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Executive Director of K-5 Charter School

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Downtown Denver Expeditionary School


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Published 10 days ago

March 1, 2021
February 8, 2021
$95,000 - $125,000

JOB ANNOUNCEMENT - EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR 

ABOUT DOWNTOWN DENVER EXPEDITIONARY SCHOOL 

The Downtown Denver Expeditionary School (DDES) is an EL Education K-5 Denver Public School (DPS) public charter school. DDES seeks to richly implement the core principles, practices, and curriculum of EL Education to offer an inclusive, diverse, caring, and collaborative learning environment while utilizing the city as our campus. 

Founded by parents, community members, and business leaders seeking a high-performing EL Education school in downtown Denver, DDES opened in 2013 and serves a diverse range of families who live or work in the city center. DDES is the first public elementary school in over 100 years in Downtown Denver and has been in the Downtown Denver Area Plan for over 30 years. DDES received the Downtown Denver Annual Award in 2014 by the Downtown Denver Partnership for driving economic growth in the city core. 

EL Education’s approach to curriculum makes subjects come alive for students by connecting learning to real-world issues and needs. The EL model provides academically rigorous learning expeditions, case studies, projects, fieldwork, and service-learning projects to children of all backgrounds and ability levels. It inspires students to think and work as professionals do, contributing high-quality work that would be appreciated beyond the classroom. Students explore subjects through working on in-depth meaningful projects inside and outside the classroom. These projects are carefully planned “learning expeditions” encompassing the Colorado State Academic Standards and the Common Core Standards for each grade level. 

Alongside our work in academics and aligned with our social-emotional learning, we believe that preparing scholars for the world beyond also means experiencing the diversity of the world we live in today. By design, our school is intentionally diverse. We are one of the few racially integrated elementary schools in Denver Public Schools. 40% of our population are families of color. 80% work downtown. 60% live within a 3-mile radius and we accept students from 44 Denver metro zip codes, making Downtown Denver Expeditionary the most geographically diverse elementary school in the city. 

Valuing diversity is an organizational priority and a core belief shared in our school. DDES is proud to have recently been accepted and now accountable to the national Diverse Charter Schools Coalition, a group dedicated to helping create diverse public charter schools through research, advocacy, and outreach. 

STUDENT ACHIEVEMENT PHILOSOPHY 

DDES believes that when a student is finished with school and enters adult life, they will be judged for the rest of their life not by performance on tests of basic skills, but by the quality of their work and the quality of their character. 

Our vision of student achievement therefore has three dimensions: 

1. Mastery of Academic Skills and Content, 

2. High-Quality Work, and 

3. Character and Social-Emotional Learning 


All three dimensions are treated with equal importance on our work plan, maintain specific measurable outcomes, and operate within a teacher weekly coaching cycle. For Character and Social-Emotional Learning, our goals are that students work to become effective learners, work to become ethical people moral leaders, and contribute to a better world by utilizing their learning to improve communities. Teachers and leaders are expected to elevate student voice and leadership in classrooms and across the school, make habits of scholarship visible across the school and in daily instruction, model a school-wide culture of respect and compassion, and prioritize social and emotional learning, along with academic learning, across the school. 

In Mastery of Knowledge and Skills, students demonstrate proficiency and deeper understanding: show mastery in a body of knowledge and skills within each discipline, apply their learning: transfer knowledge and skills to novel, meaningful tasks, think critically: analyze, evaluate, and synthesize complex ideas and consider multiple perspectives and communicate clearly: write, speak, and present ideas effectively in a variety of media within and across disciplines. Teachers and Leaders are expected to ensure that curriculum, instruction, and assessments are rigorous, meaningful, and aligned with standards, use assessment practices that position students as leaders of their own learning, use meaningful data for both teachers and students to track progress toward learning goals, and engage all students in daily lessons that require critical thinking about complex, worthy ideas, texts, and problems. 

For High-Quality Work students create complex work: demonstrate higher-order thinking, multiple perspectives and transfer of understanding, demonstrate craftsmanship: create work that is accurate and beautiful in conception and execution, and create authentic work: demonstrate original thinking and voice, connect to real-world issues and formats, and when possible, create work that is meaningful to the community beyond the school. Teachers and Leaders are expected 

to design tasks that ask students to apply, analyze, evaluate and create as part of their word, use models of excellence, critique, and multiple drafts to support all students to produce work of exceptional quality, and connect students to the world beyond school through meaningful fieldwork, expert collaborators, research, and service-learning. 

ABOUT THE ROLE 

Reporting directly to the Board of Directors, the Executive Director (ED) is responsible for all aspects of the school’s overall organizational health as well as representing the school in the public domain and within the Denver Public Schools. 

