Brooklyn Friends School (BFS), a thriving PreK-12 grade school located in vibrant Downtown Brooklyn, seeks a visionary leader to serve (effective July 2021) as Head of Middle School and guide a vibrant community of eager-to-learn and engage middle schoolers and highly committed and talented colleagues (BFS uses the all-inclusive term, colleagues, to refer to all rather than one that delineates faculty/staff). Founded in 1867, Brooklyn Friends School’s pillars of social justice, service learning/civic engagement, and Quakerism, serve as guideposts for our action-oriented collective work. Our school’s history has been illustrious and reflective of the expansive nature of human experiences. Guided by our mission, BFS provides a dynamic, diverse, and robust social/emotional environment and academic program that cultivates compassionate, intellectually curious, and confident changemakers. As a school, we affirm that human diversity includes, but is not limited to: race, ethnicity, culture, national origin, religion, gender, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, age, socioeconomic class, family structure and physical ability, as well as diversity of thought, talents, and learning style.
THE LEADER Leading and working with dynamic and engaged colleagues, the Head of Middle School is charged with overseeing the day-to-day operations of the Middle School as well as articulating a clear and compelling vision for the future. The Head of Middle School promotes a culture of inclusion and belonging, positivity, strength, and joy for BFS middle school students and understands that engagement with all community members, students and colleagues, is a personalized process in which a purposeful praxis is the ideal method of engagement, i.e., listening, engaging, understanding, and reflecting.
With immensely talented colleagues, committed families, a meaningful curricular program, and a community that believes in a values-actionable educational experience, Brooklyn Friends is in a uniquely positive position with a deeply-rooted identity and mission combined with genuine openness to the possibilities that lie ahead. As a school guided by Quaker principles of Equity, Peace, Stewardship, Simplicity, Integrity, and Community, the Head of Middle School will help to ensure that all BFS middle school students are able to cultivate their voices and perspectives while also taking risks, working on individual and collaborative challenges, delving into a values-laden spiritual core, and simply enjoying the growing up process as they prepare for their eventual high school experience at BFS. To achieve this, the Head of Middle School will focus on leading a strong and vibrant body of colleagues. This informed leader is also one who is poised and inspired to work collaboratively, creatively, and decisively with a solid and cohesive leadership team ready to inform and shape the contemporary identity of our school within New York City and beyond.
The Head of Middle School reports to the Head of School with programmatic supervision led by the Assistant Head of School. This person is a member of two Leadership Teams and takes primary responsibility and accountability for all aspects involving students and colleagues in the division. Colleagues assigned to the Middle School, the Middle School Leadership Team, and the Middle School Administrative Assistant report to the Division Head.
DESIRED LEADERSHIP QUALITIES
Demonstrates . . .
A commitment to enthusiastically working with Middle School aged children (Grades 5-8) and a record of exceptional teaching as well as thoughtful creativity as a cultivator of ideas that have follow-through
Respect for the life of the child
Genuine ability and desire to work across difference (intellectually and socially)
Deep expertise in curriculum design, instruction, and assessment and prior experience in the development of strategic programs and systems across grades and/or department
Earnest commitment to Quaker values as core to our students’ lived experiences
Personal and professional commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion, and anti-racist teaching practices and the requisite skillfulness to support continued student and colleague growth in this area and to facilitate critical conversations in the design and implementation of further inclusive curriculum and programs
High emotional intelligence and sensitivity to school community dynamics; exceptional organizational and consistently strong and gracious interpersonal skills and the ability to communicate with inspiration and clarity and build trust across a wide range of audiences
Joy and a respectful sense of humor
Confidence and humility to advocate for new ideas while also exhibiting flexibility and ability to pivot in direction as needed
Open to healthy debate, constructive feedback, diversity of perspectives, and celebration of mistakes as part of self-reflection and personal/professional growth process
A steadfast devotion to continued learning and development and staying current with educational research and best practices
Compassion and accessibility
Ability to view challenges and problems as opportunities for growth and transformation
Compassion, integrity, and open-mindedness in all interactions
Collegiality, approachability, flexibility, and adaptability
An ability to partner and collaborate with all community members
To apply, please provide the following:
Resume/Curriculum Vitae - Candidates are encouraged to include hyperlinks to applicable examples of their work in their professional journey
A Personal Statement/Cover Letter addressed to Head of School, Crissy Cáceres, that expresses the ways in which your journey has demonstrated the school’s pillars of Equity and Inclusion, Quakerism, and Service Learning/Civic Engagement and how you see yourself further making them actionable within the context of your leadership of the BFS Middle School
List of four references with name, title, relationship, and contact information
Optional: Any other documents/media/artifacts from your experience that you think represent you in an authentic manner
Email the above as attachments or (if possible) one comprehensive PDF to [email protected].Please put as the subject line, Head of Middle School. Thank you!
For further review: The following additional information encapsulates the detailed responsibilities of the role.
