Located in the diverse Arbor Heights neighborhood of West Seattle, Westside School serves 350 students in PreK-8th grade. The Lower School represents 200 students in preschool-4th grade. Grade levels are organized into teams, comprised of two lead teachers and instructional assistants. Teams are increasingly asked to plan and communicate together. Additionally, students benefit from a robust group of specialists, including Music, Movement, Visual Arts, Mandarin, Spanish & Technology. Westside creates a community of “joyful learning” – a level of engagement built on powerful student-teacher relationships, learning by doing and a commitment to developing core skills and creativity across all disciplines.
The Head of Lower School serves as the educational leader of the lower school division, and is responsible for its day-to-day operations. Above all, the Head of Lower School actively advocates for the highest quality of student engagement and communicates the work and purpose of the lower school with its faculty, students and families. The Head of Lower School participates across the life of the school and will likely have some teaching and/or support roles with students.
REPORTS TO: Head of School
ESSENTIAL DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES:
Maintain and help focus the school mission, vision and values.
Perpetuate a highly engaged student and faculty culture in the lower school, characterized by high expectations and a strong sense of community.
Be a visible presence for parents and students, particularly at the start and end of the school day; stay available, whenever possible, for situations in which teachers or students need immediate support.
Work in partnership with the Head of School to coach, mentor, and evaluate lower school teaching staff, giving particular attention to early career teachers.
Support individual teachers and planning teams to achieve a high quality of collaboration and teaching.
Facilitate curricular and extracurricular planning for the lower school.
Provide positive support for students in achieving academic and personal success.
Oversee lower school communications, in particular the curricular and program sections of teachers’ newsletters.
Organize and maintain lower school teacher meeting agendas and facilitate meetings.
Attend ‘special circumstances’ parent/teacher conferences and be available, at teachers’ request, for regular check-in and portfolio conferences.
Serve as the point person for plans to support positive student behavior.
Develop a strong system for positive parent involvement characterized by partnership with parents and strong volunteerism.
Work with the Head of Middle School and the Head of School to focus on increasing opportunities interaction and interconnectedness between the lower and middle schools, particularly in regards to educating 3rd and 4th grade parents about the school’s middle school.
Work with Head of School and staff to plan staff development, retreats, etc.
Serve on hiring committees for hiring lower school faculty.
Serve as the main point of contact for parent questions, concerns or feedback related to the lower school program or individual students (after teachers have been consulted).
Do two recess duties per week.
Meet weekly with the Head of School.
SUPERVISORY RESPONSIBILITIES: The Head of Lower School oversees core lower school faculty, and is responsible for their annual evaluation.
Advanced degree in educational leadership, counseling, curriculum and assessment, or related discipline
Proven success in a position of faculty leadership
A participant in the national conversation about teaching or school excellence, evidenced through authorship, workshop facilitation or conference presentation
Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:
Champion for progressive, whole-child, creative, joyful learning
Deep understanding and appreciation for children’s intellectual, social and ethical development
Fluent in the best practices of progressive teaching, curriculum development & assessment
Proven ability to mentor and elevate new and mid-career teachers
Outstanding interpersonal, organizational and facilitation skills
Exceptional written and oral communication skills
Detail-oriented and resourceful
High-energy and enthusiastic about working in dynamic school environment
Experience working with independent school parents
Adept with technological tools for educational assessment, organization, communication and personalization of learning.
Westside School prepares students for the world by challenging them to achieve academic success, and by connecting their human spirit and imagination to learning.
Westside School serves 350 students in preschool-eighth grade. In the fall 2015, Westside School moved to a permanent campus in the Arbor Heights neighborhood of West Seattle, which supports our mission and values as a progressive, academically rigorous, relationship rich, pre-kindergarten through eighth grade school with the core values of Academic Excellence, Joyful Learning, and Creating Confident Learners in a Caring Community.