Middle School Director (Principal)

Posted on: May 12, 2022

About UChicago Charter School: UChicago Charter School is one the oldest charter networks in the City of Chicago, founded more than 20 years ago, in 1998, as a Chicago Public School-authorized charter school. Comprised of three campuses, UChicago services over 1,500 students in grades Prek-12th grade. UChicago Charter is a part of the Urban Education Institute, an affiliate of the University of Chicago, which also includes the UChicago Consortium on School Research, UChicago IMPACT, and Urban Teacher Education Program. UEI’s four units together manifest a unique combination of impactful research and effective urban educational practice benefitting Chicago and the nation. Within the University, the Crown School of Social Work, Practice and Policy is UEI’s academic home. The UCCS charter network is authorized by the Chicago Public Schools, and all UCCS campuses are in good standing per CPS’ School Quality and Rating Policy, (“SQRP”).

Network Mission:

The University of Chicago Charter School’s mission is to prepare 100% of students for college acceptance and graduation through a PreK to 12 superhighway which cultivates culturally aware critical thinkers and leaders.

Campus Overview:

The Woodlawn Campus, (UCW), of the University of Chicago Charter School, (“UCCS”), originally opened as a High School in September 2006 in the Wadsworth building and moved into a newly constructed independent facility at 6300 South University Avenue in January 2018. The Woodlawn Campus hosts UCCS’ Middle School with its own Director, serving approximately 260 students in grades 6 through 8, and UCCS’ High School with its own Director, serving approximately 380 students in grades 9 through 12.

UCW is an attendance boundary charter lottery admission school. Graduates of UCCS’ two elementary campuses, NKO and Donoghue, located in North Kenwood Oakland and Bronzeville, matriculate automatically to UCW. Students from the Woodlawn Community have admission access at all grades. The University of Chicago Charter School network’s goal is to: 1) create students with agency to change the world for the betterment of themselves and others; 2) provide a high-quality college preparatory education that culminates in college acceptance and graduation; and 3) foster a climate of innovation for students, teachers, and community members.

UChicago Charter School Woodlawn Middle School Director Position Summary:

The Director of the UChicago Charter is a full-time, salaried administrative position leading the middle school campus of the University of Chicago Woodlawn School. As the instructional leader, responsibilities 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 college preparation; 4) strategic framework to maximize student outcomes on NWEA; 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) develop strategies and systems that serve students with special needs in a timely and compliant manner; 8) provide a structured atmosphere for students and staff while also adhering to Illinois Senate Bill 100’s restorative justice goals; 9) foster strategic partnerships designed to provide additional opportunities for students; 8) support the Woodlawn Head of Campus in implementing strong campus-wide operations including budget development and procurement; and 9) strategic planning and engagement with the University of Chicago Charter School Advisory Council and Board of Directors.

Principal Duties and Responsibilities:

1. Develop a shared mission and vision among the campus’s staff, students, their families and community members that reflects the values of UChicago Charter
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 school climate and student culture for students and staff conducive to the realization of the UCCS mission, especially for students in the middle school
years, grades 6 through 8
6. Lead an instructional leadership team that uses data to plan and support continuous improvements in instruction and academic and social supports for middle
school students
7. Plan, model, support, and sustain the development of instructional leadership among teachers in the middle school
8. Create strategic plans, processes, and structures for teachers to collaborate in continuous school-wide instructional improvement
9. Foster and create a culture that can deploy restorative justice and anti-suspension techniques among students grades 6 through 8
10. Create and foster an inclusive environment for diverse learners where UCCS enforces least restrictive environment practices
11. Develop strategies to decrease the gender gap that can serve as a model for other schools
12. Ensure the integration of targeted academic and social supports during the academic day, the extended day and week, and the fall, spring, and summer
intersessions which are appropriate for the middle school years
13. Collaborate with parents, teachers, and community members in the work of a Parent/Teacher/Community Organization that advises and supports the Middle
School in fulfilling its mission
14. Create opportunities for family and community engagement in the school to support student development and achievement
15. Seek partnerships with individuals and organizations that will enrich and enhance students’ growth as learners and as human beings during early adolescence
16. Communicate with the Executive Leadership and Advisory Council and the 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
17. Work with the Woodlawn Head of Campus to support the HOC in sound budget management and financial planning and monitoring that supports student
learning and adheres to Charter School policies and procedures for the Woodlawn Campus
18. Collaborate with other campus directors of the University of Chicago Charter School 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.
19. Set and meet annual self-identified goals for professional growth


∙ Master’s degree
∙ Administrative certificate preferred (Type 75 for Illinois)
∙ Minimum of five years teaching required
∙ Preferred experience in leadership role as Principal or Assistant Principal
∙ High ability and desire for personal reflection and accountability
∙ Understanding of curriculum development aligned to Common Core State Standards
∙ Understanding in developing high quality formative and summative assessment
∙ Understanding of the NWEA learning continuum with strategies for maximizing student achievement
∙ Deep understanding around fair and equitable grading strategies
∙ Practice with the Google suite and basic technical skill use

Application Process:

Applicants will participate in a process which will include interviews by the Chief Executive Officer, the Interim Woodlawn Head of Campus, followed by an interview by the UChicago Charter School Board of Directors. The process will include opportunities for input from staff, students, families and the Woodlawn Community.


Competitive with salaries in the Chicago area.

For more information or to apply to this open 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.