Director of Operations (2016-2017)

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Administration: Director of Operations 2016-2017 School Year

Unity’s Director of Operations is a vital member of our school’s leadership team. She/he will ensure the continued improvement and smooth operation of the systems which ensure services are delivered to students and families, and that support the work of Unity’s teachers and staff.  In doing so, she/he will play a critical role in the fulfillment of Unity’s mission: empowering students as scholars and citizens so they may lead fulfilling academic, personal, and professional lives.

Overview

Unity Preparatory Charter School of Brooklyn (Unity) is an independent charter school that proudly serves the community of central Brooklyn in New York City. We are currently in our third year and serve 320 sixth, seventh, and eighth graders and their families. Over the next four years, we will continue to grow one grade level per year until we reach full size in 2019 with approximately 700 students in grades 6-12. We look forward to the graduation of our founding class in the spring of 2020.  In the 2016-17 school year, we will open our doors to our first cohort of ninth grade students.  

About Unity

Every day, the school community at Unity works as a team to empower our students. Though the scope of each staff member’s daily tasks and responsibilities is broad, we aim to align all elements of our work with the school’s mission: to empower students as scholars and citizens so that they may lead fulfilling academic, personal, and professional lives. This mission is the heart of our school; it informs our choices and unites our community under one shared purpose.

As a young and growing school, Unity strives to continuously strengthen its rigorous academic program in the liberal arts & sciences. Unity teachers are creators and collaborators, developing curriculum that is designed with our specific students in mind. Our students are at the center of all that we do at Unity, and our structures and systems reflect that. We prioritize differentiated academic support, offer extended learning time, and expose students to an ever-expanding array of enrichment clubs and learning opportunities outside the classroom. Additionally, we are building a supportive school culture that emphasizes empathy and fosters students’ socio-emotional development.

As a school and learning community, we believe that:

  1. Students Rise to the Level of Expectations Placed Upon Them: To ensure student success, Unity staff members provide support commensurate with the high expectations placed upon students, both in the form of academic support and support in character development.
  1. Diversity Matters: We firmly believe that educational equity is best achieved, and academic learning is most profound, in diverse school settings. Our community draws strength from the rich experiences of each student.
  1. Applications Expand the School Environment: To supplement students’ academic learning, we provide students opportunities to apply classroom knowledge to real world experiences. This requires going beyond the school’s walls so that students may meaningfully interact with and positively contribute to the local community. The typical school day cannot provide such a program – we thus offer an extended school day and school year.
  1. A Positive School Culture is Powerful: Our core values, the code of conduct, the enrichment programs, and the attitudes and behavior of the staff breed a culture in which students experience a sense of unity with classmates, understand the power of being highly educated, and take responsibility for their own learning. We complement academic education with training on managing emotions and developing character strengths including our Core Values of Awareness, Initiative, Courage, Inquiry, Kindness and Integrity.
  1. Strong Teaching is a Central Lever in Promoting Student Learning: Recruiting, developing, and retaining exceptional teachers is an absolute priority for us. We reward teachers generously for their contributions to student learning. Likewise, we provide ample, on-going opportunities for teachers to develop their skills, establish and meet goals, and be challenged to reach their full potential as educators.
  1. Assessment Beyond Standardized Exams: We believe that using standardized test results as the sole measure of a student’s academic progress leads to an incomplete understanding of the student’s overall ability and potential to excel. An annual year-end presentation of a portfolio of work spanning the entire year is a more comprehensive and informative representation of a student’s learning.  These Roundtable presentations also reveal a student’s interpersonal skills and development as a citizen. When examining standardized test data, it is imperative that a student’s growth is celebrated as prominently as the student’s actual proficiency level.
  1. Sharing Success is Essential: We subscribe to the notion that any school developing innovative practices that successfully promote student learning has a responsibility to share them with other schools.

