The Orchard School Founded in 1922, Orchard is an independent, non-sectarian, Progressive school for 550 students in preschool through the 8th grade. Orchard is committed to advance each student’s academic success, self-confidence, open-mindedness, ethical character, leadership, and love of learning. Located in north Indianapolis on a 43- acre wooded campus with a state-of-the-art facility, Orchard promises academic excellence through a well-rounded education, engaging the natural curiosity of students in an active, child-centered, and experiential learning environment. We seek, and strive to maintain, a diverse and inclusive school community, and are committed to the principles that promote diversity, equity, and inclusion. We value the skills, knowledge and experiences a diverse workforce brings to our school.
The Position The Orchard School seeks a dynamic, innovative educator who can assume the leadership of the Middle School division, which is a community of 240 children and approximately 25 faculty and staff. The successful candidate will be knowledgeable about exemplary practices for middle schools; a passionate advocate for children; a creative innovator; an excellent supervisor; and a master teacher/leader who possesses warmth, humor, and an open joy for teaching and learning.
The Middle School Director reports to the Assistant Head of School, and is a member of the Academic Leadership Team. S/he is charged with the comprehensive responsibility for all activities involving students and faculty in the Orchard Middle School (grades 5-8), and ensuring the continuing excellence of all aspects of the division’s operation in the context of the school’s mission and philosophy.
Maintain alignment between the school’s mission statement and all activities of the division. Knowledge of the principles of Progressive education and best practices for middle school are essential.
Act as the educational leader of the division by overseeing its day-to-day operations, and articulating its programs, expectations, and behavioral guidelines.
Consult with parents and partner with them for the benefit of the child as we seek to establish strong bonds between home and school.
Be a visible presence in all areas of the school and work toward resolution of problems - both routine and unique - as they arise; keep the Assistant Head of School and Head of School informed of the general programs, activities, and challenges of the division.
Establish programs in collaboration with the Assistant Head of School, EC/ES Director, and Head of School for the orientation of new teachers, in-service training of all teachers, and the evaluation of teachers.
Observe, supervise, and help evaluate faculty in the development and implementation of curriculum, and consult with teachers in matters of classroom management, teaching methods, and general school procedures.
Ensure that teachers are familiar with and adhere to school policies in all areas of school operations.
Collaborate with the Assistant Head of School and Head of School to direct the activities of department chairs, the sponsors of various student organizations and activities, and faculty committees.
Oversee the coordination of the co-curricular and athletic programs of the Middle School, including maintaining a comprehensive calendar of school events, and keeping the entire school community informed of Middle School programs and activities.
Make recommendations to the Head of School regarding the hiring, retention, and assignment of faculty.
Provide for the academic guidance of students by maintaining complete academic records, and overseeing the grading and reporting methods used by teachers in measuring student achievement.
Maintain guidelines for proper student conduct and discipline consistent with school policies.
Assist in the admissions process by collaborating with the admissions department to welcome visiting families, and planning for the evaluation of applicants for enrollment in the Middle School.
Manage the annual divisional budget.
Maintain the educational standards established by The Orchard School and by those agencies that examine and accredit the school, such as ISACS and NAIS.
Ensure compliance with legal requirements of government regulations and agencies.
Help cultivate a school-wide climate which is supportive of students, faculty, and families, and reflects high morale.
Required Qualifications and Attributes
A master’s degree or equivalent
Significant previous program and administrative experience in a grade 5-8 environment
Teaching experience in middle school preferred
Strong curricular experience within the progressive tradition
Understanding and advocacy for the whole child continuum, grades 5-8
Experience and training in diversity, equity, inclusion
Broad knowledge about innovative ways for teaching and learning
Experience with faculty assessment and professional growth models
Skills and Personal Qualities:
Demonstrates a love of working with children and adolescents, and extensive knowledge of child development
Creates a caring, dynamic culture for students, faculty /staff, and families
Values and embraces diversity
Partners well with other directors and staff throughout the school, and seeks out opportunities for collaboration
Excellent written and verbal communication skills
A sense of humor, and a joyful commitment to his or her work on behalf of students
Visibly involved in all aspects of school life
Listens actively, is open to the ideas of others, and seeks to build consensus
The Orchard School values our employees and offers a total compensation package designed to attract and retain talented individuals who make our school successful. Benefits include:
30 paid vacation days
11 paid personal days
Health, dental, and vision insurance
Retirement Savings Plan
Employer paid life insurance
Employer paid long- and short-term disability
Candidates should apply by sending a resume, cover letter, statement of educational philosophy, and a list of five references with contact information to firstname.lastname@example.org Monday, January 6th. Please place “MS Director” in the email subject line.
Orchard values diversity and seeks talented students, faculty and staff from diverse backgrounds. Orchard does not discriminate on the basis of race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, religion or national origin in the administration of its admission, tuition assistance, or employment determination.
The Orchard School is a member of the National Association of Independent Schools and is accredited by the Independent Schools Association of the Central States.
For more information about The Orchard School, please visit: www.orchard.org.