Ethical Culture Fieldston School is a progressive PreK-12 independent school serving students throughout New York City and the surrounding suburbs. Committed to academic excellence, ethical learning, and progressive education, ECFS offers a rich and challenging curriculum in the arts, sciences, and humanities. A co-ed, nonsectarian school, it serves a diverse community of 1,700+ students from PreK to 12th grade on two campuses -- one in the Riverdale section of the Bronx and the other in Manhattan. The Upper School, located in the Bronx, is comprised of approximately 600 students and over 100 faculty members.
What is essential about working at our school?
Ethical Culture Fieldston School has a long history of equity and inclusion, deeply rooted in our mission and the educational philosophy of our founder Felix Adler. We embrace a diversity of ancestry, family, identity, culture, and belief and seek a student body and faculty who reflect the pluralism and socio-economic diversity of metropolitan New York. We affirm both our differences and commonalities and strive to balance individuality and community. In keeping with our progressive tradition, we are dedicated to increasing our students’ cultural literacy to help them understand multiple perspectives and see the world beyond the self. We expect members of our community to engage in open dialogue about living and learning in a diverse environment inside and outside the classroom. We see this work with its creative tensions as a catalyst for individual and collective growth. On a daily basis, we are committed to making this vision of a democratic, pluralistic, and progressive school a reality.
The support that the Form Dean offers is at the heart of what makes Fieldston unique. Deans help the big school feel small and allow for individual attention, an essential part of progressive education. The Dean’s job is a teaching job, involving endless one-to-one lessons, teaching to multiple intelligences and different learning styles, and improvising different lesson plans for many constituencies. They work to foster the intellectual, artistic, emotional, ethical, physical, and social development of each of the approximately 150 students in the form throughout their Upper School career. In order to accomplish this purpose, the Dean must work closely with individual students and their parents on academic and affective issues, and serve as a resource for the advisors and teachers in the grade. The Dean maintains a consistent, available presence for students, advisers, teachers, and parents as a resource for problem-solving for issues that arise. The four Upper School deans work collaboratively, calling on their collective wisdom and experience to inform decisions made in specific situations and crises. The Form Dean reports to the Upper School Principal and works very closely (and is also supervised by the Assistant Principal of School Life), the other Deans, the Director of College Counseling, the Director of the Learning Center, the DEI team, the Ethics and Technology coordinator, the School Psychologist, and the School Nurse.
The Form Dean:
Is a Union Represented position
Serves as a member of the Upper School leadership team, collaborating closely with their fellow Deans
Regularly represents the school at Fieldston-sponsored events
Teaches one class per semester or 25% of a normal teaching load
Serves as a co-advisor to a group of students in the Form
Takes on a 4-year commitment (one cycle): the Dean "travels" with their form as they move through the Upper School.
This role is expected to last no more than two full cycles (8 years total)
The Form Dean & Individual Students:
Works with the student and the student’s parents and advisor to ensure the student’s placement in appropriate courses and to help plan the student’s academic and co-curricular program
Reads home reports and consults with a student’s teachers and advisor as well as with the student and their parents to monitor their academic progress and overall well-being
Consults with the student, their parents, teachers, advisor, and other adults in the school community to help that student resolve any problems that the student is experiencing at school
In consultation with the Psychologist, meets with students in distress and their families to counsel them about issues related to the student’s emotional, psychological health, or well-being, and assists students and families in obtaining outside counseling or psychotherapy to address those issues
In consultation with the Learning Center, the Dean meets with families about psycho-educational evaluations and writes letters to ETS/ACT about accommodation appeals
In collaboration with either the Learning Center or school counselors, the Dean might speak to or meet with outside tutors and therapists
Works with the Assistant Principal (in both middle and upper) and with the Admissions staff to make students’ transition into Upper School as successful as possible and works with the College Counseling staff to help students and their parents through the college process
Determines which, if any, students in the form should be placed on academic or disciplinary probation, counsels students on probation and their families, and with the Upper School Principal and AP for Academics determines which, if any, students ought not to receive contracts for the following year
The Form Dean in working with the other Deans, DEI team members, Assistant Principals, and Principal:
Meets weekly to coordinate efforts, discuss student issues, plan events, and ensure general cohesion across the grades.
Meets weekly with the Assistant Principal of Student Life to discuss grade-level happenings, concerns, and activities.
