reviews and maintains files and other confidential materials. Supervises and trains the staff in the areas of social services. Directs staff in the recruitment, screening, enrollment, and reevaluation of eligible children, including disabled children. Directs outreach staff in providing direct services to families in analyzing case problems and in making necessary referrals. Coordinates home visits to Head Start families made by the Family Advocates and makes assignments to social services personnel. Coordinates with other component supervisors all social services referrals and follow-ups; acts as liaison between community agencies and Head Start families and staff. PARENT INVOLVEMENT: Assists in implementing a parentally-involved educational program for both classrooms and home. Organizes, assigns, and trains classroom volunteers. Plans, coordinates, and conducts staff and parent training sessions on a regular basis. Supervises and trains the staff in the areas of parental involvement. Directs staff in the recruitment, screening, enrollment, and reevaluation of eligible children, including disabled children. Utilizes revised Head Start diagnostic criteria to determine a child's eligibility for special education and related services. Coordinates with the social services supervisor the identification and reporting of suspected child abuse cases and provides the necessary support services to the child, the family, and the Child Protection Agency. Coordinates home visits to Head Start families made by all program components and makes assignments to social services personnel. Develops the disabilities service plan and assists with the development of the program budget to ensure that adequate funds are budgeted for disabilities-related services. Coordinates with other component supervisors all social services referrals and follow-ups; acts as liaison between community agencies and Head Start families and staff. Serves as liaison to Head Start Policy Council by keeping the Council informed on new information pertinent to Head Start; coordinates Policy Council elections and meetings.

KNOWLEDGE, SKILLS, AND ABILITIES
Knowledge of nutrition, sanitation, hygiene health, and mental health services as related to preschool aged children in general and disabled children specifically. Knowledge of common medical problems encountered in preschool aged children. Knowledge of the federal, state, and local regulations governing services to children with disabilities and Head Start Programs. Knowledge of motivational and teaching techniques used to direct preschool aged children in all phases of educational development. Knowledge of types of social services offered by governmental agencies and of procedures used in obtaining such services. Knowledge and understanding of the developmental levels of preschool aged children. Knowledge of ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) and IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act). Ability to interpret medical, dental, educational, nutritional, and social services information and translate data into a usable form. Ability to plan and organize curricula for preschool aged children for the total development of the child. Ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships with employees, parents, community agencies, and preschool aged children. Ability to understand and relate to the under privileged, the disabled, preschool aged children, and parents. Ability to express ideas clearly and concisely, orally and in writing, to groups and to individuals. Ability to work cooperatively with clients and staff from diverse cultural, socio-economic, and educational backgrounds. Ability to prepare basic statistical and narrative reports, business correspondence, and memoranda using computerized systems. Ability to maintain confidentiality of records and information. Ability to work independently and demonstrate flexibility to changes in work schedules and assignments. Ability to apply good work habits such as punctuality, reliability, preciseness, and dependability in order to effectively complete assigned tasks and contribute to the smooth operation of the department and division.

MINIMUM REQUIREMENTS

EDUCATIONAL AND EXPERIENCE
Bachelor's degree in Early Childhood Development, Early Childhood Education, Health and Human Performance, Special Education, Rehabilitation Counseling, Social Work, Psychology, Nursing, Sociology, or a related field.

SUBSTITUTIONS
Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) and two years pediatric experience or child preventative health experience. Any equivalent combination of education and experience.

CERTIFICATIONS / LICENSES / REGISTRATIONS
(Unless otherwise specified below, must possess at the time of appointment and must be maintained current throughout employment in this classification.) Position(s) of this classification may require a valid Louisiana driver's license. If license is required, must be maintained throughout employment in this position.

OTHER JOB ASPECTS
May require typing or other computer software skills. Must have a satisfactory criminal background check.


NOTE:
The work examples described in this specification are intended only as an illustration of the various types of work that may be performed. The omission of specific statements of duties does not exclude them from job performance requirements if the work is similar, related, or a logical assignment to the job.