The Potomac School in McLean, Virginia, seeks an experienced administrator to lead its Lower School effective July 2021. Potomac enjoys an extraordinary reputation as one of the top independent K-12 day schools in the nation; the School enrolls 1,054 students on a spectacular 90-acre campus just minutes from Washington, D.C. Since its founding near Washington’s Dupont Circle in 1904, Potomac School’s educational philosophy has defined the learning process as an exploratory endeavor driven by students’ natural curiosity and interests. From kindergarten through 12th grade, Potomac faculty seek to develop engaged learners who possess both the intellectual abilities and the character traits needed to thrive in a rapidly changing and demanding society.
The Head of the Lower School is responsible for leading the division (grades K-3), its 212 students and 35 faculty members, and for overseeing day-to-day operations, academic programs, student life, faculty professional development, and other related aspects of the Lower School. As a member of Potomac’s senior leadership team, the Lower School Division Head will work closely with the Head of School as well as with the Associate Head of School and Assistant Head for Academics.
The Head of the Lower School will play a central role in helping the division enhance its curriculum and programs, complementing the existing signature programs that the school has developed. The school seeks candidates who enjoy collaborating with faculty to develop cultural competence curriculum and new programs while remaining committed to its core culture and values. The individual selected for this role will be a leader who possesses a deep understanding of the development of kindergarten through third graders; maintain consistent, efficient, and timely management of the division; and ensure a healthy balance among academics, the arts, and other activities.
Assist in long-range institutional and divisional planning
Screen, interview, and recommend potential candidates for hiring
Assume common responsibility in designing and implementing school-wide administrative, personnel, and curricular policies
Work with faculty to evaluate, refine, and implement a coordinated, sequential and articulated curriculum in the context of the total school program
Supervise and evaluate faculty performance and classroom management and support professional growth with:
Classroom visits with observation
Regularly scheduled meetings with each faculty member
Periodic evaluations for each faculty member
Attentiveness to professional growth opportunities
Organizing the yearly schedule of classes, teaching responsibilities, and duties
Plan regular faculty meetings
Plan in-service programs
Coordinate with Director of Admissions in the review of candidates for the Lower School
Serve as a member of the Admissions Committee and implement student admission and dismissal policies
Prepare necessary handbooks and sections of external reports
Manage calendar of events for the lower school
Oversee textbook and supply orders
All other duties as assigned
Student and Family:
Provide an environment conducive to academic, moral, social, emotional, and physical growth
Clarify, maintain, and enforce discipline procedures in coordination with the administration, faculty, and school-wide policies
Monitor student academic and individual growth by:
Visiting classes regularly and participating in assessment and evaluation of student’s developmental needs
Referring children for further evaluation and assisting with appropriate interventions
Organizing and maintaining student records
Scheduling and attending regular level meetings with faculty
Providing assessment, grading, and reporting systems.
Monitor attendance procedures as well as the arrival and dismissal of student
Support faculty in communicating personal and academic progress of students and oversee all correspondences relating to student life programs, discipline, and procedures
Facilitate additional support services when needed in conjunction with teachers and counselor
Qualities and Qualifications
Advocates and models The Potomac School’s core values: courage, integrity, respect, humility, and perseverance
Builds relationships and community
Listens with care and values collaboration but is willing to step up and make difficult decisions
Leads with visibility, warmth, and engagement
Fosters diversity, equity, and inclusion
Approaches others thoughtfully, reflectively, and intentionally
Conducts themselves with self-confidence and self-mastery
Professional Skills and Experience:
Bachelor’s degree required
Administrative experience in a lower school
Demonstrated expertise and passion about early childhood education
Demonstrates “versatile leadership”—the ability to communicate and lead effectively in diverse situations with various constituents, from large assemblies to one-on-one meetings
Proven academic leader with a minimum of two years of solid classroom experience, committed to excellent teaching and ongoing faculty professional development
Values the strengths of a liberal arts program yet is open to creating new programs, adapting existing curriculum, and exploring innovative methods of instruction to address emerging needs and opportunities
Demonstrates strong organizational and management skills
Experienced supervisor who hires for mission and can effectively manage, motivate, mentor, and coach personnel
Strong interpersonal skills and the ability to engage effectively with children, parents, and colleagues
In striving to fulfill its mission, The Potomac School seeks many different voices, viewpoints, and backgrounds of candidates who embody our core values of courage, integrity, humility, perseverance, and respect. We recognize that differences are a source of strength, and we know that everyone is enriched when each person's contributions and perspectives are valued.
About The Potomac School
The Potomac School is an independent K-12 day school located in McLean, Va. While we are a K-12 school, we are more accurately described as a K through lifetime experience. We nurture the development of our students as unique individuals and as contributing members of a vibrant learning community.
Our school comprises four distinct yet interconnected divisions, joined through a shared mission, integrated curriculum, and deeply rooted communal ties. We enjoy the beauty and natural resources of our 90-acre campus, our athletic fields, woods, streams, and ponds providing a rare and wonderful setting for each student's educational journey.
Mission: At The Potomac School, we believe that intellectual development, love of learning, and strength of character are complementary, and equally essential, educational goals. With a firm commitment to our core values and a rigorous academic program, we prepare students to lead lives of purpose, achievement, and generosity of spirit.