Central Falls School District ( learn more )

Central Falls , Rhode Island ( map )

Job Details

  • Job ID: 2901993
  • Application Deadline: Posted until Filled
  • Posted : March 7, 2018
  • Starting Date: Immediately

Job Description

The Central Falls School District seeks an innovative and bold leader with deep knowledge of curriculum, standards, and instruction to play a key role in the redesign efforts of a small vibrant and diverse urban district in northern, Rhode Island. This is an opportunity to help lead a PK-12 effort that will result in improved student outcomes, growing a professional learning culture and closing the achievement gap. The district has recently launched an ambitious and bold redesign process with the goals of reversing historical patterns of inequities, challenging the status quo, disrupting practices that are tied to traditional learning and teaching arrangements that lead to low expectations and stagnant achievement, and to rewrite the narrative about education in Central Falls.

Central Falls is embarking on a redesign of the entire instructional program aligning the unique needs of Central Falls students with the 21st Century skills required for post-secondary success. As a district, we believe student-centered, personalized opportunities are essential to best meet the needs of youth today. We believe good instruction, access to technology, student agency, and community involvement are necessary for quality learning and achievement.
The urgency of the times we live in, and the unique needs of our students, has motivated us to re-imagine pedagogy and practice so that through student-centered approaches to learning and teaching, we increase the levels of personalization and academically rigorous opportunities for our students.

In Central Falls there is an urgency to increase the levels of student-driven and academically rigorous opportunities that the district is able to provide and sustain for students.

The Central Falls School District’s Equity Blueprint for Success (The Blueprint) is the district’s framework to provide our students, our educators (administrators, teachers, support staff, etc.), our families, and our community partners with the district’s philosophy of learning and teaching that informs the process and best-practice strategies to ensure that all of our students are challenged, supported, engaged, healthy, safe, and fully prepared to handle the demands of college, career, and citizenship.

The Blueprint is the district’s overarching approach to learning and teaching aligning innovative and personalized strategies with effective and efficient operating structures. To be successful and provide our students, teachers, and families with the knowledge and experiences required to be successful and cultivate an authentic college-going culture in Central Falls. As a district we are committed to ensuring that The Blueprint’s core elements - Student-Centered Learning and Teaching, Enrichment Opportunities, Social and Emotional Development, Support, and; Growth, and Cultural Responsiveness - are embedded in every aspect of learning, teaching, professional/personal development, communications, and experiences in all six schools and throughout the city.

About Central Falls:
Central Falls is a vibrant, densely populated, 1.27 square mile city located in northeastern Rhode Island. With a little over 19,376 residents, Central Falls is one of the densest urban areas in America (ranked 27th) and is the third smallest city by area in the United States. As beautiful of a community CF is, the school district educates approximately 2,800 students amidst a myriad of serious challenges. More than 25% of the current population 25 years of age and older has less than a 9th-grade education (US average is 5.7%; RI average is 6%) and only 6.4% hold a bachelor’s degree (18.5% in the US, 19% in RI). CF has the highest rate of teen pregnancy in the state of RI (birth rate for girls 15-19 in CF is 69/1,000 – RI is 18/1,000). Sixty-one percent of the population makes less than $34,000/year when the RI average is 32% and the CF median household income is $29,108; RI is $56,852; the US is $53,889. The social and economic barriers to success found in the homes and on the streets of the city directly impact the academic achievement of our students. Recent PARCC results from the spring of 2017 paint a bleak picture: Only 10.5% of CFSD students are meeting or exceeding expectations in ELA; only 8.8% of CFSD students are meeting or exceeding expectations in math.

Education reform in the Central Falls School District (CFSD) has been a hotly debated topic in many circles locally and across the country. This debate has had two major peaks in the past 25 years. In 1992, the City of Central Falls (CF) voluntarily sought state support and turned its schools over to the RI Department of Education. Eighteen years later, in February 2010, the district, as part of its School Improvement Grant application, decided to select the federal “Turnaround” model at its high school, which required the district to fire all the teachers and replace the principal. This became a national story when both the United States Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan, and President Obama weighed in, in favor of the move. Eventually, the district came to an agreement with the Central Falls Teachers’ Union and it decided to choose the “Transformation” model instead, which called for certain reforms, but not as drastic as the turnaround strategy. This action has produced some positive results, but has not been able to dislodge the district from failing a large number of its students. This history, coupled with the fact that over 33% of the city’s students now attend a charter school, have left many people in Central Falls feeling disempowered, disenfranchised, and marginalized from decision making and lacking ownership over the education of their children.

