The Middle Way School of the Hudson Valley (MWS), a progressive pre-K to 3rd grade school founded in 2018 in Saugerties, NY, seeks a Head of School to lead the school as it grows into a leading K-8 and eventually K-12 institution. This is an exciting opportunity for a school leader who is eager to shape and grow with a unique educational program that will eventually serve as a model for sister schools around the globe.
MWS currently enrolls students in pre-K through 3rd grade with the goal of adding one grade per year. For 2019-2020 student enrollment is anticipated at 25-30. Current staffing is small at 5 full-time. We are dedicated to the goal of building a culturally diverse team committed to working in a multicultural environment.
Our curriculum is developing with strong social-constructivist leanings, inquiry-based, and infused with a wealth of ideas, practices, and content from the Buddhist traditions (logic, reasoning, wisdom, compassion, and so on). Our approach is one that recognizes the whole child and focuses on social and emotional learning and relationships as the necessary foundation for education.
MWS is an educational home for teachers drawn to relationships and practices that are rooted in wisdom and compassion and a belief that all children have inherent good qualities. We also lean on current neurological and educational research, and rely on our teachers' collaborative creativity and experience to weave these together with the Buddhist view. We seek to build a community of MWS teachers who are both guides and collaborators in the learning process and who make students’ learning visible to themselves and others. We view teaching not as a static set of skills, but as a dynamic process, manifested in our culture of research and our commitment to teacher development.
Location: Saugerties, NY 12477. MWS is located on a peaceful, generously sized property in rural West Saugerties in the beautiful Catskills region of the Hudson River Valley, Upstate New York, about ten minutes from the main streets of both Woodstock and Saugerties. Saugerties is a quaint town on the west bank of the Hudson River about 2 hours north of New York City. We are part of the Saugerties School District with a population of about 25,000.
Head of School Job Description
The head of school embodies the mission of the school and articulates the mission for all aspects of the school’s program. In keeping with the school’s mission, the head of school fosters the traditions, relationships, and practices that determine the school’s climate and culture. The head of school is the sole employee of the board of trustees and is responsible for the overall management of the school, in accordance with the board’s policies. The head of school is the spokesperson for the school with all its internal and external constituencies including students, parents, faculty, staff, alumni, neighbors, business community, governmental agencies, and local, state, regional and national educational organizations and accrediting agencies. Though much of the work is properly delegated, the head of school has ultimate and overall responsibility for board relations, curriculum and instruction, student life, business affairs, admission and advancement.
The head of school advises the board but is not responsible for governance matters just as the board advises the head but is not responsible for management matters. Together, the head of school and board form an equal partnership in running the school, each in their respective spheres of management and governance. The head of school is an ex officio, non-voting, member of the board and all board committees.
The head of school:
Keeps the board informed of all matters relating to the school through reports at board meetings and immediate communication following major school events or happenings.
Provides data to assist the board in its work.
Makes recommendations to the board for approval of the operating and capital budgets, including all categories of income and expenditures.
Seeks direction from the board on new initiatives.
Assists the board chair and/or executive committee in setting board and committee meeting agendas and discussion topics.
Staffs the board’s strategic planning process.
Jointly with the board, sets annual goals for his/her performance.
Provides documentation materials for the board to use in his/her evaluation.
Sees that board records and minutes are properly filed, and otherwise assists the board in its works as asked.
Curriculum and Instruction
Upholds the academic and ethical standards of the school.
Hires, supervises, evaluates, and dismisses all administrators, faculty, and staff members.
Fosters professionalism, collegiality, and ethical conduct in the faculty.
Provides for the professional development of the faculty.
Stimulates and participates in the dialog about teaching and learning at the school.
Supervises the selection of curricula, class schedules, assessments, graduation requirements, and all aspects of the school’s academic program.
Optimizes the physical learning environment and technology in all instructional areas.
Organizes student activities and extracurricular opportunities.
Administers the school’s discipline policies and standards of conduct.
Supervises the school’s support systems, such as counseling, academic support, before- and after-school programs, college or secondary school counseling, health and wellness, etc..
Oversees the school safety programs including building security, emergency procedures, transportation regulations, tornado and fire drills, etc.
Promotes student culture in and out of school.
Optimizes all-school gatherings including assemblies, sporting events, performances, etc.
Reports student progress to parents on a timely and helpful basis.
Works with team to develop Buddhist philosophical components to shape the curriculum.
Business, Finance and Plant Operations
Understands and supervises the business functions of the school, including budgeting; monitoring and reporting income, expenses, investments, and cash flow; maintenance of appropriate records; and assisting the school’s auditors.
Oversees all employment and human relations matters, such as contracts, salaries, benefits, job assignments, job orientation, performance evaluation, retentions and dismissals, personnel records, employee handbooks, etc.
Oversees the maintenance and cleaning of the buildings, grounds, and all plant operations including vehicles, grounds, etc.
Plans and executes all major capital purchases, repairs, and building projects.
Admissions, Marketing and Financial Aid
Supervises and assists the admissions functions of the school, including recruitment programs, internal marketing, external outreach, website development and maintenance, information dissemination, and applicant testing and interviewing.
Supervises the admissions decision-making process, including administration of the school’s financial aid program.
Advancement and Fundraising
Plans and optimizes the school’s fund-raising programs such as the annual fund, capital campaigns, planned giving, and major events.
Supervises the schools development efforts in identifying, cultivating, thanking, and communicating with past and prospective donors.
Oversees the school’s relations with its alumni including development and maintenance of the alumni database, communications programs, and special events.
Supervises all volunteer efforts such as those donated by individuals or the parents’ association, booster clubs, alumni council, etc., all of which report to the head of school or his/her designee
Experience: Head of School 5 years (or other administrative leadership position) required.