Since 1939, San Francisco’s Town School for Boys has had a rich history as a school specializing in teaching boys. The school is also known for the Town School New Teacher Institute and its commitment to training teachers new to their craft. The school’s goals include teaching boys to be good citizens, to enjoy their childhood, to develop a positive sense of self, to give back to their greater community, and to develop academic and intellectual skills which will serve them well through their lifetimes. The school prizes its growing diversity of background, religion, and race, as well as the diversity of interests which is so noteworthy in its student and alumni bodies. Located in San Francisco, Town School for Boys is a K-8 independent day school. Since its founding, Town School has been committed to providing the best possible education for boys and is recognized as one of California's leading independent elementary schools.
Town School for Boys, a K-8 Independent Day School located in San Francisco, is seeking applicants for the Director of High School Placement position for the 2022-23 school year.
Reports to: Head of School
The Director of High School Placement serves as the primary guide and support person for 8th grade students and parents as they navigate the secondary school admissions process. The Director designs and facilitates a learning journey for parents and students alike to learn about schools, reflect and consider fit, complete the application process and help each boy find the “just right” school. To do this job well, the Director should enjoy time with students and parents alike, but be especially effective at developing strong relationships with 8th grade boys in order to serve as their advocate and authentic cheerleader in the admissions process. The Director partners with 8th grade teachers to complete recommendations and build a thorough understanding of their curricula and expectations. Strong relationships and rapport between the Director and 8th grade faculty are vital. The Director also develops and sustains strong relationships with secondary schools across the nation and notably hosts the largest boarding school fair on the West Coast each spring at Town School. In addition, the Director advocates with integrity for 8th grade students at the secondary schools and understands the complexity of the high school admissions process, including tuition assistance. In addition, the Director tracks, monitors, and presents longitudinal data regarding admission results, educational outcomes, and overall trends. Supporting families through the process also consists of hosting informational meetings, alumni and school sponsored events, and leading special events for the 8th grade class.
Classification and Workload: Exempt; 1.0 FTE (may include some teaching, depending on background and interest of the candidate)
Duties and Responsibilities of the job include:
The Director of High School Placement reports directly to the Head of School and is responsible for administering all aspects of the secondary school search and admissions process, including the following responsibilities:
Introducing students and their parents to a wide array of secondary school options, including independent, religious, public, and boarding programs; educating students and their parents about high school options, the high school admissions process, trends, general procedures, and standardized testing; advising and supporting classes of 45-50 boys and their families as they go through the process; and helping students and families aspire realistically and choose wisely.
Meeting with students, both individually and in groups, to guide them through various components of the secondary school admissions process. This includes conducting workshops and one-on-one sessions to ensure that students are prepared for campus visits, open houses, essays, interviews, standardized testing, and writing thank you notes. Working with students and their parents to help them determine a realistic list of schools and to consider their individual school choices when decisions are released.
Conducting annual writing and interview workshops and meeting with students individually to support essay writing and interviewing skills. Setting up additional mock interviews with members of the professional community outside of the high school counseling office in order to give students authentic interview practice.
Meeting with approximately 50 admissions representatives who visit Town School for Boys each season and facilitating meetings between them and Town School for Boys students. Serving as a liaison between families and high school admissions offices throughout the year.
Visiting local and boarding secondary schools on a regular basis to get to know admissions officers and heads of school and to become familiar with the variety of school programs throughout the country.
Working with the 7th and 8th grade teachers to complete recommendations and with the Registrar to collate and submit academic records, including SSAT scores, transcripts, report cards, artifacts from their Town School for Boys years, and teacher/advisor/coach comments.
Ensuring that each 8th grade student has access to SSAT prep, including advocating for financial resources for those students receiving financial assistance and arranging and/or managing the SSAT prep for those students. Speaking with tutors and tutoring companies on a regular basis in order to understand various SSAT prep options.
Writing an official school recommendation for each 8th grade student, with input and oversight from the Upper School Head and Head of School. To be successful in this process, the high school counselor gathers information from parents, teachers, school records, co-curricular teachers and coaches, and the students themselves (through observation, personal meetings, and a formal written questionnaire). The Director of High School Placement also completes all checklists and principal/counselor report forms requested by the secondary schools, including any evaluations of students. The counselor is also responsible for managing and submitting all official school recommendations and official transcripts to schools through various online submission systems.
