School Network Staff Associate Director – ELA (Grades 5-8), Greenfield
Start Date: Immediate
Location: Based in the Northeast, ideally in proximity to our schools in Brooklyn, NY or Providence, RI.
Flexibility to frequently work remotely.
About Achievement First
Achievement First, a non-profit 501(c)3 charter school management organization, operates over 37 public charter schools in Brooklyn, Connecticut and Rhode Island. The mission of Achievement First is to deliver on the promise of equal educational opportunity for all children, regardless of race or economic status. Achievement First currently educates more than 12,600 students in historically underserved neighborhoods, with over 90% of our students identifying as Black and Latino. With its college-preparatory focus, the Achievement First approach is attaining breakthrough academic gains throughout the network. Beyond our students and schools, Achievement First is an engaged and prominent partner in the larger conversation about how to improve public education and student achievement in our country.
In 2015, Achievement First launched an innovative school model that we call Greenfield. Greenfield is a ground up redesign of middle school with the goal of dramatically increasing college persistence. Achievement First’s
four Greenfield middle schools provide rigorous, high-quality instruction within a nurturing school community
focused on developing self-motivated learners, problem-solvers and leaders. Our students benefit from:
- Rigorous and rewarding core academic classes.
- Daily enrichments of student choice.
- Hands-on, experiential learning that deepens and extends what students learn in the classroom through two-week long expeditions three times a year.
- Social emotional learning and small-group mentoring to develop social-emotional skills and goal setting skills.
- Student-curated dream teams that consist of teachers, family members and other significant influencers in a student’s life. This team works to help students achieve student goals.
- Intervention built into the fabric of the school day.
- An awesomely powerful community where school, home and the broader community link arms in support of student development and achievement.
At Greenfield, we strive to ensure all students excel on our four pillars:
- Academic Preparation: Our students are the consumers and producers of text and meaning. They will construct their own meaning from rigorous texts through an inquiry-based approach that offers multiple entry points and supports deep understanding of grade level, complex text.
- Academical Independence: Students can become the agents of their success through ownership and personalization.
- Social Emotional Strength: Habits of success can and should be taught. Students need to experience the joy and excellence that comes from enrichment outside of traditional academics.
- Personal Why: A deeply held and individually developed personal drive to achieve grounded in personal interests and motivation.
Greenfield is currently focused on grades 5-8 at two schools in Brooklyn, NY and two schools in Providence, RI. In the next several years, Achievement First plans to incorporate the learnings from the Greenfield model into all 16 middle schools. The Greenfield Team will be instrumental in collaborating with Achievement First Network Support teams on the integrated middle school model.
The Greenfield ELA Program
Greenfield’s Literacy operates from a long-term goal of both facilitating an authentic love for reading and adequately preparing students to be successful in high school AP Literature. With this goal in mind, our middle school students actively work toward mastering common core standards, strengthening their ability to critically evaluate literature and increase their world knowledge by exploring a wide range of diverse and engaging content including topics about various cultures, beliefs and origins. Our program is grounded in several core components:
- Core Instruction: Students critically analyze a variety of texts and novels including source documents to build their schema, authentically practice literacy strategies and respond to texts in both oral and written forms.
- Collaborative Discussion: Students engage in robust debates utilizing their texts and world knowledge to both strengthen their claims and arguments and learn from their peers.
The Associate Director of ELA will serve as a member on the broader ELA team and co-own achievement results. In collaboration with their colleagues, they are responsible for realizing the Greenfield ELA vision through strong design, high quality school support and strong partnership with all stakeholders. The Associate Director of ELA will spend the bulk of their time designing assessments, building project-based learning tasks for our ELA curriculum and coaching deans and teachers toward executing exemplar ELA instruction. The Associate Director of ELA will report to the ELA Director.
Responsibilities will include but are not limited to:
- Curriculum Design: ~ 60% of the role is focused on designing and revising our 5th-8th grade curriculum to incorporate feedback and best practices, build student-centered tasks, and diversify the curriculum to include a variety of perspectives and identities. Program design responsibilities include:
- Design Robust Curriculum, Tools and Resources: Develop exemplary curriculum materials that are aligned to the Common Core State Standards (CCSS), PARCC, and New York State’s test and that build on and leverage strong, diverse word and world knowledge. Curriculum materials include unit plans, assessments, daily lesson resources, and student handouts. Revise existing curricular materials based on feedback from Greenfield school staff and anecdotal and achievement data from Greenfield students.
