Ethical Culture Fieldston School is a progressive PreK-12 independent school serving students throughout New York City and the surrounding suburbs. Committed to academic excellence, ethical learning, and progressive education, ECFS offers a rich and challenging curriculum in the arts, sciences, and humanities. A co-ed, nonsectarian school, it serves a diverse community of 1,700+ students from PreK to 12th grade on two campuses -- one in the Riverdale section of the Bronx and the other in Manhattan. The upper school, located in the Bronx, is comprised of approximately 400 students and 55 faculty members.
What is essential about working at our school?
The Ethical Culture Fieldston School has a long history of equity and inclusion deeply rooted in our mission and the educational philosophy of our founder Felix Adler. We embrace diversity of ancestry, family, identity, culture, and belief and seek a student body and faculty who reflect the pluralism and socio-economic diversity of metropolitan New York. We affirm both our differences and commonalities and strive to balance individuality and community. In keeping with our progressive tradition, we are dedicated to increasing our students’ cultural literacy to help them understand multiple perspectives and see the world beyond the self. We expect members of our community to engage in open dialogue about living and learning in a diverse environment inside and outside the classroom. We see this work with its creative tensions as a catalyst for individual and collective growth. On a daily basis, we are committed to making this vision of a democratic, pluralistic, and progressive school a reality.
Fieldston Upper School seeks a highly qualified and experienced Assistant Principal for Academic Life beginning in July 2020. The successful candidate will join an administrative team that includes the Upper School Principal and the Assistant Principal for Student Life; both assistant principals report to the Upper School Principal.
The Assistant Principal for Academic Life will collaborate with the Principal and Assistant Principal for Student Life to ensure that the upper school academic program is dynamic, progressive, and serves the mission of ECFS. The Assistant Principal for Academic Life reports directly to the Principal of the Upper School and is responsible for implementing all academic policies and procedures, monitoring and evaluating all current courses and academic programs, developing new curriculum initiatives with the Department Chairs, and establishing and certifying graduation and credit requirements. The AP will oversee the academic program in the Upper School and also serve as an instructional resource to faculty.
In order to develop and further the academic life and mission of the school, the Assistant Principal for Academic Life collaborates
With the faculty and Department Chairs, continually developing and implementing a coherent curriculum that reflects and honors the progressive mission of the school.
With Department chairs, to plan and implement periodic reviews of the curriculum by department and form.
With Department chairs, to initiate policies and procedures that support and enrich the tradition of academic excellence and maintain the highest quality of progressive and inclusive classroom teaching and learning.
With the Principal and Department Chairs, to guide the professional development of the faculty.
Additionally, the Assistant Principal for Academic Life
Chairs the Curriculum committee and any ad hoc committees on the academic program; regularly communicates to the faculty any changes in policy or academic program.
In consultation with the Department Chairs, Deans, and the Learning Center, reviews and acts upon requests for waivers or adjustments in academic requirements.
With the Principal and Department Chairs, assesses the staffing needs of the departments and participates or leads the hiring and retention of faculty; also, the leadership team (Principals and APs) are deeply engaged in the supervision and evaluation of probationary and continuing contract faculty.
In collaboration with academic life stakeholders, the Assistant Principal maintains oversight of and establishes a timetable for the course selection process and the placement of students in courses.
Works with the Deans to assure that students’ programs are commensurate with their needs, interests, and abilities.
Oversees the course selection process and revisions in the Course of Studies.
Establishes guidelines for considering requests for schedule changes and responds to requests for changes in schedule from students and parents during the summer after schedules are sent to students.
Together with the Assistant Principal for Student Life, oversees new student orientation and new student placement.
Monitors the workload of students, including the test calendar, course load, and homework.
Oversees the academic calendar, the academic schedule, faculty meeting schedule, variations in the daily schedule, end of semester assessments, Open School Night, Faculty Mêlées, Parent Conferences, and the Daily Bulletin.
Oversees the ACT/SAT national testing administrator and serves as a back-up testing administrator.
Oversees the Director of Special Testing.
Supervises and works closely with the Registrar in establishing and implementing policies and procedures for grade reporting, Home Reports, and transcripts.
Reviews and approves all requests for field trips and rehearsals during the school day.
Chairs the Academic Integrity Board (AIB).
Collaborates directly with the Ethics and Technology team in providing support to students and faculty and in promoting the ethical use of technology.
Serves as a liaison to any ad hoc or standing parent committees on academic life issues such as the Learning Styles Committee.
In collaboration with the Principal and the Assistant Principal for Student Life, the Assistant Principal for Academics participates in the annual review of faculty and student handbooks.
Serves as liaison with the upper school admissions committee.
Assists with the coordination of special events as they relate to the academic program
Teaches no more than one course per semester and serves as an advisor
The Assistant Principal for Academic Life works closely with the Principal in all matters affecting life in the Upper School and, in the Principal’s absence, has overall responsibility for the Upper School.
The ideal candidate will have
Experience as an instructional coach supporting teachers’ pedagogical and professional growth.
Experience with supervision, evaluation, and support of faculty and knowledge of different approaches to supervision and evaluation.
Knowledge and demonstrated effectiveness with curriculum design and planning, and specifically interdisciplinary curriculum development.
Knowledge and understanding of research on best progressive pedagogical practices, including inquiry-based learning, project-based learning, as well as differentiation and performance-based assessment models.
Commitment and passion for creating and nurturing an inclusive and diverse learning environment to support the development of the whole child.
A positive, flexible, and professional approach to working with various school constituencies including faculty, students, parents, and school staff.
Cultural competence and understanding with experience implementing culturally responsive approaches to teaching and learning.
Excellent problem-solving skills and high emotional intelligence -- an important combination in working with young people, colleagues, and parents in a dynamic upper school.
A demonstrated commitment to lifelong learning and a willingness to take intellectual risks, ask questions, be open to and welcoming of feedback, and comfortable having candid conversations in offering professional feedback to colleagues.
A Master’s degree or higher, preferably in educational leadership and/or curriculum and instruction
At least 5 years of distinguished teaching experience, preferably with upper school students
Prior, distinguished leadership experience
Experience with progressive teaching and learning models like student-centered/inquiry-based teaching, project-based learning (PBL), performance-based approaches to assessment, and Understanding by Design (UbD) instructional planning
Technology proficiency, including familiarity with Smartboards, Google platform, and various learning management systems (LMS) and student information systems (SIS)
Strong communication skills
How to Apply
A complete application will include a cover letter stating your interest along with a resume, a separate statement of your educational philosophy, and the email, phone contact, and title for at least five professional references, two of which must include a current or former supervisor. Applications should be addressed to the Principal of the Upper School, Nigel D. Furlonge, through the school’s web portal. No phone calls or emails, please.
Completed applications are due no later than November 15, 2019 at noon to be considered. Incomplete applications, unfortunately, will not be reviewed.
Ethical Culture Fieldston School is a progressive PreK to 12 independent school serving students from throughout New York City and the surrounding suburbs.
Committed to academic excellence, ethical learning, and progressive education, ECFS offers a rich and challenging curriculum in the arts, sciences, and humanities.
A coed, nonsectarian school, it serves a diverse community of about 1,700 students from PreK to 12 on two campuses -- one in the Riverdale section of the Bronx, and the other in Manhattan.