The Head of School position is a full time, 12-month administrative position with an understanding of daily presence during all school operations. The Head of School is the sole employee of the Board of Trustees, serves as an “ex officio” trustee, and reports directly to that body. He or she is responsible for administering the implementation of the school’s mission and vision on a day-to-day basis, and is responsible for the coordination of all activities of the school. The Head of School is the primary administrator of the school, and as such bears ultimate responsibility for all students, employees, programs, policies, and the cultural, financial, and business health of the school.
KEY AREAS OF RESPONSIBILITY
Board of Trustees Relations
- Communicates to the Board of Trustees on all matters of appropriate significance to help it meet its fiduciary and legal oversight obligations. Keeps Board appropriately advised of all concerning matters that could result in claims, harm to the school’s reputation or public relations issues.
- Serves as the conduit for, and ensures implementation of, Board directives, and communicates them appropriately to the faculty and staff.
- Serves as “ex officio” trustee and attends all required Board meetings and committee meetings.
- Maintains professional and collegial relationships with all trustees.
- Knows and implements the policies of the School; annually updates the employee handbook, employee contract, community handbook and other policies and procedures.
- Serves to educate the Board on educational topics and trends to help inform their decision-making.
- Submits regular reports on the financial, enrollment, academic, organizational, and cultural health of the School.
- Creates an appropriate and strong management team for the school. Shares, delegates, and builds administrative skills in immediate subordinates such that they would be prepared to collectively lead the school in the absence or incapacitation of the Head of School.
- Works to produce smooth day-to-day internal operations.
- Creates and maintains an effective, logical, efficient organization chart, and staffs accordingly.
- Promotes an organization which allows for transparent, open communication flows.
- Promotes a healthy, collegial organizational culture with high standards and appropriate levels of support for their attainment.
Program and Service Support
- Responsible for the safety and security of all of the school’s students and staff; oversees the safety and security plan, including compliance with all governmental and insurance codes and requirements.
- Provides needed resources, teaching materials, and professional development/growth opportunities.
- Approves and administers rules and procedures in the various School policy handbooks.
- Oversees the evaluation of student progress and systems for communicating with parents.
- Creates and maintains a sound, well-coordinated school calendar; responsible for school closing and delay decisions.
- Creates a well-rounded, comprehensive learning environment that respects and supports all aspects of development in students---emotional, intellectual, physical, and social.
- In conjunction with the Director of Finance and Operations, Finance Committee and Board President, prepares or participates in the creation of a complete annual budget proposal for submission to the Board.
- Manages school resources to accomplish school programs and objectives while remaining within budgetary guidelines.
- Notifies the Finance Committee and/or Board prior to initiating significant variances from the approved budget.
- Oversees The Director of Finance to ensure the preparation of regular financial statements and reports, regular payment of bills, accounting procedures and all financial operations.
- Signs all checks and reviews all invoices, statements and bills to ensure HMS compliance with GAAP.
- Recommends enrollment objectives with respect to student numbers, character, and qualities.
- Oversees the execution of enrollment activities to achieve enrollment objectives.
- Seeks to continually strengthen, widen, and deepen the applicant pool to ensure a robust pool of mission-appropriate applicants.
- Works with the faculty and staff to establish and administer standards and procedures for admission and dismissals.
- Builds and maintains positive and constructive relationships between the school and current families through proactive communications, relation-building, parent education programs, and high visibility presence at school events.
- Builds and maintains a positive and constructive working relationship with all parents, parent volunteers, personnel and outside resources that offer services to the school including after school activity vendors, services such as speech, hearing and occupational therapists and other parties that offer services on campus. Completely oversees, executes and plans all after school extracurricular activities.
- Maintain ties between the school and alumni families to increase relationships and planned giving.
- Serves on the board of BRIAA and volunteers to lead competitive sports activities including cross country and basketball. Recruits coaches and oversees all meets and games, including finding personnel to manage the game clock, clean the facility and maintain operations of all BRIAA activities on campus.
- Encourage meaningful alumni, parent, and past parent participation in events that aid and support the goals of the school. Completely oversees, plans and executes the annual giving program, the annual fundraiser and all development activities, including grant writing.
- Builds and maintains positive and constructive relationships within the Birmingham-area independent school community, and ensures alumni success through regular surveys of HMS alumni readiness. Attends other independent school fundraisers and events as sign of good will and camaraderie to increase the visibility of Hilltop Montessori School in the educational community.
Planning and Analysis
- Develops and implements the HMS Strategic Plan with the administration, board, faculty, and staff as part of the strategic planning process; hosts board/staff retreats and ensures community input and consensus.
- Leads school strategic-planning exercises through the reaccreditation process with SAIS, AMS, Cognia and NCPSA. Chairs the accreditation site visit, prepares the self study, oversees the team visit and offers training and education for the accreditation process.
- Conducts analysis of standardized test results to inform future teaching practice decisions.
