Cornerstone Lead Behavioral Specialist

Job Type

Full Time


Details: Competitive



Start Date:


Application Deadline:



500 19th Street Northeast
District of Columbia
United States


Cornerstone/ Lead Behavioral Specialist

Job Description and Responsibilities

Unique opportunity for individuals  to serve on the Cornerstone Faculty at an innovative charter boarding school targeting foster care youth

About Monument Academy

Working with the most at-risk adolescents, and established on an innovative model integrating excellent academics with evidence-based, trauma-informed practices, Monument Academy is a weekday boarding school that opened in the 2015-2016 school year with a 5th grade class of 40 students and will have 160 students when we reach full enrollment through 8th grade in 2018/19. The school is currently authorized to expand to 8th grade and maintains the goal of growing through high school so that students will graduate from Monument Academy.

The mission of Monument Academy is to provide students, particularly those who have had or might have contact with the foster care system, with the requisite academic, social, emotional, and life skills to be successful in college, career, and community, and to create an outstanding school that attracts, supports, and retains exceptional and caring people. Monument Academy will fulfill its mission by providing stability, adult connection, high-quality academics, therapeutic support, and life skills for pre-teens and teens. Monument Academy graduates will be prepared for post-secondary education, on a career trajectory, and have the social, emotional, and self-care skills to maintain a healthy, connected, and economically self-supporting life.

About the Position

The Cornerstone Behavioral Specialist’s work week is Monday - Thursday from 1:00 PM - 10:00 PM, Sundays, 4:00 PM-10:00 PM once per month,  Friday 2:30 PM - 4:30 PM. Cornerstone Behavioral Specialist also has every weekend off starting at 10:00 PM on Thursdays, as well as, six weeks of school holidays, and all Federal holidays off.

As a member of the Cornerstone Faculty, the Behavioral Specialist will play an integral role in shaping the lives of the students at Cornerstone. The Behavioral Specialist at Cornerstone will work in pairs (two individuals) that provide direct care to 2-6 single-gender students  in a family-style apartment, Sunday evening from 4:00 PM - 10:00 PM, Monday-Thursday 1:00 PM -10:00 PM. Behavioral Specialists will be off until Sunday at 4:00 PM. They also have school holidays off. They are expected to participate fully in professional development days.

The Behavioral Specialist’s role is much more significant than supervision. Behavioral Specialists will cultivate a safe and caring home environment that is supportive of all students’ social, emotional, and academic development.  They must be consistent role models with their words and actions. It is imperative that Behavioral Specialists  build strong, family-like relationships that begin with taking a genuine interest in every student, and his or her unique story. Families will set goals together, celebrate successes together, learn new skills together, and overcome challenges together. The Behavioral Specialists  guide this process and are responsible for establishing and maintaining a positive culture at all times. This includes adhering to  Cornerstone’s approaches to structuring the student home expectations and systems. The Cornerstone team is responsible for designing lessons and activities aligned with Monument Academy’s life skills curriculum, scheduling and planning for celebrations and recreational family activities, as well as, participating fully in the conversations around student progress, and the development and review of student’s personalized learning plans.  

Behavioral Specialist’s primary responsibilities fall within the times when students are in their care from Monday - Thursday from 1:00 PM until 10:00 PM and Sundays 4:00 PM - 10:00 PM.  They have flexible time when the students are in school, although from time to time they may be required to participate in professional development or meetings regarding student progress as needed during the day.  Lead Behavioral Specialist’s  will participate in an emergency, on-call rotation schedule for weekends, in the event that a student is unable to go home due to unforeseen circumstances. Lead  Behavioral Specialist will report to the Cornerstone Manager.    

Key responsibilities include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Promote Monument Academy core values and model the highest behavior standards for staff and student at all times
  • Create and maintain a safe and positive family home environment for youth utilizing Monument Academy’s systems and approaches.
  • Ensure that Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports are utilized effectively in the home and are consistent with the daytime structure of the school
  • Guide students in the development of their independent living skills using the life skills strand of the Monument Academy Wellbeing Curriculum
  • Maintain accurate records of daily activities and medicine dispensed  
  • Manage the day-to-day responsibilities of caring for a home, including scheduling, light meal preparation, and cleaning and home upkeep
  • Participate in conversations with leadership, teachers, the wellbeing team, outside service providers, parents/guardians, and students to assess students’ progress toward goals, identify potential challenges, and implement interventions and supports.
  • Conduct home visits with another staff member as needed
  • Provide crisis intervention and initiate the proper protocols to ensure the involvement of the appropriate counselors and/or leaders in a given situation

The qualified Behavioral Specialist is a positive, caring, results-oriented person of exceptional character, and is deeply committed to Monument Academy and Cornerstone’s integrated approach to supporting and educating students. The individual is passionate about working with adolescents, particularly those who may require additional support to meet their unique educational and emotional needs. The Behavioral Specialist believes that all children are capable of achieving at high levels, and in the significance of making the connection between students’ aspirations for their lives, careers, and their education. This Behavioral Specialist  also understands and models that learning, and setback, are opportunities for growth for both students and adults. The qualified individuals will set an example as a continuous, open-minded learner, devoted to evidence-based practices that promote student achievement, and well-being.  They will build trusting relationships with, and support faculty, staff, students, and parents.

Candidates should possess the following:

Character Traits and Values

  • Commitment to the mission of Monument Academy & Cornerstone
  • Emotional self-regulation, patience, maturity and humility
  • Honesty and integrity
  • Patience, especially in highly stressful situations
  • Curiosity and creativity
  • Optimism and enthusiasm
  • Excellent ability to build relationships with and relate to youth
  • Respect for students, families, and staff
  • Ability to accept and quickly apply feedback
  • Proactive and able to anticipate issues and manage unanticipated events with thoughtfulness and grace
  • Commitment to positive behavioral approaches
  • Willingness to learn and grow in a new school environment
  • Thoughtful self-reflection and good self-care skills

Experience, Credentials, and Skills

  • Flexibility and willingness to work a wide array of hours, including early mornings, evenings, and weekends
  • Proven record of sound judgment, particularly when working with at-risk youth
  • Ability to pass a thorough background check and reference verification procedure to determine one’s fitness to satisfactorily and  safely care for youth
  • 1-3 years of work experience in a school setting or program (preferably residential) that works directly with at-risk youth, preferably in an urban/diverse educational setting
  • Experience working with traumatized youth preferred
  • Cultural competence in working with students and families from different racial, ethnic, linguistic, and sexual orientation backgrounds
  • Ability to connect with families/caregivers
  • Experience working with or knowledge of the foster care system a plus
  • Experience working with students with special needs and technical knowledge of special education policies a plus
  • Outstanding verbal and written communication skills
  • Outstanding organizational skills and ability to prioritize, delegate, manage time and tasks to meet deadlines
  • Proven track record working collaboratively with a team

Location: Washington, D.C.


Monument Academy offers competitive salaries, commensurate with experience. The school offers a strong benefits package that includes health care (HMO and PPO options), retirement plan (employer match available), Flexible Spending accounts, supplemental insurance, and generous vacation leave for its administrators.

Professional Level


Minimum Education Required

High School

How To Apply

Visit the “Careers” page on Click the “Apply Here” link. You will be asked to create a profile, then fill out an application, including uploading your resume and cover letter. Salary and benefits are competitive, and commensurate with education, and level of work experience. Monument Academy is an equal opportunity employer, committed to inclusive hiring and encourages applicants from all backgrounds. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, marital status, religion, sex, age, sexual orientation, disability, or any other protected status. All employment decisions are made solely on the basis of the individual’s qualifications, as related to the requirements of the position being filled.