Founding Lower School Director, Ascend Learning
Instructional Leadership / Teaching
ABOUT THE ORGANIZATION:
Ascend Learning is a leading nonprofit charter management organization based in Brooklyn that creates scalable K-12 solutions to the underachievement of economically underserved children. Founded in 2008, Ascend Learning currently operates three high performing charter elementary schools and one middle school serving a total of 1,700 students. At maturity, each school will include a lower, middle, and upper school. By 2014, Ascend expects to have launched ten K-12 schools and enrolled 3,000 students.
The mission of Ascend schools is to equip every student with the knowledge, confidence and character to succeed in college and beyond. Its students will, from the earliest grades, steadily build a strong foundation of learning habits, critical thinking skills and knowledge; excel academically in the middle and high schools; and graduate as confident young adults, prepared to succeed as college students, citizens and leaders in their chosen fields.
GothamSchools, the leading independent news source on the New York public schools, has cited Brooklyn Ascend Charter School as one of the "Top 10 Scoring Charter Schools" in the city, based on 2012 test scores. Ascend’s students posted significantly higher proficiency levels on the New York State tests in English language arts and math in 2012 than the community school districts in which the schools are located, than New York City and the state as whole. The results are remarkable for their consistency: in every Ascend school, grade and subject, proficiency levels were higher than any of the three comparison groups.
Unlike other CMO-run schools, Ascend's schools do not rely on philanthropic support at either the school or the network levels, occupy privately leased space at market rates, and are fully self-sustaining. The Ascend school design, powered by the SABIS education system, the "no excuses" school culture of high academic expectations, and Ascend's ambitious humanities program, is designed to scale without limit.
ABOUT THE POSITION:
For the 2013-14 school year, Ascend Learning will open two lower schools in Brooklyn, in Canarsie and southeast Williamsburg. Both schools will serve 208 students in kindergarten and first grade in their inaugural year and will grow by a grade per year thereafter.
The School Director will lead the school community in achieving its academic and organizational goals, build and maintain a strong presence for school in the community, and develop and cultivate enduring relationships with students, teachers, parents and community members and stakeholders. Reporting directly to Ascend Learning’s President, the School Director will manage a team of 4 including: a Dean of Instruction, a Dean of Students, a Director of Operations and an Assistant Director of Operations.
This is an ideal opportunity for a dynamic and visionary individual to play a central leadership role in growing and shaping a premier charter school committed to helping students achieve high levels of academic achievement from kindergarten through college.
The School Director will:
- Ensure achievement of targeted academic results, including curriculum alignment, pacing charts, exams, intensives; ensure special education and ELL compliance.
- Ensure the precise implementation of the research-proven instructional system licensed from Ascend partner SABIS.
- Define and build a “no excuses” school culture, consistent with Ascend’s principles and tools. The “no excuses” culture assertively shapes students’ habits, values, and aspirations; sets unrelentingly high expectations for student performance; and insists that every child is destined for college.
- Working with Ascend, manage, develop and evaluate the school’s management team and faculty to build a culture of relentless self-improvement among the entire school.
- Serve as the key external spokesperson for the school, conveying the school’s mission and building strong relationships with constituents including students, teachers, parents, community members and the media.
- Manage the school’s human resource functions including recruiting new teachers, developing retention strategies, and performing regular performance reviews and compensation adjustments in accordance with Ascend guidelines.
- Prepare and deliver bi-monthly progress reports to the Board of Trustees and aid in recruiting community and parent board members.
- Ensure and manage positive school-parent relations with the goal of achieving high levels of parent satisfaction.
- Working with the Director of Operations, oversee the school’s operations, finances and compliance functions to achieve Ascend’s ambitious charter goals and growth plans.
- Cultivate and grow partnerships with community organizations and key stakeholders.
- Recruit the school’s new kindergarten students each year to reach enrollment targets.
Education and Experience:
- Bachelor’s degree, with advanced degree strongly preferred
- Proven track record of elevating student achievement in an urban classroom for at least two years, with a strong understanding of pedagogy that drives results or exceptional leadership experience working directly with young people in urban communities
Skills, Traits and Beliefs:
- Relentless commitment to preparing every student for college
- Ability to be a bold, tireless and engaging change agent and culture-creator; a visionary; a leader who inspires and motivates children and adults
- Commitment to improving the minds and lives of students from underserved communities; a dedication to doing whatever it takes to help all the school’s students achieve academic success
- Passion for academic learning and insistence on academic excellence and rigor at all times
- Exceptional self-motivation, entrepreneurial spirit and team orientation
- Problem-solving skills, with a combination of confidence and humility
- Effective and winning communication skills, both oral and written
- Collaborative decision-making style, with a proven track record of working with individuals at all levels to drive decision-making and results
- Self-awareness, with an ability to treat all members of the school’s community with respect and an accurate idea of one’s own strengths and weaknesses
- Absolute integrity
- Alignment with the education philosophy and core beliefs of Ascend including:
- Belief that every child—not just the gifted—can gain proficiency in the academic subjects and be admitted to college or university.
- Belief that steady advances in student outcomes can only be achieved if students’ knowledge is, from the earliest grades, built like a house, floor by floor, with the certainty that every precursor concept has been demonstrably mastered before the next is taught. Instruction must at all times be clear, intentional and engaging.
- Belief that school leaders and faculty must constantly measure the impact of their instruction and the progress of their school.
COMPENSATION AND BENEFITS:
Compensation package is commensurate with experience and includes a competitive benefits package.
» Please consider me for this position.