Interim Executive Director

OVERVIEW

The Little School is a nationally recognized, relationship-based, inclusive preschool program committed to providing individualized, quality education to young children. The San Francisco-based school is seeking an outstanding Interim Executive Director to lead its unique program through a term of transition starting in Summer 2019.

THE SCHOOL

Philosophy

At The Little School, we focus on the development of the whole child. We celebrate an individual’s strengths, encourage interests and support challenges. We believe that strong positive relationships and a robust, supportive community, where everyone feels respected and included, are the keys to a successful learning environment.

The pillars responsible for bringing our philosophy to life include:

•   Quality Early Childhood Education. Early Childhood Education principles and best practices are the foundation of The Little School. Upon this foundation, the school has created its own inclusive, relationship-based approach. This approach has received local and national attention; has been taught in local and national conferences, workshops and consulting engagements; and has been documented in a training film: “Relationships: The Key to Teaching and Learning in the Early Years” and a book “Including One, Including All: A Relationship-Based Guide to Inclusion”. 


•   Inclusion. The Little School is committed to serving children with diverse developmental profiles including children with identified special needs. A range of children with unique strengths, challenges and interests both strengthens the social competence and empathy of every child in the school and encourages teachers to develop teaching strategies and learning tools that benefit every child. 


•   Diversity. The Little School strives to create a community with racial, ethnic, socio-economic and family- structure diversity as well as a range of life experiences and abilities. This rich assortment of families creates the potential for each individual member to stretch his or her cultural competence and communicate in new ways. 


•   Excellent Teachers. The school is fortunate to have an outstanding and tenured team of teachers. The success and long tenure of our teachers (approximately one-quarter have tenure of greater than 15 years and one-quarter 6-15 years) is due to the individuals themselves, to the school’s commitment to professional development and guidance, to teacher involvement in the program’s development, and to the structure of the teacher work week (e.g. additional hours per week off the floor to support the program, children and families). 


•   Parent – Teacher – School Partnership. Parents at The Little School are actively engaged in the school community. Parents, teachers and administrators collaborate to support each child and the community as a whole. It is a culture of caring and contribution. Each member of the community assists where possible, whether chaperoning a field trip, attending a family share day, participating on a volunteer committee or serving as a Trustee. Parents also come together for Parent Education events focused on topics central to early childhood and The Little School’s core tenets.

THE OPPORTUNITY

The Interim Executive Director will have the opportunity to lead a school that believes passionately in its educational approach. The role will require strategic thinking and project management to position the school for a smooth transition to its next leader while maintaining excellent Kindergarten placement and sustaining the school’s culture through the Admissions enrollment process. The Interim Executive Director will have committed financial support to retain, recognize and attract top staff members, and will enjoy the benefits and opportunities provided by a newly-renovated facility. 


THE IDEAL CANDIDATE WILL:

•   Be passionate about children and education 


•   Embrace The Little School’s core values: relationship-based education, inclusion, diversity, commitment 
to teacher excellence and strong parent / school partnership 


•   Be a strong leader, who can inspire, manage, mentor and partner with a highly knowledgeable and 
passionate staff 


•   Recruit new teachers as needed 


•   Partner with the Board of Trustees to achieve the school’s strategic goals during a period of transition and 
maintain a financially sound organization 


•   Honor and support the vision, mission, philosophy and culture of The Little School 


•   Be an ambassador, team player and consensus-builder who is comfortable working with and balancing 
the needs of multiple constituents including professional colleagues, Board of Trustees, parents and 
prospective families 


•   Be a strategic thinker and thoughtful problem solver who can listen attentively and consider many points 
of view, develop an action plan, execute on the plan, and reflect on lessons learned 


•   Facilitate Kindergarten admissions by giving general guidance to families about the transition to 
kindergarten, understanding kindergarten options, and forging relationships with admissions directors 


•   Be a strategic, active and enthusiastic partner in fundraising efforts

QUALIFICATIONS

•   Demonstrated success as a leader and manager; financial and operational experience is a plus 


•   Genuine enthusiasm for The Little School’s philosophy for early childhood education, especially the tenets of inclusion, diversity, relationship-based learning, and individualized education 


•   Strong interpersonal skills: a capable listener and communicator with high emotional intelligence and empathy 


•   Ability to quickly understand the needs of a diverse community 


•   Integrity, humility and a natural inclination for reflection and growth 


•   The Interim Executive Director of The Little School must meet all Director Qualifications per the California 
Community Care Licensing Division. For more information, please see: 
http://ccld.ca.gov/res/pdf/ChildCareCtrProviderReqStaffQual.pdf 


Tools

The fundamental tools that support our educational approach include: 


The Sensory Lens. The Little School uses a sensory-processing lens as a basic tool for understanding a developmental profile, for regulating and organizing children, and for helping children understand themselves and others.

•   Social-Emotional Curriculum. Social-emotional curriculum (e.g. identification, processing and validation of feelings, as well as conflict-resolution) and regulation curricula (e.g. identifying our internal state and what tools help calm and organize us, such as those outlined in Zones of Regulation and The Engine Curriculum) are embedded in daily classroom life and conversation. 


•   Emergent Curriculum. Teachers are intentional in providing experiences that reflect the emerging interests of individuals and groups of children. The goal is to support overall development, be it cognitive, social, emotional, symbolic, physical or creative.


Little School at a Glance

•   The Program. There are 110-115 students enrolled at the Little School, with small class sizes and teacher ratios ranging from 1:4 to 1:8. Current individual programs or classes include: two 2-3 year-old programs with classes held two half-days per week; two 3-4 year-old programs with classes held three half-days per week; two 4-5 year-old programs with half-day daily classes; one transitional kindergarten with half-day daily classes; four intertwined extended day programs; and a summer program for preschool aged children. 


•   Admissions. The Little School has a stellar reputation. We have a robust pool of applicants for approximately 25 spaces per year. 


•   Facility Renovation. In Fall 2016, The Little School completed a building renovation that almost doubled the classroom space and allows each class to have a dedicated classroom; tripled the amount of meeting space; and added additional public spaces. 


•   The Legacy Campaign. Completed in 2016, the Legacy Campaign was a $4 million  capital campaign to support the facility renovation as well as boost teacher recognition and retention initiatives. Funds from The Legacy Campaign continue to be available for these initiatives.

TO APPLY 
Interested candidates should send a cover letter and resume to Ms. Holly Teliska at directorsearch@littleschool.org.  


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