Great Minds, a rapidly growing challenger brand in the PK–12 instructional materials space, seeks a Head of Virtual School to join our dynamic, dedicated team.
Great Minds, a District of Columbia not-for-profit organization, brings teachers and scholars together to craft exemplary instructional materials that inspire joy in teaching and learning. Our English curriculum, Wit & Wisdom®, Eureka Math™ and PhD Science™, all support teachers as they take students beyond rote learning to provide a deeper, more complete understanding of the humanities, mathematics, and the sciences.
Great Minds’ Eureka Math is the most widely used curriculum in the history of American education. It enjoys an unrivaled 40+ net promoter score. Eureka and its sister products, Wit & Wisdom English and PhD Science, embrace much higher expectations for all students and all teachers. In a market dominated by scripted, procedural materials that drive expectations down, Great Minds produces curricula that celebrate knowledge, respect the craft of teaching, and acknowledge the true capabilities of students.
For the past 14 years, our focus has been on the creation of quality instructional materials and training. We have seen the power of what is possible for all students when rigorous curriculum and highly-effective teacher professional development are implemented. In Great Minds® next stage of growth, we have an exciting opportunity to take a bold step forward by creating our very first accredited virtual middle and high school for grades 6-12, built upon our strong curriculum foundation where we will provide students with an enriched, collaborative virtual learning environment like no other. One that sparks students’ curiosity, builds students’ character, and develops student knowledge by leveraging technology.
We are seeking a dynamic, experienced and successful school leader for our Great Minds®
Virtual School, opening in September 2022. As the instructional leader of the virtual school, the primary mission of the Head of Great Minds® Virtual School (HVS) is to build and grow a strong virtual educational community by providing leadership to the entire education team, support to our parents/guardians, and by ensuring the experience for each child in every classroom is of the highest standard. This is a unique opportunity to plan and build in the 2021-2022 school year and then launch and lead the school during the 2022-2023 school year.
Working under the direction of the Director of Great Minds® Schools, throughout the planning year, the HVS will develop the instructional vision, structures, and systems of the school, consistent with Great Minds’s mission, philosophy, values, and goals for education to ensure overall success of the academic program. This person is joyful and gifted in bringing out the best in others by personally engaging with those in the school and community. The HVS assists in outreach and inclusion efforts and oversees the day-to-day operations of the school. The HVS works with the team to design, coordinate and develop the enrollment management process in order to quickly grow enrollment and attract and retain great staff. The HVS, in consultation with the Director, is responsible for the hiring, training and evaluation of faculty. To prepare our HVS for founding a school, some of the planning year will be spent in leadership training, as well as opportunities to visit high-performing schools across the country. This position will start by September 2021.
- Work with the Director of GMS to develop our 3-year strategic plan and school design plan that align with the instructional mission and vision.
- Lead the development of the instructional program by building on the key principles of the Great Minds Schools model by collaborating with team members to select high quality curriculum materials using Great Minds curriculum as the foundation
- Establish core practices, culture, assessment, and systems to be used by founding staff
- Hire, support, develop, and manage skilled and diverse founding staff for the Fall 2022 opening
- Plan, lead, and coordinate professional learning and team building experiences for founding staff, including summer pre-service training
- Engage in professional learning experiences, including Great Minds professional development
- Develop school policies, systems, and structures to ensure the model is implemented with fidelity
Relationship-Management & Enrollment
- Build and maintain a positive school culture among staff, parents, and students that embodies the mission of the organization in which all feel safe, cared for, and accountable
- Develop relationships with key stakeholders (i.e. community organizations, district leadership)
- Work with the Director of GM schools to support outreach, enrollment, recruitment, and retention efforts to ensure that enrollment targets are met and that each grade is fully enrolled
- Serve as a leader on the admissions committee by being a first-responder to prospective families, reviewing applications, and conducting applicant and parent/guardian informational follow-up sessions
- Manage set-up and operations for virtual events, including but not limited to: the annual Open House, information sessions, curricula tours and yield events
- Liaise with other departments such as Communications, Marketing, Development, etc.
