Friendship Public Charter School

Reading Specialist

Vacancy for School Year
Friendship Chamberlain Campus


Friendship Public Charter Schools is a thriving network of college preparatory public charter schools. Headquartered in Washington, DC, Friendship serves over 4,000 students in preschool to grade 12 and guides a growing network of alumni to college completion annually. 80% of students come from low-income households. 98% are African American or Latino. The mission of Friendship Public Charter School is to prepare students to become ethical, literate, well-rounded and self-sufficient citizens by providing a world-class education that motivates students to reach high academic standards, to enjoy learning, to achieve success, and to contribute actively to their communities.

Friendship Public Charter School seeks dynamic reading specialists to support their reading strategic plan. The Reading Specialist/Literacy Coach will be assigned to Friendship elementary campuses to support efforts to ensure every child attending Kindergarten through 5th grade at Friendship in Washington, D.C. has the support needed to become a strong reader capable of going to and through college. The school-based Reading Specialist/Literacy Coach will work to accelerate student reading achievement through implementing network-wide reading initiatives, professional development, and programming as well as support teachers to develop high quality small group reading instruction and interventions. The Reading Specialist/Literacy Coach will provide direct, balanced literacy interventions to scholars as well as coach teachers, model best practices, support the building principal, and assist the Director of Reading to reach network-wide reading goals. The design is for a dual supervisory position where each Reading Specialist/Literacy Coach reports to the principal to become an integral team member of their specific school as well as reporting to the Director of Reading to create a culture of reading that encourages strong reading instruction, excitement about books, and a genuine, institutional love for reading.


• The Reading Specialist/Literacy Coach role for Friendship is designed as a 60/40 split between reading coaching for teachers and direct reading intervention for students.
• 60% of the job will be direct push in to the classroom for modeling effective small group instruction as well as to coach teachers as they develop differentiated reading instruction and centers for guided reading/word study rotations.
• The other 40% of the contract will be focused on direct intervention and instruction with struggling readers who have not yet been identified for special services. The reading specialist’s focus for intervention will be on Kindergarten through 3rd grade readers to develop reading skills as well as help students make the hard transition into 3rd grade reading expectations.
• Direct coaching will be on a 6 week cycle where up to six teachers will be provided intense reading support in developing instruction, resources, and practices for an effective guided reading/word study classroom environment. A coaching cycle for all teachers at once is not feasible due to the 60/40 split of responsibilities so strategic choices and timing will need to be utilized when picking teachers for each cycle. Observation and coaching reports will be due to the principal and the Director of Reading at the end of each 6 week cycle.
• Help organize and manage books and other reading resources at the school with the goal of maximizing student access to books and other reading instructional resources.
• Advocate for innovative approaches, scheduling, and research-based solutions to meet the needs of scholars at the school as well as pushing teachers and administrators to abandon traditional approaches to teaching reading that are ineffective for more progressive, research-based practices that are highly effective.
• Support the development of exemplary classroom literacy practice and continually strive to develop a deep knowledge of reading theory throughout the school.
• Engage teachers in organized, sustained reading-focused professional development in coordination with the Director of Reading.
• Ensure an effective assessment, recording, and reporting system for student progress. Support reading and phonics assessments as well as the collection and dissemination of the data generated from these assessments.
• Support the Director of Reading’s work in resource development at your school including a variety of approaches to getting books to children at home, in the classroom, and in the school building as a whole.
• Each school year, create and implement a minimum of two family literacy events and initiatives with a team of like-minded teachers.
• Stay current on the latest reading research and practice. When needed, provide reading research references and articles to administration and teachers to help encourage best practices and high quality instruction.
• Recruit a team to create a school-wide culture of reading that facilitates ownership and celebrations as the staff works toward encouraging a love of reading that will follow students into adulthood. Advocate for a student-centered approach to reading development that incorporates student buy-in, voice, agency, and leadership.
• Perform effectively as a member of the Instructional Leadership Team (ILT) for your campus to help guide academic decisions. Seek to develop collegial relationships with other members of the ILT in order to support student development. Key relationship development should be targeted with the principals and ELA specialist on your campus so that teacher support and student learning is seamless across the 120 minute literacy block.
• Function as a pivotal team member for the Friendship Reading Team comprised of the reading specialists and library personnel across all campuses. Demonstrate a willingness to develop and cultivate professional relationships with your reading peers, participate in common professional development, and share ideas of success as well as ask for help when needed.


• Has read the National Reading Panel report and understands the identified areas needed for well-rounded reading instruction as well as an additional understanding of the importance of writing instruction.
• Is well versed in pivotal reading research and is philosophically aligned with a balanced literacy approach to reading instruction that is founded on social constructivism and differentiation.
• Views reading instruction from a developmental approach understanding that reading development is based on skills and ability, not a child’s grade level or age. Is an advocate for differentiated, developmentally appropriate reading instruction for each student, not a whole class or basal approach.
• Possesses knowledge of Guided Reading best practices and can help implement the philosophical shift needed to teach differentiated reading instruction. Has read Jan Richardson’s research on guided reading instruction and can bring a wealth of other knowledge and resources to help support reading instruction.
• Possesses a research-based understanding of analytical phonics instruction taught in conjunction with authentic reading and writing. Specific knowledge of the Words Their Way approach to word study is preferred or a willingness to read the first 3 chapters of Words Their Way prior to the first day of school.
• Is an avid reader and desires to cultivate a continued, personal love for learning that is open to incorporating new reading research, innovative approaches, and new understandings into practice.
• Understands and utilizes assessment data in developing reading instruction to evaluate and improve the instructional environment, students’ learning outcomes, and faculty effectiveness.
• Possesses a familiarity with the next generation of assessments (PARCC).


• Prefer a Master’s Degree in Curriculum and Instruction with an emphasis in Reading, Literacy Education Studies, Literacy and Culture, Reading, etc. A minimum of a M.Ed. in a related field with evidence of significant additional courses in reading research and instruction.
• Certification as a Reading Specialist
• Minimum of 3 years successful teaching experience.
• Specific experience with teaching reading at the elementary level is preferred.
• Experience in leading/providing reading Professional Development and/or coaching or leading literacy-based PLC’s.
• Evidence of teacher leadership and a track record of working well on a team.
• Strong evidence of achieving academic excellence in reading/ELA with urban learners.
• Exemplifies a deep belief in and commitment to educational excellence for all students.
• Exemplary oral and written communication skills.


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