Job Title: Occupational Therapist, Early Stages
Office: Office of Elementary Schools
Date Posted: 7/15/2021
Salary Range: 1-10 / $74,024 - $85,743
NTE Date: N/A
The Office of Social Emotional Academic Development works with the Chancellor to ensure coherence in the educational experience for our students, families, and schools. Our goal is to initiate change and lead DC Public Schools into the highest performing school district in the nation. We are currently in the process of creating our next strategic plan. After engaging with over 3,000 internal and external stakeholders to help shape the future of DCPS, our draft strategic priorities include:
- Promote Equity: Define, understand, and promote equity to close achievement gaps and interrupt institutional bias.
- Empower Our People: Recruit, develop, and retain a talented, caring, and diverse team.
- Educate the Whole Child: Provide rigorous, joyful and inclusive academic and social emotional experiences for all students.
- Ensure Excellent Schools: Increase the number of high quality schools across the district by defining blended autonomies for schools and creating opportunities for innovation.
- Engage Families: Deepen partnerships with families and community.
The Office of Elementary Schools is responsible for effective management, operation and achievement of the elementary schools and provides leadership to principals, administrators, and teachers to ensure academic excellence for all students.
The Early Stages division works exclusively with children ages 2 years 8 months through 5 years 10 months and is responsible for meeting the District's obligation under the Individual with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) Part B (619) to develop a comprehensive child find system to identify and locate all preschool-age children in the District who have a disability. The core aspects of this work include: (1) a public awareness campaign, (2) citywide developmental screening initiatives, (3) a referral and intake system, (4) the special education evaluation/eligibility process, (5) the transition process from Part C Early Intervention and (6) interagency partnerships with government and nonprofit agencies, (7) data management to determine which children have been identified and are receiving services. Early Stages manages two centers at offsite locations.
The Occupational Therapist, Early Stages will screen and evaluate children referred to Early Stages that have a suspected disability that interferes with their ability to perform daily life activities or participate in the necessary or desired occupations, including personal care, student role, interaction skills, process skills, play, community integration, and graphic communication. The Occupational Therapist functions as part of a multi-disciplinary team that collaborates to determine eligibility for special education services and draft Individual Education Plans (IEP). The Occupational Therapist, Early Stages will not provide individual or group therapy. The Occupational Therapist will be a member of the Council of School Officers (CSO) union. The Occupational Therapist, Early Stages will report to the Director, Early Stages Center. This position is a safety-sensitive position. As a result, throughout employment this position will be subject to the Employee Mandatory Drug and Alcohol Testing Policy.
The Occupational Therapist, Early Stages will report to the Director, Early Stages Center.
Essential Duties and Responsibilities
The below statements are intended to describe the general nature and scope of work being performed by this position. This is not a complete listing of all responsibilities, duties, and/or skills required. Other duties may be assigned.
- Gathers background information from parents, teachers, administrators, and community partners regarding the occupational needs of students as they relate to their education program.
- Evaluates within the context of a multi-disciplinary team requiring collaboration across providers and other Early Stages staff members.
- Screens and/or assesses a child's ability to perform daily life activities or participate in the necessary or desired occupations, including personal care, student role, interaction skills, process skills, play, community integration, and graphic communication.
- Selects, administers, scores, and interprets individual occupational therapy measures, using instruments and procedures approved by DCPS.
- Analyzes evaluation data, student records and information pertinent to student learning, and formulates hypotheses and conclusions relating to the referral (see application details) reports that are meaningful to parents, teachers, and other stakeholders and complies with DCPS guidelines.
- Participates in multidisciplinary meetings to review evaluation results, integrate findings with other disciplines, offer recommendations, and develops individual education plans and intervention plans to achieve IEP goals.
- Reviews and interprets independently generated therapy, medical, and evaluation reports; and serves as a resource in reporting findings to other team members.
- Prioritizes and schedules work tasks independently.
- Maintains clinical and administrative records in accordance with professional standards, state guidelines, and school system policy.
- Adheres to federal and state legislation, regulation, and policies that affect occupational therapy practice.
- Travels to other sites within the DC metro area as needed to conduct off-site evaluations, home visits, and other work tasks.
- Master's degree.
- Master's degree in occupational therapy unless Bachelor's degree was obtained prior 2007.
- A minimum of two years of experience serving children ages 6 and under with, or at risk of, developmental delay or disability.
- Licensed by the DC Department of Health (DOH) - Board of Occupational Therapy or eligible for licensure.
- Previous exposure to or experience in the education sector preferred.
- Strong writing and speaking skills; effective at communicating with diverse audiences.
- Ability to solve practical problems and deal with a variety of concrete variables in situations where only limited standardization exists.
- Knowledge of the fundamentals of IDEA and its impact in the discipline.
Personal Qualities of Top Candidates
- Commitment to Equity: Passionate about closing the achievement gap and ensuring that every child, regardless of background or circumstance, receives an excellent education.
- Leadership: Coaches, mentors, and challenges others to excel despite obstacles and challenging situations.
- Focus on Data-Driven Results: Relentlessly pursues the improvement of central office performance and school leadership, instruction, and operations, and is driven by a desire to produce quantifiable student achievement gains.
- Innovative Problem-Solving: Approaches work with a sense of possibility and sees challenges as opportunities for creative problem solving; takes initiative to explore issues and find potential innovative solutions.
- Adaptability: Excels in constantly changing environments and adapts flexibly in shifting projects or priorities to meet the needs of a dynamic transformation effort; comfortable with ambiguity and non-routine situations.
- Teamwork: Increases the effectiveness of surrounding teams through collaboration, constant learning and supporting others; sensitive to diversity in all its forms; respects and is committed to learning from others.
- Dependability: Does whatever it takes to consistently deliver with high quality under tight deadlines; successfully manages own projects through strong organization, detailed workplans, and balancing of multiple priorities.
- Communication and Customer Service Skills: Communicates clearly and compellingly with diverse stakeholders in both oral and written forms; anticipates and responds to customer needs in a high-quality and courteous manner.