Deputy Superintendent of Academics

Providence Public Schools
Providence, Rhode Island
Salary is competitive, and commensurate with prior experience. In addition, a comprehensive benefits
Oct 05, 2020
Job Type

About Providence Public Schools

The Providence Public School District (PPSD) is the largest district in Rhode Island, located in the State’s capital city. The district serves approximately 24,000 students and families across 22 elementary schools, 7 middle schools, 10 high schools and 2 public District charter schools. The student body is highly diverse with approximately 65 percent of students identifying as Hispanic, 16 percent Black, 9 percent White, 5 percent Asian, 4 percent multiracial, and 1 percent Native American. Nearly 34 percent of students are multilingual learners (MLL) and approximately 16 percent of Providence students receive special education services.

The Rhode Island Department of Education (RIDE), under the leadership of Commissioner Angélica Infante-Green, has taken bold action to intervene and to improve the educational outcomes of all children in Providence. In January 2020, the Commissioner appointed Harrison Peters as State Turnaround Superintendent to dramatically improve the quality of education in PPSD. Superintendent Peters is building a dynamic executive cabinet to lead the district through this historic turnaround transformation based on three pillars for success: engaged communities, excellence in learning, and world-class talent.

About the Deputy Superintendent of Academics

Reporting directly to the Superintendent, the Deputy Superintendent of Academics is a critical leadership role in PPSD’s organizational structure. The leader in this role will work to ensure students’ access to a high-quality, equitable, data-driven learning environment that will provide them with the confidence to succeed academically and continue on to postsecondary education opportunities. The leader in this role will provide vision and leadership for innovation and improvement in standards-aligned instruction and assessments in the district, will support educators in cultivating a high level of learning for all students, and will ensure that all services are implemented within federal, state, and local regulations. The Deputy Superintendent of Academics will have a razor-sharp focus on equity and will work to eliminate disparities in achievement and ensure college and career readiness for all students.

The Deputy Superintendent of Academics will spearhead the strategic implementation of curriculum, instruction, assessment, school improvement/accountability, the provision of services of multilingual learners and differently abled learners across the district.

Specific Duties and Responsibilities

Instructional Leadership and Strategic Thinking

  • Establish PPSD’s strategic vision for the Teaching and Learning division in coordination with executive leadership team and key stakeholders.
  • Lead the development, coordination, alignment, implementation and evaluation of all district curriculum and instructional support programs.
  • Direct and supervise the content departments, specialized services, office of multilingual learners and research, performance, and accountability teams.
  • Develop the strategic plan for school development and innovation.
  • Partner closely with the network supervisors to identify and coordinate differentiated academic supports based on essential data, such as formative and summative assessments, and equity gap analyses for at-risk students.
  • Apply research and best practices to inform the development of theories of pedagogy, intervention programs and improve the delivery of rigorous instruction and related services.
  • Work in conjunction with the Rhode Island Department of Education, Office of Civil Rights and Department of Justice to meet the needs of multilingual students and to ensure compliance of programs with federal, state, and local regulations.

Equity-Centered Leadership

  • Set a clear vision and goals for the Teaching and Learning department to increase academic achievement and provide support for all students.
  • Develop a progressive and comprehensive plan that is culturally responsive, anti-racist, and is reflective of a data-driven approach to reform that puts students first.
  • Cultivate a commitment among all district staff that all students will achieve high standards.
  • Confront preconceptions and model open dialogue about race, culture, class, and other issues of difference with peers, staff, students, and the community.
  • Demonstrate cultural proficiency, sensitivity, and equity to ensure students’ needs are met.

 Systems and Policies

  • Continually assess the effectiveness of the department and effectively prioritize, plan, and implement improvements, as needed.
  • Establish performance management processes for quality controls, operational efficiency, and accuracy in departmental work.
  • Employ research-based practices to ensure responsive and efficient services for multilingual learners and differently abled students.
  • Create proactive systems that garner feedback from stakeholders (network supervisors, schools, teachers) to inform district-level policy and practice.
  • Use and analyze data to drive decisions and guide problem-solving to achieve the best student outcomes.
  • Effectively communicate and share data with broad audiences to improve transparency, trust, and confidence in the district.
  • Provide technical assistance to staff, families, and outside agencies related to the implementation of legal mandates.

 Talent Management and Professional Learning

  • Build and revitalize a team of content experts, leaders in special education and multilingual learners who will unite around a common vision of excellence for all students.
  • Build and cultivate positive relationships among staff internally and within the broader Providence Public School District including principals, support staff and the larger community.
  • Strategically manage and allocate resources (including money, people, time, etc.) aligned to students’ needs.
  • Partner with network supervisors to create and deliver professional development programs and supports that build the capacity of school-based teachers and leaders.

Skills and Competencies

The ideal candidate will demonstrate the following:

Vision and Courage to Ensure All Students Achieve

  • Demonstrate belief and hold self and others accountable for reaching high academic achievement of all students.
  • Navigate politically-charged environments and act with integrity, honesty and courage in the best interest of students.
  • Facilitate and secure buy-in for a clear and compelling vision of instructional excellence.
  • Address matters of equity, race, and bias in decision-making with clarity and confidence.

Content Knowledge and Instructional Best Practice

  • Exhibit deep understanding of the complex nature of teaching and tools necessary to improve teachers’ practice.
  • Demonstrate pedagogical content knowledge in the core content areas.
  • Understand and implement promising, innovative and effective instructional practices, and models.
  • Identify high quality teaching and develop improvement strategies to build capacity of teachers and school leaders.

Influence and Leadership

  • Navigate political structures, relationships, and dynamics to challenge ideas and enable thoughtful decisions and positive outcomes for students.
  • Communicate effectively, tailoring messages for the audience, context, and mode of communication.
  • Build positive relationships and coalitions primarily with staff members and principals and inclusive of district staff, students, parents and families, communities, and advocacy groups.
  • Maintain visibility and work collaboratively with diverse stakeholders at all levels.

Strategic Planning and Effective Execution

  • Offer innovative solutions to seemingly intractable problems.
  • Demonstrate critical thinking skills and the ability to analyze data, identify trends, and diagnose root causes.
  • Exhibit a strong focus on goals, accountability, and results. Set clear metrics for success.
  • Monitor progress and demonstrate persistence to overcome obstacles to achieve goals.

Team Leadership and Management

  • Build, inspire, manage, and coach effective teams to achieve ambitious goals.
  • Assess team and individuals’ skills, identify development needs, and provide feedback and supports to improve practice, build capacity, and maximize talent.
  • Promote professional learning and utilizes effective adult learning techniques.
  • Lead teams to collaborate with each other, other departments, teams, and stakeholders including parents and families.



Education and Experience

  • 5-7 years of academic leadership experience and knowledge in curriculum, instruction, assessment, and multi-lingual and differently abled learner education.
  • A clear track record of improving academic outcomes for students with a keen focus on equity and access for all learners.
  • Experience building high quality, highly functional teams with clear expectations for serving schools and achieving student success.
  • Ability to navigate uncertainty and ambiguity, and to prioritize work efforts to execute overall strategy.
  • Master’s degree in educational administration, or a related field from an accredited college or institution. Doctorate preferred.
  • Knowledge of best practices, and current on national trends and research for the instruction of diverse and multilingual learners.
  • Eligible to obtain license in Administrator certification (Building Level Administrator, District Level Administrator – Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment or Superintendent) in the State of Rhode Island.

The Application Process

Qualified candidates for the role of Deputy Superintendent of Academics should submit a resume that clearly demonstrates the aforementioned qualifications to