Holyoke Public Schools District - Central Office ( learn more )

Holyoke Public Schools

Holyoke, MA ( map )

Job Details

  • Job ID: 3193477
  • Application Deadline: Posted until Filled
  • Re-posted : March 23, 2020

Job Description


Holyoke Public Schools (HPS) serves 5,400 students in 12 schools and employs nearly 1,500 people.  The District was placed into receivership by the State of Massachusetts in Spring 2015, due to struggling performance well below the state average. Dr. Stephen Zrike Jr., a seasoned Massachusetts educator, was selected as Receiver to lead this exciting turnaround effort, which includes significant autonomy and flexibility from the traditional school system. Since being in receivership, the District has experienced many promising successes, including an 8-point increase in graduation rates and 29-point decrease in the number of students who drop-out. HPS has also extended the school day for students in preschool to 8th grade, expanded choice programs such as dual language and personalized learning, and offering new opportunities to students, such as computer science and many other enrichment programs. For more information about the HPS Turnaround Plan, please visit: https://www.hps.holyoke.ma.us/turnaround/.  


This teacher will be responsible for direct specialized instruction as well as indirect services to students who are blind or visually impaired (ages 3-21) as a member of a multidisciplinary team.



  • Assessment and Evaluation: obtain and interpret for the TEAM all eye-related information, conduct and interpret functional vision and learning media assessments and identify the educational implications of each student’s specific vision condition  
  • Participate in the development and implementation of Individualized Education Plans as a member of the multidisciplinary TEAM
  • Provide direct, specialized instruction of developmental and compensatory skills as they relate to vision and visual impairment. These may include: Braille reading and writing (pre-Braille, Grade 1 and 2, Nemeth, etc.), concept development, visual efficiency, print adaptations and learning devices, handwriting, typewriting, listening skills, study skills, tactual skills, communication development, motor development, activities of daily living, physical education, leisure and recreation, career education, and transition skills as it relates to the vision impairment of a student.
  • Provide training and consultation to teachers, therapists, and support staff on the impact of vision loss as well as educational accommodations, modifications, and strategies necessary for full access to the general core curriculum and the expanded core curriculum.
  • Assist the student, parents, special and regular education personnel, and sighted peers in understanding the unique educational needs and learning characteristics of visually impaired students
  • Instruct the visually impaired student in the development of skills and knowledge that enables him or her to navigate their environment independently, as appropriate for the individual’s age and developmental level
  • Teach the visually impaired student to travel with proficiency, safety, and confidence in familiar and unfamiliar environments.
  • Maintain contact with doctors, hospitals, counselors or other agencies involved with each student regarding information relevant to his/her vision status.
  • Prepare, obtain, and disseminate specialized materials and books - with an emphasis on developing and communicating timelines with appropriate personnel to ensure that materials are available when needed.
  • Be knowledgeable of state regulations and procedures for referrals, assessments, IEP development, and progress reports.
  • Consult with students, parents, teachers, counselors, and other school personnel regarding private and public agencies, schools, and resources within the community for students who are blind or visually impaired.                                                                            
  • Participate in developing, coordinating,  and/or providing the continuum of related services needed by students who are blind or visually impaired.
  • Collaborate with school technology personnel as well as agencies and vendors to assist in the assessment and use of assistive technology.
  • Maintain records of student assessments, IEPs, reviews, release forms, etc. following policies regarding confidentiality.
  • Maintain records of material and equipment  requests, census information,etc.
  • Participate in professional development activities.
  • Ability to travel between schools as needed
  • Other related work as assigned by the Special Education Director.


  • Comprehensive and up-to-date knowledge of best practices for children who are blind or visually impaired.
  • Ability to conduct functional vision and learning media assessments of children who are blind or visually impaired.
  • Ability to develop, support, and monitor appropriate learning environments for students who are blind or visually impaired. This may include in-service training of school personnel, assisting with the training and monitoring of instructional assistants, and/or directly assisting the student in academic subjects and activities.
  • Knowledge of general core curriculum and expanded core curriculum.
  • Possession of technical skills in the use of assistive technology, computers, specialized devices,and effective instructional techniques .
  • Strong organizational, communication, and report writing skills as necessary in an itinerant model


  • Must hold a Massachusetts Teacher in Vision Impairment, All levels educator license issued from the Office of Educator Licensure, Massachusetts Department of Elementary & Secondary Education.
  • Position Type: Full-time
  • Job Category : Special Education > Visually Impaired
  • Equal Opportunity Employer

    Holyoke Public Schools is committed to maintaining a work and learning environment free from discrimination on the basis of a person's race, color, religion, sexual orientation, national Origin, ancestry, age, sex, genetic information, military or veteran status, gender identity or disability, as defined and required by state and federal laws. Additionally, we prohibit retaliation against individuals who oppose such discrimination and harassment or who participate in an equal opportunity investigation.

    Contact Information

    • Kelly Curran , Administrative Secretary
    • 57 Suffolk Street
    • Holyoke, Massachusetts 01040

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