Lower School Division Head (Beginning July 2020)

Shady Hill School, Cambridge, MA

Accredited by AISNE

For over one hundred years, Shady Hill, a school of 521 students (PK-VIII) and 90 faculty, has been a leader in progressive elementary education. Grades B-II pursue a variety of Thematic Studies that reflect the Central Subject Methodology by integrating areas of learning, but in shorter, age appropriate units. Grades 3-8 engage in Central Subject, an in-depth, integrated study of a particular time or people in history. The year-long Central Subject study, which emphasizes strong content, the use of primary sources, understanding of multiple perspectives, acquisition of essential skills, and self-discovery, forms the core of our curriculum. Central Subject faculty are responsible for the skills and content in both social studies/history and language arts and with the support of performing arts and visual arts faculty, the integration of these disciplines.

Shady Hill is a deeply mission-driven school.  We seek to develop independent, joyful, and curious learners who respect their own accomplishments and those of others. We strive to be a community whose values are strong and which is unafraid to engage students in important questions. The school’s program allows children to explore their worlds and test their powers.  As a diverse school, we believe that an inclusive community is an educational and moral imperative that empowers us all. Therefore, we seek to hire teachers who share this commitment and demonstrate the skills of culturally competent educators.

Shady Hill School is also a teacher training institution.  Its long-standing Teacher Training Course, which brings as many as eighteen apprentice teachers to campus each year, prepares talented aspiring teachers for careers in education and allows each faculty member the opportunity to be a mentor and meaningful contributor to the teaching field.  Because of the school’s commitment to teacher training, the school often seeks teachers with certification.

Basic Purpose: Overall responsibility for the Beginner (PreK) - Grade 4, a 270-student division with 40 faculty.  The Lower School Division Head, Middle School Division Head, Director of Faculty Support & Professional Development, Director of Inclusion & Multicultural Practice, Executive Director of Teacher Training Center, and Head of School, function as a cohesive leadership team so that the day-to-day life of the school operates smoothly within and across divisions. The team also supports the needs of faculty, students and parents, and meets the guidelines and expectations set by the Board of Trustees.  In each division, heads are responsible for: curriculum; supervision, evaluation and professional development of faculty; personal and academic welfare of students, including the coordination of student programs and services, student evaluation and assessment, and scheduling; administration of school-wide policies; and parent education/relations.  Division heads work in concert with department chairs, gradeheads, and department teachers to meet each area of responsibility.

This leadership team, along with other administrators on the Administrative Council, works to ensure an articulated, coordinated program across the school.  Division heads have a 12-month responsibility.

Primary Responsibilities:

Faculty:

  • Cultivate a productive and collaborative division
  • Oversee all curriculum, curriculum development, and implementation of new academic programs in Lower School division within and across grades 
  • Plan and implement regular faculty meetings
  • Oversee supervision, evaluation, and professional development of faculty
  • Support new faculty in first two years; regular meetings, observations
  • Coach, advise, and support faculty 
  • Oversee and edit Lower School reports (3x year)
  • Attend parent conferences on student progress (as needed) 
  • Meet and plan regularly with Lower School administrative team: Director of LS Learning Resources, LS Math Curriculum Coordinator, LS Faculty Coach, School Psychologist
  • Oversee direct reports including: Science, Library,, Thematic Studies/Central Subject departments, and LS learning resources department; meet regularly with these department chairs
  • Collaborate with Head of School and MS Division Head to coordinate and lead department chair meetings    
  • Manage hiring processes
  • Coordinate faculty and grade-level schedules in conjunction with scheduling team
  • Communicate weekly newsletter for faculty and staff 

Students:

  • Visit classrooms, connect, and interact on a daily basis with Lower School students
  • Track the progress of students in the division
  • Lead grade-level individuals meetings on students
  • Organize resources to meet individual needs
  • Lead weekly LS Assemblies

Parents:

  • Connect parents to the mission of the school
  • Educate parents on topics related to child development, academic and social/emotional learning (Curriculum Night, Let’s Talk Lower School, What to Expect, etc.)
  • Address parent concerns as they arise

Admission:

  • Assist Director of Admission with all aspects of Lower School admissions including LS Open House, screenings of applicants, parent admission meetings, preschool visits, reading all LS admission applications, LS admission committee meetings, and yield events

 Other Duties:

  • Participate in all-school administrative planning and events
  • Interact with other departments including Advancement, Auxiliary, Business, Communications, and Facilities 
  • Interact with Board of Trustees as invited by Head of School 

Key Qualifications: 

  • Educational leader with 5-7 years of teaching and a minimum of 3 years of administrative experience focused on PreK-4 
  • Bachelor’s degree; with a Master’s degree in Education or Administration preferred
  • Demonstrated commitment to social justice & creation of an inclusive & equitable community
  • Dedicated to progressive tenets and 21st-century thinking, reflecting current research in pedagogy and innovative curriculum development
  • Experienced in supervision and coaching of faculty
  • Collaborative professional with strategic vision, creative thinking, and vibrant energy  
  • Demonstrated strength in oral and written communication skills 
  • Possesses a high level of emotional intelligence, warmth, and sense of humor 

Schedule Requirements

  • A minimum of standard business hours Monday – Friday.
  • Ability to travel and work evenings and weekends as necessary

To apply: 

All interested and qualified candidates should submit the following materials in one email with separate documents to allison.godlewski@shs.org 

  • A cover letter expressing interest in the position 
  • A current resume or CV
  • A one-page statement of educational philosophy
  • A list of 3 references (references will not be contacted without permission of candidate)