Director of Advanced Learning

Director of Advanced Learning
Madison Metropolitan School District (MMSD)
Madison, WI 

Would you like to join a thriving urban school district that is committed to elevating you in your profession?

Do you want to be part of a district that is doing transformative work to ensure that every student graduates ready for college, career and community?

Do you want to join a district team that is championing better experiences and outcomes for students of color?

If so, the Madison Metropolitan School District (MMSD) has much to offer you: a clear vision, a collaboratively-designed strategic framework, a collaborative working environment, district support and excellent professional development opportunities.

BECOMING A MODEL URBAN DISTRICT: The Madison Metropolitan School District has a simple but bold vision that every school will be a thriving school that prepares every student to graduate from high school ready for college, career and community. We know that vision doesn’t come to life without the very best leaders throughout our district. We are focused on becoming a model urban school district that serves our children and families better than ever before. The MMSD Strategic Framework, was developed with input from staff, students, parents and the community. The result is a clear vision and set of core values that drive all of our work. We believe that nothing matters more than great teaching and schools are the driving force of change in our district.

ABOUT THE DISTRICT: MMSD is the second largest school system in Wisconsin and has a student population of approximately 27,000 students in 32 elementary schools, 12 middle schools, 5 high schools, and several alternative programs, a total staff of over 5,900 and an operating budget of $435 million. The District has a 52% minority student population.

For additional information contact the following websites:

Madison Metropolitan School District –; City of Madison –; County of Dane –; State of Wisconsin –; Department of Public Instruction –; University of Wisconsin –


Advanced Learning Department Structure:

The AL Department in MMSD is housed within the Department of Curriculum and Instruction, under the larger umbrella of the Department of Teaching & Learning. AL staff housed at central office include: The Director of Advanced Learning, the AL Coordinator (supporting secondary schools), an AL Teacher Leader (supporting K-8 AL Specialists), and a full-time math specialist (delivering advanced instruction across K-8 schools). All other AL staff are assigned to schools, and serve those schools directly, under supervision of the Director of Advanced Learning. AL Specialists are assigned to two K-5 or 6-8 schools, and AL Teacher Leaders are assigned full time to a single school.

Advanced Learning Equity Vision

The vision of the Advanced Learning Department is to create and implement systems and structures that fully support the identification and development of all students with potential advanced learning needs, and in particular African American and Hispanic/Latinx students.

The AL Department is committed to removing systemic barriers and guarding against bias in the identification and support of all students, with an explicit focus on better serving traditionally underrepresented students. The AL Department has the opportunity and the moral obligation to ensure that students are provided with equitable access to instructional supports and services.


The Director of Advanced Learning is responsible for implementation of the MMSD Advanced Learning Policy and 2017-2020 Advanced Learning Plan. The Director of Advanced Learning will clearly articulate the vision of the Advanced Learning Policy and plan, and will develop a strong multi-year implementation plan aligned to the MMSD Strategic Framework. One key component of this work will be the development and implementation of a talent development model focused on serving students from underrepresented backgrounds in accessing and succeeding in advanced coursework.

Additionally, the Director of Advanced Learning is responsible for compliance with federal requirements, state standards, and MMSD Board Policy; training and overseeing the AL team in the use of best practices for support of students with advanced learning needs; and working with both school-based and central office administrators to provide monitoring, accountability, and guidance for school-level implementation of AL supports and services across MMSD.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities:


  • Provides leadership for excellence and equity, empowers and motivates district and school staff to implement clear, timely and efficient systems for identification, instruction, and monitoring of students with advanced learning needs in all five domain areas: General Intellectual, Specific Academic, Leadership, Creativity, and Visual & Performing Arts
  • Takes initiative to identify, define expectations for and problem-solve around implementation of Advanced Learning services within a Multi-Tiered System of Support
  • Builds and sustains efficient cross-functional team structures at the district level to support the Advanced Learning program, as a part of the larger Curriculum & Instruction Department
  • Demonstrates a willingness to embrace change, challenge the status-quo and provide overall direction for Advanced Learning and Talent Development programming within an urban school district
  • Serves as an advocate for Tier 1 differentiation, talent development, and implementation of Tier 2 and Tier 3 advanced learning interventions that meet the needs of students across 4K-12 environments
  • Builds and supports a strong, collaborative and visionary K-12 Advanced Learning team, grounded in understanding of current best practices and research in Advanced Learning
  • Effectively evaluates Advanced Learning staff utilizing the Educator Effectiveness model as defined by the State of Wisconsin
  • Engages in a cycle of continuous improvement with the visioning, implementation, and revision of the MMSD Advanced Learning Plan
  • Represents MMSD as a liaison to community, state and national advocacy groups

Collaboration & Communication

  • Develops and sustains collaborative relationships with building principals to ensure embedded Advanced Learning programming within schools to meet the needs of a wide range of learners in all five domains
  • Participates fully within Curriculum & Instruction Department meetings and represents and advocates for the Advanced Learning Department on the Central Office Leadership Team
  • Works collaboratively with the Arts Education Coordinator to ensure high quality support for students with advanced learning needs in the areas of Creativity, Leadership, and Visual and Performing Arts
  • Ability to make decisions under pressure while maintaining collaborative relationships with multiple stakeholders
  • Training and experience in conflict resolution, negotiating with a wide variety of stakeholders, including families, community members, community partners and district staff
  • Builds and sustains trust between schools, families and students with advanced learning needs
  • Convenes, effectively facilitates and establishes shared goals with the MMSD Advanced Learning Advisory Committee, in accordance with MMSD’s Office for Civil Rights Resolution Agreement
  • Leverages opportunities with local universities/colleges, creating partnerships within the Madison community to support the needs of students with advanced learning needs
  • Works collaboratively across Central Office Departments to align the scope of MMSD’s major plans, and to ensure attention to students whose social-emotional and academic needs are considered across multiple plans of support (e.g. students who are twice exceptional; English Learners in need of advanced supports; students with significant social-emotional needs who are also in need of advanced supports)
  • Develops a network of professionals within external organizations


