Franklin School of Innovation
Executive Director – Job Description
The Franklin School of Innovation (FSI) is a rigorous, project-based, interdisciplinary, charter middle and high school in Asheville, NC that uses the Expeditionary Learning model (www.elschools.org).
FSI prepares students in grades 6 -12 to create their own futures. The school will open in August of 2014, serving grades 6 – 9 and build to grades 6 - 12 (448 HS; 228 MS Students) by fall 2015. The Executive Director will have a substantial role in shaping the culture, reputation, and program of FSI.
The Franklin School of Innovation is preparing the next generation of leaders, capable of solving problems and participating effectively and ethically as local and global citizens. Through challenging academics, real-world learning, and community engagement, our students discover their potential, develop persistence, and recognize the value of others. Our graduates are ready for the future they will create.
Core Elements of our Educational Model
- Learning Expeditions: FSI will be an Expeditionary Learning model school. Expeditions are long-term, teacher designed studies, often multi-disciplinary, that involve students in original research, critical thinking, problem solving. They often incorporate field work or service learning and culminate in student products of value to an external audience.
- Peer Advisories (“Crew”): Peer advisories will meet several times a week to explicitly work on the “traits of FSI scholars” - as well as development of Personal Learning Plans and portfolios.
- Personal Learning Plans: Every student develops a plan that identifies academic strengths and areas of focus, interests and abilities, and strategies to achieve academic and non-academic goals, including college and career readiness.
- 8th & 10th Grade Passage Portfolios: All students develop individual portfolios to demonstrate mastery of academic standards as well as development of habits of scholarship and self-reflection. At 8th and 10th grades, these portfolios are used to showcase students’ readiness to move forward to the next level of education.
- Intensives: Week-long mini-courses to provide opportunities for support (remediation) and enrichment.
- Internships: Every junior will complete a self-designed internship to develop practical career and life skills.
- Service Learning: Integrated into our academic program to enrich learning, provide real-world applications, and build students’ understanding of themselves as local and global citizens.
The Executive Director is responsible for leading the school, implementing the school’s curriculum, driving assessment school-wide, and shaping the school’s culture. The Executive Director must see individual and collective student success both academic and social, as paramount. Student success guides the Executive Director’s work with teachers, students and parents.
The Executive Director is an entrepreneurial, progressive thought leader in education who supports, mentors, and coaches instructional staff with a focus on student achievement. He/she will have direct management responsibility for an Associate Director, Middle School and Associate Director, High School (year2).
Additionally, he/she has direct responsibility for the supervision, management and professional development of staff.
The Executive Director is the voice and face of FSI, accountable for hearing and dealing with concerns and feedback from parents, students, community members, and staff. Further, he/she is responsible for the legal compliance as well as the financial health and planning of the institution.
The Executive Director reports to the Board of Directors and works closely with the Board, other administrators, and Expeditionary Learning staff to realize the mission and vision of the school.
FSI needs a founding leader who is: an entrepreneurial thought leader in progressive education, a strong contributor to the community and a visionary who is capable of inspiring students and teachers to launch a school that is unique to the community.
FSI Executive Director: Roles, Responsibilities & Duties:
The following sections are largely based on the 2012 revision of the Expeditionary Learning (EL) Core Practices. All five Core Practices hold equal weight in EL and all are critical to implementation, however some roles may take precedence during FSI’s launch year. This is a condensed description; a full, detailed description is available at the Expeditionary Learning website.
- Serve as FSI’s instructional leader and works closely with the staff and leadership.
- Design, adapt, and lead professional development; mentor and coach staff; empower leadership among staff.
- Develop relationships and ongoing Community Partnerships.
- Cultivate a high level of parent involvement and buy-in.
- Build personnel/human resources; recruit, hire, retain, supervise & evaluate staff.
- Maintain student information/records/database.
- Be accountable for governance and management.
- Manage budget and finances.
- Provide structures and support for: risk management, health/safety, insurance, liability, transportation, etc.
Culture and Character:
- Overall, develop: character in students, the culture of the school & an ethic of Crew.
- Model integrity, performance character, relational character, and the FSI character traits daily.
- Establish practices that build school culture and foster character development.
- Foster student leadership, service and stewardship.
- Support the Crew structure (advisory system) and lead a crew.
- Embody and instill in staff/students/community the EL motto: “We are crew, not passengers.”
- Work closely with the teachers to develop a rich culture and enhance culture and character of students.
- Support teachers in implementing discipline policy.
