The Greta Berman Arbetter Kazoo School is an independent pre-Kindergarten through 8th grade school that is committed to providing students with a progressive education that meets their developmental needs. Kazoo School is located in the Hillcrest neighborhood of Kalamazoo, Michigan. It is adjacent to the Western Michigan University, which is owned by the Kleinstuck Nature Preserve. The fifty-acre preserve serves as an onsite learning laboratory for the school and provides a rich backdrop for science and environmental education. Kalamazoo, Michigan is a Midwestern community with several colleges and a state university, including Kalamazoo College, Western Michigan University, and Kalamazoo Valley Community College. Kalamazoo sits 2.5 hours away from Chicago and 1.5 hours away from Detroit where significant efforts are underway to revitalize the downtown and adjacent areas. South Haven and Saugatuck, two Lake Michigan beachside vacation towns are located within a forty five minute drive from Kalamazoo. Kalamazoo is home to an active arts, culture scene, and a vibrant downtown.
We seek a leader who can live our mission, help us move forward as we follow our mission, and become a member of the Kalamazoo community.
Kazoo School’s mission is to prepare children to be confident critical thinkers, lifelong learners, and engaged citizens by providing a progressive educational environment that nurtures, empowers, and inspires every child.
Our Core Values
Respecting and honoring the voices of children
Diversity of backgrounds, identities, and perspectives
Academic, social, emotional, physical, and creative development
Collaborative, project-based learning
Partnership between school, family, and community
Kazoo School teachers enact a curriculum that is emergent, integrated, and experiential. These guiding principles draw on the observations that children are most motivated and learn best when they are already interested in something (hence allowing curriculum to emerge from their interests), when they see curriculum as meaningful (thus not isolating subjects, but integrating them in a meaningful way), and when they are actively engaged and experiencing their world.
In addition to content and skills, the Kazoo School curriculum also emphasizes developing certain dispositions. Among these are a disposition toward serving others and caring for our planet, a disposition toward curiosity about the world, and a disposition toward perseverance in the face of difficulties. Dispositions are developed throughout students’ experiences at Kazoo, not through a specific grade or class.
Kazoo School seeks a Head of School beginning in the 2018-2019 academic year. Reporting to the Board of Trustees, the Head of School will have overall responsibility for academic quality and financial and institutional strength as Kazoo School continues its mission to educate children in an environment of academic challenge, personal and emotional growth, and preparation for a lifetime of learning and contribution to the community. The Head of School will actively partner with staff personnel, the faculty, and the school community to inspire students with a passion for learning; critical thinking; creative expression; an orientation towards inclusiveness, acceptance and collaboration; and a commitment to environmental sustainability. Kazoo School welcomes applications that reflect a wide range of leadership forms and organizational structures.
Essential Duties and Responsibilities
The Head of School has ultimate and overall responsibility for board relations, curriculum and instruction, student life, business affairs, admissions/enrollment, marketing communications, and advancement. Descriptions of specific responsibilities include leadership and team management, communication, finance and fund development, professional staff development, and compliance and accountability for school operations.
The Head of School will provide leadership, and role modeling in the fulfillment of Kazoo School’s progressive educational mission. They are expected to lead by example, creating culture at the school that reflects the values associated with Kazoo School. The Head of School is responsible for continuing the school’s mission of providing a welcoming, open and supportive atmosphere in which students are challenged and encouraged to develop and attain academic, social and emotional goals. They will be expected to advance the School’s core values and initiatives and manifesting Kazoo School’s confidence in a vibrant future grounded in founding principles and traditions. They will also manage personnel, admission decisions, and disciplinary action. Specific duties include the following:
Serving as educational leader for Kazoo School.
Articulating and advocating the mission of Kazoo School for students, families, staff, and community.
Promoting a school culture of global citizenship and awareness.
Serving as philanthropic ambassador within the school, alumni, parents and community.
Maintaining regular visibility and accessibility with members of school and larger community.
Attending all Board meetings as an ex-officio, non-voting board member who prepares and presents reports as requested by the Board.
Leading and facilitating staff meetings to guide and support staff.
Developing specific operations, goals and objectives to implement the strategic goals that have been mutually established with the Board.
Hiring, supervising, mentoring, and evaluating teaching and support staff.
Being accountable for further investigation, funding, and implementation of a Dean of Students position.
Managing substitutes for classrooms and acting as a substitute in classrooms as needed.
Delegating responsibilities/providing oversight over the admissions/enrollment process for students.
Delegating responsibilities/providing oversight regarding disciplinary action and communicating disciplinary decisions to the Board of Trustees.
Ensuring that students have appropriate academic preparation opportunities upon graduation or transfer to another institution.
