St. Patrick’s Episcopal Day School, located in the Palisades section of northwest Washington, D.C., is a parish day school enrolling more than 480 students on two campuses. The program begins at the three-year-old Nursery level and continues through Grade 8. St. Patrick’s students, whose families live throughout the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area, go on to a variety of fine independent schools upon graduation.
The Upper School includes Grades 4 and 5 on the Whitehaven Campus and Grades 6 to 8 on the MacArthur Campus, located a half mile away. There are approximately 230 students enrolled in the Upper School, one of three divisions (along with the Nursery School and Lower School) that comprise St. Patrick’s. This position is located on the main Whitehaven Campus.
Grades 4 and 5 are the only Upper School grade levels that are organized around homerooms. (An advisory model prevails in Grades 6 to 8.) While those homerooms are largely self-contained in Grade 4, Grade 5Homeroom Teachers specialize in a core subject (language arts, mathematics, or history/social studies), and students move among the three classrooms for academic instruction. The current opportunity is for Grade 5 language arts. Grade 5 students are grouped by demonstrated ability in math, but they are not grouped by demonstrated ability in the other core academic areas of language arts, science, history/social studies, and Spanish, or in any other instructional area or activity. Grade 5 teachers collaborate with a Learning Specialist who provides students with additional academic support as needed. Special-subject teachers in religion, science, Spanish, art, music, technology, and physical education also work with Grade 5 students.
Homeroom Teachers arrive by 7:45 a.m. in order to set up classroom activities, prepare materials, and confer with their colleagues. Homeroom Teachers need to be ready to greet students when they begin arriving in classrooms at 8:00 a.m. before classes begin at 8:05 a.m. Students in Grades 4 and 5 eat lunch together in the Lunch Room with supervision provided on a rotating basis by homeroom and special-subject teachers. At the end of the day, teachers supervise the carpool procedures in their classrooms beginning at 2:50 p.m. until remaining students are called to the front entrance at about 3:20 p.m.
CURRICULUM AND INSTRUCTION
Beyond comparable homeroom responsibilities, core instructional assignments for Upper School Homeroom Teachers vary across grade levels. The Grade 5 language arts program comprises reading and literature, writing, grammar, and vocabulary.
Homeroom Teachers are responsible for designing and implementing curriculum that is consistent with the Day School Mission Statement, Statement of Philosophy, and Mission Statement for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion as well as an ever-growing knowledge of how students learn best and an understanding of students’ developmental abilities, needs, and interests. The Day School encourages creativity and innovation in both curriculum and instruction and supports a teacher’s initiatives in broadening and expanding the existing areas of study or instructional methods at a grade level. Homeroom Teachers are encouraged and expected to stay abreast of current trends and research in education and to apply appropriate strategies and techniques to meet the diverse needs of their students. They should maintain plans detailing learning objectives and daily activities and lessons, all of which focus on the overall goal of creating and fostering an organized, inviting, stimulating, challenging learning environment.
The classroom environment should reflect an awareness and cultivation of multicultural materials, books, and displays that are integral to the curriculum. Homeroom Teachers must also be prepared to innovate and differentiate in the curriculum, placing a specific focus on personalizing the experience each student has to the greatest extent possible. In addition, teachers new to St. Patrick’s should become aware of ongoing initiatives such as Design Thinking, interdisciplinary curriculum, differentiated instruction, rich use of literature across the grades, and the use of technology to enhance the curriculum. Finally, the goal of providing Exceptional Literacy, as set forth in the document Setting Compass (available under “Who We Are/Welcome to St. Patrick’s” on the website), which permeates instruction across all disciplines in the Upper School, has a particular resonance for language arts teachers.
Teachers strive to create positive learning communities within their classrooms that acknowledge and respect students’ social and emotional interactions and growth. The Homeroom Teacher, who is most knowledgeable about each student, is the “gatekeeper” for each student in his/her homeroom class and acts as liaison among the special-subject teachers, Learning Specialist, and parents. Homeroom Teachers are expected to be well informed about all of the students they teach; to read files and test reports; and to be proactive in working with parents to provide engagement, interventions, and/or accommodations that may be necessary to ensure a student’s success. When a student is experiencing difficulty—behavioral, social, or academic—the parents should be informed as soon as possible. Any recommendations for outside testing or tutoring should be made in conjunction with the Head of Upper School. The School Counselor is also available to suggest interventions, to attend parent conferences, and to work with families.
In addition to attending to the academic, social, and emotional well-being of each of his/her students, the Homeroom Teacher has regular “housekeeping” responsibilities. Among these duties are posting the daily schedule and homework assignments, actively supervising students at recess times, and taking attendance daily.
A successful candidate for Grade 5Homeroom/Language Arts Teacher will have an undergraduate degree in a relevant field (masters preferred); at least three to five years of successful teaching experience; an interest in and depth of knowledge about the particular academic and social-emotional needs of upper elementary-age students; a proficient knowledge of relevant English and language arts topics, including reading and literature, writing, and grammar; the ability to express ideas effectively both verbally and in writing; and a highly collaborative and collegial manner. S/he will also have successfully completed the required background check.
Candidates for the position of Grade 5Homeroom/Language Arts Teacher should submit a cover letter, resume, and list of at least three professional references to Dan Spector, Assistant Head of School/Head of Upper School, St. Patrick’s Episcopal Day School, 4700 Whitehaven Parkway, NW, Washington, D.C., 20007, or via email at email@example.com.
About St. Patrick's Episcopal Day School
St. Patrick's Episcopal Day School is an independent, coeducational, parish day school located in the Palisades section of Northwest Washington, D.C., serving more than 480 students from three-year-old Nursery through Grade 8. For more than 60 years, St. Patrick's has been providing a vibrant, challenging coeducational school environment that balances tradition and innovation in an educational program that emphasizes the acquisition of essential skills, integration of disciplines, and active learning. It seeks to educate young people who will grow in intellectual and academic strength, personal integrity, openness to change, commitment to service, and confident and ethical involvement in the world. St. Patrick's students, whose families live throughout the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area, go on to a variety of fine schools - including local independent day schools, boarding schools largely in the Middle Atlantic and New England regions and, less frequently, public schools - upon graduation.
Campuses include the Whitehaven Campus, home to Nursery through Grade 5, and the MacArthur Campus, home to Grades 6, 7, and 8. There are three divisions: Nursery School (Nursery and PK), Lower School (Kindergarten to Grade 3), and Upper School (Grades 4 through 8).