The Board of Trustees of Tremont School is searching for the next Head of School. After six successful years, Bill Wilmot, our founding HOS, stepped down in June 2017 to return to teaching. Linda Echt has been appointed Interim Head of School.
Founded in 2008, Tremont opened in the fall of 2011 in Weston. In the fall of 2016, the school moved to its current location on the Minuteman High School campus. Â Currently with 45 students in grades 5-12, Tremont will graduate its first class this year.
Tremont is a pioneering and innovative school in both community and curriculum. Offering a personalized and student-driven approach to learning, Tremont embraces diversity to create a distinctively supportive and collaborative community among students, teachers, parents, and community.
Tremont School challenges students to take ownership of their learning. We create a real-world, interdisciplinary context that fosters joyful exploration and develops students’ natural curiosity, personal interests, and individual potential. Tremont graduates critical thinkers, problem solvers, and compassionate and dynamic citizens.
Students thrive when they feel connected to what they are learning and when they contribute to a community.
Strong communities are built on a foundation of respect for diversity of thought, learning styles, personality, and culture.
Teaching must be individualized because learning is individualized.
The richest learning environment integrates the physical, social, emotional, and cognitive lives of students.
Tremont has aggressive goals for growth, taking advantage of our wonderful facility in Lexington, MA on the campus of Minuteman High School.
A timeline and additional information about the search will be posted shortly on the Tremont website. Â For more information in the meanwhile, please contact Tim Lee or Michele Fournier at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Community of the School
Campus and Location
Tremont is located on the campus of Minuteman High School, a regional technical and vocational high school in Lexington, Massachusetts. Tremont moved to its current location in the fall of 2016. The school is off Route 95. Â Hanscom Air Force Base, historic Concord, as well as conservation land, woods and parks are close by, affording many opportunities for experiential learning. The school has its own independent building on the Minuteman Campus with access to resources of the high school while retaining its own unique community. Tremont is part of AISNE (Association of Independent Schools of New England), NAIS (National Association of Independent Schools), and uses educational resources from each of these organizations to further its mission and develop its faculty and staff. Tremont is currently a candidate for accreditation with NEASC(New England Association of Schools and Colleges).
Tremont students come from over 24 cities and towns. Students come with a wide variety of learning styles and Tremont works to ensure that it admits students who can be successful. Depending on enrollment, there are two or three sections of students in middle school and one or two sections in high school. Students often report that they feel they are learning meaningful material for the first time and that they are empowered to be in charge of their own learning.
Tremont families represent a range of communities of varying ethnicity, sexual orientation, religion, race, and geography. The Tremont Parent Advisory Council (TPAC) works with the school administration to support the school and its mission, as well as to advocate for concerns of families and to support the wellbeing of the school community-at-large. All Tremont families are considered members of the Family Association. TPAC sponsors a number of social activities for students, as well as community building events for families, faculty, and board members.
Faculty and Staff
The people who work at Tremont are deeply committed to the school’s mission. The faculty’s hard and effective work on the 2017 NEASC accreditation modeled the collaborative decision making that Tremont strives to practice. Faculty and administrators are trained in Collaborative Problem Solving by Think:Kids at Massachusetts General Hospital. This common training is key to our success in working with students An educational psychologist is available for consultation. A number of specialists work directly with the students and consult with the faculty. For instance, the Social Emotional Learning Coordinator supports the affective growth of the students. The Collaborative Problem Solving Coordinator assists in the learning and implementation of Collaborative Problem Solving as an approach to taking ownership when conflicts arise and coming up with creative solutions that are mindful of the perspectives of those involved.â€¨The Dean of Students meets with students and holds weekly meetings with teaching teams to identify student needs and plans of action. The Dean of Students is also an important liaison with parents and outside providers. Student concerns are discussed in weekly faculty meetings in small and large groups as appropriate. All full-time faculty have master’s degrees. Two out of three part-time faculty have master’s degrees. The average number of years of full-time teaching experience is eight. Many faculty also have experience in part-time or assistant teaching roles.
In addition to the Interim Head of School, the Assistant Head of School/Admissions Director oversees the academic arena. Â The Dean of Students oversees the social and emotional arena. The Business, Communications, and Marketing Director is part-time as is the Campus Coordinator.
