Who we are
Academy of the City Charter School (AOC) is a high performing, community-based K-8 public charter school serving a very diverse community of 700 students and families in Queens. We opened our doors in the fall of 2011, as an elementary school located in Woodside, and have expanded over the years to include a middle school, which will graduate its first class of 8th graders in June 2022. The middle school moved to a new building in Astoria in September, 2021.
We are firm believers in an integrated educational approach, and have built a distinctive culture of openness, with teachers as the driving force of our curriculum and student learning. Our growth has presented both opportunities and challenges, as we work to balance operating as two schools with a unified vision and mission with meeting the independent needs of an elementary school and middle school.
About the Executive Director role
The Academy of the City Board is seeking a leader who can build on our strengths and our mission and vision while also collaborating with the staff and the Board to set our future direction. The Executive Director (ED) will lead our school to ensure sustainability and continued superior academic results, talented teachers, and a strong community of students and families. The ED will report to the Board of Trustees of AOC and will be charged with leading and working with our schools’ leadership and all of our stakeholders to advance our commitment to educational excellence, community, diversity, equity, and social justice.
Key Responsibilities - The “What”
Building and Implementing a Unified Organizational Vision and Strategy for Student Success
- Ensure our students’ academic success and social/emotional well-being; keep students at the center of all decision-making and maintain commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion, and social justice.
- Work with the board to unify the school and lead the implementation of AOC’s vision and mission.
- Motivate and inspire faculty, staff, students, families, and community members to champion the school’s mission and vision.
Sustaining Supportive Conditions for Strong Teaching
- Foster and support a collaborative learning culture based on trust, compassion and mutual respect.
- Institute equitable practices that support teachers and create the conditions where staff are supported and able to do their best work, focused on academic rigor and high standards, on behalf of the students they serve.
- Create an environment that develops and supports teachers in measuring student academic success and preparing students to succeed at academically rigorous high schools.
- Spearhead effective talent management strategies to attract, retain and develop high performing teachers and foster conditions for professional growth and a path to advancement through continuous feedback, coaching and development.
Maintaining a Strong Community Culture and Rebuilding Relationships & Partnership with Parents
- Maintain open, transparent and ongoing systems of communication with various stakeholder groups to ensure that priorities and expectations are clear.
- Strengthen parent connection, involvement and partnership, fostering shared responsibility.
- Ensure effective and efficient decision-making processes that include the expertise and perspectives of stakeholders and build buy-in throughout the school.
- Maintain visibility and foster an environment of increased trust with the Board, staff and community.
- Push back thoughtfully when needed, to avoid distraction from core priorities and goals.
- Engage in collective bargaining with the goal of balancing the interests of teachers with those of the school, keeping student success at the center of all negotiations.
Managing & Developing the Leadership Team
- Actively mentor, coach and develop the existing senior leadership team, ensuring that functional areas are led by strong, mission-aligned colleagues.
- Implement strategies to recruit, develop and retain highly effective leaders, with a particular emphasis on diversity, fair and equitable practices, and opportunity for growth.
- Effectively balance individual school leaders' needs and vision, with the need for coherence and equity across both schools.
Creating and Managing Effective Systems & Organizational Structures
- Assess and develop strategies to strengthen each aspect of the school model, structures, and policies.
- Create effective systems to hold self and others accountable for high standards of performance.
- Ensure maximum resource utilization, budget management, and maintenance of the school.
- Ensure compliance with charter laws & requirements, SUNY renewal processes.
- Develop and implement creative and effective marketing strategies to promote the school, maintain its competitiveness and meet enrollment targets.
Managing Relationship with the Board
- Manage a collaborative relationship with the board, maintaining open, timely and ongoing communication, and providing support and guidance as needed.
- Support strong relationships between the Board and the community.
- Collaborate with the Board on developing a long-range strategic plan.
Competencies for Success - The “How”
Visionary Instructional Leadership
- Build a school culture that accelerates learning and raises expectations for every student, and fosters collaboration with parents to support student learning.
- Lead school and teacher leaders in leveraging student performance data in decision-making, and adopting research based, culturally responsive, and proven instructional models.
- Lead with student-centered decision-making, ensuring holistic student support.
- Demonstrate cultural fluency, sensitivity, and a strong equity lens to meet the needs of our diverse students and staff.
Strategic Change Leadership
- Learn and assess the AOC community, culture, structures and systems to inform forward planning.
- Build on the school’s successes and strengths, and commit to continuous improvement through analysis, inquiry, and assessment of results and strategic priorities.
- Lead innovative practice, entrepreneurial thinking, and organizational design efforts, and secure buy-in for a clear and compelling vision.
Systems Level Leadership, Strategic Problem Solving & Organizational Management
- Create, implement, and institutionalize effective policies, systems, and organizational structures to optimize school and student success and ensure operational excellence and strong compliance.
- Continuously identify opportunities for cross-functional, cross-school collaboration to ensure that a thoughtful and coherent strategy is propelling AOC forward.
Team Leadership and Management
- Effectively balance the tension between individual school leaders' needs and vision with the need for coherence across both school locations.
- Direct, develop and support our strong principals and leadership team to advance the vision for academic programming, operational excellence and financial sustainability.
- Assess team and individuals’ skills, identify individual professional learning needs, and provide feedback and support to improve practice, build capacity, and maximize talent.
- Lead with a strong focus on goals, accountability and results; set clear metrics for success.
- Lead teams to collaborate with each other and with stakeholders, including parents and families.
Effective Relationship Building and Communication
- Communicate effectively, tailoring messages for the audience, context, and mode of communication.
- Listen with an open mind, seeking understanding of stakeholders’ perspectives before establishing a direction forward.
- Support the AOC culture of “all voices are heard and valued,” by building positive relationships and coalitions primarily with staff members and principals and inclusive of staff, students, parents and families, communities, trustees, authorizers, and partners.
- Navigate politically complex structures, relationships and dynamics to enable thoughtful decisions and positive outcomes for students.
Experience we’re looking for
- Experience delivering high-energy and inspirational leadership with a clear track record of improving academic outcomes for students and a focus on equity, excellence and access for all learners.
- 5+ years of senior leadership; experience in change/turnaround leadership is helpful.
- Experience working in conjunction with a Board of Directors to identify priorities, establish goals, monitor progress, and produce outcomes in service to stakeholders.
- Proven skills and experience in strategic planning, communicating a vision and goals to others, and effectively implementing action plans throughout an organization.
- Experience leading an organization, with effective operational and fiscal management, and accountability systems.
- Track record of building and managing highly competent and functional teams.
- Demonstrated experience building consensus and trust within an organization.
- Knowledge of pedagogy and curriculum development; current on national trends and research for the instruction of diverse learners and an understanding of current education climate and corresponding response strategies in urban public and charter school contexts.
- Master’s degree or higher in a related field, preferably in education.
Salary is competitive, and commensurate with prior experience. In addition, a comprehensive benefits package is included. We look forward to discussing details with you as the interview process progresses.
ACADEMY OF THE CITY CHARTER SCHOOL IS AN EQUAL OPPORTUNITY EMPLOYER AND DOES NOT DISCRIMINATE ON THE BASIS OF RACE, SEXUAL ORIENTATION, ETHNIC ORIGIN, SEX, OR DISABILITY IN ITS EMPLOYMENT POLICIES.