GEMS World Academy Chicago
Lower School Head
GEMS World Academy Chicago, GWA, is forging new paths in transformative learning. Founded in 2014, GWA currently serves students age three through 8th grade and will begin an Upper School program in the fall of 2017. GEMS Chicago has a long-range, all-school enrollment goal of 1,500 students. Through its strong international curriculum, framed with the International Baccalaureate program, GWA students are inspired to create, reflect, and excel by asking questions and exploring new ideas.
The School is seeking a dynamic, collaborative and engaging educator to serve as Lower School Head, with overall responsibility for the curricular and non-curricular programs involving students and faculty in early childhood through fifth grade. The Lower School Head will report to the Head of School and serve as a key member of the school’s senior leadership team, contributing to efforts in admissions, operations, and long-term planning for the school’s expansion. At the heart of the Lower School Head’s charge is to help develop and nurture a learning community. Above all, the Lower School Head should be an educator who loves children and is dedicated to seeing young learners thrive in a joyful, engaging environment.
The successful candidate will have a minimum of five to seven years’ teaching and administrative experience at the Lower School level; a graduate degree; a passion for working with children and their families; and the ability to lead and inspire an exemplary faculty.
Essential Duties and Responsibilities
The Lower School Head will:
- Maintain congruency between the school’s mission statement and the GEMS Core Values and all activities of the Lower School.
- Serve as a role model for inspiring and helping students achieve their potential.
- Act as the educational leader of the Lower School, responsible for its day-to-day operation.
- Maintain the budget for the division.
- Function as the chief articulator and promoter of the Lower School programs, expectations, behavioral guidelines, and other information necessary to ensure that all constituencies are fully informed consonant with their individual roles.
- Be a visible presence in all areas of the school.
- Be knowledgeable and able to articulate advances and trends in elementary pedagogy and education.
- Ensure that the school's academic program is designed to meet the needs of a diverse population of learners.
- Guide Lower School curriculum development.
- Review and evaluate the academic programs, including for horizontal and vertical curricular flow and the transition to Middle School.
- Observe, supervise, and help evaluate the faculty, including through classroom observation.
- Serve as a support to teachers in matters of classroom management, teaching methods, and general school procedures.
- Oversee and direct student activities, the sponsors of various student organizations and activities, as well as faculty committees.
- Provide an environment in which learning can take place in a school climate that is supportive and reflects high morale.
- Ensure compliance with legal requirements of government regulations and agencies, and maintain the educational standards established by the state and by those agencies that examine and accredit the school.
- Ensure that staff training and the school’s curriculum meet International Baccalaureate Organization (IBO) standards.
- Make recommendations to the Head of School regarding the hiring, retention, and the assignment of faculty.
- Establish programs for the in-service training, professional development, and evaluation of classroom teachers.
- Ensure that teachers are familiar with and adhere to school policies in all areas of the school’s operation.
- Conduct regular meetings with faculty that will deal both with routine school matters and with the stimulating exchange of ideas on issues of educational/philosophical interest and concern.
- Maintain complete academic records on all students.
- Work toward a resolution of all problems - both routine and unique - as they arise.
- Partner effectively with parents, through open communication and maintaining a positive home-school connection.
- Assist in the admission process for the testing, interviewing, and evaluating of applicants for enrollment.
- Maintain a comprehensive calendar of school events and keep the entire school community informed of various school programs and activities.
- Oversee the coordination of the co-curricular and extra-curricular activity programs, including the planning and the presentation of school assemblies and programs.
- Perform other duties as assigned by the Head of School.