Director of Student Services (IJLA)
Job Details
2570 S. Blue Island Ave, Chicago IL, 60608 - Chicago, IL
Full Time

Company Description

Instituto Justice and Leadership Academy (IJLA) is a small Options school that feels like home for the 150 Latinx youth we serve from Pilsen and the surrounding community.  IJLA is a second chance high school designed to serve students between the ages of 16-21 who are seeking a more personalized and individualized program. We provide students with an interdisciplinary, project-based academic program while simultaneously providing strong social emotional supports. Our educational philosophy is rooted in social justice and focuses on rebuilding students’ perspective of learning in order to navigate life in a meaningful and purposeful way.  We invigorate hope and restore students’ hearts and minds to reclaim their education, graduate, and transform into agents of change. 



As Instituto Justice and Leadership Academy’s (IJLA) Director of Student Services, you will be an integral part of a collaborative, hardworking, and close-knit team dedicated to culturally responsive practices, restorative justice, and trauma informed care. At IJLA, we serve 150 Latinx youth between the ages of 16 and 21 years old throughout the school year. Our youth were not successful with a traditional schooling model or had interrupted schooling for a variety of reasons- incarceration, pregnancy, refugee status, mental health, etc. With us, our students not only work towards a second chance at their high school diploma, they work on transforming themselves and their community to inspire hope, change, and resiliency. 

The Director of Student Services is responsible for fostering a climate of respect and trust that supports the academic and social-emotional growth of each student by overseeing three critical departments: restorative practices, work-based learning, and extracurricular activities.  The Director of Student Services will lead the development of effective systems that are grounded in a restorative justice philosophy such as circle keeping, restorative conversations, peer mediation, and culturally responsive practices. In addition, the Director of Student Services will collaborate with the Post-Secondary Pathway Coordinator and Director of Special Programs to manage work-based learning and extracurricular programming. 



 Campus-Wide Support 

  • Actively participates in the Care Team to develop strategic approaches for addressing students’ academic and social emotional concerns as well as planning and implementing school wide structures and initiatives that support student attendance, retention, and positive behavior 
  • Supports teachers, staff, and families in implementing tiered intervention strategies for attendance, retention, behavior, academicand social emotional needs 
  • Conducts home visits when necessary 
  • Develops strategic and meaningful relationships with community organizations, neighborhood schools, probation departments, and other student referral sources 

 Supporting Positive Student Behavior 

  • Leads the development and implementation of a schoolwide restorative justice philosophy through circle keeping, restorative conversations, peer mediation, and culturally responsive practices 
  • Leads the implementation of the Student Code of Conduct for all behavior referrals and facilitates discipline conferences in alignment with restorative justice philosophy 
  • Works closely with the Care Team to track and monitor behavior data to inform school improvement initiatives and policy improvements 
  • Ensures all behavioral referrals, consequences, and incident reports are documented properly on PowerSchool 
  • Works closely with the Dean to respond to classroom behavioral calls using a tiered intervention system 
  • Identifies a cohort of high need students to counsel under the Compass program, leading small group and one on one sessions for goal setting, conflict resolution, and mentoring 
  • Completes all requirements asked of Compass for supporting students and maintaining the grant including: Individual Service Plan, Service Logs, Quarterly Outcome Reports, Year End Reports, etc. 


Special programming  

  • Collaborates with the Post-Secondary Pathway Coordinator and WIOA College and Career Coach to support student work based learning opportunities  
  • Secures employment opportunities for youth with local businesses and organizations 
  • Works with the Director of Special Programs to manage extracurricular programming and partnerships 
  • Other duties as assigned 



We believe: 

  • In high performance expectations for all students                  
  • Everyone is capable of learning and deserves a second chance 
  • We must respect each other at all times 
  • In the richness of diversity: racial, cultural, gender, sexual orientation, religion, ability, etc. 
  • Each student is an individual who must have ownership of his or her learning 


  • Bachelor’s degree in social science, education, youth development, or related field; or equivalent years of experience 
  • At least five years of experience working with at risk youth in a school environment 
  • A minimum of two year’s experience with peace circles, restorative justice, and/or group dialogue activities 
  • Bilingual in Spanish and English, highly preferred  
  • Demonstrate a commitment to educational equity for traditionally underserved students 
  • Maintain extremely high expectations of oneself and colleagues; able to communicate these expectations in a direct and collaborative way 
  • Familiar with Restorative Justice Practices 
  • Team player and willing to take on multiple tasks at once 
  • Exceptional organization and time management skills 
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills 
  • Ability to adhere to deadlines, react to unpredictable events quickly and efficiently, be resourceful, and manage conflict and challenges 
  • Advanced skills with Google Suite 

Additional Information

Submit cover letter with resume, salary expectations, a completed application (located on our Careers page), and any other information listed above as “additional attachments” when you apply.

Licenses/Certifications MUST also be uploaded electronically to your online application under “Additional Attachments”.

The above is intended to describe the general conditions of and requirements for the performance of this job.  It is not to be construed as an exhaustive statement of duties, responsibilities and requirements.



Nature of work requires an ability to operate standard business office equipment.  Daily tasks also require the ability to communicate and exchange information, compile and prepare work documents, and maintain work files.



Majority of work performed in a general high school classroom environment.  Position requires availability for extended hours;  non-traditional hours may also be required to perform job duties.  Attendance and participation at organization and school-sponsored events is required.


Instituto del Progreso Latino is an Equal Opportunity Employer.