Teacher HS Special Ed LRC REPLACEMENT – Science and Math Institute (SAMI)

September 14, 2023
Tacoma, WA
Job Type



Tacoma Public Schools

Expected Start Date: October 16, 2023

FTE: 1.0

Hours per day: Alternative work schedule

Salary Level: Based on preparation level and experience per TEA Collective Bargaining Agreement

Union/Days per year: Teacher, 10 month

Benefits: This job has the full range of benefits offered by Tacoma Public Schools.

Additional Information: This is a REPLACEMENT contract, anticipated to begin October 16, 2023, through January 15, 2024 only or until the employee returns from his or her leave, whichever occurs first.
This position requires a Special Education endorsement.

SAMI Teaching Positions
The Tacoma Science and Math Institute (SAMI), a science and math focused high school situated in Point Defiance Park in Tacoma, is one of Tacoma School District's alternative high schools. SAMI's vision is to create an inclusive high school learning community that provides integrated, inquiry-based experiences utilizing community resources, while combining science, mathematics, and the arts. Students study life science and physical sciences as part of a rigorous academic program that includes humanities, arts, and Spanish.
Beyond the science focus, three things set this school apart from the typical comprehensive high school. First, the school is small in size; around 650 students make up the SAMI population. Second, the school is built on community partnerships with established community organizations. And finally, the faculty and staff collaborate with neighborhood organizations and experts in arts fields, to create project-based coursework with real-life applications. SAMI staff members are dedicated to the vision and work collaboratively to see it fulfilled. To encourage collaboration, staff members share students, planning times and desk areas. No classrooms are assigned to specific teachers, only class sections to instructional spaces. Instructional spaces include three buildings in Point Defiance Park in Tacoma, including Fort Nisqually, and the zoo and aquarium. SAMI instructors share all instructional spaces. Instructors collaborate with employees of the park and other local organizations to create engaging curriculum for students that meet state learning expectations and utilize the community and natural resources of the area. Strong-emphasis is placed on project-based learning and teacher-community partner curriculum development. SAMI works in partnership with its sister schools, the Tacoma School of the Arts (SOTA) and School of Industrial Design Engineering and Art (IDEA). Through the partnership with both SAMI and IDEA, SOTA students, families and staff collaborate and benefit from shared programming and resources.
To accomplish our goals, both staff and students work extended days and participate in weekly staff meetings/professional development. Staff days are from 7:45am to 3:45pm Mon/Tues/Thur/Fri, and 8:00am to 3:45pm Wednesday. Because of our extended day, staff and students work a calendar different from Tacoma Public Schools. For SAMI, the school year begins the last week of August, and ends the second week of June. All SAMI teachers teach four periods per day and 1 extended mentor group class on Wednesdays. SAMI's schedule is considered a 9-period A/B/C block, with A days Monday/Thursday, B days Tuesday/Friday and C days Wednesdays. January and June are a dedicated "mini-terms" separate from the fall and spring semesters, where teachers design and implement two integrated project-based classes. Staff coordinate and participate in monthly parent night activities, conferences, and professional development workshops.
SAMI is built around the ideals of community, empathy, thinking, and balance. All school activities focus on these school tenets, and these are established annually at the all-school overnight retreat in late August in Olympia, facilitated and planned by SAMI staff. All staff participate in the overnight retreat, teaching workshops, working with mentor groups and facilitating student activities.

Examples Of Duties

This position plans, organizes and provides students with appropriate learning activities, experiences and a classroom environment designed to fulfill their potential for intellectual, emotional, physical and social growth; supports the School/Building, School Board, District and State curriculum, policies and initiatives for student achievement.


1. Develops, plans and strategizes a program of study that is based on and capitalizes on the learning needs of students and meets the individual needs, interests and abilities of the students; creates a classroom environment that is conducive to learning and appropriate to the maturity and interests of the students; employs a variety of instructional techniques and instructional media to engage the students and provide an opportunity for participation that is consistent with the students' needs and capabilities.

2. Assesses the accomplishments for student growth on a regular basis and provides progress reports as required; maintains and issues appropriate grades to reflect level of student achievement; refers students for evaluation by District Specialists, as needed and required; provides guidance which will promote the students' welfare, educational development, and citizenship.