Developing relationships with students, faculty, and parents in collaboration with office staff and personnel.
Demonstrating sound crisis and emergency management competencies.
Coordinating all aspects of facility management.
The Head of School is expected to develop and regularly build community relations. They will ensure, regular, clear, and up-to-date professional communications with external and internal audiences, including the Board of Trustees, parents, students, prospective families, and faculty and staff. Specific duties include:
Maintaining regular, ongoing, and open dialogues with the Board of Trustees.
Serving as chief communicator between the Board of Trustees and staff.
Promoting highly effective and reciprocal communication between staff, parents and Board of Trustees.
Serving as the primary spokesperson for The Kazoo School.
Fostering healthy relationship with staff, the Board, school community and beyond.
Fostering a positive relationship with other independent schools, other community agencies, and potential feeder schools.
Finance and Fund Development
The Head of School is responsible for ensuring sound fiscal management of the institution, including ensuring the development of annual operational objectives and longer-range financial plans and projections; ensuring timely budget modeling well in advance of each school year to match resources for recruitment trends; and working to identify, develop, recommend and implement management and business models in the best interest of the school. Specifically, the Head of school oversees the financial matters of the school ensuring appropriate financial controls, adequate systems for billing, timely reconciliations of accounts, up-to -date monthly financial reports to the Board, and timely and balanced budgets for board discussion. The Head of School reviews and provided approval for all financial controls. Specific duties include:
Preparing and presenting the annual operating budget to Board of Trustees in conjunction with Board Treasurer and Business Manager.
Administering the operating budget and remaining accountable to Board of Trustees for effective business management.
Preparing annual budget recommendations including personnel, committees, facilities and programs.
Preparing reports for annual audits – financial and academic.
Seeking a wide range of funding sources that support the economic viability of the school, including fundraising and applications for external grants.
Demonstrating familiarity with and understanding of best practices in fund development.
Identifying and soliciting prospective donors.
Serving as philanthropic ambassador within the organization and community.
Professional Staff Development
The Head of School will guide educational policy, ensuring cohesiveness and high levels of quality curriculum and teaching across all grade levels. They will be expected to recruit, develop, and retain an outstanding faculty and staff who are committed to progressive education, professional development and lifelong learning. Specific duties include the following:
Supporting teaching and staff regarding the philosophy and full implementation of the school’s mission.
Providing opportunities for ongoing professional development for all staff.
Encouraging staff to propose, plan, and develop programs in accordance with the mission of the school.
Collaborating with and educating teaching staff to promote professional development on theory and practice as related to anti-racism training, equity, implicit bias with historically oppressed communities (egs. race, class, gender, sexuality, gender identity, ability, etc.), and students’ diverse educational needs.
Providing ongoing teacher and staff evaluation for the purposes of helping teachers and staff meet their professional goals.
Compliance and Accountability for School Operations
The Head of School will be responsible for updating grade policies and procedures of the school, refining business management methods. They will bring policy considerations to the Board of Trustees for discussion and review. They will be expected to manage the school on a day-to-day basis by empowering faculty and staff through the delegation of responsibility and authority, provision of mentoring, coaching and evaluation, and facilitating collaboration across classrooms while at all times maintaining ultimate accountability. Specific duties include the following:
Ensuring that all state reporting requirements are met.
Conducting written evaluations of staff and office personnel.
Overseeing the process for student evaluations and assessments.
Overseeing ongoing program evaluation, including curriculum standards and curriculum development.
Post baccalaureate training in Education or other related fields.
Prior experience working in an educational or curricular setting.
Prior experience working with children.
An understanding of theory and practice in teaching and learning.
An awareness of social and emotional human development.
A willingness to understand the independent school accreditation processes, guidelines, and best practices.
Exceptional and flexible leadership skills.
Strong written and oral communication skills.
Strong commitment to social justice.
Proven experience with staff supervision, budget, and financial management.
A graduate-level advanced degree (MA, MEd, PhD, ED).
Knowledge and understanding of pedagogical methods for implementing effective school policies.
Prior experience working with a board of trustees when issuing faculty contracts and other school related contracts.
Prior experience in fund development, including identification, cultivation and stewardship of donors.
Qualified applicants should submit a cover letter, resume, a brief statement of progressive school philosophy, and a list of 3-5 references to HoSSearch@kazooschool.org by April 15, 2018 for priority consideration. The position will remain open until filled.
Compensation: Commensurate with experience and expertise. At this time, Kazoo School does not offer retirement, medical, or other benefits; however, providing benefits to faculty and staff is a goal for future consideration.
About The Greta Berman Arbetter Kazoo School
The Greta Berman Arbetter Kazoo School is a small, independent progressive school, Preschool through 8th Grade, located in Kalamazoo, MI.