Academic Director

2023-2024 Opening

The Organization

In Fall 2022, Thrive with Autism opened its first groundbreaking public school with the goal of dramatically improving education for children on the autism spectrum.  Thrive Center for Success is the first charter school in the state of Texas dedicated to serving a special-needs population.  Founded in2019, Thrive with Autism’s mission and vision have brought hope to families who desperately want better educational options for their children on the autism spectrum.  This fall Thrive will serve 132students Kindergarten through 6th grade, adding a grade level each year to eventually serve up to 12th grade. Thrive plans to open a second campus in central Houston soon.


The Role

Thrive Center for Success seeks a skilled and experienced Academic Director with a passion and drive to oversee the academic vision and improve the instructional quality of our school while supporting teachers in serving students with autism and other developmental disabilities in an innovative and transformative way.   Thrive utilizes the Comprehensive Application of Behavior Analysis to Schooling (CABAS) model of instruction.  The Academic Director will be expected to learn, internalize, and integrate this framework with the State of Texas curriculum (TEKS) in setting and implementing the instructional vision of the school. For more on CABAS, visit  The Academic Director reports to Thrive’s Principal but may get supervisory feedback from other Thrive team members, including Thrive’s Superintendent and Board of Directors.   This is a 12-month position.




Instructional and Academic Vision

·      Establish integrated instructional vision for Thrive Center for Success through effective collaboration and coordination with principal, teachers, and CABAS consultant team

·      Incorporate appropriate tenets of CABAS framework for instruction/learning with state of Texas TEKS based curriculum in order to create instructionally appropriate environment for Thrive’s diverse set of learner needs

·      Review and make recommendations for content-based curriculum for all grade levels, subjects, and levels of classrooms at Thrive; ensure teachers adapt and adopt selected curriculum

·      Create and implement clear lesson planning and lesson internalization framework for instruction; provide ongoing coaching and feedback to teachers on lesson planning

·      Develop and ensure ongoing formative and summative assessment structure in all classrooms through the implementation of data gathering via ELCAR Learn Units, weekly formative assessments, curriculum-aligned interim assessments, and quarterly report cards

·      Identify internal priorities for professional learning and create/implement a plan to address those priorities via internal and external professional development opportunities


Teacher Support and Evaluation

·      Explore opportunities for Thrive to initiate the Teacher Incentive Allotment (TIA) approval process and make a recommendation to principal and superintendent for how and when to move forward with TIA application

·      Conduct daily teacher observations in order to provide support and gather data in the areas of classroom culture, instruction, and student support

·      Create and implement ongoing coaching and feedback cycles with all classroom teachers in order to grow effectiveness in the areas of classroom instruction, instructional planning, classroom culture, and student support

·      Work with all teachers in order to establish and work toward annual professional growth goals

·      Monitor teacher progress towards required professional development/certification programs (ACP, ELL certifications, HB3 Reading Academies) by serving as Thrive’s point of contact for external service providers and following up with teachers as needed

·       Serve as a model teacher for 1 on 1, small group, and whole group settings as needed in order to further teacher professional growth

·       Finalize summative evaluation structure for all classroom staff and collaborate with principal on all teacher mid-year and end-of-year evaluations


Campus Leadership

·      Serve as a present and positive member of the Thrive campus leadership team by collaborating effectively with other team members, providing input on key decisions, and communicating effectively in order to bring issues related to academics and teacher development to whole team


Testing and Accountability

·      Serve as campus testing coordinator for STAAR assessments and collaborate effectively with Thrive’s Director of Special Education on all elements of STAAR testing including schedule, accommodations, groupings, training, benchmarks, and test execution

·      Establish expectations for interim assessment cycles for AIL classes

·      Explore opportunities for Thrive to initiate the Texas Alternative Accountability approval process and make a recommendation to principal and superintendent for how and when to move forward with alternative accountability application


Competencies and Commitments

●     Passion for the mission of Thrive; demonstrated commitment to equitable educational opportunities for children with special needs and/or learning differences.

●     Holds high expectations for self and others to achieve and surpass intended goals.

●     Ability to set direction and motivate others to action; demonstrated ability to lead people and get results through work with others.

●     Ability to thrive in a dynamic, entrepreneurial environment that requires creativity, adaptability, and an orientation to problem-solving.

●     Analytical skills; ability to synthesize data to set priorities.

●     Strong work ethic; willingness to work beyond a 40-hour week to serve students.

●     Authentic, humble, servant-leader orientation.

●     Growth mindset; strong receptiveness to give and receive frequent feedback.

●     Flexibility to learn new model and receive feedback.

●     Maintain a clear criminal record.





·      Able to lift 50 pounds, run 100 yards, drop/lift to one knee, go up/downstairs, and pass all verbal/physical competencies to be a fully certified Safety Care Specialist

·      Bachelor's degree

·      Willingness to work on some evenings or other non-standard business hours, as required by the needs of the school and in accordance with the duties outlined above

Highly Preferred:

  • Master’s     degree in education or related field
  • 2+     years teaching experience in a special education setting.
  • 3+ years leadership experience in a teacher coach,   assistant principal, or principal role
  • Texas     Principal, Special Education and/or General Education certifications
  • Fluency     in Spanish
  • Applied     Behavior Analysis knowledge, training, and experience
  • Experience     working with students with autism

·      Experience with the CABAS educational model for students with autism


Thrive’s Commitment to Diversity

Thrive with Autism is committed to creating a diverse, equitable and inclusive environment. Thrive with Autism is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate against any employee or applicant on the basis of race, color, ethnicity, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender expression, national origin, disability, age, marital status, military status, pregnancy, or parenthood.


Compensation and Benefits


Compensation for the Academic Director position begins at $80,000 and increases based on years of relevant experience and earned degrees.  


Thrive offers a comprehensive benefits package including medical and dental benefits, and time off via school holidays, summer break, and PTO.  Thrive is a participant in the Teacher’s Retirement System of Texas (TRS).


*Compensation rates are contingent upon the confirmation of grant-based funding for the 23-24 school year as well as approval by the Thrive Board of Directors.



To Apply: Visit