Dean of School Culture - Achievement First (New Haven, CT)
Start Date: June 2013
Location: Hartford, CT; New Haven, CT; Bridgeport, CT
About Achievement First:
Achievement First is a non-profit charter school management organization that is creating a network of achievement-gap-closing public schools in New York, Connecticut and other high-need areas in the Northeast. Achievement First currently operates 22 schools in Brooklyn, NY, and New Haven, Bridgeport and Hartford, CT (and will expand to Rhode Island in 2013). Over the next five years, Achievement First plans to open 10-15 additional schools, spanning the full K-12 spectrum and creating college-prep opportunities for more than 12,000 urban students. Beyond our students and schools, Achievement First is an engaged and prominent partner in the larger conversation about how to improve public education and student achievement in our country. For more information about the Achievement First mission, model, our schools and team, please visit our website at www.achievementfirst.org.
Leading at Achievement First:
Achievement First invites energetic educators to apply for the position of dean of school culture for the 2013-14 school year. This is an ideal position for a strong teacher or leader who would like to gain experience and development in leadership, systems and project management and school culture. Each school has a dean of school culture, academic dean, director of school operations and principal. These leaders collaborate to ensure all students show dramatic student achievement gains and develop strong character skills to succeed in college and beyond. The dean of school culture exemplifies Achievement First's REACH values (Respect, Enthusiasm, Achievement, Citizenship & Hard Work) and guides the student body to promote them. S/he has a vision of excellence and leads the school in building and maintaining a positive, high-standards, achievement-oriented school culture where students flourish. The dean of school culture models how to build strong, mutually respectful relationships with students and families and supports teachers to do the same. In addition to serving on the school's leadership team, s/he coaches a portfolio of teachers, takes leadership of a particular subject or grade level, teaches one to two sections of students and facilitates high-impact professional development for staff. This position requires a creative and inspiring educator with adult leadership experience, high energy, excellent organizational abilities and a talent for creating a warm and supportive environment for children.
Essential Responsibilities of the Dean of School Culture Include but Are Not Limited to:
Establish a structured, positive and inspiring school culture:
- Own the school's character development program and ensure it builds and reinforces positive self-identity and necessary character strengths.
- Lead recognition assemblies, parent workshops, family and community service events and other school-wide culture-building activities.
- Partner with parents and families to build authentic school-wide community.
- Coordinate and implement a school-wide behavior management system with meaningful incentives and consequences.
- Work closely and effectively with children who have behavior challenges and their families; partner with school counselor and teachers to execute individualized behavior interventions when needed.
- Facilitate staff trainings on student-teacher relationships, classroom management, parent partnership and school culture.
- Conduct regular school culture walkthroughs to help staff maintain a high bar of excellence.
- Supervise school entry, breakfast, lunch, dismissal, and transitions to ensure they are orderly and positive.
- Accurately monitor and analyze daily student attendance, homework and discipline records; create new systems and structures to proactively address school's areas of need.
Demonstrate exceptional teacher leadership:
- Directly coach a portfolio of teachers to help them master the Achievement First Essentials of Effective Instruction.
- Train teachers to develop clear and consistent classroom expectations and routines.
- Support teachers in building meaningful relationships with students and parents.
- Observe lessons and provide targeted and actionable feedback to teachers.
- Write thorough, thoughtful, actionable Professional Growth Plans (PGPs) for portfolio of teachers.
- Model great instruction in teaching.
Serve as an active member of the school leadership team
- Participate in regular leadership team meetings.
- Lead staff trainings at start and end of school year and on professional development days.
- Work closely with academic dean to support high-achievement academic culture.
- Assist teacher leaders (e.g., coaches, grade team leaders) in developing leadership skills.
- Model the Achievement First professional and core values at all times; be a visible and highly engaged leader in the school community.
Desired Skills and Characteristics:
- Exemplary instructional and classroom management skills.
- Proven track record of meeting extremely high standards for student achievement.
- High level of personal organization and planning.
- Excellent communication skills with diverse constituents (teachers, parents, children, board members); clear writer, facilitator and public speaker.
- Proven ability to proactively lead by example, effectively manage adults, and respond positively to feedback.
- Team player; maturity, humility, strong work ethic, follow-through, sense of humor, and "roll-up-my-sleeves" attitude.
- Strong belief in the Achievement First mission and educational model.
- A bachelor's degree from a competitive college or university; master's degree preferred.
- At least 3 years of urban teaching experience with a record of high student achievement.
- Experience leading and managing adults.
Salary for this position is competitive and commensurate with experience. Additionally, Achievement First offers a comprehensive benefits package.
• Post ID: 5986347 newhaven