The Dalton School, a K-12 independent, coeducational college preparatory school located in Manhattan, is consistently recognized as one of the top independent day schools in the nation. It has a total enrollment of about 1,300 students and a faculty and staff of approximately 350. Originally called the Children's University School, Dalton was founded by Helen Parkhurst in 1919, a time marked by educational reform. At the time, philosophers, teachers, and child psychologists identified as "progressives" began to question the conventional wisdom that education was a process of drill and memorization and that the only way to teach was to regiment children in classrooms. Students’ natural instincts to play, to move, to talk, and to inquire freely were suppressed. Instead, Parkhurst developed an innovative educational philosophy she called The Dalton Plan, which endures today at Dalton and other schools around the world.
Parkhurst’s educational model captured the progressive spirit of the age. Her objectives were: to tailor the program to each student’s needs, interests, and abilities; to promote both independence and dependability; and to enhance the student's social skills and sense of responsibility toward others. Parkhurst’s three-part Plan continues to provide the structural foundation of a Dalton education: House, Assignment, and Lab.
House:House is the home base at school for each Dalton student; the House advisor (classroom or homeroom teacher) is the parent's key contact with the school. In the First Program and Middle School, House is comprised of students of the same age. In High School, each House includes students from every grade level, a microcosm of the larger school community. In all divisions, the House Advisor guides and assists each student in the learning process.
Assignment:The Assignment represents a contract between student and teacher. In addition to defining common obligations for daily class work, long-term projects, and homework, Dalton Assignments are uniquely structured to promote the internalization and refinement of time-management and organizational skills, while offering students opportunities to develop their individual strengths and address their specific needs. The Assignment is introduced in the First Program and increases in scope and complexity through Middle and High School.
Lab:The word "Laboratory" refers to one-to-one and small group sessions between students and teachers which augment the traditional classroom instruction, combining study, research, and collaboration. Students and teachers schedule these Labs at specified times throughout the school day to discuss Assignments, expand upon questions that arise in class, clarify issues, and explore new facets of a topic of interest.
For additional information about the school, please visit: www.dalton.org
Commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
The Dalton community’s commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion is strongly rooted in the school’s mission and educational philosophy. Dalton is committed to the vision of a democratic community and is engaged in community-wide, ongoing dialogue on diversity issues. Dalton aims to educate students for true leadership so that they may Go Forth Unafraid® (the school’s motto) in a complex global community. Students learn to think critically and make ethical decisions that stem from a core belief in the value of difference, a real sense of cultural fluency, and a sincere and empathic regard for interdependence and the ways in which diversity enriches how we see ourselves and each other.
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at Dalton are represented in many different ways, including: race, ethnicity, religion, family structure, sexual orientation, and socio-economic status. Preparing students for an interdependent world requires a well-rounded education that reflects the history, cultures, beliefs, and perspectives of the global society in which children live, as well as knowledge of an inclusive, democratic community derived from direct experience.
The diversity, equity, and inclusion mission mandates the continued recruitment and retention of a diverse student body, faculty, administration, and staff; the development of inclusive curricula, ongoing education on complex cultural issues, measures to determine accountability and progress; and equal access for all community members to participate fully in the life of the school. At Dalton, the diversity, equity, and inclusion mission is not a stagnant concept, but an active, changing culture firmly rooted in the ever-changing society in which we live. Through conscious collaboration, hard work, and dialogue, Dalton seeks to create and sustain a diverse, equitable, and inclusive learning community, one in which we model leadership that moves beyond tolerance, to an understanding of our global humanity and a respect for diversity in all of its facets.
The Director will report to the Head of School while working closely with senior members of the administration and the Board. Additionally, the Director will collaborate with faculty, students, parents, and alumni. The Director will develop and implement a comprehensive strategy that supports the fundamental Dalton principle that acknowledging, understanding, respecting and accepting diverse beliefs, ethnicities, cultures, and lifestyles are a critical underpinning of a successful education in today’s global society. The Director will be an important and central figure in the Dalton Community, working with a variety of groups and individuals focused on creating an environment of understanding and respect and acceptance of diversity and inclusiveness.
The Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion will:
Be an active, visible and engaged presence throughout the Dalton Community
Be an agent for change who is passionate about the power of diversity, equity, and inclusion
Take the lead while encouraging others to forward Dalton’s commitment to cultural change
Oversee and set direction for committees and affinity groups that have responsibility for carrying out all aspects of Dalton’s diversity, equity, and inclusion work
Collaborate with teachers, department chairs, division directors and student support personnel in ongoing efforts to ensure that all students are seen, known, and supported for who they are, the strengths they carry into the classroom, and their particular academic needs
Collaborate with faculty and appropriate administrators to provide essential training in culturally relevant equity pedagogy and the creation of democratic, culturally responsive classrooms
Mentor and advocate for faculty, staff, students, and parents on issues of social justice, diversity, equity, and inclusiveness
Help develop and shape expansion of programs and events that will advance the achievement of Dalton School’s strategic goals on diversity, equity, and inclusiveness
Professional Skills and Qualifications
The Dalton School seeks the following skills and qualifications in its next Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion:
Master’s degree or higher credential preferred, preferably in education, educational administration, or a related field
Diversity and inclusion leadership experience and related professional background in a school setting
Ability to develop and implement short and long-term Diversity Strategic Goals with meaningful and measurable outcomes
Experience as a teacher and teacher-leader with deep knowledge of pedagogy, curriculum, and child and adolescent development
Proven management skills—the ability to manage up and down a complex organization
Demonstrated experience developing community partnerships that offer opportunities for innovative and experiential collaboration
Demonstrated ability to work as a change agent within an academic environment
Demonstrated experience and success stewarding an inclusive, culturally responsive school community
Ability to inspire open, productive, and challenging conversations centered on diversity, equity, and inclusion
Knowledge of current research, data acquisition and analysis, and successful implementation of strategies currently shaping Diversity, Equity and Inclusion work in schools
Ability to seek consensus and design processes that are transparent, clear, and efficient
Proven success carrying out strategic goals and initiatives and in leading teams
Excellent leadership abilities, interpersonal and collaborative skills, speaking and writing skills, organizational skills
Ability to simultaneously engage in and manage multiple priorities
The successful candidate is an active, passionate, mission-driven advocate for diversity, equality, and inclusion. This individual understands the richness and value that a deep comprehension of different cultures, social experiences and lifestyles contributes to success—both social and professional—in today’s world.
The successful candidate will demonstrate the following personal characteristics:
A collegial approach toward developing methodologies to education and to diversity, equity, inclusion issues
An exceptional listener who believes and demonstrates that listening is an important aspect of leadership
Sensitivity, knowledge, and understanding of the diverse backgrounds of community members with a continuous focus on healthy relationship building
The ability to work flexibly, independently and collaboratively in a fast-paced and ambitious environment with minimal supervision
A bold, diplomatic advocate who persists even when faced with resistance from peers and superiors
A dedicated, passionate lifelong learner
A genuine passion for working with young people and helping them develop a true sense of social justice, inclusivity, and equity
The persistent persuader—someone who can build, support and achieve buy-in from a variety of constituencies—even those who do not prioritize the same goals
Personal and professional integrity and the capacity to serve as a model of openness, generosity, and acceptance
A sense of humor
The firm of Buffkin Baker is managing this search on behalf of the Dalton School. Please submit your letter of interest and resume to Nat Sutton via email - firstname.lastname@example.org
About The Dalton School
The Dalton School is an independent, co-educational day school (K-12), founded in 1919 by the renowned progressive educator Helen Parkhurst. Parkhurst’s visionary Dalton Plan remains the keystone of the school’s progressive educational philosophy and is now the model for over 200 Dalton schools in other parts of the world.
The Dalton School is the innovative leader in developing creative problem solvers who identify issues, grapple with possibilities, and design solutions to global challenges from multiple perspectives.
Dalton is recognized for its rigorous, innovative educational curriculum and offers its 1,300 students a breadth of stimulating and challenging programs taught by our dedicated faculty. Our high academic standards are complemented by an exemplary performing and fine arts curriculum – taught by faculty who are professionals in their fields – and a full range of athletic teams and extra-curricular activities.
The Dalton School actively seeks to forward diversity through its programs and hiring.