The dean of students is responsible for shaping and sustaining the school’s distinctive culture and ensuring that the students internalize the school’s values and aspirations for academic excellence.
To build a culture of highly ambitious academic expectations, structure and order, intellectual rigor, and joyfulness, the dean of students devises distinctive assemblies, celebrations, and rituals; coaches teachers on classroom management; meets with students and parents; develops and implements a system of merits and demerits; and implements the classroom prefect program (and broader Student Life program).
The dean of students is responsible for:
The dean defines and builds a transformative school culture consistent with Ascend Learning’s principles and inspired and informed by the top-performing urban schools in the country. With the school director, the dean designs and implements programs that recognize and reward students; devises school-wide rituals, including morning meetings, songs, chants, and celebrations that promote the culture and sustain the school’s values; and shapes and manages the physical environment to underscore the school’s culture and aspirations.
The dean selects and implements behavior management tools, including overseeing staff training in behavior management policies, techniques, and strategies, and ensuring the consistent deployment of such tools school-wide; meets with students referred by teachers for behavioral problems, communicates and meets with the students’ parents/guardians, and ensures that consequences for infractions are fairly and consistently implemented throughout the school; looks for patterns of misbehavior and coordinates appropriate measures as needed with the school director and the dean of instruction; responds to acute behavioral issues; coordinates in-school and out-of-school suspensions, ensuring regulatory compliance; and oversees school safety.
The dean serves as an expert resource to teachers on issues of school culture, classroom management, discipline, and relationships with students; and coaches teachers and staff in holding all students to high and consistent behavioral expectations.
The dean communicates with students – meeting with, listening to, seeking to understand, and convincing them as appropriate – and builds a support network for students.
Prefect Program and Student Life.
Prior to the hiring of the director of Student Life in the school’s third year of operation, the dean oversees the Student Life program, including the use of class prefects in every classroom from the earliest grades. The dean guides teachers in identifying prefects, devises and implements training for the prefect program, and ensures that teachers fully leverage the power of class prefects to assist their peers’ learning, speed transitions, and build a caring culture where no student is permitted to fall behind. The dean oversees the Student Life period, during which students tutor one another, and identify and lead academic, artistic, and athletic activities (including after the school day).
Attendance and Use of Time.
The dean assertively engages parents and students in realizing the school’s demanding standards for attendance and on-time arrival; and manages transitions, minimizes loss of time, and promotes a sense of urgency in learning.
The dean implements and ensures the school-wide use of SABIS information technology tools for reporting and documenting infractions, and ensures that proper records are kept of communications with parents regarding discipline.
Qualifications and Skills
The dean of students must:
- Be relentlessly committed to preparing every student for college
- Be aligned with the education philosophy and core beliefs of Ascend Learning
- Possess strong leadership and team skills
- Be a self-aware leader who knows how to treat all members of the school’s community with respect, appraises accurately his or her strengths and weaknesses, and is perceptive about how he or she is regarded
- Have superb organizational and self-management skills and be able to handle multiple responsibilities effectively; have strong planning and execution skills; be a goal-oriented and effective problem-solver
- Be dependable
- Be driven to improve the minds and lives of students from underserved communities, dedicated to doing whatever it takes to help all the school’s students achieve academic success
- Be passionate about academic learning and insistent on academic excellence and rigor at all times
Candidates must have:
- A clear record of elevating student achievement in an urban classroom, with a strong understanding of pedagogy that drives results
- Excellent communication skills (written and oral)
- Strong analytical and problem-solving skills
- Excellent skills of organization and follow-through
- A bachelor’s degree
An advanced degree is strongly preferred. In addition, because some of our parents speak only Spanish, we will give preference to applicants who speak Spanish. Alumni of Teach For America, Education Pioneers, The New Teacher Project, and New Leaders for New Schools are strongly encouraged to apply.
Staff and Reporting Relationships
The dean shall report to the school director, collaborate closely with the dean of instruction, work closely with Ascend Learning, and participate as a member of the school leadership team.
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