Board of Trustees
The Board of Trustees is currently composed of eleven members and the Head of School who is ex-officio. Â At present the membership includes current parents, educators, an architect, a Vice President of Human Resources, Â a Vice President of Finance and Administration and a Head of School. Standing committees of the board include executive, governance, advancement, education, facilities, finance, and personnel committees. The board meets once a month during the academic year and holds an all-day retreat in the summer.
The Tremont logo represents the three peaks of learning: social, emotional, and academic. Our program focuses on integrating these types of learning through opportunities for collaboration, student leadership, and self-advocacy in every subject area. Our Living Curriculum means that teachers are responsive to student interests and to changes in the world around us. Our curriculum is not static. It is shaped through collaboration between students and teachers. Each unit in both the Middle and Upper School contains a strong element of independent student research and project construction. Common readings and experiences are linked in unique ways to the discoveries, interests, and thinking of individual students. These connections become part of the fabric of learning shared by the group.
In their approaches to social, emotional, and academic challenges, teachers practice the principles of Collaborative Problem Solving, central to which is the belief that kids do well if they can. We expect students to be problem-solvers and to advocate for their interests and needs. This expectation is reflected in our structures, such as the posing of open-ended academic questions, the use of a flexible contract that allows students to organize their work, and the provision of a range of opportunities for students to gain and demonstrate competencies. In addition to classroom-based support for emotional development and learning, Applied Sociology classes help students to achieve insights into human behavior. Through this class, and through Collaborative Problem Solving, students develop skills of flexibility, self-advocacy, and perspective-taking that serve them personally and that also build a strong Tremont community.
In addition to interdisciplinary academic classes, students are offered art, music, physical education, Spanish, student activity clubs, and extended day programs.
Highlight: Independent Study
All Tremont students complete an Independent Study each year. This is a unit that helps students to build personal continuity of learning -- one student honed his film-making skills each year, another her sewing and fashion design skills -- or to mix it up and explore new interests each year. Independent Study continues from grade five through graduation. It is a significant way that students distinguish themselves at Tremont and is a much anticipated part of the school year. Students design the questions they will pursue, consult with experts outside the school, write papers that reflect both content and process, and incorporate creative elements into their projects. Topics have varied from computer game design to fortune-telling. It is the greatest expression of our faith in students’ curiosity, creativity, and connection to the world that we turn this portion of the school year over to them.
CHALLENGES AND OPPORTUNITIES
The Living Curriculum
Tremont is pioneering an innovative and cutting-edge approach to curriculum called Living Curriculum. Â It has gained the attention of some of the most celebrated educational leaders of our time and has the potential to make a significant impact in the world of education. The next Head of School will be instrumental in continuing to support the faculty as they further develop and implement the approach. This necessitates a leader who is visionary, able to think outside the box, and familiar with pedagogical innovation. Â The school leader will become an integral part of this movement in education as it grows within and beyond the school.
Enrollment and Revenue
The school faces challenges related to financial and enrollment issues. With our recent move to Lexington, the school’s enrollment has not grown over the past few years. Â Tremont needs to work on retaining current families and attracting students who are a good fit for what the school can offer and whose families share our values and mission. The current student body is 45 students. A student body of approximately 75 students would enable Tremont to increase its offerings and provide for greater social opportunity for the students. Â Tuition is an essential part of the school’s budget. Therefore, growing enrollment will alleviate financial challenges faced by the school. Â Tremont has enjoyed a history of very supportive donors who have helped the school to establish itself. Â Attention to nurturing, sustaining, and growing these relationships will be important. Non-tuition revenues, such as summer programming and other events, also will contribute to the school’s financial health.
Strategic Long-Range Planning, Accreditation, and Self-Study
Tremont has just completed a self-study and committee visit for accreditation from NEASC. The process has yielded important information and has energized the community towards using the reflections and insights gained towards planning its future. A part of this will be to take what was learned and develop a new strategic plan for the next five to ten years. Â This effort will involve all segments of the school community and will include a focus on better articulating our curriculum and mission; admissions; increasing revenue; facilities; and communication.
Tremont School is deliberately diverse and has a very supportive school and extended community. Kindness and compassion are significant characterizing features of its student body and its faculty. Presently, Tremont’s diversity is primarily in terms of the types of learners at the school. In the coming years, Tremont seeks to broaden its definition of diversity to include a wider range of socio-economic, cultural, racial, gender identity, family structure, and religious backgrounds. Charting paths towards greater diversity that build upon our current strengths and our location close to a major metropolitan area will be part of the charge of the next Head of School.
