Head of Lower School


The Opportunity

Mount Tamalpais School (MTS), a K-8 independent school serving up to 240 students in Mill Valley, California is looking for a Head of Lower School. This administrator will have the opportunity to work with outstanding colleagues and a dynamic leadership team to further develop the program and people that work with the School’s kindergarten to fifth grade students.  

Our mission calls on us to offer a “vigorous, creative, and process-driven” program that develops “knowledge and goodness” while being “inspiring and nurturing” in our work as educators. The Head of Lower School is charged with realizing this mission in our Kindergarten to fifth grade students. Furthermore, the Head of Lower School will work with the Head of School, Lower School faculty, and administrative team to realize the MTS 2020 Strategic Plan. This plan charges us with realizing “Where Tradition Meets Tomorrow” in all aspects of our program while supporting our outstanding team of educators.

With a growth-oriented faculty, a warm and positive student and parent community, and a clear vision for the future, MTS is at an exciting place in 2019.  A Lower School leader who wants to further develop our program and help students and families realize the amazing potential of the elementary years will thrive at MTS.

OVERVIEW OF THE POSITION

The Head of Lower School is responsible for the overall development and management of the kindergarten through fifth grade program, including curriculum, discipline, parent education, and supervision and mentoring of approximately fifteen faculty members. Reporting to the Head of School and working closely with the Head of Middle School, the Head of Lower School is a member of the senior administrative team and participates in strategic planning and high-level decision-making.

ESSENTIAL FUNCTIONS

Program Management

  • Students: Know and be recognized by students as responsible for the Kindergarten - 5th grades. Consult with teachers on student issues. Read, interpret, and utilize student report forms and standardized test results. Track students of concern and attend related conferences. Partner with Student Support Team. Counsel and discipline students. When appropriate, develop and refine admissions criteria, behavioral standards, and assessment tools.  Make recommendations to Head of School on questionable admissions, major disciplinary, and dismissal decisions.

  • Parents: Develop and maintain systems for two-way parent communication. Educate parents about program and curriculum. Field and deal with ideas and concerns. Assist teachers in positive parent relations.

  • Educational Program: Lead faculty in the development and planning of Kindergarten - 5th grade program. Manage and supervise the Kindergarten - 5th grade daily program. Attend to daily concerns of program. Organize and/or facilitate Lower School faculty meetings.

Leadership and Management Responsibilities

  • Participate as a member of the Administrative Team and Academic Leadership Team, and in that capacity share in the leadership of the School and in the direction of new and emerging issues.

  • Work closely with the Head of School and the Head of Middle School in making school-wide decisions.

  • Support teachers in management of student, parent, and curricular issues: Act as a liaison between teachers and larger Administrative Team. Advise teachers on behavioral plans and challenging situations. Attend meetings and join calls with parents as needed.

  • Hiring and supervision: Lead and coordinate the faculty hiring efforts, related to Lower School and occasionally participate in other hiring efforts. Supervise and evaluate teachers. Work with Head of School in teacher probationary, disciplinary, and termination situations.

  • Participate in Board level committees as determined in conjunction with the Head of School.

  • Perform other duties as may be determined in conjunction with the Head of School.

Overall School Programs

  • Collaborate on the vision for, and development of, school programs.

  • Collaborate with Head of Middle School in creation of the master schedule for school program. Help coordinate preschool-elementary-middle school coherence.  

  • Co-plan the program and faculty leadership structure. Co-plan the all-faculty and all-staff meetings.

  • Partner with Lower School learning specialist and school counselor to facilitate learning services and counseling services. Develop structures that utilize teacher strengths.

  • Supervise enrichment teachers who teach both lower and middle school.

  • Coordinate substitute teachers.

Faculty Professional Development

  • Coordinate the development and implementation of professional growth and development programs for the faculty, including administrative understanding of teacher strengths and areas for improvement, positive feedback, opportunities for individual and collaborative professional development, goal setting, and assessment.

  • Build an atmosphere of constructive and ongoing dialogue about best practices in teaching and learning, continuous learning, grade level and interdisciplinary collaboration among the faculty.

Curriculum Development and Management

  • Along with the Head of Middle School, lead the faculty in the assessment and development of the curriculum. Develop curriculum standards, grade level competency expectations, scope, and sequence outlines. Assure the documentation and ongoing development of curriculum. Manage and assess implementation.

Instruction

  • Teach one section and cover classes as needed.

  • Oversee social emotional learning program.

Position Requirements

  • Bachelor’s Degree required; Master’s Degree in a field appropriate for this position is preferred.

  • Experience teaching Lower School students.

  • Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:

    • Possess strong knowledge of early childhood and elementary academic programs, teaching methods, and current practices.

    • Enjoys working with five through eleven year olds – connecting authentically with families, students, and faculty.

    • Is committed to and has engaged in the work of diversity, equity, and inclusion.

    • Demonstrate a commitment to development of relevant professional knowledge, skills, and abilities.

    • Participate as a team player who can discern when to lead or to follow.

    • Demonstrate excellent written and verbal communication skills.

    • Present an outgoing, and optimistic attitude, with well-developed interpersonal skills.

To Further Pursue

  • Email a resume and cover letter to jobs@mttam.org.

  • Search Timeline:

    • January to Mid-February: Initial Candidate Screening

    • February-March: Semi-finalist and finalist interview

    • Late March: Appointment

    • July 1, 2019: Position begins