The new DDES ED will need to further codify leadership roles and structures, focus on instructional efficacy as well as develop and implement a strategic enrollment plan. Preference will be paid to those with instructional leadership experience, those familiar with the character of DPS, and professionals with experience in non-profit management, including fundraising. 

Specifically, the essential duties of the ED include: 

● Champion a clear vision and strategy to achieve the academic and character goals of the school 

● Financial stewardship/Budget management - including robust fundraising and revenue generation from multiple sources 

● Implement effective accountability systems to assess and drive progress toward goals and key strategic organizational priorities 

● Lead a staff of 54 by inspiring and communicating expectations and roles in a thoughtful and consistent manner, coaching and supporting individuals to their potential at all levels 

● Partner with the Instructional Leadership team in maintaining a climate of safety, excellence, accountability, and respect. 

● Recruit, support, and retain a strong, diverse, and impactful Board of Directors 

● Develop strong external relationships by creating partnerships with local leaders, Denver Public Schools, parents, and local organizations 

● Model and insist upon an anti-racist, culturally proficient, and responsive leadership throughout the greater school community 

● Work with the Board of Directors and Leadership Team to manage strategic initiatives and adapt to internal and external changes as needed. 

● Implement an equity plan that puts families and students at the center and develop corresponding professional development for staff 

● Maintain transparent systems and structures for teachers to move into leadership positions 

● Serve as spokesperson for the organization to all constituencies, inclusive of families/staff/the district/other school leaders/funders/government agencies/vendors/the general public 

● Ensure compliance with education policies; adjust policies in a timely manner when necessary; sees that official records and documents are maintained; financial transparency according to all local, state, and federal regulations 

● Develop and implement a rigorous plan to deal with the particular tensions of current and future enrollment for the school 


WE ARE LOOKING FOR A LEADER WHO: 

● Models love for learning, love for all children 

● Has experience in casting a vision and is a systems thinker 

● Values teaching the whole child and Is committed to daily social-emotional learning (DDES is committed to the neurosequential model for education and Conscious Discipline) 

● Is facile in developing and maintaining multiple relationships with various stakeholders simultaneously 

● Has experience in nurturing partnerships and resources 

● Is a decision-maker 

● Is a clear and distinct communicator 

● Can hold the vision for staff and community in challenging contexts 

● Can anchor a community in anti-racism 

● Is committed to challenging and disrupting current organizational habits and works to find positive alternatives 

● Has a strong instructional background and body of knowledge 

● Has strong relational competency - to create, build-upon and restore when necessary 

● Has experience coaching leaders 

● Embodies the principles of EL Education (formerly Expeditionary Learning) in their personal education philosophy 

● Understands and has experienced the opportunity of governance boards 

● Has familiarity with the geopolitical landscape of Denver Public Schools 

● Has experience on a school leadership team 


SALARY RANGE AND BENEFITS 

The salary range for this position is $95,000 - $125,000. Benefits include PERA, medical, dental, vision, short-term disability, and an FSA (flexible spending account). 

TO APPLY 

The review of applications will commence immediately and continue until the position is filled. For best consideration, please submit a cover letter and resume, and reference sheet including 3 references of your choice, by February 8, 2021. We will not contact references without prior approval of candidates. All materials should be sent to elissa@thenewsearchco.com 

Here at DDES, we don’t just accept differences — we celebrate them, we support them, and we thrive on them for the benefit of our employees, our students, and our community. DDES seeks to recruit persons of diverse backgrounds and support the retention and advancement of diverse persons within the organization. DDES is inclusive of people regardless of their race, ethnicity, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, marital status, age, physical abilities, political affiliation, religious beliefs, or any other non-merit fact so that all employees feel included, equally valued and supported. 

JOB ANNOUNCEMENT - EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR 

ABOUT DOWNTOWN DENVER EXPEDITIONARY SCHOOL 

The Downtown Denver Expeditionary School (DDES) is an EL Education K-5 Denver Public School (DPS) public charter school. DDES seeks to richly implement the…

Details at a glance

  • On-site Location
  • Full Time Schedule
  • 4-Year Degree Required
  • Executive

Benefits

Benefits include PERA, medical, dental, vision, short-term disability, and an FSA (flexible spending account). 

Benefits include PERA, medical, dental, vision, short-term disability, and an FSA (flexible spending account). 

Location

1860 Lincoln Street, Denver, CO 80203

How to Apply

TO APPLY 

The review of applications will commence immediately and continue until the position is filled. For best consideration, please submit a cover letter and resume, and reference sheet including 3 references of your choice, by February 8, 2021. We will not contact references without prior approval of candidates. All materials should be sent to elissa@thenewsearchco.com 

TO APPLY 

The review of applications will commence immediately and continue until the position is filled. For best consideration, please submit a cover letter and resume, and…

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