  • Researches and implements systems for state of the art identification and programming models within all 5 domains
  • Ensures integration of instructional technology as a tool to provide differentiation for students with Tier 1-2 advanced learning needs
  • Researches and implements high-quality valid interventions, aligned to the CCSS and current best practices for advanced learning, in service of students college, career and community readiness
  • Expertise in matching resources and supports to various sub-groups of students with advanced learning and/or talent development needs
  • Integrates social and emotional needs of students with advanced learning needs into program development

Required Knowledge, Skills & Abilities

Data Analysis/Monitoring

  • Effectively and continuously utilizes multiple sources of data to monitor trends, growth and achievement of students receiving Advanced Learning services
  • Efficiently utilizes district-wide and school-based data to monitor systems of support and determine program effectiveness across the district and within schools
  • Effectively utilizes data to communicate with district staff, families and community stakeholders
  • Researches, develops and promotes non-biased evaluation and identification tools
  • Works with the Research and Evaluation Department to develop and implement measurable goals and benchmarks to ensure accountability and compliance with state and district standards and requirements



  • Researches and recommends curriculum and interventions for students with advanced learning or talent development needs within all 5 domains, including consideration of social-emotional needs of advanced learners
  • Deeply understands a Comprehensive Assessment System and its relationship within a Multi-Tiered System of Support in an urban school district
  • Researches and recommends appropriate assessments within a Comprehensive Assessment System to support the Advanced Learning Policy and Plan for identification and monitoring
  • Actively participates on cross-functional teams to develop performance tasks and rubrics across K-12 content to assess proficiency and to inform intervention systems
  • Works collaboratively within the Curriculum and Instruction Department to implement advanced coursework in Middle School and Honors coursework and AP systems for secondary students
  • Works collaboratively with the Director of Instructional Technology to create an implementation plan for virtual learning and on-line opportunities for students with advanced learning needs


Professional Development

  • Designs and delivers effective professional development for staff related to differentiation within a Common Core State Standards aligned curriculum, as well as partial and full curricular replacement options.
  • Designs and delivers professional development around the MMSD coaching model as defined by the partnership with UW-Madison
  • Develops and aligns a multi-year Advanced Learning Professional Development Plan with the overall Professional Development plan in MMSD.


Budget/Fiscal Responsibility

  • Creates and manages all aspects of the Advanced Learning Department budget, including staffing and non-staffing funding
  • Effectively leverages internal and external resources to support implementation of MMSD Advanced Learning Policy and Plan
  • Identifies external funding sources to support creative differentiation and intervention resources for students with advanced learning needs


Administrative Skill

  • Organized and able to effectively manage multiple priorities and delegate responsibility
  • Communicates in a timely and efficient manner
  • Operates a computer and other office equipment efficiently
  • Works well under deadlines and flexibly adapts to change
  • Flexible daily schedule


Required Qualifications

  • Wisconsin Administrator Certification, Director of Instruction, 10 or 5010. Applicants who are currently working toward a Director of Instruction certification and will be eligible for a provisional license will also be considered.
  • A minimum of 5 years of demonstrated successful teaching and/or leadership experience within differentiated learning environments, working cross-culturally within a diverse population.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills, including listening, oral and written communication skills.
  • Deep knowledge of the Common Core State Standards, content area standards, National Association of Gifted Children Standards (NAGC) and Smarter Balanced Assessment System.
  • Demonstrate strong instructional leadership related to curriculum, instruction and assessment.
  • Successful experience with system and organizational development and management of resources?
  • All positions require experience working cross-culturally and/or commitment to work toward improving one’s own cultural competence i.e., valuing difference/diversity, recognizing personal limitations in one’s skills and expertise, and having the desire to learn in these areas.
  • Deep knowledge of the field of advanced learning, gifted education, and social-emotional needs of students with advanced learning needs
  • An excellent ability to communicate with families

Preferred Qualifications

  • Building-level Principal experience or prior experience as an Advanced Learning/Gifted & Talented Director
  • Certification in Gifted Education and/or comparable training, background, and experience with instruction and program development for students with Advanced Learning needs. Applicants who are currently working toward Certification in Gifted Education or comparable training will be considered, but must articulate methods to ensure acquiring this knowledge as a condition of employment.
  • Bilingual Skills



  • Final selection will be made by the Executive Director of Curriculum & Instruction and the Assistant Superintendent of Teaching & Learning with recommendation for employment by the Superintendent of Schools to the Board of Education. 


The Madison Metropolitan School District (MMSD) is an Equal Opportunity Employer and does not discriminate on the basis of religion, race, creed, color, national origin, ancestry, age, sex, physical appearance, marital status, disability, arrest or conviction record, membership in the national guard, state defense force, or any reserve component of the military forces of the United States or this state, political belief, sexual orientation, less than honorable discharge, source of income or the fact that an individual is a student.