Francis W. Parker School is seeking a dynamic educational leader and visionary with strong administrative experience and a commitment to progressive education to be our next Head of Upper School.
ABOUT FRANCIS W. PARKER SCHOOL
Francis W. Parker School is a renowned, urban, JK-12th grade progressive independent Chicago day school. Founded in 1901 on the tenets of progressive education, the school currently enrolls 935 students and employs 200 dedicated faculty and staff who work together to ensure that the School lives up to its Mission to “educate students to think and act with empathy, courage, and clarity as responsible citizens and leaders in a democratic society and global community.” Learn more about our history and educational philosophy, The Three Pillars of Parker here.
The Head of Upper School is responsible for overseeing all activities involving students, teachers, and parents in the division. They will work in close collaboration with faculty, staff, parents, other Division Heads, and members of the Administrative Team. This position reports directly to the Principal.
THE EXCEPTIONAL OPPORTUNITY
Setting the Tone
In close collaboration with the Principal, uphold Parker’s Mission and Diversity Statement in all curricular and extra-curricular activities in the Upper School.
Act as the educational leader of the Upper School, responsible for its day-to-day operation; direct and support the activities of the Upper School faculty and staff in their duties and teaching.
Act as the chief articulator of the Upper School’s programs, philosophy, expectations, behavioral guidelines, and other information necessary to ensure that all constituencies are fully informed consistent with their individual roles.
Provide an orderly environment in which learning can take place; foster a school climate that is supportive and generates positive morale.
Be aware of the educational, physical, social, and psychological needs of Upper School students, and develop plans for meeting those needs.
Be a visible presence in all areas of the School; work toward a resolution of all problems - both routine and unique - as they arise.
Keep the Principal informed of general programs, activities, and issues.
Communicate Upper School successes, challenges and needs to the Board of Trustees of the School as requested by the Principal.
Lead and manage the process of all searches for employees within the division, collaborating with the Director of Human Resources, Department Chairs, Director of Studies, Grade Heads and others, and recommending new hires to the Principal, as well as the retention and assignment of faculty.
Actively seek to recruit and hire a more diverse faculty, and to increase the presence of faculty of color.
Direct the coordination of co-curricular and extracurricular activities within the Upper School; assist in the planning and presentation of school assemblies and programs; assist in maintaining a comprehensive calendar of school events; keep entire school community informed of various school programs and activities.
Work with faculty and appropriate administrative colleagues and staff regarding the support and retention of students and families.
Prepare a master class schedule in coordination with other Division Heads and assign teachers and students to classes and other responsibilities.
Strive for unity, harmony, and cooperation through tact, helpfulness, respect, and recognition of individual differences and the special abilities and strengths of each teacher.
Serve as a consultant to teachers in matters of classroom management, teaching methods, and general school policies and procedures.
Observe, supervise, and evaluate faculty in the development and implementation of curriculum; supervise the teaching process; review, evaluate, and develop academic programs.
Work with the Director of Studies, Division Heads, Assistant Principal, and Principal to oversee and direct Department Chairs to ensure that the School’s mission is articulated and achieved through school and departmental goals, course objectives, materials, methods, and means of assessment.
Oversee and direct the activities of faculty sponsors of various student activities and organizations, and faculty committees.
Support programs for the orientation of new teachers, create and collaborate on in-service training of all teachers, and evaluate classroom teachers to ensure that they are familiar with and adhere to school policies, mission, and commitment to diversity in all areas of school operation.
Ensure that Upper School curriculum reflects diverse experiences, opinions, ideas, interests, and identities as called for by the School’s Diversity Statement.
Lead regular meetings with the faculty that deal both with routine school matters and with the stimulating exchange of ideas on issues of educational/philosophical interests and concerns.
Provide for the academic guidance of Upper School students; maintain complete academic records on all students; oversee the grading and reporting of standards and methods used by teachers in measuring student achievement.
Work with the Dean of Student Life to determine, communicate, and uphold the student code of conduct by establishing guidelines for proper student conduct and dress; maintain student discipline consistent with school policies; monitor students’ adherence to established school rules; maintain accurate records of student attendance.
Assist in the admission process for testing, interviewing, and evaluation of applicants for enrollment.
