Chief Academic Officer

Posted on: May 11, 2020 | |

Founded in 2007 and located in Pingree Grove, IL, Cambridge Lakes Charter School (CLCS) is a tuition-free school of choice, for students residing in CUSD 300, that is independently managed and publicly funded, allowing for significant autonomy and flexibility to implement academic offerings that meet academic needs of its students. CLCS is a K-12 charter school with a Blended Learning Academy program and an independent Preschool. The school has CUSD 300 and the State of Illinois as its educational partners. The mission of CLCS is to facilitate lifelong, high-achievement learning. By acknowledging the uniqueness of each individual, the CLCS vision is that all learners will grow, through the human experience, with integrity, to become authentic leaders that inspire others.

The Chief Academic Officer (CAO) is responsible for ensuring all stakeholders are best positioned to meet the academic outcomes throughout the organization. The CAO will inspire and empower educational administrators and teachers to innovate, integrate teaching and learning experiences and nurture a positive school culture. As an ex-officio, non-voting member of the Northern Kane Educational Corp. (NKEC) Board, the CAO will have primary authority, through accountability to the NKEC Board, for the academic performance of the school using evaluation, modification, and development of robust and innovative instructional best practices that lead to higher student achievement and character development. The CAO will articulate and implement the CLCS Mission, Vision and Core Values in collaboration with the CEO and the NKEC Board.

The CAO will directly manage a high-performing instructional leadership team focused on capacity-building and support to meet the CLCS goals. Within the current organizational structure, the administration team is comprised of:
● Director of Special Education Services
● Preschool Director and Lower Schools Principal
● Upper Schools and Academy Principal
● Director of Teaching and Learning

Responsibilities and Duties

Strategic Plan
● In collaboration with the NKEC Board and partnership with the CEO , develops, plans and coordinates the implementation of the school-wide Strategic Plan and supports goals, objectives, programs, and action plans to fully realize the mission and vision of the school and NKEC.
● Responsible for establishing a philosophically holistic, research-based strategy for educational growth and development.
● Reports to the NKEC Board and participates in the Board meetings as an ex-officio Board member, while providing, in a timely and accurate manner, all information necessary for the Board to function properly and to make informed decisions.
● Regularly reviews and reports progress on the Strategic Plan in order to ensure the alignment of priorities and resources.

Curriculum and Instruction
● Develops and ensures high-quality implementation of the school’s educational framework based on thorough and robust needs analysis.
● Oversees curriculum adoption, alignment and development initiatives for a PreK-12 curriculum system.
● Leads educational administrators, teachers and other licensed staff in the development of instructional systems that encourage rigorous, developmentally appropriate, and culturally relevant academic learning across all content areas for all students, including curriculum in all grades and subjects, formative and summative assessments, scope and sequence, intervention
programs, and other instructional tools.
● Oversees a plan to meet the unique needs and challenges of advanced and accelerated learners, as well as those who are developing towards and approaching grade level standards.

● Reviews assessment data with educational administrators to identify strengths, growth areas and corresponding instructional action plans based on formal and informal assessments, including SAT, PSAT, NWEA, IAR, ISA, KIDS, and other state-mandated testings.
● Ensures, in collaboration with educational administrators, that teachers are using current analyzed data to drive instruction and inform future lesson planning.
● Coordinates the system of educational administrators conducting regular, meaningful assessment data briefs with teachers including the use of dynamic PLC processes.

Supervision, Management and Professional Development
● Supports and mentors educational administrators of CLCS in establishing, prioritizing and implementing programs that are aligned with the CLCS mission, vision and goals.
● Manages the CLCS Annual Professional Development calendar.
● Sets and manages budgets associated with curriculum, instruction and students activities/supplies in collaboration with CEO and CFO.
● Builds and facilitates professional development of educational administrators, teachers, and other licensed staff and, utilizing best adult learning methods, pursues excellent outcomes for students.
● Supervises and evaluates educational administrators by modeling growth mindset, data utilization and problem solving and by providing regular feedback on individual, team, and departmental progress.
● Oversees, with assistance from educational administrators the implementation, evaluation and refinement of a comprehensive professional development program for teachers.
● Oversees the development of a collaborative team culture, while ensuring accountability.
● Advises, supports, celebrates and mentors educational administrators, teachers and other licensed staff to improve instruction through participation, as time priorities permit, in consistent, weekly classroom observations with feedback/ modeling/ coaching.
● Clearly articulates the academic priorities to enable the educational administrators to train teachers in developing stronger relationships with students and their families.
● Reviews and revises as needed the emergency action plan for educational instruction.