Working with mathematics and English teachers to support recommendation writing and ensure that teachers are ready to submit all forms on time. Reading all mathematics and English recommendations, reviewing all subject-specific checklists and forms, and providing any necessary feedback to teachers. Supporting recommendation submission where needed.
Keeping parents informed through regular emails and a website with information about important events and deadlines, test dates, etc. Holding at least two advising conferences per family: one in the 7th grade spring and the other in the fall of 8th grade. Meeting with parents on the phone, online, or in person about school visits and perceptions, SSAT scores, and other needs throughout the season. Coordinating translators or other support for these meetings, as needed. Counseling students and families individually as they receive decisions in March and helping students evaluate their choices (including financial assistance packages where offered) when decisions are released.
Advocating for students at each school to which he has applied – on the phone, via email, and in person. Monitoring preliminary and final admission decisions and longitudinal statistics, and making an annual report to the Board of Trustees.
Designing and executing informational presentations in partnership with the Head of School, Upper School Head and Director of Admissions on an ongoing and as-needed basis. One presentation includes an introduction to the process to students/parents in the Spring of the 7th grade year. In addition, presentations are included in our Kindergarten and Upper School admissions tours. Moderate a panel of 8th grade boys for our Kindergarten Open House program.
Tracking and understanding issues and trends in secondary school admission, financial assistance and standardized testing, as well as keeping informed about important changes in public, parochial, and independent day and boarding schools. Attending national and regional conferences to remain informed.
Conducting an annual survey of recent Town School for Boys alumni (in partnership with the Director of Teaching, Learning and Innovation) to identify mathematics and language placement, leadership roles in high school, and other measures of success and happiness in high school.
Maintaining an active and dynamic web presence for families on Town School for Boys’ password-protected intranet as well as for the greater community on Town School for Boys’ public website.
Maintaining and disseminating information about standardized tests (SSAT), registering students for and administering several tests per season (one for 7th graders in the spring and two-to-three tests for 8th graders in the fall and winter), identifying and managing proctors for the test, and working with the Director of Learning Services to arrange for an extended time and other accommodations, as warranted.
Serving as a member and leader of the Bay Area Secondary School Counselors consortium, which works together to identify trends in admissions, establish best practices, and act as a partner to the Bay Area Admission Directors consortium.
Serving as a member of the school’s Director’s Group as a means of remaining closely connected to the K-8 educational program, contributing to the leadership of the school and developing school-wide relationships.
Keeping the Head of School duly informed about all matters of significance throughout the admission process, seeking advice as needed and engaging the Head’s direct advocacy in special circumstances.
Planning and hosting the San Francisco Boarding School Fair hosted on the first Sunday in May, with a social event the evening before. The Fair includes 100+ schools from across the country. The Director co-plans this event with Town’s Director of Special Events and develops it in partnership with placement directors from other local schools.
Understanding and advocating for the strengths inherent to an all-boys experience, particularly that at Town School for Boys.
Embodying in all ways the excellence, integrity and joy that Town School for Boys is known for, representing the school with pride and professionalism at all times.
Desired Qualifications and Skills Include:
Necessary qualifications for the Director of High School Placement include: a master’s degree in education, business, counseling, or a related field of study; independent school teaching, admissions and/or counseling experience; superior oral and written communication skills; discretion; an emotionally mature and warm presence; impeccable organizational skills, and the ability to meet deadlines. Also important to success in the role are strong interpersonal skills, independent work ethic, ability to manage multiple projects and constituencies simultaneously. The Director of High School Placement plays an important role in helping each boy identify and articulate his strengths, navigate uncertain territory, express joy and disappointment, and find the best fit for his next school.
The ideal candidate should have the ability to respond effectively to the needs of a diverse and committed student and parent population; knowledge of a wide range of local and boarding secondary schools (i.e. their leadership, admission apertures, academic programs, co-curricular offerings, support structures, culture and feel, admission and financial assistance policies). The successful Director of High School Placement also has enthusiasm for the mission, values, and goals of Town School for Boys.