- Support Diversity, Equity and Inclusiveness: Ensure curriculum, tools, resources and student experiences are relevant, affirm student identities and foster a diverse array of perspectives.
- Support Codification and Scaling: Revise and help codify best practices to aid in scaling of the Greenfield model.
- Row with the Team: Report to and serve as a critical thought partner to the Director of ELA. Eventually, occasional travel to visit our Greenfield schools to observe, prototype, or work with small groups of students/teachers to learn about the strengths and weaknesses in our model.
- Execution Support: ~ 20% of the role is focused on partnering with schools to drive strong execution results, including:
- Professional Development: Plan, lead and execute both leader and teacher facing professional development for our ELA program to drive student engagement and achievement.
- Ongoing Coaching and Support: Collaborate with our regional superintendent and the ELA Lead to provide exemplar resources and direct coaching as needed in order to meet program execution goals.
- Build and Maintain Relationships & Diverse and Inclusive Networks: Collaborate with Achievement First’s broader network support team to maximize network-wide best practices. Foster a collaborative workspace where a diversity of views, backgrounds and perspectives are welcomed. Fully leverage the diversity of our network, families and community partners.
Skills and Characteristics
- Coaching and Professional Development: You have a strong sense of what it takes to leverage a curriculum to achieve rigorous outcomes and the ability to plan and lead professional development and coach execution towards those outcomes.
- Communication: You have strong skills in working across multiple stakeholders with a variety of perspectives, this includes both the ability to present information clearly and the equally important ability to listen carefully. You are adept at explaining a challenge and moving towards resolution.
- Design Heart: You love to design and plan challenging, hands-on, multi-modal curricula. You have experience in unit and lesson planning, with a focus on clear daily and unit outcomes.
- Project Management & Organization: You have strong project management skills (including project planning and execution) that allow you to successfully manage your time and drive toward key priorities. You have exceptional organizational skills and are able to execute tasks with an acute attention to detail.
- Entrepreneurial Drive and Innovative Spirit: You are an entrepreneurial and ambitious educator with a passion for innovation and an eagerness to strategically redesign schools.
- Dynamic: Innovation requires a commitment to continuous reflection, flexibility and improvement. You embrace change, are a team player, are flexible and adaptive, and strive for continuous development and creative solutions.
- Embody the values of servant leadership: Excerpt from The Center for Servant Leadership, “A servant-leader focuses primarily on the growth and well-being of people and the communities to which they belong. The servant-leader shares power, puts the needs of others first and helps people develop and perform as highly as possible”.
- Purpose Driven: We lead and operate with the deep belief that the purpose is greater than the process. This means we place “why” at the front of everything we do and we do whatever it takes to provide those we serve with the tools to not only “fish” for themselves but of a deep understanding of the impact of those tools.
- Commitment to Excellence: Our students deserve the best. In order to provide them with opportunities they deserve, we must execute with precision, produce high quality materials, model professionalism and leadership for our organization as well as hold one another accountable so that we are our collective best selves.
- Cultural Awareness and Sensitivity: Our work must always be filtered through a lens of cultural awareness and sensitivity. We constantly ask ourselves how our work and interactions honor the background of those we serve. As a result, it is a priority to reflect on our own experiences, attitudes and potential biases.
Educational Background and Work Experience
- Bachelor’s degree from a competitive college or university; ELA degree preferred
- A minimum of 5 years of relevant work experience as an educator or in a related field working directly with schools, preferably as a coach, school leader, program designer, or design consultant
- Familiarity with The Writing Revolution strongly encouraged
- School leadership at the dean or coaching level is strongly preferred.
- Proven record of success
- Training and coaching school level administrators, teachers, and support staff
- Implementing and/or designing ELA/Humanities curriculum, ideally at the middle school level.
Salary for this position is competitive and commensurate with experience. Additionally, Achievement First offers a comprehensive benefits package.
Complete this application form to submit both a cover letter and resume: http://bit.ly/applyGF. Applications without a cover letter will not be considered.
Achievement First is an equal opportunity employer and an organization that values diversity. People from all diverse backgrounds are strongly encouraged to apply. Spanish language proficiency is a plus. You can learn more about diversity at Achievement First here: http://www.achievementfirst.org/about-us/diversity/.