Charles Wright Academy _________________________________________ 7723 Chambers Creek Road West Tacoma, WA 98467-2099 253/620-8300 www.charleswright.org
Experiential and Place-Based Learning Director
Posting Date: December 17, 2018 Application Deadline: January 31, 2019 Start Date: August 2019
About the School: ?Charles Wright Academy (CWA), located on a beautiful, wooded 107-acre campus, serves 654 students in Preschool through 12th grade. The only coeducational independent Preschool-12 school in Tacoma, Washington, CWA provides challenging, college preparatory academics that prepare students to thrive in college and in life. Equally important is a wide array of experiential education, artistic, athletic, and service opportunities that promote students’ social-emotional development and provide avenues by which they discover and pursue their passions. Close, respectful, and trusting relationships between faculty and students result in an environment in which all community members embrace both the hard work and the joy inherent in the journey of intellectual and personal growth.
Our Mission Statement: Charles Wright Academy provides a rigorous and dynamic liberal arts education built on the principles of excellence and compassion. Within an inclusive and globally aware learning community, we foster self-reliance, integrity, social responsibility, and humor, inspiring our students to discover within themselves the courage to achieve their personal best in mind, body, and spirit.
Summary: The Director of Experiential and Place-Based Education works to advance the school’s commitment to experiential and place-based education as part of a modern learning culture.
They are responsible for continuous improvement of the school’s experiential and place-based programming, strengthening connections between those programs, and developing new signature programs in line with the school’s Strategic Vision. More broadly, they are expected to advance curricular innovation at Charles Wright Academy through program design, coaching, and professional development. The right candidate will multiply their influence by building the confidence and ability of their colleagues to lead experiential and place-based learning, both in and out of the classroom.
The Director of Experiential and Place-Based Education reports to the Associate Head of School for Strategy and Innovation and serves on the school’s Academic Leadership Team. This is a full time, exempt position on an 11 month contract.
Responsibilities: Manage Experiential and Place-Based Programs - Manage the school’s Winterim Coordinators and support them in developing Winterim’s philosophy and offerings. - Supervise the school’s Outdoor Education Coordinator and support the continuous improvement of Outdoor Education as a defining feature of CWA programming. - Partner with division directors to develop the experiential and place-based programs in their divisions, including Middle School Trips, Middle School Days, and Experiential Education Week. - Explore the development of senior project or capstone programs in partnership with the Upper School Director and faculty. - Develop logistical, budgetary, and educational frameworks for the school’s travel programs across all divisions and support the adoption of those frameworks to increase program quality and consistency. - Identify opportunities for new signature programs in experiential and place-based learning, in line with the school’s Strategic Vision. - Partner with the Senior Leadership Team to develop outdoor, place-based assets that support instruction on the main CWA campus, including the development of possible auxiliary campuses in line with the school’s Strategic Vision. - Lead the school’s continuous improvement in managing and mitigating risk related to off-campus programs. - Develop teams and structures to improve quality, increase transparency, and build capacity among other faculty to lead experiential and place-based learning (including outdoor education).
Coach Faculty and Support Curricular Innovation - Model experiential and/or place-based education by developing and teaching one course (one full-year course or three trimester courses) in their discipline. - Foster shared language, models, and protocols for the successful use of experiential education and place-based learning across the school’s three divisions. - Coach faculty to adopt principles of experiential education and/or place-based education in courses, as appropriate. - Support faculty in developing projects and performance-based assessments that connect academics to real-world contexts and engage students outside of the classroom. - Build shared language around collaboration, challenge, growth mindset, perseverance, and constructive adversity with the school’s program and culture. - Support the integration of diversity, inclusion, and social-emotional learning into experiential and place-based learning (such as through the intentional teaching of collaboration and feedback protocols). - Partner with the Director of Innovation and Design Labs to develop courses and projects that integrate maker education or design thinking with experiential and place-based learning. - Partner with the Academic Leadership Team and other teams to create multiple pathways to a CWA diploma. - Continue to participate in and develop one’s own professional skills through being a part of global education and experiential education organizations and associations. - Represent Charles Wright Academy in appropriate conferences and professional associations. - Lead professional development for internal and external audiences.
Required Qualifications: - Bachelor’s degree, a master’s degree is preferred. - Experience teaching in a JK-12 classroom, preferably in an independent school. - Proven track record of successful leadership, collaboration, and innovation. - Experience successfully coaching and training faculty. - High ethical standards and discretion - Flexibility to work some nights and be present at specially scheduled weekend events. - Aligned philosophically with Charles Wright Academy’s mission and commitments to students, families, and the community.
Preferred Qualifications: - Highly collaborative and team-oriented style that leverages the talents of others ? Excellent interpersonal and communication skills. - Understanding of experiential education and place-based learning as pedagogies and approaches to learning. - Knowledge of best practices in risk management for field-based work. - Experience developing programs for community-based learning, outdoor education, and/or international travel programs. - Significant program and budget management experience. - Possession of, or ability to earn, WFR certification. - A proven commitment to the development of young people as individual learners. - Interest in, and ability to lead, curriculum development within and across disciplines.
Living in Tacoma: Located nearly halfway between Seattle and the state capital of Olympia, Tacoma is the third largest city in Washington and the heart of Pierce County. The city provides the cultural, educational, and economic amenities of a highly urban area with the quality of life, cost of living, and sense of community typically associated with a smaller city. Tacoma was recently featured in Sunset Magazine as one of “20 Game-Changing Places To Live.” As the article put it, “the former shipping and manufacturing powerhouse has seen an influx of creative Left Coasters making new use of once-defunct warehouses—and enjoying the port’s down to-earth allure.” Despite this, housing costs in Tacoma are 61% less than in Seattle.
Salary/Benefits: Salary is competitive with other independent schools in the Pacific Northwest. Compensation includes a comprehensive benefits package to employees and their families designed to provide choice, flexibility, and value. In addition to health (medical, dental, vision), life and disability insurance, and a flexible spending account, we offer participation in the Academy’s 403(b) retirement plan, including a generous employer contribution once you meet eligibility, paid time off, tuition remission for immediate dependents, subsidized lunches, and professional development.
Application Process: Interested candidates should send a letter of interest and resume to:
Mail: Attention Office of Human Resources at address above.
In-person application: Follow campus signs to “Upper School”, using Upper School visitor parking. The Office of Human Resources is open Monday through Friday, 8:00 am – 4:30 pm.
No phone calls, please. Charles Wright Academy is an Equal Opportunity Employer: M/F/V/D.