Director of Academic Operations

Chicago, IL, US
Aug 14, 2019
Chicago Public Schools (CPS) is the third largest school district in the United States, serving over 360,000 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. Five core principles are embedded within these commitments - high quality, rigorous instruction, talented and empowered educators, safety and support, financial stability and collective impact.

The Director of Academic Operations is a leadership role within the CPS Department of Curriculum, Instruction, and Digital Learning (CIDL) and the ideal candidate is a highly-effective, organized and flexible innovator. The Director of Academic Operations will leverage his/her experience and expertise in the areas of project management, progress monitoring, data analysis, and strategic planning to facilitate the implementation of the district's Curriculum Equity Initiative (CEI).

The Director of Academic Operations reports directly to the Executive Director of Curriculum, Instruction, and Digital Learning. This position is responsible for managing the overall program (suite of projects) for the CEI and overseeing the continuous improvement of related policies, procedures and protocols. Additionally, the Director of Academic Operations will promote convergence and create the highest level of efficiency possible within CIDL in direct support of the CEI implementation.

Primary Responsibilities:

  • Oversee the CEI Program by effectively managing project teams and stakeholders to achieve goals on time and within budget.

  • Build, manage, and mentor the Academic Operations Team (employees and consultants) to increase internal capacity and ensure program sustainability (post-implementation).

  • Own the execution of the governance and reporting strategies/plans to provide a holistic view of all CEI program activity.

  • Oversee Quality Assurance (QA) for the program and propose new/improve upon existing processes to support a highly efficient curriculum production model.

  • Identify, address, and mitigate program and project issues and risks

  • Ensure that teams are managing interdependencies and coordinating all projects - whether directly or indirectly related to the CEI Program.

  • Balance and optimize workloads and team assignments, as necessary.

  • Oversee the CEI budget.

  • Serve as liaison to members of the philanthropic community who seek to financially support the program.

  • Oversee the design and implementation of the communication and marketing strategies/plans for the CEI Program.

  • Manage the redesign/continuous improvement of CPS' employee intranet to directly support the CEI Program.

  • Actively manage contracts initiated for the CEI Program.

  • Develop, normalize and manage the internal protocols and expectations for vendor relationship management to ensure the highest level of performance is achieved for all contracts.

  • Lead strategic planning for CIDL.

  • Model the routine, intentional and effective use of technology in daily work, including communications, organization and management tasks.

  • Perform other duties as assigned by the Executive Director of CIDL.

The Director of Academic Operations should have demonstrated ability and/or experience to:

  • Manage large, high-priority projects and programs within a large, complex organization.

  • Proactively analyze technical factors, identify and understand stakeholder concerns, and provide solutions that support the best interests of the organization as a whole.

  • Identify opportunities to increase efficiency and diminish overall program cost while ensuring quality.

  • Manage large-scale program/project portfolios.

  • Serve as a problem solver, relationship builder and influencer.

  • Develop and maintain positive relationships across all levels of the organization.

  • Knowledge of strategic planning processes and project management principles

  • Effective interpersonal, communication, and organizational skills.

  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills.

  • Knowledge of Google Suite and Microsoft resources.

In order to be successful and achieve the above responsibilities, the Director of Academic Operations must possess the following qualifications:

Type of Education Required:

  • Advanced Degree from a regionally accredited university in business management, law, project management, analytics/predictive analytics or a related field -- or an equivalent combination of education and experience.

Type of Experience and Number of Years:

  • 5-7 years of experience managing complex teams to achieve a variety of organizational goals.

  • 5-7 years of experience managing complex projects and in project-planning.

  • Deep knowledge of effective communication and problem-solving strategies.

  • Evidenced success in collaborating with culturally and educationally-diverse teams.

  • Exceptional leadership skills with the ability to develop and communicate the broader District Vision, and inspire and motivate teams.

  • Experience in government preferred.

  • Experience in K-12 Education preferred.

Residency Requirement:

As a condition of employment with the Chicago Public Schools (CPS), employees are required to live within the geographic boundaries of the City of Chicago within six months of his or her CPS hire date and maintain residency throughout their employment with the district.

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