Director of High School Academics and Development- Distinctive Schools Network

Posted on: July 31, 2023 | |

Title: Director of High School Academics & Development
Location: 910 W Van Buren, Chicago, IL
Reports To: Managing Director of Academics
Employee Type: Regular Full Time
Start Date: 7/1/2023

Company Mission

Distinctive Schools creates diverse, joyful, welcoming communities rooted in social justice and rigorous learning. We support all learners to be engaged, curious, and to achieve their full potential. Our students become confident advocates, creative problem-solvers, and collaborative leaders.

Position Overview

The Director of High School Academics & Development oversees and monitors curricular and assessment requirements at the high school level to ensure that our students receive a high-quality education that will prepare them for success in college and beyond. The Director of High School Academics & Development will create a cohesive and equitable programming across DS high school campuses. The Director will work with the school’s instructional leadership team and members of the Academic Team to develop and implement effective instructional practices, core curriculum, and courses. This person will also be responsible for ensuring adherence to all state and district-required assessments and that high school assessment processes and protocols are rigorous and effective in measuring student learning outcomes.


Build and foster a culture of belonging and positive climate
Honor stakeholder perspective as key to the decision-making process
Cultivate a strengths-based and, equity-focused mindset
Celebrate individual and collective growth towards goals
Promote a safe and supportive working environment with an equity-conscious mindset
Establish professional rapport with and maintain visibility with stakeholders
Maintain a student-centered perspective in decision making
Contribute to the equity work of the campuses, region, and network and engage in culturally responsive decision making
Develop positive and professional relationships
High School Academics 40%

Ensure strong implementation of DS Academic Model, guaranteed viable curriculum and Tier 1 instructional practices through data analysis and observation structures
Monitor and measure the impact of core curriculum programs, assessments, and tools through monthly evaluation of data in partnership with school Principal and Managing Director of Academics
Provide professional development, training, and support in implementing DS Academic Model, programs, processes, curriculum, assessment, and instructional strategies
Collaborate with the school leadership and counseling teams to ensure that students have been scheduled for the appropriate classes and are track to meet graduation requirements for post secondary success
Support the Teacher Development Manager in implementing DS Coaching Model
Collaborate with campus teams on school improvement and campus growth efforts
Design professional learning opportunities based on network and campus needs as identified by assessment and observation data
Co-design, at least monthly, teacher and leader collaboration opportunities in partnership with the Academic Team
Research and attend external professional development opportunities to stay current in best practices
Collaborate with the Culture and Student Services teams to design and implement school-wide initiatives and systems.
Be an active member of the Instructional Leadership Team at each high school campus ensuing strong communication and  partnership with the Academic Team
High School Programming 40%

Refine the DS Academic Model with focused on high-school programming
Create a cohesive and equitable programming across DS high school campuses
Design and refine structures, protocols, and workstreams to support to strengthen the DS Academic Model and its implementation
Support school schedule design and student courses requests in partnership with school Principal and data team
Contribute to the design of programming, pathways and resources to ensure post-secondary success for all students
Expand programming to include specialized courses (e.g, Career & Technical Education,  Advanced Placement, and Dual Enrollment, etc.)
Lead new course proposal, selection, planning, and implementation process
Maintain course catalog
Partner with school Principals to determine courses offered each school year ensuring compliance with local and state requirements
Ensure that credit recovery efforts, programs and processes are effective, implemented as designed and refined as needed
Partner with the school leadership team to create student schedules that adhere to network and state requirements
Design and grow post-secondary culture and programming to provide robust pathways for student success
Recommend budget line items to Managing Director of Academics and coordinate the purchasing of instructional materials, assessments, tools, and professional development within assigned programs
Maintain a current and detailed understanding of all state and local requirements
Partner with the Managing Director of CIA and the data team to monitor the administration of assigned assessments
Partner with the school leadership team and Academic Team to develop strategies and responses to assessment and observational structures data
Academic Team Member 20%

Partner with Academic and Student Services Team members to ensure parity and cohesiveness in philosophy, pedagogy, systems, structures, and protocols among all initiatives and content areas
Uphold and contribute to the implementation of the DS Model, strategic plan, campus growth plans, and network priorities
Provide strategic vision, support, and leadership in new school start-up or restart opportunities
Establish tasks and timelines and develop strategies to support projects through from beginning to end
Plan, design, and implement network initiatives and participate in regularly scheduled network and campus meetings and professional learning
Maintain a current and detailed understanding of all local and state requirements for accountability and monitoring
Participate in ongoing professional learning opportunities in order to better support network growth and ensure that instructional coaching practices reflect current research
Contribute to grant applications and other professional writing
Check-in regularly with the Managing Director of Academics to collaborate, set and refine goals, review project progress, share feedback and support, and build rapport
Participate in the formal and informal coaching observation process and personal goal-setting with the Managing Director of Academics. Leadership practices will be measured and developed using a universal framework
Perform the assigned responsibilities of an Academic Team member and other duties as assigned
Requirements (minimum)

Education: Bachelor’s degree in education


Valid Professional Educator License or equivalent
At least 3 years of experience in a leadership role in a high school setting
5 years teaching experience
Strong knowledge of high school academics and assessment practices.
Demonstrated success in developing and implementing effective academic programs
Excellent interpersonal and communication skills
Ability to lead and inspire a team
Strong data analysis skills and experience working with assessment data
Commitment to equity and inclusion in education
Ability to work collaboratively with a diverse range of stakeholders
Technology Requirements:
Proficient with cloud based software solutions (such as GoogleSuite)
Ability to learn digital tools and programs as needed for the position
Ability to travel to and between regional campuses on a daily basis
Physical Demands

Ability to work 40+ hours per week between the hours of 8am-7pm
Occasional lifting, carrying, pushing, and/or pulling; some stooping, kneeling, crouching, and/or crawling; and significant fine finger dexterity. Generally, the job requires 20% sitting, 50% walking, and 30% standing

25+ Paid holidays & 15 days PTO annually
12 weeks family paid leave
Comprehensive Healthcare (Medical, Dental, Vision)
403b match
Fully match up to 3%
50% match up to 5%
Professional development including tuition reimbursement
Gym and wellness discounts
And more
Description Disclaimer

Since no job description can detail all the duties and responsibilities that may be required from time to time in the performance of a job, duties and responsibilities that may be inherent in a job, reasonably required for its performance, or required due to the changing nature of the job shall also be considered part of the jobholder’s responsibility.


Distinctive Schools is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate against any employee or applicant for employment on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, gender, national origin, age, disability, veteran status, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, or any other personal characteristic protected by applicable law.

Distinctive Schools is committed to the full inclusion of all qualified individuals. In keeping with our commitment, Distinctive Schools will take the steps to assure that people with disabilities are provided reasonable accommodations. Accordingly, if reasonable accommodation is required to fully participate in the job application or interview process, to perform the essential functions of the position, and/or to receive all other benefits and privileges of employment, please contact  or call 773.828.4191