When schools were forced to close their physical doors in the spring of 2020, Town quickly and successfully pivoted to online learning, supported by thorough planning and a nimble team of faculty, administration and Board members. In the fall of 2020, Town was the second school in the city of San Francisco to be granted permission to reopen, taking exceptional caution to protect the safety of faculty and students. Since October 2020, we have welcomed all grades in the building five days a week. The 2021-2022 school year is held in person, with our mask and social distancing protocols in place and following all SF Department of Health Guidelines. All adult employees of Town School for Boys are required to provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination.
Town School for Boys Mission
At Town School learning is prized, love of school is essential, and boyhood is celebrated.
As an all boys’ school, Town provides a rich, challenging and rigorous educational experience that addresses the distinctive energy levels and developmental styles of boys. Town values being a diverse community that nurtures integrity, sensitivity and respect in its boys, and prepares them to become productive and contributing members of an ever-changing world.
Respect: We respect ourselves and others.
We treat others the way they want to be treated.
We practice good listening, compassion and empathy.
Curiosity: We are curious.
We ask questions, think critically and solve problems.
We seek opportunities to reach our highest potential.
Belonging: We all belong.
We embrace and celebrate each of our unique stories and experiences.
We seek to ensure that every member of our community feels an equal sense of inclusion.
Integrity: We act with integrity.
We have the courage to do the right thing even when nobody else is watching.
We always try our best and when we fail, we try again.
Joy: We are joyful.
We make space for play, fun and laughter.
We know joy can be found in hard work, risk-taking and perseverance.
Statement of Teaching Philosophy:
Our goal is for each boy to be engaged in an environment that weaves together collaboration, critical thinking, integrity, empathy, and creativity. These broad skills, as well as a firm grounding in core academic competencies, offer boys an excellent preparation for their further education. We promote social and emotional learning as a foundation of academic excellence and self-discovery. We prepare students to meet challenges in the world by helping them develop an appreciation for a variety of perspectives from the local to the global. We celebrate diversity by fostering a community of learners built on mutual respect. Learning experiences are inclusive, relevant, flexible, innovative, and adapted to reflect the needs of all kinds of learners. In our joyful, active, and collaborative school, boys flourish.
We achieve these goals through an authentic curriculum that originates in the classroom, travels through the halls, and extends into the world. Our teaching balances traditional methods with key student-centered approaches including inquiry, project-based learning, and teaching for understanding. We stay relevant and current through our testing of innovative, research-based approaches. We model a commitment to lifelong learning, and we hone our craft by pursuing professional development and sharing knowledge with one another.
Statement on Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity:
Diversity, inclusion, and equity are essential core values of Town School. The best education for our students requires a diverse experience because a broad spectrum of ideas is essential for understanding different perspectives, challenging assumptions, and inspiring curiosity, to support critical and complex thinking.
We are committed to creating an inclusive and welcoming environment where each boy is free to be himself, and where boys are confident and secure in their own identities. We equip each boy with the tools to explore differences in experiences, background, beliefs and ideas. We seek to provide each student with the support and resources he needs to succeed and thrive at Town School.
A diverse and vibrant community is essential. To build and sustain such a community, we reach out to enroll students and families from a broad range of socioeconomic backgrounds, cultures, races, religions, and sexual orientations, and we recruit and retain faculty, staff and administrators from the same broad range of backgrounds. We cultivate an environment where every member of the Town community senses they matter as a significant part of the life of the school. Only when each person feels valued and is engaged may the school and the individual achieve their full potential.
Town School for Boys admits students of any race, color, religion, or national and ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the School. The School does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sexual orientation, or national and ethnic origin in the administration of its educational policies, scholarship programs, athletic and other school-administered programs.
Salary and benefits are commensurate with our peer schools in the San Francisco Bay Area and with similar NAIS schools.
To learn more about our faculty culture and community in general, please visit our Employment page.
Since its founding in 1939, Town School for Boys has specialized in educating, nurturing, and celebrating boys. Town provides a rich, challenging, and rigorous educational experience that directly serves the distinctive learning styles, energy levels, and developmental needs of boys in grades K-8. The school cultivates integrity, sensitivity, empathy, and respect in its boys; values diversity, equity, and inclusion; and prepares students to become productive citizens of a constantly evolving world. Town’s faculty and staff are dedicated to advancing the school’s mission, philosophy and core values. Distinguishing features of Town School include its engaging curricula, warm faculty and staff, supportive parent network, and the diversity of interests and backgrounds represented in its student and alumni bodies.