Elementary School Director (Principal)

Posted on: July 20, 2021 | | |

About UChicago Charter School:

UChicago Charter School is one the oldest charter networks in the city, founded in 1998. Comprised of three campuses, all of which reside in neighborhoods surrounding the University of Chicago, such as North Kenwood/Oakland, Bronzeville, and Woodlawn, UChicago Charter services students in grades PreK – 12th. UChicago Charter resides within the Urban Education Institute which houses the UChicago Consortium on School Research, UChicago IMPACT, and Urban Teacher Education Program. UEI represents the unique combination of impactful research and effective practice throughout Chicago and the nation. Within the University of Chicago, UEI is housed in the Crown Family School of Social Work, Practice and Policy. All UCCS campuses are in good standing per the School Quality and Rating policy for the Chicago Public Schools, which is the Authorizer of the UCCS schools.

Network Mission:

The University of Chicago Charter School prepares 100% of students for college acceptance and graduation through a PreK to 12th grade superhighway which cultivates culturally aware critical thinkers and leaders.

Campus Overview:

The Donoghue Campus of the University of Chicago Charter School (UCCS) opened in September of 2005. It is an attendance boundary charter lottery admission school serving primarily the Bronzeville and Hyde Park communities of Chicago. It serves approximately 500 students in grades PreK through 5, and, in grades K through 5, offers 3 classrooms per grade. Donoghue’s mission is driven by UCCS’ network mission: 1) to create students with agency to change the world for the betterment of themselves and others; 2) to provide a high quality elementary preparatory education based on advanced literacy and math outcomes for students; and 3) foster a climate of innovation for students, teachers, and community members. Donoghue Elementary School educates students in grades PreK – 5. The Donoghue School works closely with the University of Chicago’s Charter School, North Kenwood Oakland, (“NKO”), to provide an aligned elementary curriculum within the UCCS PreK -12 network.

Position Summary:

Full-time, salaried administrative position leading the elementary campus of the University of Chicago Charter School, Donoghue. Donoghue is one of the larger campuses of UCCS, serving over 500 students with three classrooms per grade level. As the instructional leader, responsibilities will include: 1) recruitment and retention of high quality instructors; 2) ability to analyze data and collaboratively develop strategies to address growth areas; 3) development of a strong instruction core focused on preparation for success at the next stage: middle school; 4) strategic framework to maximize student outcomes on NWEA and STEP; 5) coordination of academic and social/emotional supports to promote student success with multi-tiered support; 6) development and facilitation of staff professional development that creates an environment for pedagogical improvement; 7) foster strategic partnerships designed to provide additional opportunities for students; 8) supervise school operations including budget development and procurement; and 9) strategic planning and engagement with the University of Chicago Charter Advisory Council and Board of Directors. The position reports to the Chief Executive Officer of the University of Chicago Charter School.

Principal Duties and Responsibilities:

1. Continue to develop a shared mission and vision among the campus’s staff, students, their families, and community members that reflects the values of UChicago
Charter School

2. Lead the continuous development and improved implementation of a rigorous college preparatory curriculum aligned to Common Core State Standards

3. Recruit, hire, evaluate and support a staff capable of fulfilling the school’s mission

4. Oversee professional development activities that enhance the professional practices of teachers, staff, and administration

5. Create a campus climate and student culture for students and staff conducive to the realization of its mission

6. Lead an instructional leadership team that uses data to plan and support continuous improvements in instruction and academic and social supports for students

7. Plan, model, support and sustain the development of instructional leadership among teachers

8. Create strategic plans, processes and structures for teachers to collaborate in continuous school-wide instructional improvement

9. Collaborate with other campus directors of the University of Chicago Charter School, especially with the Director of the other UCCS elementary campus, NKO, to
provide a seamless educational pathway for students from prekindergarten through high school graduation and to establish and implement cross-campus norms of
ambitious intellectual work for all students, effective teaching, teacher development, and evidence-based decision-making.

10. Foster and create a culture that can deploy restorative justice and anti-suspension techniques

11. Create and foster an inclusive environment for diverse learners where UCCS enforces least restrictive environment practices

12. Develop strategies to decrease the gender gap that will serve as a model for other schools

13. Ensure the integration of targeted academic and social supports during the academic day, the extended day and week and the fall, spring, and summer

14. Engage in sound budget management and financial planning and monitoring that supports student learning and adheres to Charter School policies and procedures

15. Direct all school operations, facilities, purchasing, security, food services in a manner that supports student learning and takes advantage of support and guidance
from the Charter School, including supervising an Operations Manager

16. Collaborate with parents, teachers, and community members in the work of a Parent/Teacher/Community Organization that advises and supports the school in
fulfilling its mission

17. Create opportunities for family and community engagement in the school to support student development and achievement

18. Seek partnerships with individuals and organizations that will enrich and enhance students’ growth as learners and as human beings

19. Communicate with the Executive Leadership and the Advisory Council and Board of Directors of the Charter School, Chicago Public Schools (CPS), Illinois State
Board of Education (ISBE), parents, and other stakeholders regarding the campus’s vision, progress, and needs

20. Insure the campus’ accountability to the Executive Leadership and Board of Directors of the Charter School

21. Set and meet annual self-identified goals for professional growth

22. Other duties as assigned

Minimum Qualifications:

• Bachelor’s degree in education or related field required
• Minimum of five years of classroom teaching in a PreK – 12th grade environment
• Minimum of two years educational leadership experience
• Mastery of curriculum development aligned to Common Core State Standards
• Demonstrated experience developing high quality, formative and summative assessments
• Past success regarding use of the NWEA Learning Continuum with strategies for maximizing student achievement
• Extensive knowledge and belief in fair and equitable grading strategies

Preferred Qualifications:

• Master’s degree in education or related field strongly preferred
• Administrative certificate strongly preferred (Type 75 for Illinois)
• Experience as a Principal or Assistant Principal in PreK – 12th grade environment
• Proficient with the Google suite, including the latest remote learning platforms, filesharing systems and analytic tools

Preferred Competencies:

• High level of professionalism, accountability, capacity for self-reflection and growth
• Proven ability in staffing, employee relations, conflict resolution and management practices
• Ability to build, develop and maintain strong trusting relationships with all school personnel
• Superior oral and written communication skills with varying levels of personnel
• Excellent decision-making, time management, priority-setting and learning agility capabilities
• Demonstrated ability to manage and maintain sensitive or confidential information
• Ability to resolve conflict or disagreements in a constructive manner

Application Process:

The applicant will undergo an initial screening and move to an interview process which will include Donoghue staff, parents, and FTCO members. Applicants who emerge will be interviewed by the Chief Executive Officer followed by an interview with the UChicago Charter School Board of Directors.


Competitive with salaries in the Chicago area.

For more information or to apply to this position, please visit the UChicago Charter School employment site at

UCCS recruits, hires, compensates, promotes and otherwise manages employees and prospective employees on the basis of individual merit without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national or ethnic origin, age, disability, genetic information, veteran status or any and all other factors protected by law. This policy includes UCCS’s commitment to maintain a workplace free from sexual or other unlawful harassment or discrimination of any nature.