The School at Columbia University, based in the Upper West Side of New York City, is a mission-driven, co-ed, neighborhood lottery and need-blind admissions based independent school for children Kindergarten through Grade Eight. Reporting to the Head of School as a member of the Senior Administrative Team, The School seeks a proven and dynamic Middle Division Director who reflects the values and mission of The School.
Founded in 2003, The School is a national leader of inquiry-based, constructivist, progressive pedagogy. In this position, The School seeks a leader whose experience is rooted in the middle grades, and a partner in “fostering in our students’ personal resourcefulness and integrity, a sense of social responsibility, and a lifelong appreciation of learning through an innovative, socially and emotionally supportive, and academically challenging program.” The School is led by Amani Reed (the longest serving Head for The School) who believes deeply in educating students for a diverse and democratic society. Along with a dedicated leadership team, passionate and talented faculty and an engaged community, the Middle Division Director will lead a team of about 50 faculty and staff and 170 students
The School at Columbia University is an independent K-8 school founded in 2003 with the goal of providing an excellent education to a diverse student body. The School’s “pedagogical and curricular philosophies embrace multicultural perspectives, which challenge educators and learners to examine their preconceived notions of race, gender, ethnicity, class, ability, religion, and sexual orientation.” Its intentional school culture embraces shared beliefs across disciplines and grades, which underlie important values expressed through everyday behaviors and visible symbols throughout our community:
Encouraging creative problem-solving in dynamic groups where outcomes are not always predictable, but ultimately greater than any individual perspective could envision.
Promoting inclusivity, facilitating open communication, and providing clear expectations to all members of the community to ensure a healthy, productive environment, inside and outside the school.
Reveling in an environment of myriad learning experiences that address important aspects of diversity, including identity development, anti-bias skills, and the idea that difference is better.
Taking thoughtful risks grounded in current research, putting new technologies to work in classrooms, and always seeking new approaches to learning to provide a meaningful 21st-century education to all students.
Columbia University Partnership
The School at Columbia University is unique and is among a small group of schools in the world positioned to combine a close school community that meets the needs of each individual student, with the astounding resources of a leading university.
The School’s teachers, in collaboration with Columbia University faculty and graduate students, have created a wide variety of learning opportunities for students. Projects range from field trips and class visits, to ongoing collaborations that shape The School’s curriculum. For example, faculty from Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health are pivotal members of The School’s Gender and Sexuality Education committee. Columbia-affiliated personnel have served as primary instructors or coaches for the school’s athletics and Model United Nations teams, among other groups. The University has also provided significant support to the school’s After School Program language courses.
University faculty and staff partner with The School on key Parents Association events, including our biennial science expo and annual fall festival, which is free and open to the neighborhood community. We now hold all of our performing arts concerts (also free and open to the community) and our Grade 8 graduation on the University’s campus. As it enters its second decade as a school, The School continues to seek opportunities for greater and stronger relationships with Columbia University.
Faculty and Staff:
Nearly 100 full-time and 50 part-time educators comprise The School at Columbia University’s global community. The School’s teachers and staff are accomplished professionals, with a majority holding MA, MSEd, PhD and PsyD degrees. Faculty have authored education articles in publications and journals including Teaching Tolerance, Edutopia, Mathematics Teaching in the Middle School, Learning Languages, and more. Collaboration is critical to the work of the faculty, who work within and across grades and divisions to expand learning opportunities for students. The Faculty are also dedicated community members within the school and locally, and partner with the University and neighborhood organizations on service projects, community initiatives, and public events. Faculty members and leaders are expected to pursue continual growth and development, as they are expected to innovate and pursue cutting-edge methods, new techniques and technology driven projects for their students.
· FACULTY AND STAFF:
· AVERAGE CLASS SIZE:
· STUDENT TO TEACHER RATIO:
5 to 1
Primary (K-2), Intermediate (3-5), Middle (6-8)
All students in Grades K-2 are assigned a tablet; all students in 3-8 a laptop
· DISCIPLINES TAUGHT:
dance, educational technology, literacy and English, mathematics, music, science, social and emotional learning, social studies, Spanish, visual art, and wellness
basketball, cross country, fencing, lacrosse, soccer, softball, squash, track and field, and volleyball teams
· AFTER SCHOOL PROGRAM OFFERINGS:
80+ classes and clubs
80,000 square-foot, six-floor building built in 2003. All classrooms, studios, labs and library remodeled between 2013-16 to create new spaces that further the mission of the school
NAIS Teachers of the Future: Only 25 are selected nationwide annually, and The School has had 4 teachers chosen since 2011
Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST): Only 2 are selected from each state annually, and The School has had 4 teachers chosen since 2010
Procedure to Apply
For more information and inquiries, please contact:
Orpheus Crutchfield at email@example.com and Mary Rose Fernandez at firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line: “The School at Columbia—Middle Division Director”
All candidates must submit an official application via
Columbia University’s Recruitment of Academic Personnel website
Columbia University is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer – Race/Gender/Disability/Veteran
Applications due: March 9, 2019
Semifinalists interviews: Mid-Late March 2019
Finalists interviews: April 2019
Hiring announcement: April 2019
Opportunities for the Middle Division Director:
The Middle Division Director will work with the Head of School and other key administrators to ensure the welfare of students in the middle grades and success of teachers in this innovative independent school in the heart of New York City. The person will be a role model and leader for the middle division of The School at Columbia.