- Establish process for gathering, analyzing, and implementing parent/guardian feedback
Instruction & Observation
- Ensure teachers employ techniques of pedagogy in alignment with the Great Minds Virtual School mission and vision
- Ensure teachers understand and fully implement the curriculum as intended and that instruction is effective and meets the needs of diverse learners
- Observe each classroom on a weekly basis and provide regular feedback to teachers, including one-on-one check-ins
- Develop instructional schedules for classes, special subjects and inclusion, ensuring common planning time for teachers and that schedules support instructional and curricular goals
- Ensure equity in instructional delivery by promoting the school-wide belief that all students are capable of greatness
- Build and lead the Instructional Leadership Team by selecting teachers to participate and coordinate schedules and agendas
- Work closely with the instructional team to implement a restorative justice discipline policy that maintains high standards and expectations for all students for responsible behavior
Personnel, Human Resources, & Professional Development
- Design and lead the hiring process for all staff, in consultation with the Director
- Foster a school culture that is collaborative and professional environment in which every faculty and staff member feels supported, valued, and empowered
- Ensure all faculty and staff adhere to professional ethics and behavior, and address failure to adhere
- Plan and facilitate summer training for staff with input from Great Minds network team and Director
- Work with the Great Minds network team to create a yearlong schedule for professional development, ensuring professional development aligns with school-wide goals
- Facilitate professional development sessions utilizing teacher leaders and outside experts, that include staff rituals and community-building
- Establish personalized professional development goals with all instructional staff and provide instructional coaching that supports growth, implementing instructional improvement plans as necessary
- Provide all staff members with outside professional development opportunities when appropriate that is in line with personal goals
- Ensure that all teachers are trained in effectively educating diverse learners, including students with special needs, English Language Learners, and at-risk students
- In collaboration with the Great Minds network staff and Director of Lab Schools, implement curriculum resources, including professional development, coaching, and progress monitoring of implementation effectiveness
- Support national researchers in collection of student data, serving as a liaison between researchers and Great Minds leadership
- With the Great Minds network team, monitor students’ academic growth through formative assessments, internal benchmark assessments and external testing
- Ensure that teachers assess student learning and use data to inform instruction. Support teachers in using learning targets as an effective assessment for learning strategy
- Ensure that teachers provide up-to-date assessment information and data to parents on a weekly basis
- Coordinate the entire school administrative certificate process as required
- 3+ years of experience as a school administrator, such as a school director, program director, principal, assistant principal, director, or chief administrator
- Master’s Degree or higher in educational leadership or related area
- At least one year of teaching experience in a virtual setting, preferably at the 6-12 level
- Significant training and documented experience in providing regular observation and feedback, executing professional development, providing oversight in curriculum development, implementation, and assessment required
- Proven track record of success with building a strong school culture
SKILLS AND CAPABILITIES
- Passion for the Great Minds® mission and pedagogy with respect for education professionals
- An entrepreneurial drive, with a growth- and solutions-oriented mindset, comfortable in ambiguity and excited about innovation
- Big-picture, flexible thinker, receptive to multiple viewpoints
- Demonstrated computer proficiency with experience navigating the virtual-education arena
- Excellent written and verbal communication skills, comfortable speaking in front of audiences
- Experience coaching and leading a developing group of team members
- Extraordinary relationship-builder with the ability to understand the unique needs of each family and to be an excellent ambassador for a wide variety of stakeholders
- Superior organizational skills with the ability to work both independently and collaboratively
- Strong work ethic, coachable attitude, and commitment to high standards
- Energetic and enthusiastic, with an aptitude for creating a warm team culture and community by demonstrating grace under pressure
- Ability to work a flexible schedule, including limited evenings and weekends as needed for organizational requirements
- Capacity to maintain the confidentiality of Great Minds®-related information
- Willingness to undergo a comprehensive background check
Preferred Education and Experience:
- Experience working in a startup or school-founding environment
- Experience working with schools and families in a grades 6-12 setting
- Experience working with operations management in a school environment
- Experience working with or recruiting diverse populations and underrepresented groups
- Success implementing Great Minds or other high-quality curriculum preferred
- Proven track record of nurturing and maintaining partnerships with community organizations preferred
- Prolonged periods of sitting at a desk and working on a computer
- Ability to travel and handle admission materials
What We Offer:
- Ongoing professional development
- A network of supportive peers and mentors who regularly share best practices
- Career growth and promotion opportunities
- A competitive salary
- Health, dental, and vision insurance
- Paid time off and paid holidays
- Enrollment priority for dependents
Location: Remote, Chicago-based is preferred
This role can be performed anywhere in the US with the exception of Colorado
Selected candidates will be required to pass a comprehensive background check.
Written application submission and initial phone interviews will be completed on a rolling basis. Final interviews and performance tasks will take place in-person.
Great Minds is an equal opportunity employer. We will extend equal opportunity to all individuals without regard to race, religion, color, sex (including pregnancy, sexual orientation, and gender identity), national origin, disability, age, genetic information, or any other status protected under applicable federal, state, or local laws. Our policy reflects and affirms the organization’s commitment to the principles of fair employment and the elimination of all discriminatory practices.