This is the challenge. This is the opportunity.

Position Summary:
The Chief Academic Officer (CAO) provides policy and administrative leadership to Central Falls School District on all matters related to the educational program and has primary authority and accountability to implement a PK-12 aligned curriculum, instruction and assessment system. The CAO reports to the superintendent and serves as a member of the Senior Leadership Team. The CAO works alongside the school principals to ensure that the school’s academic, operational and cultural priorities are aligned in support of student learning and the learning of teachers and staff.

The CAO leads the educational performance of the district and works in collaboration with other district and school leaders and administrators to maintain academic systems and ensure that all programs, employees, and departments meet performance outcomes and achieve student goals. Together with the superintendent and other district leaders, the CAO will help develop and articulate a clear vision and provide strategic direction for the district’s curriculum, instruction, and school improvement initiatives; support the design and implementation of professional development that provides educators with an understanding of instructional best practices and quality.

The ideal candidates will demonstrate their experience in the design, integration, and implementation of systems to improve student results, as well as knowledge of curriculum, instructional practices, school improvement and leadership development. They will lead the development of a district instructional framework that aligns research, policies, structures, processes, and practices to be used in the school design process and will guide a common vision of excellent and powerful teaching that focuses on the whole child. The ideal candidate will be able to see how wellness and social-emotional learning are part of a successful academic program.

You believe that schools are places where both adults and students are – and should be – learning and improving constantly. You believe in meeting kids where they are as learners, yet still holding them to high standards. You also believe in autonomy and innovation balanced with high accountability and supports for adults.

You are focused on using data to drive improved student outcomes. You will lead our efforts to analyze and use school-level data to personalize instruction and to inform the practices of our teachers and residents.

You have extensive experience developing and implementing curriculum and assessments that articulate across the PreK-12 grade range. You know what great instruction looks like, and what works and what doesn’t, but you are also willing to be flexible and implement new approaches where appropriate for a given school.

The primary role of the Chief Academic Officer is to ensure that all students are receiving a great education. The CAO will supervise the academic team (English Language Learners, Special Education, Curriculum and Instruction and Technology) and will also work closely with school-level leadership (principals) in order to ensure alignment across the schools’ academic/instructional, operational and cultural priorities.

This will include, but not be limited to the following:

? Ensuring the creation, adoption and implementation of a readily available and coherent curriculum, which is both vertically- and horizontally-aligned, as well as standardizing corresponding formative and summative assessments

? Supervise Curriculum and Instruction, Professional Development to improve school achievement, including the development and planning for the district’s PD program

? Provide vision and strategic direction for the district’s curriculum, instruction, and school redesign initiatives

? Build and lead a highly effective, innovative academic services department including re-envisioning the current team, roles and responsibilities as necessary

? Reduce the variability in curricula, instruction, and assessment and implement a vertically aligned curriculum and assessment system, which includes the consistent delivery of instruction aligned with key standards (i.e. classroom-to-classroom, grade-by-grade, school-by-school)

? Develop and monitor accountability systems and evaluation rubrics and leverage data to inform strategic direction

? Collaborate with schools to develop instructional programs and implement reform models designed to improve the achievement of all students, including a strong emphasis on English Language Learners and Special Education

? Provide direction in and maintain current knowledge of educational reform and instructional best practices in all aspects of PK-12 urban education

? Collaborate with other school districts, charters, community agencies, local universities, and other organizations to implement ongoing evaluation and improvement of instructional programs with particular focus to increase student achievement at underperforming schools

? Oversee the allocation of materials and staff resources for academic departments, ensure their use for the purposes intended, and enforce appropriate accountability for disbursements and expenditures

? Ensure district compliance with State regulations and policies in monitoring, assessment, and reporting for all academic programs.