Recruitment, Enrollment and Retention
● Oversees hiring and training of highly qualified staff who excel at meeting the academic and social-emotional needs of students with the support of the NKEC HR department.
● Designs and executes school-wide plan for community and parent involvement.
● Designs and oversees the system of effective communication with parents to ensure that families are more fully engaged in the life of their student.
● Creates and implements, in conjunction with the CEO, a comprehensive school culture campaign to meet student needs while driving personal and academic excellence.
● Ensures consistent, systematic school-wide implementation of restorative practices, culturally responsive communication practices and trauma sensitivity to support the social-emotional health of all stakeholders.
● Represents the school to and establishes/strengthens connections with a variety of internal and external stakeholder groups, while continuously assessing further potential partnership opportunities.

Qualifications Required:
● Graduation from an accredited college or university with a Master’s or Doctoral degree in Educational Administration or equivalent advanced-degree academic program.
● Minimum of 7 years of proven, successful, senior-level leadership within a complex educational organization.
● Minimum of 3-5 years of school instructional leadership experience, preferably as a building principal, preceded by significant K-12 teaching experience.
● Comprehensive, experience-driven knowledge of the principles, practices, and current issues in educational administration.
● School-wide instructional curriculum development, evaluation and implementation experience.
● Demonstrated strategic planning ability which supports mission, vision, goals and programs.
● Excellent written and verbal communication, intercultural, interpersonal and management skills.
● Proven ability to establish and maintain effective and trusting working relationships with stakeholders.
● Solid, hands-on budget management skills, including instructional budget preparation, forecasting, review, and reporting.
● Valid IL Professional Educator License with Administrator Endorsement.

● Classroom teaching experience across multiple grade levels and/or in innovative settings.
● Charter school (administration) experience and charter school law/policy knowledge.
● Experience with developing, assessing and/or implementing programs to ensure the development of accelerated/gifted learners while facilitating high achievement learning for all students.
● Experience with the STEAM curricula assessment, selection and/or implementation.
● Experience developing, assessing and/or implementing a comprehensive (K-8) global learning and/or foreign language program (Spanish preferred). International work/study experience and academic-level mastery of a foreign language a plus.
● Practical exposure to/solid familiarity with internationally recognized, effective and innovative teaching methods and approaches.
● Practical exposure to/solid familiarity with proven online learning systems and platforms
● Successful experience collaborating effectively and efficiently with a Board of Directors.
● Educational grant writing/research experience/training.
● Practical exposure to/solid familiarity with Multi-Tiered Systems and Support framework.

Personal and Professional Qualities:
● Excellent organizational leadership and execution abilities including goal-setting, needs analysis, strategic planning, prioritization, and capacity-building.
● Proven reputation as a respected and trusted educational authority.
● Mission-driven coach, mentor, and self-reflective leader who is committed to life-long learning.
● Steady and solid influencer capable of re-shaping school climate and culture while engaging in fair and impartial interactions with stakeholders.
● Experienced executive with strong emotional intelligence including active listening, consensus-building, adaptability/flexibility and compassion.
● Honest, transparent, intercultural, and intergenerational communicator with strong integrity and relationship-building abilities.
● Visionary and passionate advocate of the charter-school concept and its distinctives.

Contingencies Upon Hire
● Successfully complete a criminal history background check
● Written evidence of physical fitness/physical exam
● Negative Tuberculosis test within the last 90 days

FLSA Status
● Full time
● Exempt

Pay and Benefits
● Salary competitive and commensurate with experience
● Full suite of benefits available
● Voluntary 401(k) Plan
● Paid time off
● No relocation assistance provided
● Position is incentive eligible

A select number of applicants will be invited for an interview. Only qualified persons who possess the above professional credentials and background and who have provided the application documents below will be considered.

Application Procedure – Apply via Paylocity Link

Complete online application and upload the required documents via Paylocity link by May 22, 2020:
● Resume, Cover Letter, Educational Credentials and Professional Certifications
● Current contact information from three senior academic professional references (letters of recommendation preferred)

Position envisioned to start summer of 2020, to ensure readiness for 2020-2021 academic year, subject to favorable external factors.

Applications with all appropriate attachments listed above will be accepted and reviewed as received until the position is filled; however, priority consideration will be given to those applications received on or before May 22, 2020.

Northern Kane Educational Corp. does not discriminate on the basis of age, color, disability, national origin, race, religion, or sex in the educational programs or activities which it operates and is an equal opportunity employer.