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16 Apr 2024

Principal or Vice Principal High School Principal

Distinctive Schools
 Chicago, Cook County, Illinois, United States

Job Description

Title: High School Principal
Location: 1309 W 95th St, Chicago, IL 60643
Reports To: Deputy Chief of Schools
Salary: Starting at $115,000, commensurate with experience
Employee Type: Regular Full Time
Start Date: July 2024

Distinctive Schools creates diverse, joyful, welcoming communities rooted in social justice and rigorous learning. We support all learners to be engaged, curious, and to achieve their full potential. Our students become confident advocates, creative problem-solvers, and collaborative leaders.

Position Overview:

The School Principal is a self-driven and motivated educational leader whose philosophy and beliefs align with Distinctive Schools’ mission, vision and values. The Principal has a systems and design-thinking lens and is able to provide targeted and actionable feedback on all areas of school function including: school culture, instruction and assessment, student services, professional learning, teacher coaching and evaluation, staffing and recruitment, operations, finance, data analysis, community partnerships, and accountability. The Principal is a hard-working individual who is interested in collaboration and growth. And can drive school-wide academic and social and emotional learning practices to reinforce safe, joyful, and personalized learning environments.


School Culture 20%

  • Build and foster a culture of belonging, joy, and a positive climate
  • Honor stakeholder perspective as key to the decision-making process
  • Cultivate a strengths-based and, equity-focused mindset
  • Celebrate individual and collective growth towards goals
  • Promote a safe, supportive, and collaborative working environment with an equity-conscious mindset
  • Establish professional rapport with and maintain visibility with stakeholders
  • Lead the equity work of the campuses and engage in culturally responsive, student-centered decision making
  • Develop positive and professional relationships
  • Create and implement consistent routines, procedures, and expectations

Instructional Leadership 50%

  • Uphold the Distinctive Schools model for instructional and social-emotional practices
  • Lead the Instructional Leadership Team (ILT) at the campus, which includes facilitating weekly meetings, as well as, helping to plan the schedule of all ILT members
  • Oversee the campus growth plan process for continued school improvement and monitor initiatives
  • Analyze and use campus data to inform responses and decisions
  • Lead the Instructional Leadership Team shared vision and initiatives to support school improvement and culture Serve as exemplary instructional leader dedicated to achieving school vision and goals
  • Monitor implementation of curriculum and assessments in partnership with the Academic Team & Assistant Principal of Curriculum and Instruction (AP of CIA)
  • Maintain ongoing and effective communication with Teacher Leaders and Teachers, ensuring AP of CIA is supporting Coaches with their coaching caseload and providing guidance and next steps
  • Provide actionable feedback to Teachers and teacher leaders to support their professional growth and development and ensure follow-through
  • In partnership with AP of CIA, meet with the Mentor Teachers individually or as a team at least monthly to problem-solve and determine action steps
  • Conduct observation processes to support school improvement and individual growth
  • Conduct formal observations in adherence to regional expectations and protocols
  • Oversee all required testing administration in partnership with the Principal of CIA
  • Oversee Professional Development calendar and plan and present content in collaboration with AP of CIA
  • Oversee that staff adhere to the norms outlined in the DS Professional Expectations and Responsibilities
  • Conduct daily Teacher observations and classroom visits and provide real-time, high-leverage feedback to improve student achievement and instructional effectiveness

Staffing & Recruitment 10%

  • Supervise campus personnel, facilities, and operations
  • Build an exceptional, fully-staffed team that reflects the diverse backgrounds and experiences of our students
  • Lead recruitment, hiring, accountability and retention efforts in partnership the Talent Team
  • Lead family and student recruitment efforts

Finances & Operations 10%

  • Manage day-to-day activities and operations of the building ensuring a safe place to learn and work
  • Maintain systems and processes that support school functioning, fiscal responsibility and physical safety
  • Inform, monitor, and approve all campus budget decisions
  • Ensure campus meets all local, state and federal compliance requirements
  • Assist with student enrollment

Partnerships 5%

  • Engage families and the community as true partners and respond to family needs promptly and effectively
  • Communicate with all stakeholders, including staff, students, families, community members, and outside partners
  • Oversee all after-school programming in partnership with the Community School Coordinator
  • Coordinate and lead special events at the school, including all visits and tours
  • Coordinate federal and state funds
  • Oversee the Parent Teacher League
  • Support the Bilingual Advisory Committee
  • Organize and contribute to all grant proposals and implementation of awarded grants
  • Meet regularly with Deputy Chief, Principal colleagues, and the Academic Team
  • Complete other duties as assigned

Student Services 5%

  • Oversee the Student Services Team
  • Uphold all components outlined in the Distinctive Schools handbook
  • Oversee, support, and approve all final disciplinary decisions

Requirements (minimum)

Education: Bachelor’s degree OR Master’s degree


  • Valid Professional Educator License or equivalent in state of employment (IL or MI)
  • Valid Principal/Administration license or equivalent endorsement in state of employment (IL or MI)
  • 6+ years of lead classroom teaching experience in education
  • 3 years of experience as an instructional leader, Assistant Principal, Dean or equivalent leadership role at a high-performing urban public school
  • Must obtain an average of ‘Effective’ rating according to leader framework for 2 consecutive years at DS or equivalent from outside organization
  • Proven success of leading team planning sessions using data
  • Strong communications skills with all stakeholders
  • Strong organizational skills with careful attention to detail and follow-through
  • Must be willing to work an extended academic calendar year of 12 months
  • Technology demands:
    • Proficient with cloud based software solutions (such as GoogleSuite)
    • Ability to learn digital tools and programs as needed for the position
  • Travel as required for training, professional development, and collaboration

Physical demands

  • Ability to work 40+ hours per week between the hours of 7am-7pm
  • Occasional lifting, carrying, pushing, and/or pulling; some stooping, kneeling, crouching, and/or crawling; and significant fine finger dexterity. Generally, the job requires 30% sitting, 50% walking, and 20% standing


  • 25+ Paid holidays & 10 days PTO annually (in addition to summer break for educators/campus positions)
  • 12 weeks family paid leave
  • Comprehensive Healthcare (Medical, Dental, Vision)
  • 403b match
    • Fully match up to 3%
    • 50% match up to 5%
  • Professional development including tuition reimbursement
  • Gym and wellness discounts
  • And more

Description Disclaimer: Since no job description can detail all the duties and responsibilities that may be required from time to time in the performance of a job, duties and responsibilities that may be inherent in a job, reasonably required for its performance, or required due to the changing nature of the job shall also be considered part of the jobholder’s responsibility.


Distinctive Schools is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate against any employee or applicant for employment on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, gender, national origin, age, disability, veteran status, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, or any other personal characteristic protected by applicable law.

Distinctive Schools is committed to the full inclusion of all qualified individuals. In keeping with our commitment, Distinctive Schools will take the steps to assure that people with disabilities are provided reasonable accommodations. Accordingly, if reasonable accommodation is required to fully participate in the job application or interview process, to perform the essential functions of the position, and/or to receive all other benefits and privileges of employment, please contact or call 773.828.4191

How to Apply

Bureaus: Chicago. Job Categories: Full-Time. Job Types: Principal or Vice Principal. Salaries: 100,000 and above.