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16 Aug 2021

School Network Staff Chief School Officer

Independence Mission School

Job Description

Organization Summary

Independence Mission Schools (IMS) provide a transformative Catholic education that develops students intellectually, emotionally, and spiritually and that provides children of all faiths across the City of Philadelphia with the opportunity to learn in an academically rigorous environment and to grow in a culture of love, setting them on the path to a promising future.


The vision of the IMS network is that their students will leave the school community emotionally and spiritually formed by IMS’s Catholic example, performing at or above grade level, and enrolled in an academically rigorous high school program ready to achieve their dreams.  IMS strives to become a top-tier academic destination for all children in Philadelphia.


During their first seven years, the IMS network has built the foundation of a successful private school network, serving 4,000+ students in 14 Pre-K through 8th grade schools.  IMS’s goal is to achieve best in class academics for all the schools and students in their network and seeks a Chief Schools Officer (CSO) to lead the network to academic excellence.


Position Summary

The CSO serves as the network’s chief academic and school official, providing overall leadership and direction to the academic and school-based teams.  The CSO will be responsible for driving the realization of IMS’s vision for all students across the current IMS network.  The CSO will ensure success for IMS students through establishing best in class instructional and academic programs, as well as ensure the development and delivery of the academic programs is effective and efficient, incorporates network goals, and supports student achievement.  Keeping the work emblematic of the schools’ Catholic identity and legacy, the CSO will advance the teaching and learning within the IMS network to continually improve the outcomes for their students. The CSO champions IMS’s vision both internally and externally.


The CSO reports to the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and is a key member of the IMS Executive Leadership Team, which includes the Deputy Chief of Human Resources, Chief Finance Officer, and Chief Development Officer.


The CSO will serve as the primary representative of the organization to external educational partners, interact closely with funders and board members of IMS, and manage (directly and indirectly) the academic and school-based staff.


IMS is an equal-opportunity employer with good benefits and an entrepreneurial, results-oriented work culture.


Duties and Responsibilities

Executive Leadership

  • In partnership with the CEO and the Board, align network-wide priorities, set, and implement an overarching strategic vision for the organization.
  • Uphold and support IMS’s vision and values by modeling expectations at all times.
  • In close partnership with school leadership, provide support/guidance in the development and effective implementation of the network’s instructional program leading to academic success to all 4,000 students.
  • Recruit and train exceptional incoming school principals and coordinate programs for emerging leadership among instructional staff.
  • Manage and develop principals in their roles as instructional leaders of their schools to improve student achievement.
  • Serve as a thought partner to colleagues, help solve a variety of day-to-day challenges, and generate creative solutions for internal and external improvements.
  • Support school leaders in the development and realization of IMS’s vision in their schools.


Academic and Instructional Leadership

  • Lead and implement overall academic priorities and programs for the IMS network in support of the vision.
  • Design, Implement, and manage the network’s academic program to include high-quality, standards-aligned curriculum, effective instructional practices, analyzing, interpreting, and using data to drive results, and leadership development.
  • Implement IMS’s new strategic plan related to “Best in Class Academics” by building the capacity of school leaders and staff to deliver exceptional, high-quality instruction in service to student learning and to create a culture where faculty and staff choose to stay at IMS over time.
  • Assess needs of the schools and implement systems and practices related to curriculum, instruction, assessment, and professional development intended to drive student achievement.
  • Achieve breakthrough school performance in student achievement, instructional quality, teacher support and retention.
  • Lead school reviews and leverage instructional expertise through the analysis of artifacts of school practice and observations of classroom instruction and school culture.
  • Lead ongoing school-based walkthroughs and feedback sessions to ensure that curriculum and instructional systems are implemented with fidelity.
  • Facilitate instructional planning that ensures schools identify and focus on the highest-leverage instructional materials and practices to improve teaching and learning and drive student outcomes.
  • Develop, adopt, refine, and implement curriculum, instructional approaches, and assessments.
  • Share evolving education trends and best practices with the team.


School Management and Support

  • Serve as the direct manager to the network school leadership and curriculum teams; provide support and guidance around best practices for managing and developing the entire staff to ensure IMS promotes a culture of professional growth and high achievement.
  • Advise Deputy Chief of Schools and Director of School Leadership on school management and initiatives.
  • Oversee successful performance management practices to ensure all academic and operational requirements are met.
  • Elevate the work of each individual school’s successes, facilitate and network school communities with each other and with the broader education community to scale effective practices.
  • Ensure standard operating procedures are maximized and the school-based teams are actively and effectively problem solving.
  • Work in close collaboration with colleagues to develop and deliver best-in-class services to schools
  • Serve as a culture carrier for the network in building positive morale.
  • Understand and manage school law, policy, and protocols.
  • Additional duties as assigned.



  • Commitment to IMS Catholic mission, vision, and core beliefs.
  • Commitment to serving children of all faiths in an urban environment with the belief that all students can learn.
  • Demonstrated success in driving academic outcomes, specifically in curriculum and instruction.
  • Ability to lead and inspire others to deliver high performance.
  • Strong strategic thinking and planning skills, with the ability to leverage qualitative and quantitative information in decision-making.
  • Ambitious and innovative mindset with a track record of translating strategy into action and delivering results.
  • Exceptional communicator: adept at sharing information both verbally and written in a way that resonates with a variety of audiences, both internally and externally.
  • Understanding of the complexity of managing school-based organizations, and the ability to communicate effectively with a full range of stakeholders involved in a school’s community.
  • Ability and desire to work with a socioeconomically and racially diverse community with the ability to connect and collaborate across lines of difference.
  • Demonstrated professionalism and responsibility, and a strong work ethic.
  • A positive, high-energy attitude, and a drive for personal excellence.
  • Flexible attitude, ability to work with urgency.


Education and Experience

  • Master’s degree in Education or similar field of study.
  • Minimum of 10 years professional experience (preferably in a K-8 school setting) with at least five years in school leadership experience or higher level educational administrative experience with a strong passion for advancing educational achievement.
  • Experience working or serving in a faith-based, Catholic School, preferred.
  • Extensive management experience (preferably leaders and/or educators) with a track record of success in leading and sustaining a high-performing organization.
  • Experience cultivating partnerships with individuals and institutions across the public, private, and philanthropic sectors.
  • Experience effectively managing complex budgets and the strategic allocation of resources.


Physical Requirements

Ability to physically perform the duties and to work in the environmental conditions required such as:

  • Traveling to external meetings – valid driver’s license and/or access to transportation when necessary.
  • Functioning in office space – reaching file cabinets, filing, faxing, scanning, copying, typing, mailing, making phone calls.
  • Must be able to sit for up to two hours looking at a computer monitor, using a keyboard/mouse and typing.



Salary and benefits will be competitive and commensurate with experience.


How to Apply

Application Instructions Send cover letter and resume to Molly Farley, HR Consultant, at

Bureaus: Philadelphia. Job Categories: Full-Time. Job Types: School Network Staff.