Chicago Public Schools (CPS) is one of the largest school districts in the United States, serving over 330,000 students in 600+ schools and employing nearly 36,000 people, most of them teachers. CPS has set ambitious goals to ensure that every student, in every school and every neighborhood, has access to a world-class learning experience that prepares each for success in college, career, and civic life. In order to fulfill this mission, we make three commitments to our students, their families, and all Chicagoans: academic progress, financial stability, and integrity. Six core values are embedded within these commitments - student-centered, whole child, equity, academic excellence, community partnership, and continuous learning.
District-run CPS schools are organized into 18 networks. The Office of Network Support provides administrative support, strategic direction, and leadership development to the schools within each network while also driving critical supports that boost student learning.
Reporting to the Chief Schools Officer, the Chief of Schools, within the Office of Network Support (ONS), will serve as the chief executive for a network of elementary schools serving students in a designated region within the City of Chicago. This role will strategically leverage network and district resources to effectively support students and schools. With school principals serving as critical agents in accomplishing the district's vision, the Chief's most important role is supporting, developing, coaching, and supervising principals' instructional leadership. The Chief of Schools will collaborate with local school councils and CPS departments to identify, prepare, place and retain great principals in network schools; create a climate of professional collaboration by establishing structures that foster shared learning and resource exchange across networks and schools; and implement a strategic plan to anchor the work of the network in improving student achievement.
The Chief of Schools will be held accountable for the following responsibilities:
- Supervise and support school leaders and schools in the Network:
- Develop principals' and their instructional leadership teams' ability to develop, implement and monitor strategic plans that help meet student achievement goals, including engagement in root cause analyses, development of theories of action and building coherent multi-year strategies.
- Support principals' development and implementation of their school's Continuous Improvement Work Plan ("CIWP"), including the change management process needed to implement transformation initiatives at the school-level.
- Collaborate with school leaders to closely monitor school improvement through a cycle of continuous improvement and sound management practices.
- Assess the leadership capacity of each principal and their leadership teams (including teacher leaders and Assistant Principals) and develop an individualized Leadership Development Plan ("LDP") for each leader; Conduct regular performance evaluations to support the goals in the LDPs.
- Assess principal quality within the network and effectively plan for, facilitate and/or execute school leadership transitions as needed (including succession planning), in consultation and partnership with the Office of Network Support, Department of Principal Quality and Talent Office.
- Identify, recruit and engage in the selection of new principals able to successfully lead school improvement efforts.
- Develop a high-performing community of principals who leverage each other's strengths and support each other in achieving shared goals via principal network meetings, peer mentoring, and/or individual job-embedded coaching focused on instructional leadership.
- Develop and build a high-performing network team focused on supporting the work of school leaders and their leadership teams that will:
- Foster meaningful relationships with families and community stakeholders to create a strong neighborhood structure to support the learning of all students.
- Differentiate resources and support to schools in accordance with their CIWP and student achievement goals instead of a one-size-fits-all approach.
- Leverage the resources of Central Office departments and teams and coordinate their delivery in the best interests of principals, their leadership teams, and schools' CIWPs.
- Pursue the district's goals for diversity, equity and inclusion, with a particular focus on ensuring equitable access to high-quality instruction for students and eliminating the opportunity gap.
- Collaborate with the CPS Senior Leadership Team, the Chief Education Officer and fellow Chiefs of School in developing communication systems that ensure the smooth flow of information (both vertically and horizontally), enable energy to be concentrated on the highest-priority goals for each school, and ensure best practices are shared across schools.
- Regularly monitor schools' performance and provide frequent, actionable feedback to assist principals and their leadership teams in improving in their leadership practice and achieving better results, developing principal leadership capacity, the schools' progress toward implementation of CIWP efforts, and the network's results in achieving the student achievement goals set in the 5 year CPS Vision-Success Starts Here.
- Perform other administration duties as assigned by the CEO/CEDO or designee.
In order to be successful and achieve the above responsibilities, the Chief of Schools must possess the following qualifications:
- Master's degree in Education or related field
- Valid Illinois State Board of Education Professional Educator License (PEL) or Educator License with Stipulations (out of state)
- Valid Principal/Administrator endorsement (Type 75)
- Minimum of five (5) years of experience managing within a complex educational organization (this includes principal experience)
- Minimum of five (5) complete school years of experience as a school principal (at least 3 years as an elementary school principal); or four (4) complete school years as an elementary school principal and one (1) year of experience in a district administration role
- Minimum of three (3) years of experience coaching and mentoring educators
- Principal supervisory experience preferred
- Urban education experience preferred
Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:
- Demonstrated ability to lead literacy and numeracy instruction, as well as design and implement successful instructional strategies for English Language Learners and students with diverse learning needs.
- Knowledgeable and effective with leading large-scale, sustainable improvement efforts, whether in school transformation or elevation from good to great.
- Exhibit a consistent sense of urgency around closing opportunity gaps and making the necessary corresponding instructional improvements.
- Ability to influence and develop leaders, build effective collaborative teams, and coach team members to ensure professional growth.
- Ability to clearly articulate a vision and build consensus among a diverse set of stakeholders around the common purpose of setting high standards for all students, helping students succeed and effectively driving schools to fully commit to high expectations.
- Ability to build collaborative relationships with a broad variety of constituent groups, including both internal and external partnerships.
- Ability to analyze and synthesize multiple sources of data to inform daily decisions and identify areas requiring improved instructional practice.
- Adept at seeking out and sharing research and evidence-based best practices; exploring innovative ideas, understanding the practical challenges and how to overcome them.
- Skilled at navigating politically-charged environments with integrity, honesty, and courage in the best interests of students.
- Aptitude and commitment to continuous self-improvement, and an unwavering belief that all students can achieve at high levels.
- Ability to make challenging decisions, remain professional under stress and exhibit exceptional judgment.
Conditions of Employment
As a condition of employment with the Chicago Public Schools (CPS), employees are required to:
- Establish/Maintain Chicago Residency - Employees are required to live within the geographic boundaries of the City of Chicago within six months of their CPS hire date and maintain residency throughout their employment with the district. The Chicago residency requirement does not apply to temporary/part-time positions, however, all CPS employees must be residents of Illinois.
- Be Fully Vaccinated Against COVID-19 - Unless approved for a medical or religious exemption, all employees are required to be up-to-date on COVID-19 vaccinations, including boosters, and to submit proof of vaccination to the district within 30 days of hire. "Up-to-date" on vaccination is defined as being at least two weeks past all primary vaccine doses and any applicable boosters.