The Park West Co-Op Nursery School seeks an energetic and inspiring educational leader to serve as Director, starting in the 2021-2022 school year. This candidate should be passionate about the importance of early childhood education, familiar with licensing and administrative work needed to run a thoughtful preschool in an urban environment, educated in the competitive landscape, futuristic in their ideals about moving school and programming forward, comfortable as the lead for fundraising for a non-profit, skilled in collaborating with teachers with extensive experience in a co-teaching collaborative capacity, and willing to be a seen, available and warm presence at school daily. Ideally, the candidate could begin July 1, 2021. Our current, retiring director, will continue on at school in a part-time role during the 2021-2022 school year, assisting in the orientation and transition process, as well as providing administrative continuity during the pandemic.
The Director’s Role The Director will specifically have the opportunity to lead the school in the following areas:
Passion and joy for early childhood education should be palpable, and should emanate to staff, students and parents Charged with, among other duties, the creation and management of teaching teams and the negotiations that managing teaching teams requires the implementation of professional development programs; the management of regular staff meetings; and the evaluation, analysis and direction of staff and classrooms.
Executive Management of School
Serve as the public face of the school, and in that capacity, will partake in social events, fundraising events, and maintain contact with alumni. Be committed to Park West’s goal of increasing diversity amongst staff and families. Actively engaged in publicity, marketing, admissions, and hiring. An empathetic leader of school, with the ability to strategically plan for short and long term institutional growth, in collaboration with the Board of Directors. Innovative,creative, energetic and inspirational problem-solver.
Respect and hold true to Park West’s deep commitment to the home/school connection, as evidenced by it’s active Board of Directors, Committees, and requisite classroom assistance. Respect and be mindful of diversity amongst students and families, including race, culture, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, ancestry, age, disability, marital status, military discharge status, or any other classification protected by applicable local, state, or federal laws, as well as neuro differences amongst children and families. Support families in their early childhood educational process both prior to choosing and after graduating from Park West
Have a working knowledge of ADP (payroll) and all aspects of Google Office, and be competent in using that, and other, technology to promote office efficiency. Comfortable collaborating on with the Board and working within the confines of an annual budget. Organized and punctual.
Embrace short and long term institutional growth and employ a strategic method to fundraising, Day to day and long term management of existing and future funds.
Masters Degree from accredited college or university in early childhood education, elementary education, special education, early childhood special education, child development, school leadership, or a comparable degree/focus (candidates currently pursuing their Master's Degree may be considered);
Experience teaching in an accredited early-childhood program;
Experience collaborating and working with parents; and
Experience collaborating and working with school leadership administration.
Ability to perform physical work, including:
Standing or moving for long periods of time;
Working indoors and out in varied weather;
Carrying up to 40 pounds;
Kneeling to communicate or play with children; and
Maintaining a high level of energy while educating and supervising children
Experience in education administration and leadership;
Experience in supervising and evaluating teachers, as well as developing and supporting teaching teams;
Experience creating and/or curating opportunities in educational professional development;
Advanced Coursework or a degree in school leadership;
Experience teaching in early childhood education with a play-based curriculum rooted in Reggio-Emilia;
Foundational understanding of social constructivism as a pre-school philosophy;
Advanced knowledge in child development, including best-practice social, emotional and behavioral learning and development, as well as developmentally appropriate practices for teaching early childhood;
State certification/licensure to teach early childhood education per the Illinois School Code;
State certification/licensure to serve as a principal per the Illinois School Code; and
Experience using positive and supportive communication with parents, students and staff.
Additional Salary Information: Supplemental Compensation and Benefits
Competitive Health, Vision and Dental Insurance;
Annual Retirement Contribution;
Annual Performance-Based Bonus;
Paid cell phone and service;
Paid Vacation, to be scheduled during the summer or outside of student attendance days during the school year; and
Sick, Personal and Bereavement Leave.
About Park West Co-Op Nursery School
The Park West Co-Op Nursery School (“Park West”, https://www.parkwestcoop.org) has been a pillar of early childhood education in the Chicagoland area for 50 years. We offer half day morning and afternoon classes for 124 students ages 2.5 to 5 years in addition to Parent/Toddler classes for 1.5 to 2 year olds, after class enrichment activities and summer camp in a brand new, state of the art, award winning school building, located in the heart of Lincoln Park.
Our History and Philosophy
Established by a group of parents in 1972, Park West’s philosophy is informed by the developmental theories of Jean Piaget, Lev Vygotsky, and John Dewey, among others. We see play as the vehicle through which children acquire skills, access knowledge and retain information. Now recognized as the scientific standard for child development, our play-based, social constructivist curriculum is designed to encourage children to construct their own knowledge. Park West infuses the classroom environment with opportunities for children to further their understanding of literacy, numbers, arts and science to encourage problem solving, negotiations, and cooperative learning.
As a Cooperative Nursery ...School, parents are integral to our operation. Our school is managed in partnership by a parent-volunteer Board of Directors, while all other parents are required to dedicate time to various committees as well as assisting in the classroom on a daily basis. We value the important role that parents play in their child’s development, and the home-school connection. In respecting this role and connection, we provide the support and time necessary for children to transfer trust from parents to teachers through our carefully thought-out separation policy.