Equitas Academy (“Equitas”, “EQ”) was founded in 2009 and now serves over 2,000 students across six campuses - four TK-4 elementary campuses and two 5-8 middle school campuses, with more schools opening in the near future. Serving the Pico Union neighborhood of Los Angeles, Equitas provides a structured, achievement-based community that prepares students to graduate from four-year colleges and universities.
About the Chief Schools Officer
Reporting to the CEO, the Chief Schools Officer (CSO) will serve as the driver of school culture and academic success for all schools. Serving as a key member of the CEO’s Cabinet, this individual must be an experienced and accomplished instructional leader who is compelled by the opportunity to serve students and families of our community. The Chief Schools Officer will provide leadership, vision and strategic direction for the curriculum, instruction, principal management, and all student experiences/programming as well as continuous improvement initiatives. Additionally, the CSO will manage a team of network leaders with direct oversight of three Managing Directors (MDs): MD of Student Experiences, MD of Academics and MD of Schools (Managing Directors to be hired by the new Chief Schools Officer).
Visionary Instructional Leadership and Strategy (35%)
Lead the school management and performance of all Equitas schools, fostering a culture of achievement, anti-racism, community orientation and growth;
Continually assess the effectiveness of the schools using data outcomes (NWEA/MAP, SBAC) and effectively prioritize, plan, and implement improvements, as needed as well as create warm and inclusive spaces for scholars.
Build on Equitas’ successes to drive innovation and apply research-based best practices which inform instruction, intervention programs and improve the delivery of support services.
Implement the model of Strategic Operator in relationship between the network office and the schools by defining the network program expectations and the opportunities for school based design;
Student-Centered Systems (30%)
Uphold an asset-based mindset to ensure that students are at the center of all decision making and that all aspects of the academic program work well for students and families.
Assess the efficacy and effectiveness of the academic programs through coaching conversations, regular observations and school walk-throughs and guide/support School Directors/Managing Directors in identifying appropriate resources to ensure alignment in implementation.
Oversee the student experiences in student culture, special education, high school & alumni programming, parent partnership, and afterschool partnership.
Secure effective and efficient decision-making processes (RAPID) that elevate the expertise and perspectives of stakeholders and build buy-in throughout and beyond the organization.
Facilitate collaboration among School Directors and school sites to ensure high quality implementation of the schools’ educational design and to promote Equitas’ culture in strong central office and school partnership.
People Leadership and Growth Development Pathways (20%)
Model the organization’s core values to approach the challenges we face, ensuring the organization grows and retains its people.
Recruit, mentor, and develop a diverse team of network and school-based leaders who are aligned with the mission and vision of the organization.
Actively coach and develop direct reports to be effective in their roles and in the management of their teams.
Develop talent pathways for instructional and network leadership.
Organizational Leadership (15%)
Ensure that Equitas continues to have strong partnerships beyond the organization, including charter authorizers, philanthropic partners, community organizations, and key leaders in the education community.
Support and advance the ongoing work of the organization to become an anti-racist and more liberatory community for students, families, and staff.
Engage stakeholders in the implementation and refinement of the central office and school partnership (Strategic Operator) regarding school/programmatic autonomy, accountability, and decision making.
Continually identify opportunities for cross-functional, cross organizational collaboration to ensure the relational health and coherence of the organization.
The ideal candidate will demonstrate the following:
Vision and Courage to Ensure All Students Achieve
Demonstrate belief and hold self and others accountable for reaching high academic achievement of all students.
Navigate complex environments and act with integrity, honesty, transparency, and courage in the best interest of students.
Facilitate and secure buy-in for a clear and compelling vision of instructional excellence.
Solicit, elevate, understand, and value-the perspective of a wide variety of stakeholders.
Content Knowledge and Instructional Best Practice
Exhibit deep understanding of the complex role of the school leader, the complexities of teaching and the tools/supports necessary to improve teachers’ practice.
Demonstrate pedagogical content knowledge in the core content areas and in multi-tiered systems of support for multilingual and differently abled learners.
Understand and implement promising, innovative, and effective instructional practices, and models.
Demonstrate understanding of school improvement initiatives.
Identify effective teaching practices and develop improvement strategies to build capacity of teachers and School Directors.
Advocate for Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Anti-Racism
Address matters of equity, race, and bias in decision-making with clarity, courage, and empathy.
Foster and promote inclusion across the network and the community.
Build trust and authentic relationships across lines of difference through self-reflection, self-awareness, openness, and empathy.
Acknowledge race and power dynamics that play out within the organization and community and continuously interrupt those inequities with action, courageous dialogue, and honesty.
Influence and Leadership
Navigate complex structures, relationships, and dynamics to challenge ideas and enable thoughtful decisions and positive outcomes for students.
Listen compassionately to fully understand what makes Equitas unique before establishing the direction forward.
Communicate effectively, tailoring messages for the audience, context, and mode of communication.
Build positive relationships and coalitions primarily with network team members and School Directors and inclusive of all staff, students, parents and families, communities, and advocacy groups.
Maintain visibility and presence in the schools and work collaboratively with diverse stakeholders at all levels.
Strategic Planning and Effective Execution
Offer innovative solutions to seemingly intractable problems.
Set priorities and ambitious goals to maintain a high-quality instructional program
Analyze complex, nuanced data and exercise judgment in making critical decisions and communicate the implications to diverse audiences.
Exhibit a strong focus on short and long-term goals, accountability, and results; establish clear metrics for success.
Team Leadership, Coaching and Management
Effectively balance the tension between individual School Director’s needs and vision with the need for coherence across all schools.
Attract, retain, and motivate talent to achieve ambitious goals.
Assess team and individuals’ skills, identify development needs, and provide feedback and support to improve practice, build capacity, and maximize talent.
Collaborate and plan professional learning experiences for school leaders and staff which utilizes effective adult learning techniques.
Lead teams to collaborate with each other and stakeholders such as parents, families and instructional staff.
Education and Experience
A minimum of seven years of professional experience with specific experience in school leadership, curriculum development, or program leadership with a strong preference for previous principal experience.
Deep knowledge of curriculum, instruction, assessment, school operations, and multi-lingual and special education, specifically in a K-8 setting.
A clear track record of improving academic outcomes for students with a keen focus on equity and access for all learners.
Deep passion, commitment, and alignment with Equitas’ mission to prepare all scholars to go to and through college.
Deep understanding of the principles of diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility that are necessary for leading an organization that serves communities of color and specifically the Pico Union community.
Experience building high quality, highly functional teams with clear expectations for serving schools and achieving student success.
Ability to navigate uncertainty and ambiguity, and to prioritize work efforts to execute overall strategy.
Master’s degree in education required. Master’s degree in educational leadership, organizational leadership, curriculum and instruction, or other relevant degree preferred.
Knowledge of best practices, and current national trends and research for the instruction of diverse and multilingual learners.
Alma is dedicated to fostering the people, practices, and culture that enable staff to do their best, teams to do great work, and organizations to accomplish outstanding results.
We partner closely with our clients to understand their unique context, and the conditions that affect their ability to ensure the success of their staff. Then we work in collaboration with our clients to chart a path to solving their most pressing human capital needs, building the capacity in-house to continue to strengthen their work over time.