A First Graduation and Developing an Alumni Community
In June of 2018, Tremont will have its first, albeit small, graduating class. It is currently focused on successfully transitioning these students to college. As this class moves on, a focus will be on establishing protocols for supporting this process in the classes to follow. Â Additionally, Tremont will need to establish its graduation rituals and its program of outreach and connection to its developing alumni community. Â This also provides an opportunity for colleges and universities to get to know, first hand, the many learning assets that a Tremont graduate has to offer. This is an important opportunity for the next Head of School to foster extended relationships that will help the school to provide for its graduates.
Facilities and Surrounding Environs
Tremont is extremely fortunate to be located on the Lexington/Lincoln town border on the Minuteman Regional High School Campus. It is adjacent to conservation land and across the street from a vast trail network and artifacts of historical significance within the Minuteman National Park. From the perspective of location, there are two current and simultaneous challenges. The first is to best use our current location in service of our curriculum and to build relevant connections with Minuteman Regional High School. Â Connections with Minuteman have the potential to make Tremont bigger than it isâ€”to have the benefits of a small school with some of the opportunities affiliated with a larger school. The second challenge is to plan for Tremont’s future in terms of facilities and locations. The long-term viability of Tremont’s current location is uncertain. The next Head of School will play a critical role in the broad and adventurous brainstorming process in envisioning our future facilities and location while also engaging in careful and detailed planning as we implement next steps.
In July of 2017, the founding head of school transitioned into a teaching position and interim Head of School and experienced school leader, Linda Echt was hired. Â Her leadership has provided stability and guidance in establishing critical systems as the school transitions from a start-up to a more established institution. Â As it completes its seventh year in June 2018, the school needs a permanent Head of School and an experienced leader to build on Tremont’s strengths while addressing areas for improvement.
Established 2011, founded by the Collaborative Learning Project incorporated in 2008.
Operating Budget: $1,465,000
Enrollment: 2017-2018 Total 45, Upper School. 18, Middle School 27
Annual Giving: 2016-2017 $347,228
Member: AISNE, NEASC - Candidates for accreditation
The successful candidate will hold an educational philosophy consistent with the concepts inherent to the Living Curriculum and will understand the needs of a progressive independent school. S/he needs to have an authentic, comfortable manner, a sense of humility and an ability to be flexible in his or her approach. Characteristics that describe him or her include: warm, patient, respectful, a good listener, nurturing, energetic, collaborative and a team player. S/he will be a creative, out- of-the-box thinker with a healthy sense of humor and an appreciation for a diversity of learning styles.
The next Head will have the presence necessary to lead, foster, and motivate Tremont’s community. Â S/he will be a strong communicator and inspiring speaker who can engage and guide the community in furthering the vision of the school. His or her success in inspiring the community will be complemented by an ability to plan strategically and to execute against those plans. S/he will have a capacity to delegate tasks and to capitalize upon the many human resources of the Tremont community in actualizing the school’s mission.
The ideal candidate will have experience in development/fundraising and admissions/marketing. S/he should have the demonstrated ability to balance budgets and to build a strong administrative team. His or her success will be supported by the following skills and knowledge. S/he will know how to develop systems and structures and will understand business and reporting systems (budgeting, etc.) S/he will have an ability to negotiate contracts and the knowledge of when to call upon legal counsel. S/he will be a multi-tasker with management and networking skills. Â Knowledge of technology related to educational environments will be integral to setting up successful systems. Strong writing skills are essential.
The Application Procedure
Interested candidates should send an application, preferably electronic, including: cover letter, resume, statement of educational philosophy, a personal story demonstrating understanding progressive education, and professional references by December 1, 2017 to email@example.com
Head of School Search Committee
758R Marrett Road
Lexington MA 02421
For additional information about the school and head search, visit the website: www.temontschool.org
Tremont School does not discriminate in its policies based on race, religion, gender, national origin, sexual orientation, or age.
The Tremont School is a progressive independent private school in metrowest Boston, Massachusetts that offers a unique project-based curriculum designed to support the social, emotional, and academic development of an inclusive community of students.
Students learn in an environment that supports their making connections between thinking and doing. Our Living Curriculum tailors your child’s edu...cational experience to his or her interests, needs, and learning style in a truly comprehensive way. Our hands-on experiential approach, small class sizes, and supportive environment promote a deep understanding of the material, and the wide-ranging integration of the knowledge and skills necessary for life in the 21st century.