START DATE: July 2021
Overview of Position: A strong and dedicated faculty is paramount to best serving our students and families and to establishing Unity as an exemplary school. Most critically, our faculty equip students with the knowledge and skills needed, including the desire and capacity to learn independently, think critically, and communicate proficiently, to experience secondary and postsecondary success. Our Chairperson of the High School English Language Arts Department has the privilege and responsibility of leading our team of social science teachers in the delivery of these outcomes as they advance students’ knowledge and skills as powerful readers, writers, and communicators.
Overview of Unity - Our Model and Approach: Unity Preparatory Charter School of Brooklyn (Unity) is a tuition-free, open-enrollment, independent charter school that offers a progressive education in the liberal arts & sciences to over 500 students in grades 6-12. As a community-based school, we proudly serve the communities of central Brooklyn in New York City. Our middle school and high school campuses are located in the neighborhoods of Bedford Stuyvesant and Williamsburg, respectively.
Unity’s mission is to empower students as scholars and citizens so they may lead fulfilling academic, personal, and professional lives. We accomplish our mission through the integration of seven key elements that serve as the backbone of our school’s design. Collectively, these elements reflect our beliefs on what makes for an exceptional secondary education in today’s world:
- A Grades 6-12 College Preparatory Curriculum: a college-preparatory liberal arts and sciences program of study in mathematics, English language arts (ELA), science, and history that fosters in students the desire and capacity to learn independently, think critically, and communicate proficiently so that they are fully prepared to succeed in their postsecondary studies
- Excellent Teaching: an enthusiastic faculty of expert educators who are demonstrably successful in promoting student learning, couple high expectations with high support, go above and beyond the call of duty for students as scholars and as citizens, and serve as role models for students as life-long learners and as individuals who take the utmost pride in perfecting their craft
- More Time for Learning: an extended day, week, and year that provide approximately 20% more time than the local district average for academic enrichment and extracurricular activities that deepen learning and engagement, accelerate academic growth, and expose students to new pursuits
- Intensive and Differentiated Academic Support: customized settings and support provided by caring specialists for remediation and acceleration, including small class sizes, integrated co-teaching, literacy interventions, after-school and weekend tutoring, as well as advanced-level course offerings at our middle school and high school
- Ample Enrichment Courses and Extra-Curricular Activities: enrichment courses in the performing arts, visual arts, computer science, and foreign languages, as well as elective clubs, athletic teams, internships, and other “beyond-the-classroom” activities that serve to reinforce what students learn in their core courses, accommodate individual student interests, and develop important professional and citizenship skills through real-world, meaningful application
- A Positive and Supportive School Culture: a culture built on a framework of Positive Behavioral Interventions & Supports (PBIS) in which compassionate adults explicitly guide students in the following:
- modeling the behaviors that contribute to a positive and productive learning environment
- developing socio-emotional skills needed to be successful, including how to manage emotions, reduce stress, make healthy decisions, and learn from one’s mistakes
- Active Family and Community Involvement: ample opportunities for family engagement and community service that promotes open communication, meaningful collaboration, and active involvement and service within Unity’s community and beyond
Our Recent Accomplishments: Regardless of where students are academically or otherwise as they enter our school, our focus is on accelerating growth and on cultivating long-term academic and non-academic success. This focus has reaped impressive results for our students and families in recent years. Among our accomplishments:
- 98% of our Class of 2020 earned their high school diploma in four years. 100% of our graduates had formal college and career plans with approximately 90% enrolling in a two- or four-year college.
- 95% of our graduates complete at least one Advanced Placement (AP) course in high school. This compares favorably with the 33% of NYC graduates who enroll in AP courses during their high school tenure.
- Our students who comprise subgroups that are traditionally least effectively served by our education system, including students classified as economically disadvantaged, Black, Latino, and students with disabilities, have consistently outperformed their district and state peers on state exams.
- Our 8th grade students have consistently outperformed their district peers in mathematics and ELA on state exams.
- In holding true to our belief in providing a truly empowering education, a vast majority of our students experience the following over their seven years at Unity:
- After-school extra-curricular activities, including athletics and clubs;
- Formal community service initiatives;
- End-of-year Roundtable presentation - a 45-minute oral presentation given to families, Unity faculty, and community members, and;
- Intensive counseling in College & Career Readiness beginning in 9th grade.
Core Responsibilities: Key responsibilities of Unity’s English Language Arts Teachers include but are not limited to the following:
- Plan a rigorous and engaging curricula that caters to the unique physical talents, needs, and multiple intelligences of students
- Collaborate in the planning and implementation of a rigorous and engaging curricula that cater to the unique physical talents, needs, and multiple intelligences of students
- Execute specially designed lesson plans that are guided by clear objectives, focus on conceptual understanding, and that are assessed routinely for student mastery
- Provide remediation and acceleration based on formative and summative assessments so that individual students are appropriately challenged according to their zones of proximal development
- Collaborate with colleagues to create, implement, and refine schoolwide and classroom-based systems, routines, and procedures
- Ensure that classroom time is utilized through sound management practices and by developing strong and trusting relationships with students
- Develop, implement, and/or manage individualized behavioral intervention plans to support students meeting established academic and non-academic goals
- Actively participate in opportunities to strengthen their own pedagogical skills as well as contribute to the learning of colleagues
- Contribute to the school’s smooth and efficient operation by fulfilling required administrative duties and responsibilities and maintaining open and proactive communication with colleagues
- Build strong relationships with students and families as an Advisor and through consistent communication and in following through on commitments
Core Responsibilities: Unity High’s Chairperson of the High School English Language Arts (ELA) Department has the privilege and responsibility of ensuring that our students acquire the essential knowledge and skills as social scientists and informed members of society, as measured by course credit accrual, performance on Regents and Advanced Placement exams, in addition to building and retaining a high-performing faculty of social science educators. To this end, key responsibilities of the High School ELA Chairperson includes but are not limited to the following:
- Leads classroom instruction at dept. level / ensures high quality of classroom instruction at dept. level
- Leads in the development of HS-ready and engaging course curricula and standards-aligned, spiraled assessments at dept. level
- Builds, manages, and retains strong dept. team
- Trains, supports, and supervises teachers and learning specialists at dept. level – is responsible for developing teacher’s capacities in accordance with instructional vision
- Ensures that teachers and learning specialists at dept. level manage classrooms in accordance with our classroom essentials
- Collaborates with Deans to support teachers in effectively managing students who consistently struggle behaviorally and are disruptive to classmates’ learning
- Manages the utilization of formative and summative assessment data to drive instruction and student proficiency/growth at dept. level
Core Qualifications: An ideal candidate for this position is equipped with:
- At least two years of instructional leadership experience
- A proven track record in accelerating student growth and mastery
- A demonstrated capacity to plan rigorous and engaging curricula that align to Common Core standards using the Understanding by Design framework
- A balance of high expectations and high support, a growth mindset, and an innate joy in working with adolescents
- Strong interpersonal and adult management skills
- An openness to giving and receiving constructive feedback and a strong commitment to continuous improvement and professional growth
- A strong work ethic that features preparation, organization, multi-tasking, flexibility, an orientation toward solutions, and a pride in meeting deadlines
- Expertise in working with diverse populations of students and families, and in differentiating instruction to fully support the needs of diverse learners
- Strong written and oral communication skills and experience working collaboratively in team settings
- Approaches the profession with maturity, humility, versatility, of course, a sense of humor