CEO and Founding Principal, Independence Charter School West

Posted by Independence Charter School on October 5, 2015

Job Description:

Position: CEO and Founding Principal

School: Independence Charter School West

Reports to: ICS-West Board of Trustees

Overview: Independence Charter School (ICS) is a highly successful, award-­‐winning, community-­‐ oriented public K-­‐8 charter school located in Center City Philadelphia (1600 Lombard Street) that offers students an intellectually stimulating and internationally focused curriculum emphasizing the arts, languages, and world cultures. It was one of only five Philadelphia schools to receive a charter for a new school in 2015, and it now seeks an exceptional leader for that new school -­‐-­‐ Independence Charter School West (ICSW). ICSW is slated to open September 2016 as a community-­‐based, partial Spanish immersion K-­8 school located in Southwest Philadelphia. Like the existing ICS, ICSW will provide high quality learning experiences that promote academic excellence, global responsibility, and second language acquisition for all students.

Job Overview: ICSW is seeking an experienced, enthusiastic, and energetic school leader, familiar with increasing academic success in urban communities and excited to help create, build, and run this brand new school, in collaboration with and support from ICS in Center City. The school will open in September 2016 with 300 students in grades K-3, expanding over five years to serve 900 students in grades K-­8. Students will come from Southwest and West Philadelphia.

This position will be based at ICS-­Center City for the remainder of the 2015-­‐16 school year and will then transition to the new school site in Southwest Philadelphia for the 2016-­17 school year and beyond. ICSW CEO/Principal will be directly supervised/managed by the CEO/Principal of ICS-­Center City, and will formally report to the ICSW Board of Trustees.

Position requires vision, passion, and commitment, as well as excellent skills in management, administration, instructional supervision, and community relations.

Core Responsibilities:

“Start-­up”/institution-­‐building phase (2015-­16 school year and beyond): In collaboration with the ICSW Board of Trustees, ICS (Center City) staff and management, and a team of professionals, put in place the foundation for a highly successful new school. This includes 1) recruiting, hiring and training of all instructional and operational school staff, 2) overseeing the student application and enrollment process and 3) overseeing the school’s fiscal and administrative operations, including site construction, fit-­out, and move-­in.

Academic growth of students and instructional leadership of staff: The academic growth and success of the students are core responsibilities, and the CEO/Principal should be committed to assessment-­driven instruction within the context of educating the whole student. This includes differentiated instruction to meet the diverse learning needs of students, as well as the careful supervision, coaching, and professional development of staff.

School Culture, Budget ,Operations: CEO/Principal is charged with creating a school culture that is nurturing and reflective, and that has high standards for every child and adult in the building. CEO/Principal is responsible for managing the school’s budget and finances, as well as the smooth and safe operation of the building and school site (including oversight of subsequent phases of building construction).

Internal and External Relationships: CEO/Principal is the primary representative of the school with a range of important external constituencies and is responsible for developing and sustaining strong working relationships with:

• ICS-­Center City CEO/Principal;
• ICSW families and community stakeholders;
• ICSW Board of Trustees (including monthly board meetings and active participation on board committees);
• Regulatory and oversight bodies, such as School District of Philadelphia Charter School Office, School Reform Commission, State Department of Education;
• Community and other external organizations, especially to identify, create, and sustain appropriate partnerships that can supplement the school’s programming;
• Supporters, funders, granting agencies, especially to raise awareness and resources. Other duties also may be assigned by the Board.

• Educational qualifications:
o BA/BS required; Masters degree preferred.
o Principal’s certification required.

• Experience:
o Minimum three years of successful K-­12 teaching/classroom experience required, preferably in an urban setting.
o Previous experience as a leader within a school required, especially supervisory experience coaching/developing instructional staff.
o Experience working effectively with under-­resourced communities of color is highly desired, especially a demonstrated record of student success or academic gains in at-­risk communities.
o Administrative experience preferred, especially experience successfully managing new or discrete initiatives/programs.
o Experience with the following areas is highly desired and will be important to success in this role: curriculum development, differentiated instruction, data and assessment tools, reporting and analytical skills, personnel management, financial and operational management, technology, strategic planning, development of institutional partnerships, community relations, and/or bilingual education or global citizenship education

• Personal and professional qualities
o High-­energy, can-­do attitude. Strong work ethic.
o Outstanding communicator, presenter, connector of people.
o Highly reflective, ethical.
o A deep belief that all students are capable of achieving at high levels when provided effective teaching and support, and that every student in Philadelphia deserves a high quality education.
o A vision (or a commitment to developing a vision) for a global education/second-­language acquisition program for students in Southwest/West Philadelphia.
o English-­Spanish bilingual a plus.
o Required criminal history background check and proof of U.S. citizenship or legal resident alien status.

Application Process: To apply to ICSW, submit cover letter and resume to Application review will begin immediately and continue until the position is filled. Successful candidates will demonstrate some familiarity with ICSW’s mission and curriculum, and explain in their cover letter how they might advance that mission in this brand new school in Southwest Philadelphia. For more information about the mission, vision, or operation of Independence Charter School, see

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