Actively work towards the admission of a more socioeconomically diverse student body, and support increasing admission of students of color to the Upper School.
Maintain timely and relevant communication to parents and facilitate faculty communication with parents regarding special events, divisional news, and developmental insights (including the latest research) relevant to caring for children in grades nine through twelve.
Organize annual parent education meetings for each Upper School grade to discuss developmental issues that are timely and appropriate to discuss at certain developmental ages and act as a resource for advice on parenting.
Coordinate and supervise the work of Upper School parent grade chairs and volunteers.
Counsel parents about the joys and travails of parenting Upper School students, sharing resources from professional development work faculty/staff have engaged in when relevant, so that common vocabulary and approaches emerge among parents and school personnel.
Other Administrative Responsibilities
Serve on the School’s Administrative Team, coordinating work with all Division Heads, including admissions, athletics, student life, college counseling, the Director of Studies and Department Chairs of the school, representing the division’s needs and challenges to the whole, supporting the work of administrative colleagues, and contributing to schoolwide decision-making as requested by the Principal.
Keep the Director of Human Resources and Principal informed of (and seek their counsel on) personnel issues with implications for the School’s Collective Bargaining Agreement with the Faculty Association; violations of school policies detailed in the Faculty/Staff Handbook or of local, state, or federal laws; faculty recommended for the formal remediation process or non-renewal of a contract.
Oversee the budget and expenditures for the Upper School.
Ensure compliance with the legal requirements of government regulations and agencies; maintain the educational standards established by the State of Illinois and by those agencies that examine and accredit the School.
Perform other duties as assigned by the Principal.
Please submit cover letter with resume by fax or email to (no telephone inquiries please):
Laureen Sweers, Director of Human Resources Francis W. Parker School 330 W. Webster Avenue Chicago, IL 60614 email@example.com
The faculty, staff and administration of Francis W. Parker School are integral parts of the School's community. Through their passion, dedication and commitment to the School's mission, they create and support an environment where exceptional child-centered learning can occur.
Francis W. Parker School is committed to cultivating a community of dedicated students, parents, faculty and staff, trustees, administrators and alumni, who acknowledge, respect, and esteem diversity in our school; and who reflect, through their presence, the diversity of Chicago communities and the wider world.
Francis W. Parker School is an equal opportunity employer.
Education and Experience
Master’s degree required, preferably in a related field of study.
Minimum of five (5) years of relevant experience at an administrative level, preferably in an independent school.
Prior Head of Upper School experience required.
Proven record of success as a teacher and instructional leader of Upper School-aged students.
Demonstrated technological proficiency.
Understanding of, experience with, and commitment to progressive educational values, tenets and approaches within and beyond the classroom.
Experience in and commitment to growing one’s own cultural competency and supporting others seeking to develop their own practices in equity and inclusion.
Additionally, the ideal candidate will have a proven track record of success in the following areas:
Progressive Education in an Upper School Setting
The ideal candidate will have a current and thorough knowledge of adolescence as a stage of human development and best practices regarding education at each stage of development. Candidates must have an understanding of and experience with applying the tenets of progressive education in ways that impact all facets of the student experience positively, and that create and sustain a sense of shared endeavor and community inclusive of all students, teachers, and parents. Candidates should be able to demonstrate their intellectual curiosity, cultural competency, and growth mindset.
Excellent interpersonal and group communication skills, demonstrating empathy, directness, and open-minded decision making. Candidates should be able to demonstrate success in working collaboratively and flexibly with colleagues, staff, parents, volunteers, and the broader community.
Experience hiring, budgeting, scheduling, evaluating faculty, mentoring, and team-building. Deftness in managing multiple and shifting priorities and able to solve problems and conflicts tactically, strategically, and tactfully.
Commitment to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
A demonstrated commitment to fostering an inclusive and diverse learning environment that cultivates an awareness of and sensitivity to all differences including, but not limited to, race, ethnicity, gender, socioeconomic status, and sexual orientation, as noted in the School’s Diversity Statement.
Additional Salary Information: Francis W. Parker School is committed to attracting and retaining top educators and administrators by offering a comprehensive compensation plan including competitive salary, retirement benefits including a generous match, full medical/dental coverage and wellness plans. Individual salary is commensurate with experience.