Curriculum Specialist/Director, District Administration, Superintendent
4 Year Degree
The Chief Academic Officer (CAO) is a leadership role that will report to the Superintendent, Stephanie Keenoy. The Chief Academic Officer will serve as a member of AF’s senior leadership team (“the Cabinet”) and will partner with other senior leaders to move the organization powerfully forward.
As the leader responsible for our curriculum and core instructional program, the Chief Academic Officer will ensure that all our scholars are engaged, learning, and growing on their journey to achieve their potential.
This position can be based out of NYC, CT, Rhode Island or Boston.
MAJOR DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES:
Drawing on work done over the last several years as well as the organization-wide visioning process we are currently conducting, refine and implement a vision for strong instruction and curriculum across our network that is grounded in our vision of what we want all scholars at AF schools to be able to achieve
Drawing on existing work, design and implement our network-wide curricular response to the COVID-19 pandemic to ensure that we can support all of our learners who have been impacted in myriad ways by disrupted education this school year
Manage our VPs of Great Teaching at the Elementary, Middle, and High School level to unlock their potential and drive a strong core program at their respective academy level
In partnership with the Chief Program Officer, achieve both vertical (PK-16) and horizontal alignment of our entire program (CAO to focus on curriculum and assessment, CPO to focus on student experience, special services, and other support teams) to ensure that our scholars and educators experience an integrated, aligned program that develops our scholars for success in our schools and beyond
Ensure that our curriculum and pedagogical approach exemplify our value of Lead for Racial Equity by managing revisions to create an anti-racist curricular program, overseeing the development of diverse talent on our “Teaching & Learning” team, inclusive engagement of stakeholders on all fronts, and effective partnership with the Chief Equity Officer
Serve on the AF Cabinet with other senior leaders to provide strategic leadership to the network
You should consider this role if you are...
An outstanding leader with a track record of achieving excellence with equity
AF’s CAO has to have an impressive track record of results - ambitious goals set and achieved. You must have shown that you have been able to achieve excellence in curriculum / program development while being very attentive to issues of equity (ensuring that success is equally shared across different demographic groups). While we do not expect you to be an expert in all areas, you need to demonstrate baseline competence in core curriculum and an ability to learn quickly.
A “warm AND demanding” coach
The CAO will support AF in meeting its goals by effectively managing and coaching a team of senior leaders. As the leader overseeing all of our curriculum, you must be exceptionally strong at setting clear, ambitious goals and effectively coaching leaders and teams to achieve them. You must also be an effective listener and relationship-builder who creates trust with--and between--senior leaders and who successfully coaches leaders through adaptive challenges that may be holding back leaders or teams from fulfilling their potential.
A big picture thinker who can inspire a team and achieve system-wide change
As the leader of all our curriculum work and response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the CAO must draw from the visioning process and develop a holistic plan for our approach to curriculum, assessment, and response to COVID-19 that lifts up the voices of stakeholders throughout the organization. The CAO must then subsequently guide and inspire the team to achieve this plan. You will need the change management and organizational development skills to implement this vision across teams and schools, especially in an organization like ours that is large and multi-region, to create a coherent, aligned design that consistently delivers excellent outcomes for students, staff, and families. You will need to be vigilant about naming and managing the team to go after areas where we are not delivering and celebrate the areas where we are.
An equity champion and organizational culture leader
The CAO will need to set the standard for how Achievement First models our core values and specifically what leading for racial equity looks like for one of the country’s biggest charter networks. Therefore, you are an empath who works hard to understand the experience of people of all identities at all levels of the organization, you approach issues with an explicit values-based lens, and you are a tested organizational culture leader whose background includes getting to the root of adaptive challenges and tackling equity issues manifested at the systemic level.
The ideal candidate will be a results oriented, determined, skilled leader with a strong track record of academic excellence
A minimum of 10 years of professional experience with specific experience in school leadership, curriculum development, or program leadership.
Expertise in curriculum development, program design, and/or pedagogy
Experience as a teacher, teacher-coach, and principal preferred
A demonstrable commitment to pursuing equity
A strong track record of experience and results as a trusted member of an organization’s senior leadership team
Excellent communication and influencing skills to interact effectively with all levels of the organization and the school network
Exceptional strategic, analytical, and critical thinking skills
About Achievement First
Achievement First has consistently been rated one of the top charter school networks in the
country, AND we are still learning and growing. AF is a non-profit 501(c)3 organization that currently supports
37 (soon to be 40!) public charter schools in New York, Connecticut, and Rhode Island. The mission of AF is to
deliver on the promise of equal educational opportunity for all children. We currently employ more than
2,000 staff -- 47% of whom identify as Black, Latinx, or Multi-racial -- who collectively educate nearly 15,000
students in Brooklyn, NY; Providence, RI; and New Haven, Bridgeport, and Hartford CT. More than 85% of our
students qualify for free or reduced priced lunch. Our students are proving what is possible by achieving
breakthrough results in terms of academic achievement and long-term college persistence.