- Reads professional journals, attends professional development workshops and seminars, etc to remain on the leading edge of education thought and practice. New HOS must commit to attending the SAIS New Heads of School training in the Summer of 2021. New HOS should also serve every five years on an SAIS or AMS accreditation team, commit to attending an SAIS seminar or conference every other year and regularly participate in the SAIS Head of School listserv and online webinars.
- Works with staff to identify and implement best practices in curriculum and teaching methodologies.
- Academic: Leads faculty in designing and administering student academic programs and services appropriate to the needs of those enrolled and consistent with the school’s mission and philosophy.
- Co-Curricular: Oversees the organization of activities, elective offerings, cultural exposures, fine arts, and athletics to complement the school’s academic program and provide for student interest development.
- Character Development: Implements formal and informal programs that promote high moral and ethical conduct, a system for positive discipline, and the promotion of authentic Montessori education.
- Student Life: Establishes and oversees programs for after hours and occasional weekends, including the extended day programs, summer camps, and recreational and cultural activities, as well as annual Hilltop traditions.
- Defines the teaching and non-teaching professional faculty and staff positions needed to implement the school’s programs and recruits highly effective teachers and staff to fill them.
- Establishes productive working conditions, discipline, training, and development of all professional staff.
- Hold regular faculty meeting schedule to keep faculty informed and engaged in the broader life of the school.
- Oversees faculty certification and licensure process and performs formal evaluations as needed.
- Determines professional standards and takes appropriate steps to measure and maintain high performance and professional growth among immediate subordinates and, through them, all professional employees; dismisses those who fail to meet the standards.
- Establishes practices and procedures to promote harmonious and constructive relationships among the school’s professional staff. Consciously works to establish an atmosphere of inter-accountability and “teamsmanship.” Follows a collegial, rather than an authoritarian, managerial style.
- Maintains personal contact with all school staff members, fostering good public relations, promoting high morale, and identifying personnel problems as early as possible. Encourages similar conduct among subordinates.
- Creates organized, meaningful, relevant schedule for faculty and staff professional development and provides resources in support of their growth.
- Oversees faculty and staff licensure and professional memberships.
- Recognizes, coaches, and provides meaningful feedback through active performance management throughout the school year.
- Interprets the school and its programs to the public and strives to personify the school, its mission, values, and vision for the future. Manages and regularly updates the school website and all social media accounts. Prepares all admissions materials, publicity, advertising and fundraising materials.
- Represents the school in all public forums; serves as the primary spokesperson for the school.
- Performs regular, ongoing outreach to build a positive image of the school within the Birmingham area and within the independent school community.
- Annual visits other independent “feeder” schools to maintain bridge between HMS graduates and their next educational institution. Distributes and oversees the completion of the annual stakeholder survey, alumni survey, parent survey, new parent survey and feeder school surveys.
- Participates actively in planning and executing all fundraising efforts including the annual fund program, fall fundraiser, sponsorships, donors and increasing restricted donations to support classroom needs.
- Actively supports and encourages the school’s fundraising efforts by continually finding new ideas and opportunities for community support. Leads the long-range development, growth, and fundraising efforts of the school.
- Oversee all tax letters, thank you correspondence, and organization of all fundraising.
- Assists in fundraising efforts by articulating in appropriate settings the school’s unique vision and the value of the goals for which funds are being raised through the creation of an annual report.
QUALIFICATIONS – CHARACTERISTICS
Master Degree in Education or equivalent
State certified teacher or equivalent experience in an independent school setting with a minimum of five years experience in the classroom; teaching experience in an authentic Montessori setting preferred.
Qualifications to meet the requirement for an American Montessori Society accredited head of school (see sheet for distribution of points awarded, to total 105)
Minimum of five years experience in an education leadership position.
Commitment to attend the SAIS new Heads of School Training in the Summer of 2021
Strong knowledge of education – both effective current practices and trends; forward-thinking.
Strong alignment with the vision, culture, mission, and model of Hilltop Montessori School.
Ability to work productively to successfully execute the strategic plan of the school.
Strong moral and ethical character; impeccable integrity.
Compassionate, approachable, accessible, and visible.
Strong interpersonal, written, and verbal communication skills.
Positive, passionate, enthusiastic, and humorous – a consensus-builder.
Complete commitment to the success of students and the faculty & staff.
Physical Requirements and Work Environment:
The ideal candidate can:
*Perform in a highly stressful environment dealing with a wide variety of challenges, deadlines and varied and diverse array of contacts, personalities and backgrounds.
*Possess knowledge in Google Classroom, Zoom, Constant Contact, Google Docs, Powerpoint and other technology to complete job duties and facilitate classroom instruction.
Work at a desk or computer for extended periods of time; regularly check email and electronic communication nightly, including weekends, holidays and summer to ensure a rapid response.
Occasionally lift up to 30 pounds and work on some weekends on and off site to support student athletic programs, community events and other needs. Work on weekends online when needed and respond to teacher and parent requests after hours.
Participate in cleaning as needed to ensure a healthy school environment when professional services are not available.
Be able to step into any position in the school should the need arise; have an overview of the requirements and needs of every single position on campus to ensure success.