La Jolla Country Day School’s Lower School is a place where parents are often reminded of the best aspects of their childhood. The sense of exhilaration present in this age group is something that’s special. Here, children’s natural curiosity and questioning are nurtured alongside a well-balanced educational experience. LJCDS is where the best of classical and progressive education blends.
We are searching for a Head of Lower School to join our community in July 2023. This individual is responsible for all aspects of the Lower School program, directing all Lower School students and faculty members each day, interacting with family and community members, and setting the tone for the division. The head of Lower School cultivates a diverse, inclusive, and safe community where all community members feel a sense of belonging. In addition to overseeing the Lower School team, the head oversees the director of the Early Childhood Center and our early childhood program.
A member of the school’s leadership team, they will work collaboratively across divisions to assure smooth connections in academics and school culture. The ideal candidate will be well-versed in culturally responsive teaching practices and have the requisite skillfulness to support student and faculty growth in this area by facilitating critical conversations in the design of more inclusive curricula and programs.
Essential Duties and Responsibilities
Serve as the educational leader of the school division, responsible for its day-to-day operation, directing the activities of the divisional faculty and staff in the performance of their duties
Communicate and foster healthy partnership and shared values amongst families; handle questions or concerns with community partners
Serve as a mentor and resource to faculty in curriculum and instruction, learning environment, communication and feedback with students and families and the daily life in the Lower School
Spearhead a balanced program/experience for students/educators that is holistic and focuses on the health and well-being of everyone
Ensure collaboration and reflection across grade levels, e.g. Junior Kindergarten to Kindergarten, 4th to 5th grade, resulting in vertically and horizontally aligned curriculum and instruction
Maintain and foster professional learning time for educators to collaborate, learn and plan together, and lead the faculty growth and evaluation process
Advance current priorities (e.g., curriculum, DEI, SEL, etc.) and forecast new initiatives in partnership with the assistant head of school for academics and Lower School admin team and team leaders
Facilitate the academic guidance of students, assisting in maintaining complete academic records on all students and overseeing the process for progress monitoring and the sharing of feedback with students and families
Oversee and assist in the planning and presentation of assemblies and programs; helps to maintain a comprehensive calendar of school events – keeping the community informed of various school programs and activities
Establish guidelines/expectations for how students will show up for themselves and others to support a positive and productive learning environment
Assist in the admission process for the testing, interviewing and evaluating of applicants for enrollment
Engage in the admission process for the evaluating of applicants for enrollment
Participate in various ECC/LS admission-related activities for prospective, accepted, and newly enrolled students (e.g., Open House, monthly info sessions, yield events)
Connect regularly with the admission team to ensure consistent messaging of current programs and processes related to ECC/LS students and families
A bachelor’s degree, and preferably an advanced degree
A minimum of 5 years of related experience working with students age 3–Grade 4
Current knowledge in related fields and topics and the desire to continue learning
Experience as a school administrator and educator, preferably in an independent school setting
Knowledge of curriculum and the curricular issues challenging students in our rapidly changing global community
Decisive, creative leadership complemented appropriately with the ability to administer and manage
Interpersonal skills to interact and work effectively with students, teachers, parents and other constituencies
A willingness to be visible within the La Jolla Country Day School community at school events, around the campus, in classrooms, and in the lives of its people
A personality that engages others in the LJCDS community and its vision for the future
Physical presence on campus is required to perform the essential duties and responsibilities of this role.
To perform this job successfully, an individual should have a working knowledge of Google Workspace and Microsoft Office, and be able to learn to use other applications and hardware (Blackbaud, Apple TV, onRecord, Seesaw, Zoom, etc.).
The ideal candidate is committed to leading and learning with dignity, and working in an environment where anti-racist education and culturally responsive instructional practices are modeled. They will possess or demonstrate the following: a growth mindset, emotional intelligence, self-motivation, positive energy, strong interpersonal skills, a service-oriented and team approach to work, approachability, adaptability, vulnerability, openness to new and divergent ideas, excellent oral and written communication skills, and comfort in an educational setting where children and adults are present.
All school personnel must successfully complete a fingerprint background check through Live Scan and provide current tuberculosis clearance.
Please submit your current CV/resume and cover letter discussing your interest in leading our Lower School community.
La Jolla Country Day School (LJCDS) is an independent coeducational day school for students in early childhood (age 3) through Grade 12. LJCDS prides itself on identifying students, faculty, and staff of exceptional character and possess a strong work ethic and desire to make a positive difference in the lives of others. Infusing every aspect of our school is a dignity model created by Donna Hicks, PhD. Based at Harvard University, Dr. Hicks has more than twenty years of experience in international conflict resolution. LJCDS is featured in chapter five of her book, Leading with Dignity: How to create a culture that brings out the best in people. This honor and LJCDS’ commitment to Leading with Dignity in every way—and every day—ensures rigorous academics, arts and athletics, transformative community service and a culture of philanthropy wherein the whole student is developed to Inspire Greatness for a Better World by Leading with Dignity.