Dallas Independent School District

Assistant Superintendent for Special Populations- Congratulations to Dr. Gerard Cortez

The base salary will be in the range of $160,000, plus a comprehensive benefits package

Apply for this Job

Dallas Independent School District


REPORTS TO: Deputy Chief Academic Officer, Programs

SUMMARY: The Assistant Superintendent for Special Populations is a critical leadership role focused on improving services and outcomes to ensure all students can. The Assistnat Superintendent direclty supervises the Special Services teams (Special Education and 504/Dyslexia) and Engagement Services teams (SEL, Advanced Academics).  This role leads, directs, monitors and strengthens programs while ensuring all services are implemented within federal, state, and local regulations.

The Assistant Superintendent provides the strategic vision and leadership to coordinate and maximize the efforts of district staff; federal, state and local agencies; private service providers; families; and community stakeholders to provide the services needed for students to be successful.  Dallas ISD is working to transform special services within the district and the Assistant Superintendent is primarily responsible for leading that transformation.  Dallas ISD wants to ensure that all students, regardless of need, can reach their dreams and find success in their lffe.  


1.      Equity Leadership and Student Success

-       Set a clear vision and goals for the Special Populations departments to increase academic achievement and provide supports for all students, including those with special needs.

-      Cultivate a commitment among all district staff that all students will achieve at high standards.

-      Confront preconceptions and model open dialogue about race, culture, class and other issues of difference with peers, staff, students and the community.

-       Demonstrate cultural proficiency, sensitivity, and equity to ensure students’ needs are met.

-      Ensure the Special Populations department does not advertently or inadvertenly continue, excaberate, or cause further inequities within the district.  

-      Assess the distribution of Special Education, Section 504/Dyslexia, Advanced Academics, and Social-Emotional Learning resources and supports ensuring allocation is equitable and provides the best resources to efficiently and effectively meet the needs of all students, families, and schools.

-      Ensure the Special Populations become the preferred district partner for campues.  

2.      Instructional Leadership and Student Support

-       Direct and supervise the Special Populations departments, serving as direct supervisor to the Executive Directors and other designated staff.

-       Plan, develop, and implement a comprehensive program for students with diverse learning needs (e.g., students with disabilities, Gifted/Talented), which assesses the needs of students, establishes objectives and priorities, develops strategies to achieve objectives, and evaluates programs.

-       Apply research and best practices to inform the development of theories of pedagogy, intervention programs and improve the delivery of special populations and related services.

-       Collaborate with School Leadership and other district departments to provide supports for a variety of school settings and build school support systems with necessary resources.

-       Work in conjunction with the Texas Education Agency and other community agencies to meet the needs of students; prepare and monitor contracts with individuals and agencies for special services, and ensure compliance of programs with federal, state and local regulations.

3.     Systems and Policies

-       Assess the effectiveness of the Speciual Populations departments and effectively prioritize, plan and implement improvements, as needed.

-       Establish processes for quality controls, operational efficiency and accuracy in departmental work.

-       Create proactive systems that garner feedback from schools and families to inform district-level policy and practice.

-       Use and analyze data to drive decisions and guide problem-solving to achieve the best student outcomes.

-       Share data with broad audiences to improve transparency and communication.

-       Facilitate problem-solving and dispute resolution to ensure appropriate services and resources for students.

-       Address systemic issues efficiently, effectively, and consistently.

-       Consult with central and school-based staff on specific individual cases when further interpretation of federal, state and local policies is required.

-       Provide technical assistance to staff, families, and outside agencies related to the implementation of legal mandates.

4.     Communication

-       Serves as a primary Dallas ISD leader for Special Populations, working with the Superintendent, Board of Trustees, division Chiefs, district departments, and state and local leaders to ensure Dallas ISD is a national leader in serving diverse learners.  

-       Serves as main point of contact and interface regarding Special Populations with the Board of Trustees, Texas Legislature and state government, media, and community, making regular presentations to each group.  

-       Serves on various district, state, and national task forces and committees as requested, representing the interests of Dallas ISD.

-       Talent Management and Professional Learning

-       Cultiave an internal working culture that is student and family centered and focused on excellence and equity.  

-       Supervise, mentor, and provide professional growth and development opportunities for staff.

-       Support staff in developing, implementing, and evaluating strategy and project plans to achieve goals.

-       Increase the effectiveness of school-based special educators:

Collaborate with schools to refine and implement professional growth opportunities.

-       Strategically and equitablty manage and allocate resources (i.e., including money, people, time) aligned to students’ needs.

-       Provider leadership support for district-wide professional development programs that build the capacity of district teachers and leaders to:

-    Implement inclusive practices for all students.

-    Make decisions based on research and best practices in special education, dual language, ESL, and related services.

The incumbent must perform all other duties as assigned.  


1.      Vision and Courage to Ensure All Students Achieve

-       Demonstrate belief and holds self and others accountable for reaching high academic achievement of all students.

-       Secure buy-in for a clear and compelling vision.

-       Comfortable addressing matters of equity, race, and biasin decision-making.

2.     Special Populations Knowledge and Expertise

-       Demonstrated experience with  special education and Advanced Academics, including legal mandates and regulations governing the provision of special education and related services.

-       Demonstrate ability to develop and deliver special populations programming that improves academic performance.

-       Understand and implement promising, innovative and effective instructional practices and models

3.      Influence and Leadership

-       Demonstrate leadership presence that gains the confidence and trust of others.

-       Comfortable pushing a group’s thinking; skillfully navigating political structures, relationships and dynamics to challenge ideas and enable better decisions and outcomes for students.

-       Communicate effectively, tailoring message for the audience, context, and mode of communication.

-       Actively listen to others and effectively interprets motivations/perceptions. Able to integrate feedback from others to achieve better results.

-       Build positive relationships and coalitions. Maintains visibility and works collaboratively with diverse stakeholders at all levels (i.e. district staff, students, families, communities, advocacy groups, etc.).

4.     Strategic Planning and Effective Execution

-       Proactively offer innovative solutions to seemingly intractable problems.

-       Demonstrate critical thinking skills and the ability to analyze data, identify trends, and diagnose root causes.    

-       Exhibit a strong focus on goals and results. Set clear metrics for success.

-       Continuously monitor progress and demonstrate persistence to over come obstacles to achieve goals.

5.     Team Leadership and Management

-       Build and lead effective teams to achieve ambitious goals.

-       Assess team and individuals’ skills, identifies development needs, and provides feedback and supports to improve practice, build capacity, and maximize talent.

-       Promote professional learning and utilizes effective adult learning techniques.

-       Lead teams to collaborate with other departments, teams, and stakeholders.

6.     Minimum Training & Experience

-       A clear track record of improving academic outcomes for students served by the Special Populations Department.

-       Master’s degree in special education, bilingual education, educational administration, or a related field from an accredited college or institution.

-       Eight years of supervisory/administrative/management experience, preferably in a large urban school district.

-       Experience as a teacher and/or school leader with documented success in improving student outcomes preferred.

-       Knowledge of best practices, and current on national trends and research for the instruction of diverse learners.

-       Bilingual (Spanish/English) preferred.


While performing the duties of this job, the employee is regularly required to maintain emotional control under stress. Frequent standing, walking, pushing, and pulling; moderate lifting and carrying; some stooping, bending, and kneeling; limited exposure to extreme hot and cold temperatures.


The noise level in the work environment is usually moderate. Travel throughout the district is integral to this job.

GR Recruiting Connecting Educational Leaders

Contact Us Today and begin the next phase of your journey!