About the School

Founded in 1994, Bridges Academy began as a small tutorial program for three students in the home of its founder, Carolyn McWilliams. Within six years, the school grew to 40 students and a new venue was established in Sherman Oaks. In 1998, the school was granted non-profit corporate status along with the creation of a mission dedicated to the education of twice-exceptional children. As demand grew, the school moved again to its current site on Laurel Canyon Boulevard in Studio City, near Universal Theater in Burbank. Today Bridges Academy enrolls 187 students with more than 100 faculty and staff in 4 buildings on a 3.5-acre campus. Current Head of School, Carl Sabatino was appointed in 2005 and the school has thrived under his leadership.

The Program:

Bridges Academy educates 2-e students who are uniquely gifted or highly gifted with complex and challenging learning differences. These students are often capable of developing expertise at a very young age in any number of fields, from robotics to religion, string theory to Sanskrit, politics to poetry. Bridges’ strengths-based approach leverages students’ gifts, talents, and areas of interest to cultivate their academic, cognitive, and social-emotional skills. Exploration, inter and transdisciplinary learning activities, and student agency are central to the program. The Bridges team approach allows the examination of the many internal and external variables that impact the educational experience of students. These children share many similarities but also demonstrate profound differences. The school celebrates and honors their complexity and designs environments, programs, and curriculum to both challenge and support their journey.

Intelligent, creative, and dynamic administrators, faculty, and professional staff are key to the success of 2e students and of the school. Bridges teachers and specialists are experts in their field and have a broad worldview with significant exposure to human diversity. Bridges Academy Administrators and faculty routinely engage in professional development, team meetings and other opportunities to explore situations, develop goals and objectives, and find solutions. Bridges Administrators and faculty may enroll in the Bridges Graduate school, an independent 501(c)3 college, to earn a certificate, Masters or Doctoral degree in Cognitive Diversity in Education. Tuition is paid for by the school. Faculty is required to pay all fees.

About the Position

Bridges Academy – Los Angeles seeks a new Assistant Head of School (AH) to begin responsibilities on or about July 1, 2022. The Assistant Head of School (AH) is the central figure in the school’s plans to ensure quality education and meaningful communications among all members of the Bridges Academy – Los Angeles community. The AH reports to the Head of School and is charged with leadership and oversight of:

  • All academic, creative and social-emotional programs, and initiatives during both the school year and the summer.
  • parent communications and parent education.
  • ongoing accreditation processes.
  • managing all faculty recruitment and serving on recruitment teams.

Areas of Responsibility:

  • Assist the Head of School in all internal matters and external where needed
  • Represent the Head of School, when necessary, at meetings and events
  • Serve on Board of Trustee Committees at the discretion of the Head
  • Ensure that the facilities are safe
  • Coordinate the School Calendar
  • Contribute to the Newsletter, participate in conferences and panels, and podcasts

Academic Leadership – shared with Division Directors

  • Articulate Educational philosophy to faculty and parent and professional communities
  • Further develop the professional development program
  • Serve as a role model, encourage self-evaluation, professional growth, & scholarship
  • Oversee the coordination of co-curricular and extra-curricular activities and programs
  • Work collaboratively with division director to solve challenging students and parent issues
  • Serve as a consultant to teachers in matters of classroom management and teaching
  • In collaboration with Division Heads, supervise, mentor, and counsel new teachers
  • Hold regular meetings with the division Directors to identify needs, coordinate projects, manage communications, and celebrate successes
  • Provide for the academic guidance of students
  • Work with the Associate Head of School in a supportive role in the online space

Summer Programs

  • Manage onsite program and supervise daily activity (June)
  • Develop and review programming
  • Work with Associate Head and Seattle Assistant Head to market programs

Accreditation

  • Manage academy accreditation in collaboration with administration

Personnel recruitment managements / required training

  • Organize and manage hiring process (job descriptions, posting, appointments)
  • Participate on teams for interviews regarding academic hiring decisions
  • Organize periodic CPR, sexual harassment, and other mandated training

Constituent relations

  • Students and Parent drop off and pick up greetings
  • Liaison and support Parent Association Activity (Meetings and occasional events)
  • Support Division Heads with parents’ and students’ behavior management
  • Parent Education- Bridges Parent University (BPU), individual and group meeting

Qualification Expectations:

Educational Philosophy: It is essential that the Assistant Head have a progressive, constructivist orientation to learning and a Cognitive Behavioral approach. It is also important that the AH be flexible and non-dogmatic. While the Twice-exceptional as a group may respond best to progressive approaches, an individual 2e student may not. Students respond to various approaches, and sometimes they respond to practices in conflict with our personal beliefs about education. Pragmatism prevails.

Leadership in Education: The AH should have leadership experience with line authority in a school setting, managing decision-making of administrative, curricular, and faculty. Positive and effective engagement with highly supportive and engaged parents -and occasionally with very challenging parents- is crucial.

Teaching & Learning: In addition to academic leadership and oversight, a background in the classroom, lesson, and unit planning, advising, and/or counselling is essential. Familiarity with the following theories and practices are also critical: 1) project-based learning. 2) “Big Idea” curricular frameworks, 3) Universal Design Learning and Tomlinson’s differentiation frameworks, 4) Michelle Garcia Winner’s Social Thinking and other SEL frameworks (PEERS, RULER etc.) Training will be provided but should be built on a strong foundation.

Personal Characteristics: The successful candidate will have high energy and enthusiasm for all aspects of school life and demonstrate drive, initiative, and the ability to make tough decisions. He/she/they should be warm with a good sense of humor, be open to human diversity; possess a collaborative mindset and consensus-building skills; have patience and persistence; and excellent oral and written communication skills. The candidate must also have the personality, temperament, skills, and wisdom to “manage up” to effectively work with an involved Head of School and board members and possess the necessary skills, respect, and deference to work effectively with experienced division directors.

How to Apply

Interested candidates should send a letter of interest, current resume, personal statement, and list of five (5) references with email addresses and phone numbers to:

Please address any inquiries or expressions of interest to:
  • Marcus Hurlbut, Partner, Educators’ Collaborative, LLC (email: mhurlbut@educatorscollaborative.com, phone: 949-279-3084)