Skills and Competencies:_

Instructional Knowledge and Expertise:
? Proven ability to develop and deliver programming that drives improved academic performance for all student populations; knows effective practice for differentiating instruction

? Deep understanding of curricular frameworks, pedagogy, and quality classroom materials; experience developing and implementing curriculum for a wide variety of grade levels and subjects

? Strong knowledge of high-quality instructional practices and the ability to lead others to implement these practices consistently across classrooms and school sites

? Thorough knowledge of effective instruction and knowledge of current theories of curriculum instruction and assessment

Leadership skills:
? Motivates, inspires, and moves other adults to action to achieve ambitious goals

? Skilled at re-envisioning, building, and managing a team, especially in a time of growth and change; excellent at identifying talent and taking advantage of each person’s skills and contribution to team effort

? Builds and maintains positive relationships with individuals and groups

? Moves groups to consensus and resolves conflicts. Exhibits willingness to have difficult conversations

? Builds coalitions and works collaboratively with diverse stakeholders at all levels, including but not limited to district personnel, students, families, communities, and/or advocacy groups

? Establishes clear expectations, deliverables, and deadlines

? Sets clear agendas and facilitates effective meetings

? Ability to train, supervise, and evaluate staff from different cultural backgrounds and skill sets

Empathy and commitment to cause:
? Deep understanding of the urban school system environment and commitment to improving student achievement

? Understanding of how social-emotional learning and wellness are part of the learning journey

? Passionately believes that all students can achieve at high levels

? Demonstrates cultural responsiveness/competencies and a deep understanding of and empathy for issues facing urban families

Communication, interpersonal and team skills:
? Builds and maintains strong relationships

? Works successfully alone or on a team

? Coaches, coordinates, and leads teams

? Strong verbal and written communication skills; tailors message for the audience, context, and mode of communication

? Actively listens to others and able to effectively interpret others’ motivations and perceptions

? Builds consensus and resolves conflicts; exhibits willingness to have difficult conversations

? Skillfully navigates existing political structures/systems

Problem solving and systems thinking:
? Understands how various systems/departments interact to achieve the long-term goal

? Makes decisions using data and technology

? Takes initiative to solve problems and create stakeholder buy-in

? Identifies and prioritizes mission-critical issues with alignment of people, time and resources

? Offer innovative solutions to seemingly intractable problems

? Exhibits strong focus on goals and results. Sets clear metrics for success

? Removes barriers or obstacles that make it difficult for principals to achieve their goals and ensures that school leaders have the resources they need to succeed

? Demonstrates excellent execution and project management skills, including attention to detail, organizational skills, ability to balance the big picture with detailed steps to reach the end goal, and ability to balance multiple projects under tight deadlines.

  • Position Type: Full-time
  • Positions Available: 1
  • Job Category : Administrator > Curriculum
  • Equal Opportunity Employer

    Central Falls School District is committed to maintaining a work and learning environment free from discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, pregnancy, gender identity, sexual orientation, marital/civil union status, ancestry, place of birth, age, citizenship status, veteran status, political affiliation, genetic information or disability, as defined and required by state and federal laws. Additionally, we prohibit retaliation against individuals who oppose such discrimination and harassment or who participate in an equal opportunity investigation.

    Job Requirements

    • Qualifications:

      1. Master’s degree in school administration or related field plus additional coursework required for licensure as Principal or District-
      Level Administrator.

      2. Rhode Island administrative certificate.

      3. Seven or more years of relevant experience with an outstanding track record as a school principal (or equivalent) strongly

      4. Experience in an urban school district is preferred. Trauma-informed training preferred.

      5. Experience working with special populations (English Language Learners and Special Education). Bilingual preferred. (Spanish
      and/or Portuguese-Creole)

      6. Ten or more years of experience as a school administrator including knowledge of academic and accountability testing.

      7. Demonstrated success leading strategic educational initiatives.

      8. Sense of humor.

    • Master degree preferred
    • Citizenship, residency OR WORK VISA IN United States required

    Contact Information

    • Victor Capellan , Superintendent
    • 949 Dexter Street
    • Central Falls, Rhode Island 02863

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