As a school in only our third year of operation, we have enjoyed a number of promising successes.  Recent academic achievements for the 2014-15 school year include:

  • Unity ranked #8 among the city’s 1,200 elementary and middle schools in promoting academic growth in mathematics proficiency.
  • Unity students ranked in the 59th and 75th percentiles in academic growth in ELA and mathematics, respectively – meaning that our students grew, on average, more than the typical student with similar backgrounds and skills at the outset of the school year.
  • Unity’s most academically needy one-third of students ranked in the 82nd and 78th percentiles in academic growth in ELA and mathematics, respectively.
  • The percentages of Unity students scoring “proficient” or above in ELA and mathematics grew by 51% and 88%, respectively.

In addition to demonstrating accelerated growth across multiple assessment measures, our students showed progress in a myriad of other ways:

  • 98% of students successfully participated in their end-of year Roundtable presentation – a 45-minute oral presentation given to families, Unity faculty, and community members and supporters.
  • 100% of our students participated in an afternoon extra-curricular activity in each of our trimesters in 2014-2015.
  • Close to 50% of our student body participated in a team sport in 2014-15 – for many, this was a first-time experience.

Based on a citywide survey completed by students’ families, Unity’s satisfaction rates were higher than the citywide average in all categories. Results of special note include:

  • 100% reported that Unity has high expectations for their child.
  • 99% reported they are satisfied with the education at Unity.
  • 98% reported that Unity is keeping their child on track for college, career, and success in life.
  • 99% reported that their child receives a wide variety of courses, extracurricular activities, and services, which help keep their child interested in school.

Finally, our operations-specific achievements illustrate the positive community that we have developed at Unity, and the organizational health of the school:

  • In our first two years of operation, we enjoyed an average teacher retention rate of approximately 90% (vs. 65% retention across NYC charter schools).
  • We have maintained a balanced budget in each year of operation, and in each of our first two years, completed the year with a surplus.
  • We have developed a strong, positive working relationship with PS 44, the school with which we share our school building – we currently serve over 30 of their graduates.

Job Description

Unity’s school model and educational framework place an absolute priority on anticipating, understanding, and addressing the educational and emotional needs of the students and families Unity serves. The Operations team plays a major role in supporting this work by ensuring the efficient management of school resources, the timely provision of materials, and the creation and implementation of many of Unity’s systems. The Director of Operations will “captain” this team by providing leadership to team members, operational support to Unity’s faculty, and concerting the work of both Unity’s Upper School and Unity’s Lower School.  

In addition to ensuring the continued successful and efficient management of the Upper and Lower school’s operational functions, Unity’s Director of Operations will provide visionary leadership in the following areas:

  1. Devising strategy – Unity’s Director of Operations will spearhead the critical review and refinement of operational systems in both of Unity’s schools using the twin goals of simplicity and efficiency as guiding lights.
  2. Ensuring cohesion – Unity’s Director of Operations will further develop the connection between the school’s operations team and learning environments in the Upper and Lower schools in an effort to ensure all student and teacher needs are anticipated and addressed as efficiently as possible, thereby maximizing learning opportunities.  The Director of Operations will also lead the work of unifying the operations systems employed at both the Upper and Lower school, and centralizing student and HR records.

The Director of Operations will report to Unity’s Head of School. The Director of Operations will earn a competitive salary commensurate with experience.  The position includes a full benefits package including medical, vision, dental, and retirement plan.

Responsibilities

Unity’s Director of Operations will oversee the following areas in both of Unity’s schools:

Non-instructional personnel

  • Manage Operations team
  • Devise, execute, and evaluate implementation of strategic vision and professional development for Operations department
  • Actively seek out ways to continually improve Operations practices in order to increase the effectiveness and efficiency of operations systems

Facility

  • Coordinate the use of shared spaces in each school building
  • Supervise custodial staff and monitor submitted requests for repairs to school building to ensure prompt completion
  • Initiate and track service records for office equipment and technology infrastructure
  • Ensure school books, materials, furniture, and equipment are properly stored and accessible when needed
  • Enter and monitor permits for building use outside of regular school hours

