Washington International School (WIS) seeks a dynamic, innovative and globally-focused Primary School Principal to begin in January 2019 or July 1, 2019. The Primary School Principal is the educational leader of the division and is responsible for the successful implementation of the academic program, overseeing the social and emotional support of students, and the hiring and retention of qualified instructional and support personnel. Working closely with two other Primary School leaders, Early Years Assistant Principal and Assistant Principal for Grades 1-5, the Principal is accountable for supporting and fostering the implementation of the mission and core values through all aspects of the division.
Accredited by the Council of International Schools (CIS) and the Middle States Association of Schools and Colleges, WIS is distinguished by a number of other affiliations, including its ten-year relationship with Project Zero, a leading research organization at the Harvard University Graduate School of Education. The work of Project Zero is focused on creating communities of reflective, independent learners, enhancing deep understanding within and across disciplines, and promoting critical and creative thinking. WIS co-hosted, with the National Gallery of Art, the first PZ conference that took place off-site. Faculty members both learn from Project Zero consultants and lead workshops for colleagues and parents. For the past four summers, the WIS Summer Institute for Teachers has brought together educators from all types of schools – traditional public, public charter, independent and religiously-affiliated – as well as museum educators and others – to explore ideas, pedagogy, and frameworks developed at Project Zero.
Primary School Curriculum and Philosophy
The International Baccalaureate Primary Years Program (PYP) is the framework for the organization of the curriculum. The PYP is driven by concept acquisition and is inquiry-based. Students explore topics in mathematics, science and technology, languages, social studies, arts, and physical education through the interdisciplinary Units of Inquiry. All students in the Primary School study and explore these areas in two languages.
Along with strong academics, WIS concentrates on developing the whole child. The PYP promotes positive attitudes and good character. Teachers emphasize traits such as respect, tolerance, integrity, and confidence and encourage students to reflect, choose wisely, and act responsibly with other children and their teachers, as well as in the wider community. Weekly morning meetings, or assemblies, allow children and teachers to explore the learner profile by transforming words into actions.
From Preschool onward, students at WIS are immersed in the arts, taking classes in music and visual art that foster skill-building and aesthetic appreciation. In the upper Primary grades, students may join chorus and band. PE classes begin with movement and motor skills, followed by a focus on building agility and coordination.
Major Functions and Responsibilities of the Primary School Principal
The Primary School Principal will:
Maintain congruency between the School’s mission, core values, and core beliefs and all activities of the Primary School.
Act as the educational leader of the Primary School, responsible for its day-to-day operation.
Provide direction to ensure a learning environment for faculty, staff, and students that is safe, engaging, and conducive to meaningful learning opportunities
Be a visible presence in all areas of the Primary School.
Oversee and direct the activities of the grade level coordinators and faculty committees.
Be responsible for regular meetings with the faculty, grade levels, or teams.
Supervise and evaluate Primary School teachers and Administrators through the WIS appraisal systems.
Oversee the coordination of the co-curricular and extra-curricular activity programs.
Oversee the assessment and reporting methods used in measuring student achievement.
In cooperation with Middle and Upper School Principals, ensure the clear articulation of the vertical and horizontal curriculum.
Establish guidelines for proper student conduct and dress.
Set and maintain appropriate standards with student discipline issues.
Assist in the admission process for the testing, interviewing, and evaluating of applicants for enrollment.
Collaborate with the Associate Head and the Director of Human Resources to oversee the recruitment, hiring, retention, and assignment of the Primary School faculty and staff.
Maintain the Primary School budget in cooperation with the Chief Financial Officer.
Work closely with the Head of School and other members of the WIS Leadership Team ensuring that WIS continues to thrive as a unique international school in the DC region.
Desired Experiences and Qualifications of the Primary Principal:
Cultural fluency derived from international experience
Significant experience with the PYP curriculum
Knowledge of Harvard’s Project Zero
Experience with a dual or multi-language program
Experience working effectively with a diverse parent body who have high expectations for their children and the School
Visionary, action-oriented leadership, particularly the ability to lead and empower others
Passion for WIS’s mission of transforming children and young adults into thoughtful, responsible, and engaged world citizens
Familiarity with current educational pedagogy and research and with the International Baccalaureate program
Strong communication skills
Committed to being a strong visible presence and active participant in the leadership team of WIS
Commitment to diversity and inclusion
Fluency in a language in addition to English would be an asset, but is not required
Master’s degree in elementary education is preferred
Please send applications as instructed below no later than October 15, 2018.
The review of files will begin as soon as applications are received. Candidates should note that, in the event that an outstanding applicant is identified early in the search process, WIS reserves the right to make an appointment before the deadline mentioned above and to close the search. We encourage interested candidates to apply at the earliest possible time. Please indicate whether you were referred by a search firm or recruiter.
Candidates should send all the information requested below as an email with a single PDF attachment to Isabelle Badoux, Director of Human Resources:
A letter of application, explaining your strengths as a candidate and why you are interested in the position.
A current résumé not to exceed two pages.
A one to two page statement outlining educational philosophy and leadership style.
A one-page list of references with names, titles, phone numbers and E-mail addresses.
A maximum of three letters of reference (scanned at low resolution) that may already be in your possession.
Submission of your application is an acknowledgement that the school may contact references both listed and not listed who would know your professional background.
Additional Salary Information: Excellent benefits include, 75% subsidy for health and dental premiums, school paid life/disability insurance, generous retirement plan match with immediate vesting, professional development and much more.
About Washington International School
Founded in 1966, Washington International School is a private, non-profit, Preschool-12 school profoundly committed to its mission: to provide a demanding international education that will challenge students to become responsible and effective world citizens. Serving its full community of 900 plus students on two campuses, the school is multinational, multicultural, and multilingual.
The school’s challenging international program draws on classroom-based research on pedagogical practices and curriculum design from renowned organizations such as the International Baccalaureate (IB) and Project Zero, based in the Graduate School of Education at Harvard University. From Pre-Kindergarten through Grade 5 students follow the inquiry-based IB Primary Years Program; in Grades 6-10 they continue with a multidisciplinary and inquiry-based approach designed to enhance understanding and develop the skills and knowledge needed to succeed in the prestigious IB Diploma Program (DP). All students in Grades 11 and 12 are enrolled in the DP, which prepares them to take exams to receive the International Baccalaureate Diploma in addition to a WIS diploma. IB Diploma results are well above the wor...ldwide pass rate, and WIS graduates attend highly selective colleges and universities in both the United States (about two-thirds in a typical year) and abroad.
Commitment to the intensive study of a second language is a core principle, with Pre-School, Pre-Kindergarten and Kindergarten classes taught entirely in French or Spanish. All instruction in Grades 1-5 is “dual language” in English and either French or Spanish. Chinese is an option beginning in Grade 6. Typically, one half to three-quarters of WIS graduates earn the Bilingual IB Diploma, demonstrating fluency in two languages.
The entire school community – alumni, parents, students, teachers, administrators and staff – are ardent advocates for international education. WIS has played a prominent role in setting a standard for a global perspective that many schools now emulate.
The school culture is highly egalitarian, with a strong emphasis on collaboration and understanding differing points of view. There is no typical WIS family: some households consist only of U.S. passport holders, others are all non-U.S. passport holders and many are a mix of nationalities. In addition to this global diversity, WIS also strives to achieve economic diversity: 14% of the students receive financial assistance.