Lower School Division Head

job description

Westside Neighborhood School, a PS-8 coed day school in the Playa Vista area serving over 500 students, is seeking a Lower School (Grades 1-4) Division Head to join a dynamic, forward-thinking team at a very exciting time in our school’s history. We are looking for an extraordinarily strong and creative administrator who is fully committed to promoting social justice in our words and deeds.

This position is for a July 1, 2022 start date.

Our Mission

WNS is committed to creating a deeply caring community of lifelong learners that nurtures students from diverse backgrounds to reach their full potential, develop cultural competency, and inspire the world with their curiosity, innovation, compassion, and stewardship.

WNS embraces a positive, child-centered approach to education that strives to fully develop the potential of each student intellectually, socially, emotionally, and physically. Our high academic and ethical standards encourage students to take responsibility for their learning and their behavior. Propelled by curiosity, WNS students are learners, doers, and makers. We provide students with a platform to become entrepreneurs by nurturing their intrinsic ability to innovate. Our program is designed to engage students in a project-based, active-learning curriculum that challenges all students to grow. We provide an environment steeped in a growth mindset where each child is able to experience success, embrace mistakes as a part of the journey, is confident in taking intellectual risks, and where individuals feel valued in their differences and value the differences in others.

Job Overview

The Lower School Division Head works closely with the Head of School and Assistant Head of School. The Lower School Division Head also serves on an academic leadership team with the ECC Division Head, Middle School Division head, and Director of Auxiliary Programs. Together these roles function as a cohesive academic leadership team and are responsible for providing educational leadership in accordance with the mission, philosophy, and policies set forth by the Board of Trustees. The Lower School Division Head is also an integral part of the Senior Administrative Staff, who work closely with the Head of School, Department Heads and the other Division Heads to oversee the smooth day to day operation of the school as well as engage in long range planning.

The Division Heads are responsible for all aspects of the school’s curriculum (academic, social-emotional, and DEIJ integration) and, in collaboration with the teachers, ensure that the curriculum is meeting the needs of all students with attention to neurodiversity and differentiated instruction. The Division Head visits classrooms frequently and meets regularly with teachers to discuss curriculum and monitor individual student development. The Division Heads coordinate professional development for the faculty in collaboration with the academic leadership team. They are also available to address any questions or concerns from parents that cannot be answered by the classroom teachers. Division Heads are also the key contact points for parents of children in your division, as well as forming important relationships with the children in your division.

Job Responsibilities

  • Furthering the work of diversity, equity, inclusion and justice (DEIJ) throughout the curriculum and school community. 
  • Provide a model for positive leadership and continual reflection and evolution.
  • Continuing to strengthen student support systems through coordination of learning specialists and counselors with faculty, administration, and families.
  • Finding ways to become immersed in student life and getting to know students as well as possible.
  • Gaining a solid understanding of the elementary school curriculum and intricacies of the schedule, including research and initiatives to change aspects of the program.
  • Embracing the collaborative, highly communicative, and supportive culture of the Senior Administration.
  • Leading, while also developing the leadership capacity of the distributive leadership model that exists across the school.
  • Maintaining the culture of open communication between faculty, administration, and parents that has been well established at the school.
  • Collaborate with DEIJ Leadership Task Force and administrative team to design and facilitate learning opportunities for staff and students focused on research-based best practices in DEIJ; culturally responsive and sustaining pedagogy, curriculum and practices; and anti-racist, anti-bias, social justice education
  • Design, facilitate, and implement level-specific professional development aligned with school philosophy, goals, and professional research.
  • Create an environment where teachers have opportunities to engage in research and professional development that builds teaching staff capacity.

Who You Are

  • A leader who models a growth mindset and comfort with change, inspires and motivates others, and at the same time brings focus and balance to a hardworking, aspirational community.
  • A person who values and respects children in the developmental ages and stages present in the division and beyond and seeks to bring their voices forward.
  • An authentic person with integrity, intellect, creativity, and genuine interest in and care for others.
  • A manager who can clearly highlight strengths as well as growth opportunities in the faculty and staff. Someone who prioritizes opportunities for growth and leadership, values a diversity of perspectives, and balances collaboration and decisiveness.
  • A joyful and optimistic person with a good sense of humor.

Experience and Skills

  • At least six years of relevant experience, ideally in an independent school, that includes experience as a classroom teacher in a variety of K-5 grade levels. 
  • Broad and deep knowledge of early childhood/elementary development, best practices in progressive teaching and social-emotional learning, and engagement with current research and national conversations about the future of education.
  • Experience working effectively with children across a range of neurodiversity.
  • Demonstrated excellence in oral and written communication skills
  • Ability to understand and engage in problem-solving with administrators 
  • Ability to set clear priorities and define an appropriate pace of change that balances progress and innovation with reflection and sensitivity to the community.
  • A nuanced understanding of diversity, equity, inclusion, and social justice; skill in growing and supporting programs and practices in these areas; and a recognition of one’s own identities and biases and how they may impact one’s perspectives and actions.

WNS is dedicated to excellence and the creation of a diverse faculty and staff that best represents our student body and the city of Los Angeles. Westside Neighborhood School is an equal opportunity employer.

Cover letters and resumes should be submitted to Dylan Anglin, Director of Human Resources, at DAnglin@wns-la.org