Human Resources

  • Manage Unity’s benefits package and HR compliance
  • Lead the creation and posting of open positions for staff recruitment
  • Coordinate interview logistics
  • Administer, collect, and store documentation for new hires and returning staff

Finance and Purchasing

  • Monitor and purchase school, office, other supplies
  • Receive deliveries and distribute items to appropriate parties
  • Ensure that Unity’s financial policies and procedures are implemented with fidelity
  • Research purchases and identify cost savings

Student and Staff Record Management

  • Maintain personnel records and track staff sick and personal leave
  • Support the collection and maintenance of student records in accordance with city, state, and federal regulations, and generate reports and submit data as needed
  • Identify irregularities in student and staff records, update information as necessary
  • Oversee creation and distribution of progress reports and report cards
  • Manage student transcript requests, teacher recommendations, and other records requests
  • Coordinate student transportation with the New York City Department of Education
  • Maintain student records in ATS and CIR, generate various reports
  • Organize and maintain physical student record files

Student Recruitment

  • Communicate with families of prospective students and community members
  • Collect student applications and documents
  • Maintain student and staff information database
  • Maintain list of elementary schools and elementary-level programs, services, affiliates, and events (i.e., youth services programs, churches, community organizations) with which to correspond regarding student recruitment
  • Assist in the creation and dissemination of student recruitment mailings including fliers, brochures, and other informational documents
  • Track student admission applications and maintains waitlist

City/state/federal regulations and reporting

  • Liaise with City, State, and Federal Departments of Education
  • Prepare student and school-related data, as needed, for submission to City, State, and Federal Departments of Education
  • Manage insurance compliance and policy coverage

Scheduling

  • Assist in scheduling family-teacher conferences, teacher office hours, family events, standardized testing, use of audio/video equipment, computer carts/lab, and other technologies
  • Coordinate and support classroom or student club coverages in the event of teacher/staff absence

Family and Community Relations

  • Coordinate written and telephonic correspondence with families and community members
  • Communicate with students’ families to keep families abreast of school news
  • Cultivate and maintain positive rapport with administration of co-located school

Technology

  • Maintain Unity’s technology infrastructure
  • Manage contract and service provision by Unity’s technology service vendor
  • Coordinate maintenance of staff and student computers, school website, and school wireless networks

Transportation services

  • Coordinate the provision of student MetroCards
  • Maintain ATS data to ensure that student transportation records are current
  • Ensure that students whose IEPs mandate busing receive busing service as required

Food services

  • Manage vendor relationships and compliance with State requirements for the Free and Reduced Meals Program, including recordkeeping
  • Design lunchroom procedures, supervises cafeteria staff and school aides

School safety

  • Manage annual revision and compliance with the school safety plan, supervise drills,
  • Ensure regular maintenance of the security systems and design procedures and policies to maintain a safe school environment on a daily basis

Key Qualifications

  • Demonstrated commitment to the vision and philosophy of Unity Preparatory Charter School of Brooklyn
  • At least 3 years of experience as an Operations Manager or a comparable position in a comparable organization
  • Sets the highest standard of excellence for herself/himself
  • Commitment to acting with honesty and integrity in all matters involving Unity students, parents, staff, and community members
  • Experience in creating, analyzing, and improving systems and procedures
  • Exceptional time management and multitasking skills
  • Detail oriented and highly organized
  • Expertise in working with diverse populations of students and families; familiarity with Unity’s student population and the community to be served
  • A demonstrated openness and responsiveness to constructive feedback and a strong commitment to continuous improvement and professional growth
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills; strong interpersonal skills with students, parents, colleagues, and community members; experience working collaboratively in team settings
  • Approaches work with maturity, humility, versatility, a solution-oriented mindset with a strong work ethic, and, of course, a sense of humor
  • Proficient in MS Office Suite programs, ATS, CIR
  • Fluency in Spanish preferred
  • Bachelor’s degree is required

As an equal opportunity employer, Unity Preparatory Charter School of Brooklyn hires without consideration to race, religion, creed, color, national origin, age, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, marital status, or disability.