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Chief Academic Officer

Harrisonburg City Public Schools
Harrisonburg, Virginia
$108,790 - $153,394 (based on experience)

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Job Category
Administrator, Curriculum, Instruction, Assessment & PD, Chief Academic Officer
Job Type
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The Chief Academic Officer (CAO) plans, develops, implements, directs, reviews, and evaluates the programs and activities related to instruction and curriculum development for the school division.  The CAO assists the Superintendent substantially and effectively in the role of providing leadership in developing, achieving, and maintaining the best possible educational programs and services for all students.


  1. Effectively demonstrates the ability to perform the essential functions and possesses a combination of education, training, and/or experience as follows:
    • A minimum of ten years of successful leadership experience of increasing responsibilities in a public educational setting, experience supervising others, familiarity with school district operations, five years shall have been in an instructional supervisory capacity (K­12 building principal experience preferred).
    • Graduate of an accredited college/university with a master’s degree in education, Virginia Post Graduate Professional license, with endorsement in Administration and Supervision.
  2. Knowledge of:
    • Best practices to positively impact student achievement.
    • Principles and practices of organization, administration and personnel management including supervision, training and performance evaluation, budget preparations and administration.
  3. Ability to:
    • Design, develop, implement, direct, review and evaluate the district wide instructional program.
    • Provide leadership assistance to the Superintendent in all facets of the district’s development, promotion and implementation of the district’s academic priorities, objectives and improvement efforts.
    • Analyze data and information to guide continuous improvement.
    • Analyze problems, identify solutions, project consequences of proposed actions and implement recommendations in support of division-wide goals.
  4. Experience working directly with individuals and families from diverse racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic backgrounds.
  5. Familiarity with equity and inclusion frameworks.  Models non-discriminatory practices in all activities.  Respects the worth, dignity and individual differences of others.
  6. Excellent written and verbal communication skills and the ability to present to diverse audiences to foster professional relationships and express and/or exchange ideas. 
  7. Excellent interpersonal skills.
  8. Proficiency in the use of a variety of office/instructional equipment and technology with experience using Microsoft Office, Google Workspace, and email.
  9. Demonstrated leadership qualities and personal characteristics necessary for working effectively with students, teachers, administrators, families, and the community.


  1. Provides leadership assistance to the Superintendent in all facets of the school division’s development, promotion, and implementation of the school division’s academic priorities, academic curriculum, objectives, and improvement efforts.
  2. Coordinates all educational programs in the school division and makes specific recommendations regarding these programs.
  3. Translates the school division’s educational philosophy, goals, and strategic plan into action plans that directly benefit teachers and students.
  4. Keeps abreast of current research and best practices in instruction.  Provides leadership in recommending and bringing pertinent innovative programs into the school division.
  5. Advises the Superintendent of the progress, effectiveness, and needs of the division's instructional program.
  6. Coordinates and supervises the division testing program.
  7. Supervises, coordinates and evaluates the work of the Office of Teaching and Learning in organizing and administering instructional programs within their respective primary functions.
  8. Coordinates and guides long and short-term planning for the school division, including the six-year school improvement plan.
  9. Provides leadership in the development and implementation of early childhood programs.
  10. Periodically visits all schools and participates in the instructional supervision plan for the school division.
  11. Assists in interpreting the school division's instructional programs to citizens, the news media and other interested parties.
  12. Provides leadership for the division-wide textbook adoption process and supplementary instructional materials procurement.
  13. Directs the implementation of the Standards of Quality for Public Schools in Virginia and the Standards for Accrediting Public Schools in Virginia.
  14. Responsible for and directs all school evaluation and/or improvement activities and coordinates visiting committees' activities.
  15. Responsible for the preparation and expenditures of the school division's budget related to instruction.
  16. Provides guidance for instructional staff development for the school division.
  17. Reports on the status of Division programs and services at the request of the Superintendent.
  18. Prepares and submits reports as requested or required by the Virginia Department of Education.
  19. Effectively supervises assigned staff.
  20. Attends appropriate regional, state, and national conferences in the interest of improving school instruction.
  21. Takes all industry standard precautions to protect students, staff, equipment, materials, and facilities.
  22. Maintains appropriate state licensure; assumes responsibility for and participates in staff development (professional growth) and training to keep materials, supplies, and skills up-to-date.
  23. Follows appropriate safety procedures and properly maintains equipment.
  24. Actively participates in and attends all required meetings.
  25. Maintains confidentiality when appropriate.
  26. Complies with and supports school division policies, regulations, procedures, and the HCPS Strategic Plan.
  27. Effectively performs other duties as assigned by the Superintendent.
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