3. Strives to implement, by pedagogical content knowledge, instruction, action and support, the District's philosophy of education and instructional goals and objectives; assists the administration in implementing all District policies and rules governing student life and conduct as outlined by the State criteria for teacher evaluation requirements; develops reasonable rules of classroom behavior; encourages students to set and maintain standards of classroom behavior; manages student behavior and maintains order in the classroom in a fair and just manner; participates in the planning and evaluation of the school program(s) and the District's curriculum and program development.

4. Develops norms for learning that reflect teacher knowledge of content; prepares lesson plans for assigned classes and shows written evidence of preparation upon request of assigned Administrator; provides differentiated instruction and scaffolding of tasks; effectively makes use of learning time and guides the learning process toward the achievement of curriculum goals; establishes, with an alignment of instructional materials and tasks, clear objectives for all lessons, units, projects; communicates these objectives and learning target(s) to the students.

5. Establishes and maintains open lines of communication with students, parents, colleagues and community members; makes provisions for being available to the students and to the parents for education-related purposes when required; conducts parent(s)/guardian(s) conferences and a variety of other meetings with District staff, parent(s)/guardian(s) and students to communicate student progress and interpret program rationale and each student's educational, social and behavioral development.

6. Maintains accurate, complete and correct records as required by law, District policy and administrative regulations; utilizes multiple data elements (both formative assessment and summative) to plan, inform, provide other formative assessment opportunities by adjusting instruction; evaluates student learning and success criteria to modify and improve program effectiveness; uses the Washington State approved student growth rubrics for tracking student growth data.

7. Takes necessary and reasonable precautions to protect the students, equipment, materials and facilities; provides for and promotes the care and protection of students and school property; supervises students in lunchroom, in hallways, on school grounds, and in any program held at the school under School District sanction; effectively utilizes and provides access to the materials, resources and services of the community and the District to enhance students' learning and teacher's effectiveness.


1. Maintains and updates knowledge and skills necessary for success in the position and improving professional competence by participating in professional development activities and training, as required, as needed or as assigned.

2. Attends staff meetings as called by the Administrators and serves on staff committees; supervises Para Educators and other classroom office assistance as required; provides guidance and works with staff members in an appropriate manner.

3. Develops and maintains a professional and collegial relationships with colleagues; collaborates with peers and administrators to improve student learning; supports appropriate conduct and performance of job duties; adheres to Tacoma Public School Board policies; contributes to the development of new teachers and student teachers per District guidelines.

4. Maintains files on latest curriculum guides; keeps updated on resources and methods and makes relevant changes to instructional plans and activities.

5. Performs related duties as assigned, on a temporary basis.

6. Regular, reliable, predictable attendance or physical presence is an essential job requirement and critical to the performance of the work.


Confined to work area; must secure substitute or leave only at assigned breaks; may be required to work with and defuse, if appropriate, difficult and sensitive situations and/or people; may have to be out in inclement weather to supervise students; may be exposed to high noise levels; may be required to lift and carry up to 20 pounds, bend, squat, stoop, kneel, crouch, walk, twist, climb, and/or be mobile.

Supplemental Information

This job description is not an employment agreement or contract. District administration has the exclusive right to alter this job description at any time without notice. The statements contained herein reflect general details as necessary to describe the primary functions of this job, the level of knowledge and skill typically required and the scope of responsibility, but should not be considered an all-inclusive listing of work requirements. Individuals may perform other duties as assigned including work in other functional areas to cover absences or relief, to equalize peak work periods or otherwise balance the workload.

Tacoma Public Schools does not discriminate in any programs or activities on the basis of sex, race, creed, religion, color, national origin, age, veteran or military status, sexual orientation, gender expression or identity, disability, or the use of a trained dog guide or service animal and provides equal access to the Boy Scouts and other designated youth groups. The following employees have been designated to handle questions and complaints of alleged discrimination:

  • Civil Rights Coordinator: Renee Trueblood, 253-571-1252, civilrights@tacoma.k12.wa.us
  • Title IX Coordinator, Wayne Greer, 253-571-1191, wgreer@tacoma.k12.wa.us
  • 504 Coordinator, Elementary: Jennifer Herbold, 253-571-1096, jherbol@tacoma.k12.wa.us
  • 504 Coordinator, Secondary: Megan Nelson, 253-571-1003, mnelson@tacoma.k12.wa.us

Mailing address: P.O. Box 1357, Tacoma, WA 98401-1357.

Closing Date/Time: 9/17/2023 11:59 PM Pacific

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