- Support individual teachers and teacher teams in organizing the curriculum by developing high quality learning expeditions (in depth, project-based investigations aligned with standards) and intensives (consolidated elective courses) that are rigorous, engaging, and meet NC secondary graduation requirements.
- Ensure curriculum resources reflect the diversity of our student population.
- Oversee after school programming including clubs, sports and academic enrichment. Ensure programs are adequately staffed and well defined.
- Ensure that instruction is effective and meets the needs of diverse learners. Ensure teachers employ techniques of active pedagogy described in EL Core Practices.
- Observe in classrooms and provide feedback to teachers on instruction and facilitate teacher coaching program, including, but not limited to: coaching cycles, peer observations and/or Instructional Rounds.
- Ensure equity in instructional delivery. Promote school-wide belief that all students can learn and achieve at high levels.
- Develop instructional schedules for classes, special subjects & inclusion. Ensure common planning time for teachers. Ensure schedules support instructional and curricular goals. Revise and maintain as required.
- Work with teachers and support staff to develop a plan and implement strategies for raising achievement in subgroups who score below the FSI average. Support FSI in moving forward with technology use. Support teachers with technology integration by providing resources, professional development opportunities, and suggestions.
- Ensure that teachers assess student learning and use data & information to inform instruction. Develop structures for student-engaged assessment; support teachers in using learning targets as an effective assessment for learning strategy.
- Ensure that teachers provide assessment information and data to parents during parent-teacher conferences.
- Ensure each student develops and maintains a high quality portfolio. Work with teachers to facilitate the passage and graduation portfolio processes.
- Monitor teacher collection of school accountability data. Remind teachers of timelines. Provide support for individual teachers as needed in collecting data. Ensure that assessments are organized and stored at the school for compliance reviews and audits. Ensure adventure coordinator has worked with each student to develop a personal fitness plan.
- Coordinate standardized testing for the school. Attend district training. Inform parents and teachers of testing. Create schedule and oversee test administration. Ensure test security.
- Hold a valid North Carolina Department of Education Single Subject Teaching Credential.
- Hold, or be in the process of obtaining, a North Carolina Department of Education Administrative Credential.
- Demonstrate at least 5 years success teaching in classroom settings, including EL or a similar model.
- Show deep understanding of multiple methods to rigorously integrate fieldwork, experts and service into public school curriculum.
- Appreciate developmental needs and different learning styles of children ages 12-19.
- Demonstrate knowledge of multiple forms of assessment, including: Assessments for Learning, Portfolios, Student-Led Conferences, etc.
Leadership experience and skills:
Expeditionary Learning experience and skills
- Demonstrate experience as an instructional leader, coaching new and experienced teachers.
- Have experience, preferably at the building level, working with middle and high school students and staff.
- Earn and maintain a deep level of trust from the students, instructional staff and community.
- Demonstrate prior success with ground-up middle/high school startup.
- Demonstrate evidence of training and practitioner experience in project based learning and reading and writing across the curriculum.
- Lead a faculty with passion and commitment to FSI’s mission.
- Make data driven decisions.
- Demonstrate outstanding communication skills.
- Display ability to facilitate the creation and healthy functioning of a team.
- Experience supervising and evaluating staff.
- Demonstrate ability to create, manage, and adapt budgets, and do more with less. Strong financial and business acumen.
- Know and understand our model of Expeditionary Learning.
- Experience working in EL schools (or similar, project-based model).
- Able to communicate with passion our learning model to the public.
- Experience launching a new school considered a plus
- Experience leading educators in integrating rigorous fieldwork, adventure and service with academic learning
Compensation and Development:
- Salary Target is commensurate with experience
- Medical benefits
- On-going Professional Development with Expeditionary Learning including one-on-one technical assistance from EL staff, regional and national training institutes.
- Non-EL regional/state/national training, programs and conferences on areas of: school startup, finance, and leadership.
- Annual assessments of performance are performed by the FSI Board and staff using authentic instruments, including: written evaluations (formative and summative) based on the job description incorporating qualitative and quantitative assessments, a professional portfolio, multiple measures of student growth over time, successful participation in professional development, and feedback from colleagues.
Please email application to firstname.lastname@example.org. No faxed applications, please. Complete application packets include: Cover letter, résumé/curriculum vitae, copy of credentials, transcripts, three letters of recommendation, references, and (optional) any supporting evidence of excellence in educational leadership. Deadline to Apply is February 28th, 2014.
All applications will be treated as confidential.