Essential Functions of the Middle Division Director
Administration: Participate in the recruitment, hiring and ongoing evaluation of teachers; promote excellent teaching; attend to the ongoing needs of teachers and grade-level teams; work as part of the leadership team; keep track of the progress and needs of students, including preparing them for high school, addressing social and academic needs, and maintaining correspondence related to academic progress and conduct with families. Represent the school at local, regional, national and international events as determined in conjunction with the head of school. Pursue professional development opportunities; attend conferences and professional meetings in order to remain current with academic trends, emerging pedagogy, available technology and diversity and inclusion issues that may affect the school. Supervise standardized academic testing; oversee teacher report-writing and parent conferences; coordinate student screening, testing, and support services with a child support team for academic and social development, which includes a psychologist, learning support staff, high school placement coordinators, a school social worker and interns.
Curriculum: Oversee the implementation of an innovative, rigorous and integrated curriculum, ensuring that mission drives curricular decisions. Ensure that students are well prepared for high school options at a variety of public and private schools. The curricular focus at The School includes gender sexuality education and social justice. With the academic leadership team and faculty members, evaluate, advise on, and support development of an inclusive and multicultural curriculum across all three divisions. Ensure horizontal and vertical alignment of the curriculum. Coordinate alignment of curriculum, instruction, and assessment with faculty.
Community: Support diversity, team building and cohesiveness among key stakeholders at The School. Plan and implement a leadership role for the oldest students in The School and determine how to creatively balance growing freedoms through to high school. Work in collaboration with the Parents Association.
Leadership: Maintain congruence between The School’s mission and all activities of the division. Serve as the educational leader for the middle division, responsible for day-to-day operations. Maintain the budget for the division. Function as the chief voice of the middle division’s programs, expectations, behavioral guidelines, and other information necessary to ensure that all constituencies are fully informed. Be a visible presence in all areas of the school. Coordinate year-long professional development for the faculty along with a team of teachers, based on the school’s four values.
Qualifications, Skills and Knowledge
The Middle Division Director will “stand in empathy” with the students, understanding the particular challenges, pressures and opportunities facing these young people. The successful candidate will be devoted to the education of young people, comfortable working in a family-centered environment and committed to collaborative working relationships with teachers, other administrators and The School community. This resilient middle educator will be inspired by a community which holds its leaders to high expectations and is empowered to be vocal about those expectations. In this diverse environment, the Middle Division Director must be well-versed with this stage of identity development of middle grade students, understand the intersections of race, gender and puberty and be skillful in helping students navigate those challenges. The faculty and leadership are unrelenting in their pursuit of delivering the best education for their students and expect passionate engagement and participation from their Middle Division Director. Faculty appreciate an inquiry-based approach to management and leadership, mirroring their educational approach. At The School, developing student voice is a focus, and faculty voice is valued. School members are expected to add their voice and perspective, contributing to the on-going community dialogue. In addition, the Middle Division Director will have/be:
Minimum 8 years teaching experience
Bachelor’s degree minimum; master’s degree in education or school administration preferred
Minimum 3-5 years prior middle school leadership experience required
Thorough knowledge of mathematics and humanities learning
Resilience and deep listening skills
Passion for research
Demonstrated commitment to cultural competency and equity and justice in learning and leadership
Strong communication skills including demonstrable strength in writing
Commitment to teamwork and facilitation of collaborative decision-making
Understanding of adolescent development and curriculum
Skill with utilizing wraparound child support team services
Abundance of creativity, intelligence, warmth, accessibility, flexibility, energy, humor and organization
Impeccable integrity, transparency and discretion
Excellent organization and presentation skills
Strategic thinker and empathetic problem-solver
Additional Salary Information: Top-level full benefits
About The School at Columbia University
StratéGenius is the longest-standing search firm focused on administrative and faculty candidates of color for NAIS schools. Our consultants have the deepest relationships with our member schools concerning issues of recruitment and retention of a diverse faculty and staff. We treat our candidates with the utmost respect and place a premium on relationships. StratéGenius has successfully guided thousands of careers for candidates of color and continues to set the pace in developing effective leadership of color, in particular. We focus on schools that have demonstrated seriousness and focus on issues of diversity, inclusion, multiculturalism and equity, visiting all of our members on a rotating-year basis. As a StratéGenius member school, you will get production through a valuing retention over simple recruitment; as an administrative of faculty candidate, you will get focused attention, access and you will never be "a number." We follow you through your career and keep your materials fresh to take advantage of opportunities as well as make sure you avoid pitfalls that hurt other candidates.