Boston Public Schools Office of Human Capital ( learn more )

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Job Details

  • Job ID: 3079187
  • Application Deadline: Posted until Filled
  • Posted : April 9, 2019

Job Description

Posting ID: School Leaders SY19-20

Title: Principal - O. W. Holmes Innovation School (SY 19-20)

School Year: 2019-2020


The Oliver Wendell Holmes Innovation School is a full-inclusion elementary school with a mission grounded in social justice, access, strong relationships, and equity. We proudly serve scholars with varied needs in our inclusion and sub-separate programs located in the heart of Dorchester. The Holmes, previously a middle school during desegregation, is now the home to 320 amazingly intelligent, resilient, and hard-working scholars from K0-5 and 50+ dedicated staff.

Our call to action is grounded in the charge of creating a culture of achievement for each scholar at the Holmes. In the last several years, we have made significant strides towards achieving our goal of providing an excellent education for all. The Holmes has been recognized as one of the thirteen finalists for the prestigious EdVestors School on the Move Prize for its significant work closing opportunity gaps particularly within our special populations, moving from the 3rd percentile to the 24th, meeting 91% of its targets in the 2018 MCAS. We have leveraged open-posting and coaching to attract highly-qualified and effective educators. Furthermore, we have piloted innovative partnerships to give scholars living with trauma positive outlets and strategies to address their socioemotional needs. We also acknowledge there is significant work to be done. We are not satisfied, nor will we stop growing until we see high levels of achievement in academics and socio-emotional learning for ALL scholars at the Holmes.


Job Description: The Holmes Governing Board seeks an innovative, flexible and relatable leader with experience to guide and shape the future of the Holmes while keeping our existing mission and vision at the heart of what they do. We are also seeking a leader who has a growth mindset and is willing to work in the trenches with staff and scholars. This leader must be a great communicator who is inclusive, responsive and approachable. Our leader must also have deep instructional expertise (Special Education background preferred) and have a coaching stance regarding teacher improvement. We seek a leader who truly values collaboration and the ideas and perspectives of others. It is also imperative that our leader is able to strike a healthy balance between the academic and socioemotional needs of our scholars while inspiring and empowering our community to sustain our successes and continually strive for excellence.

The next leader of the O.W. Holmes Innovation School must be ready, willing, and able to lead, inspire and empower our community and evolve a high-achieving instructional environment that is scholar-centered, nurturing, innovative and collaborative.


The successful candidate will lead in a collaborative partnership with the Governing Board as well as our entire school community. They will consistently demonstrate a balanced skill set of instructional rigor, socioemotional support, operational efficiency, and community engagement. It is imperative that these skills be used to coach and develop educators. Additionally, they must be ready to nurture and educate our brilliant, resilient scholars while holding them and their families to high expectations, high standards of academic growth, personal integrity, and social responsibility. The candidate can also show success in or enthusiasm for an autonomous school setting, specifically in fundraising, collaboration with community partners, curriculum development, budgeting and scheduling, and other areas where our distinct autonomies create opportunities.


SKILLS, COMPETENCIES, AND RESPONSIBILITIES: The Oliver Wendell Holmes Innovation School Leader must exhibit the following competencies, mindsets, and skills:

Instructional Leadership

  • Embrace, communicate, and enlist others in the belief that all scholars can and will learn.
  • Communicate belief in culturally responsive teaching practices and support teachers in employing them.
  • Provide professional learning and planning time to teaching staff that results in improved standards-based, well structured, cognitively demanding plans and instruction that meet the needs of all learners.
  • Conduct regular observations of instruction and planning. Give feedback that drives improvement in teaching and learning to close achievement and opportunity gaps.
  • Facilitate the use of varied formal and informal assessments. Use and support data-based decision making in planning and delivering instruction and interventions.
  • Utilize data to set and meet goals for school improvement.
  • Use frequent observation, data, and evaluation guidelines to assign well-supported ratings for performance.
  • Build diverse, active, and effective leadership teams to distribute leadership through the school.

Socioemotional and Special Education Support

  • Works collaboratively with the Student Support Team to support scholars special education and socioemotional needs.
  • Committed to providing professional development for staff to fully equip them with tools to support scholar needs.
  • Responsive to the Special Education process and ensuring that the goals of scholars who receive special education services and supports are thoroughly met.

Management & Operations

  • Establish and maintain systems and routines that ensure a safe, clean and welcoming learning environments.
  • Establish and maintain systems and routines to support all students to reach high behavioral expectations.
  • Lead recruitment and hiring processes that result in the hiring of effective educators that reflect the diversity of our scholar population.
  • Strategically utilize master schedule and budget to advance the priorities of the school.
  • Strategically utilize master schedule to ensure teachers have time to plan and collaborate.
  • Follow rules and regulations related to laws, collective bargaining agreements, and expenditures.

Family and Community Engagement

  • Use and maintain partnerships that support culturally responsive practices that ensure all families are welcome and can contribute to the school community. Support educators in doing the same.
  • Engage in and support educators to regularly collaborate with families to identify strengths and needs of scholars and make appropriate plans to support all scholars.
  • Reach out to families with concerns and work to reach solutions that are in the best interest of scholars.

Professional Culture

  • Support high expectations of achievement for all scholars through a personal commitment to, articulation of, and enlistment in culturally responsive school vision, core values, and mission.
  • Engage in and lead all educators in reflecting on the effectiveness of their practice to achieve improved results.
  • Engage staff, scholars, and families in developing a vision for scholar preparedness for college and career.
  • Resolve conflicts in a constructive manner and build consensus around critical decisions.

Qualifications: Required

  • Masters degree.
  • Experience working in an urban school.
  • Possession of a valid Massachusetts School Principal License or proof of successful completion of MA-PAL
  • Current authorization to work in the United States – candidates must have such authorization by his or her first day of employment.

Qualifications: Preferred

  • Teaching and leadership experience in an urban public school setting.
  • Boston Resident.
  • Position Type: Full-time
  • Job Category : Administrator > Principal/Dean/Head of School
  • Equal Opportunity Employer

    Boston Public Schools Office of Human Capital 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.

    Contact Information

    • Boston Public Schools, Office of Human Capital
    • 2300 Washington Street
    • Roxbury, Massachusetts 02119

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