The Little School is a nationally recognized, relationship-based, inclusive preschool program committed to providing individualized, quality education to young children. The San Francisco-based school is seeking an outstanding Executive Director to lead its unique program starting in July 2020.
At The Little School, we focus on the development of the whole child. We celebrate an individual’s strengths, encourage interests, and support challenges. We believe that strong positive relationships and a robust, supportive community, where everyone feels respected and included, are the keys to a successful learning environment.
The pillars responsible for bringing our philosophy to life include:
Quality Early Childhood Education. Early Childhood Education principles and best practices are the foundation of The Little School. Upon this foundation, the school has created its own inclusive, relationship-based approach. This approach has received local and national attention; has been taught in local and national conferences, workshops, and consulting engagements; and has been documented in a training film: “Relationships: The Key to Teaching and Learning in the Early Years” and a book: Including One, Including All: A Relationship-Based Guide to
Inclusion. The Little School is committed to serving children with diverse developmental profiles, including children with identified special needs. A range of children with unique strengths, challenges, and interests both strengthens the social competence and empathy of every child in the school and encourages teachers to develop teaching strategies and learning tools that benefit every
Diversity. The Little School strives to create a community with racial, ethnic, socio-economic and family- structure diversity as well as a range of life experiences and abilities. This rich assortment of families creates the potential for each individual member to stretch their cultural competence and communicate in new
Excellent Teachers. The school is fortunate to have an outstanding and tenured team of teachers. The success and long tenure of our teachers (approximately one-third have tenure of greater than 15 years and one-third 6-15 years) are due to the individuals themselves, to the school’s commitment to professional development and guidance, to teacher involvement in the program’s development, and to the structure of the teacher work week (e.g. 5-7 hours per week off the floor to support the program, children, and families).
Parent – Teacher – School Partnership. Parents at The Little School are actively engaged in the school community. Parents, teachers and administrators collaborate to support each child and the community as a whole. It is a culture of caring and contribution. Each member of the community assists where possible, whether chaperoning a field trip, attending a family share day, participating on a volunteer committee or serving as a Trustee. Parents also come together for Parent Education events focused on topics central to early childhood and The Little School’s core
The fundamental tools that support our educational approach include:
The Sensory Lens. The Little School uses a sensory-processing lens as a basic tool for understanding a developmental profile, for regulating and organizing children, and for helping children understand themselves and others.
Social-Emotional Curriculum. Social-emotional curricula (e.g. identification, processing and validation of feelings, as well as conflict-resolution) and regulation curricula (e.g. identifying our internal state and what tools help calm and organize us, such as those outlined in Zones of Regulation and The Engine Curriculum) are embedded in daily classroom life and
Emergent Curriculum. Teachers are intentional in providing experiences that reflect the emerging interests of individuals and groups of children. The goal is to support overall development, be it cognitive, social, emotional, symbolic, physical, or
Other Key Facts
The Program. There are 110-115 students enrolled with small class sizes and teacher ratios ranging from 1:4 to 1:8. Current individual programs or classes include: two 2-3 year-old programs with classes on two half-days per week; two 3-4 year-old programs with classes on three half-days per week; two 4-5 year-old programs with half-day daily classes; one transitional kindergarten with half-day daily classes; four intertwined extended day programs; and a summer
The Little School has a stellar reputation. We have over 500 applications for approximately 25 spaces per year.
The new Executive Director will have the opportunity to lead a school that believes passionately in its educational approach and is well positioned for new growth and development. The new Executive Director will also have committed financial support to retain, recognize and attract top staff members, and will enjoy the benefits and strategic opportunities provided by an excellent facility.
THE IDEAL CANDIDATE WILL:
Be passionate about children and early childhood education
Embrace The Little School’s core values: relationship-based education, inclusion, diversity, commitment to teacher excellence and strong parent / school partnership
Be a strong leader who can inspire, manage, mentor, and partner with a highly knowledgeable and passionate staff
Recruit new teachers as needed
Facilitate Parent Education events central to the educational philosophy of The Little School
Partner with the Board of Trustees to honor the school’s values, achieve the school’s strategic goals and maintain a financially sound organization
Honor and advance the vision, mission, philosophy, and culture of The Little School
Be an ambassador, team player and consensus-builder who is comfortable working with and balancing the needs of multiple constituents including professional colleagues, Board of Trustees, parents and prospective families
Be a strategic thinker and thoughtful problem solver who can listen attentively and consider many points of view, develop an action plan, execute on the plan, and reflect on lessons learned
Facilitate Kindergarten admissions by giving general guidance to families about the transition to kindergarten, understanding kindergarten options, and forging relationships with admissions directors
Be a strategic, active, and enthusiastic partner in fundraising efforts
Early childhood education expertise: both on-the-floor early childhood teaching experience and strong knowledge of early childhood education practices
Demonstrated success as a leader and manager, including experience leading a team, structuring an organization, and establishing and implementing a strategic vision and action plan; financial and operational experience is a plus
Genuine enthusiasm for The Little School’s philosophy, especially the tenets of inclusion, diversity, relationship-based learning, and individualized education
Strong interpersonal skills: a capable listener and communicator with high emotional intelligence and empathy
Ability to understand the needs of a diverse community
Integrity, humility and a natural inclination for reflection and growth
It is highly desirable that the Executive Director of The Little School meets all Director Qualifications per the California Community Care Licensing Division or is engaged in the appropriate coursework to secure that licensing. For more information, please see: http://ccld.ca.gov/res/pdf/ChildCareCtrProviderReqStaffQual.pdf