Maintain, and lead the culture of the Middle School learning community and its educational program in accord with the school’s mission, Quaker values, and Friends practice
Take a primary role in promoting learning, building a sense of community, and meeting the academic, aesthetic, and affective needs of Middle School students
Establish and articulate a vision and identity for the Middle School that engages students, colleagues, and families
Be an active, effective, visible, and friendly presence in all areas of the Middle School dealing with routine and extraordinary issues as they arise
Promote and include diversity, equity, and inclusion goals, initiatives, and policies in line with the school’s vision and Quaker values within all aspects of the Middle School experience
Oversee the accurate and timely maintenance of student records and transcripts.
Support and manage the guidance system; supervise the work of the healthcare professionals and learning specialists with students
Maintain congruence between the school’s mission and all activities of the Middle School
Ensure that the Head of School is regularly and promptly informed about the division’s general programs, activities, challenges, and points of pride
Work collaboratively with the other division heads to ensure that BFS lives as ONE SCHOOL
Work collaboratively and creatively with department heads and individual teaching colleagues to ensure that the division’s curriculum appropriately challenges and meets the needs of the Middle School students
Observe, supervise, and evaluate faculty in the development and implementation of an inclusive curriculum which is reflective of different narratives and voices
Engage divisional colleagues in regular ongoing review and evaluation of the curriculum. Maintain an up-to-date knowledge base and familiarity with the central issues and research areas encompassed by the division’s curriculum
Review and assess the Middle School academic program with an eye towards a consistent evaluation of any curricular biases or blind spots
Organize and support high-quality professional development opportunities that are focused, aligned to the division’s goals, and support effective teaching.
Listen actively to individual and collective colleague concerns and seek solutions.
Conduct regular meetings with Middle School colleagues that both address routine matters and include the exchange of ideas on issues of educational/ philosophical interests and concerns
As appropriate, lead decision-making processes that reflect Quaker values and practice
Serve as the final evaluator of divisional colleagues in collaboration with relevant department chairs and MS leadership team members
Take responsibility for ensuring, through regular evaluation, that divisional colleagues perform assigned duties
Make recommendations to the Head of School regarding the hiring, retention, and assignment of teaching colleagues
In collaboration with other Division Heads, work with the Head of School in the Head’s evaluation of school-wide leadership members/administrators
Directly supervise, support, and evaluate divisional administrators/leaders
In partnership with Director of Communications, take leadership responsibility for all Middle School family communications (written, printed, and online).
Meet regularly with Divisional Brooklyn Friends and Family (BFF) leaders to make sure they are informed about general academic and behavioral policies and the specific division-related events and programs that affect students.
Compassionately listen and respond to individual family concerns in a timely manner. Work with families to resolve issues related to their children.
In partnership with Leadership Team members, develop programming for families that further immerse them into all aspects of the Brooklyn Friends School core.
Students and Social/Emotional Well-Being
Listen to and respond substantively to student concerns on a timely basis.
Support students in their efforts and achievements in academics, the arts, athletics, Quaker life, equity and justice initiatives, and service learning/civic engagement.
Oversee all divisional Grade Level Meetings.
Cultivate student leadership and moral development.
Oversee the effective ongoing development and implementation of disciplinary systems.
Collaborate with Deans and the Middle School Counselor to address health/social/emotional needs of students and ensure that these are prioritized within the context of their Middle School years.
Collaborate with Learning Specialists to see that learning needs of individual students are addressed.
Daily Operations and Budget
Accountability for the smooth, efficient, and friendly operation of the division on a daily basis
In collaboration with the school schedulers, make sure that student schedules, colleague schedules, and the scheduling of courses are maximally free of conflicts within the bounds of the school’s master schedule
In partnership with Assistant Head of MS for Academics, oversee the accurate and timely maintenance of student records and transcripts
Work collaboratively with the Chief Financial Officer and the Head of School to monitor and manage the operating budget of the division
Admissions and Re-enrollment
Articulate the strengths of the division to prospective families in group presentations and individual discussions at Admissions Events
Collaborate with the Director of Enrollment on the development of initiatives that address the transition of students and families between divisions
Actively support the efforts of the Head of School and Director of Enrollment to increase the continued matriculation within the Middle School and the eventual transition to the BFS Upper School
Interdivisional and All-School Responsibilities
Communicate early and often with fellow division heads and the Head of School about anything happening at the division that might affect the school’s other divisions; be mindful that changes to policies, plans, and curricula may have intended or unintended impact
Under the leadership of the Assistant Head of School, work collaboratively with other division heads as part of the Academic Leadership Team (ALT) to ensure an equitable distribution of the school’s resources that maximizes benefits for all BFS students and faculty
Under the leadership of the Head of School, engage fully within the school’s comprehensive Leadership Team, contributing as a thought partner to various school endeavors and decision-making processes
Work with Division Heads, Department Chairs, and others to design and develop necessary structures to enable robust conversation and evaluation of school goals, departmental/divisional goals, materials, methods, and means of assessments