Supports our school’s mission and values and initiatives across all Forms
Discusses all major disciplinary concerns and issues that involve a student’s physical and emotional well being with the AP for Student Life
Collaborates with the AP for Academic Life around student academic concerns
Collaborates with Diversity Coordinators in addressing and supporting topics of diversity, equity, and inclusion
Supports the design and delivery of an advisory curriculum
Deans attend two summer retreat days in order to plan for the upcoming year. These dates are set in mutual agreement with the Principals and the APs for Student and Academic Life.
Form Dean & Parents:
The Dean maintains positive and direct contact with the parent body, establishing open lines of communication and developing strong, supportive relationships
The Dean is often the first person a parent will call; the Form Dean works with the student’s teachers, advisor, and others to address parent concerns
Meets regularly with the P+T
Works with the P+T Coordinators and other form parents to arrange special family events for the form and serves as a liaison between parents and school personnel in arranging those events
Regularly represents the School at parent events and other evening gatherings for the Form, coordinating and speaking at those events
Form Dean & Student Discipline:
Supports the Attendance Secretary in determining the accuracy of class and school attendance
Assigns detentions for class cuts, tardiness, and other lesser offenses.
Investigates alleged violations of major school rules and communicates with students and their parents regarding how the Disciplinary Committee and other school offices are handling those alleged violations
Serves as a member of the Disciplinary Committee
Form Dean & Colleagues:
Works with individual teachers to resolve any issues that arise between a student and teacher
Communicates to a Department Chair regarding significant concerns about a teacher expressed by students or parents in the form
Shares with the Department Chairs, the Principal, and the Assistant Principal the feedback from students and parents about probationary and long-term contract teachers
The Form Dean & Advisors:
Supports the advisors in their work with individual students
Coordinates the work of individual advisors in planning advisor meetings, orienting new students, planning parent conferences, assisting in course registration, and other form-wide activities
Trains and advises new advisors to the school
The Form Dean & Major Field trips:
Works with the Principal, the Assistant Principals, and the other Form Deans to plan and calendar special events
Coordinates Form Trips or major form wide events in collaboration with department chairs, community service, or other administrators.
Bachelor’s Degree required. Masters degree in educational leadership, counseling, or social work a plus.
Minimum of 5 years (8+ preferred) of excellent and prior high school teaching experience
Have an understanding of cultural competency and how to support a diverse student population
Proven effectiveness in time management, organization, and short-term and long term planning
Must have a keen sense of understanding of the developmental age group of high school-aged students (14-18 years of age) as well as a consistent presence and passion for working with students of these ages
Exhibit a high level of emotional intelligence and the ability to have nuanced conversations with different constituencies
Experience and comfort with having difficult conversations
Is a systems thinker and can modulate between macro and micro perspectives in supporting students, their families and colleagues effectively
Must be flexible, collaborative, have a sense of humor, and open to feedback
Proven effectiveness in proactive planning and organization.
Excellent and timely written and oral communication.
Proficient in Technology- Google Apps
To be considered for the above-mentioned position, please submit the following 4 items via ADP: a letter of interest, a resume, a statement of your educational philosophy, and email and phone contact information for five professional references. Complete applications must be submitted by Sunday, February 28, 2021 to be considered. Incomplete applications will not be reviewed. Please do not contact the school.
ECFS is an equal opportunity employer. Our goal is to be a diverse community of professionals that broadly reflects the people of the metropolitan New York City area, our students, and families. We aim to align our hiring process with our mission and institutional goals. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment and will not be discriminated against on the basis of race, color, religion or religious practices, sex, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, citizenship status, national origin, age, ability status, military status, unemployment status or any other category protected by applicable local, state, or federal laws. ECFS takes affirmative action in support of its policy to employ and advance all qualified candidates.
About Ethical Culture Fieldston School
Ethical Culture Fieldston School is a progressive PreK to 12 independent school serving students from throughout New York City and the surrounding suburbs.
Committed to academic excellence, ethical learning, and progressive education, ECFS offers a rich and challenging curriculum in the arts, sciences, and humanities.
A coed, nonsectarian school, it serves a diverse community of about 1,700 students from PreK to 12 on two campuses -- one in the Riverdale section of the Bronx, and the other in Manhattan.