Bridges Academy is opening a school in the Seattle area in September of 2022 and has opened a search for a passionate, experienced Administrator and Educational leader to serve as the Assistant Head/Director (AH/D). Reporting to the Head of School, the AH/D is tasked with implementing the Bridges program, managing and/or supporting all facets of the operations, and guiding further development as the school grows and adapts to the needs of the local communities.
Bridges Academy educates 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. We refer to these students as twice-exceptional or 2e.
Bridges’ strengths-based approach leverages students’ gifts, talents, and areas of interest to cultivate their academic, cognitive and social-emotional skills. We also prioritize exploration, inter and transdisciplinary learning activities and student agency. The Bridges team approach allows us to examine the many internal and external variables that impact the educational experience of students. These children share many similarities but also demonstrate profound differences. We celebrate and honor their complexity, and we design 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. When hiring, we look for a variety of characteristics to ensure a positive and energetic learning dynamic for our 2e students. We search for smart, articulate people who have empathy, rich life experiences manifested in their hobbies and interests, and a deep passion for their field and learning itself. We find that these types of people enjoy working with 2e students.
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 by the school. Faculty is required to pay all fees.
As the Administrative and Educational leader of the new Seattle area campus, the Assistant Head/Director will be responsible for ensuring that our program fulfills its promise to unlock the individual potential of each student through a focus on three primary objectives:
1) to effectively assist students in their personal, social and academic development; 2) to create a 21st century education that encourages innovation and problem solving; and
3) to work effectively with faculty, parents, administrators, and outside supports.
The Assistant Head/Director will work closely, in a supporting role, with the Los Angeles directors of Admissions, Institutional Advancement and the Business Office. These departments are led from Los Angeles during the start-up phase.
Bridges Academy is offering candidates the opportunity to learn, collaborate and assume a founding leadership position at the new Bridges Academy Seattle campus, filling a current and growing need in Seattle and across the country.
Because of the complexity of the student population, we grapple with every philosophical and practical question in education. We draw from a multitude of fields including neurology, positive psychology, educational psychology, pedagogy and nearly every other field imaginable to create the framework for a dynamic social, intellectual and creative environment. It is important to note that Bridges is not a “therapeutic” school. However, therapeutic knowledge, sensitivities and understandings are an essential aspect of the fund of knowledge all members of our community acquire.
General Knowledge, Skills and Characteristics
Educational Philosophy: It is essential that the AH/D have a progressive, constructivist orientation to learning and a Cognitive Behavioral approach. It is also important that the AH/D 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/D 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; and 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.
The areas of primary responsibility are provided below. While the Assistant Head/Director will be involved in all aspects of operation, during the startup phase the Business, Admissions, and Development functions will be handled by the department directors from the Studio City offices. The AH/D is supported by one or more administrative assistants and counselors, as needed. The AH/D will also be supported by and work collaboratively with the Associate Head of School to organize professional development and parent education and to develop the High School Program as it integrates with the Bridges Academy Online (BAO) and Los Angeles programs.
- Articulate the mission and philosophy.
- Develop annual calendar.
- Manage programs and supervise all daily activity.
- Develop and review programming.
- Work with Associate Head and LA Assistant Head to develop and market summer programs.
- Work with Head of School to develop and implement self-evaluation and staff goals evaluation.
- Manage Bridges Seattle accreditation in collaboration with the Head.
- Organize, manage and participate in hiring processes, as part of the team.
- Manage purchasing processes for all school needs.
- Liaison with and support of Parent Association Activity (Meetings and Functions).
- Liaise with Bridges LA staff on Parent Education and Bridges Parent University (BPU).
- Students and Parent Greetings at drop off and pick up.
- Articulate educational philosophy and establish a professional development program.
- Serve as a role model to encourage faculty self-evaluation, professional growth, scholarship, and effective training.
- Work with the Associate Head of School to develop and operate the High School program.
- Prepare a master class schedule for teacher/student classes and other obligations.
- Oversee the coordination of co-curricular and extra-curricular activity programs of the school.
- Provide for the academic guidance of students.
- Serve as a consultant to teachers in matters of classroom management and teaching.
- Supervise, mentor, and counsel new teachers regarding plans, curriculum development and assessment, resources, facilities, and activities.
- Supervise, mentor, and counsel classroom management, teaching methods, and general school procedures.
- Hold regularly scheduled meetings with new teachers for open discussion of education.
- Create and oversee the careful maintenance and cleaning programs that keep the school’s appearance in exemplary condition.
- Develop, maintain, and report all required environmental, health, and maintenance standards as required by law.
- Work with the Head of School, to ensure compliance with all regional, state, and federal regulations and laws.
- Provide strategic leadership in diversity, based upon the school’s mission and long-range plan.
- Support and manage the activities of parent, student, and faculty/staff groups whose purposes and goals are related to diversity issues.
- Act as a resource on diversity issues for faculty and staff in their work with students and in their development of curriculum and programs.
- Act as a liaison between the school and the various local communities of color in support of the school’s continued effort to serve these communities better and to support the school’s outreach and admissions, marketing, and recruitment programs.
- Coordinate the teamwork required to achieve all goals.
- Manage the demographic and communication issues related to diversity.
(Support Function Departments managed in LA during start up)
- Coordinate with the Bridges College Guidance Counselor.
- Direct administrative assistants to coordinate PSAT, SAT etc.
- Work with the LA office to schedule prospective students and parent for visits.
- Work with the LA office to screen applications and make recommendations to the Admission Director and the HOS for acceptance.
- Represent the school at various gatherings and conferences in Seattle.
- Conduct exit interviews to track satisfaction and attitude of families leaving the school.
Business / Financial Management
- Assist the Head of School with decisions regarding salaries and benefits for all personnel, including the evaluation of support staff.
- Manage risk to ensure the safety of personnel and students in their use of the facilities.
- Oversee school transportation, including transportation routes, schedules, and contracts and to assess the performance of the transportation companies.
- To work with the LA office providing the Director and Head with relevant information about employee giving programs; corporate and foundation proposals; and planning for major capital gifts.
- Take part in any donor cultivation meetings required to engage prospects in the Annual Fund and special school projects.
The Head of School (HOS), Carl Sabatino, will operate as a traditional HOS, including the support and/or coordination of joint LA/SEA projects and professional development among and between the various administrators and departments. The HOS plans to actively engage the Seattle community and will be on the Seattle campus much of the school year guiding and supporting the Assistant Head/Director, faculty, parents, and students. When the HOS is not on the Seattle campus, the Seattle Assistant Head/Director is next in line of authority. The Seattle AH/D also will have support and experience from the Associate Head and the Los Angeles Administrative team. Emergency situations are governed by best practices that will be discussed and involve the Head, Seattle based board members and the Associate Head of School.
Bridges Academy is an equal opportunity employer. Bridges will not discriminate in hiring, compensation, termination, upgrading, promotions, and other conditions of employment against any employee or job applicant on the bases of race, color, gender, national origin, age, religion, creed, disability, veteran’s status, sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression, or any other basis prohibited by applicable law.
How to Apply
Candidates interested in this position are asked to submit the following materials in a Single Merged Document:
- EC Candidate Summary Sheet (Contact Joan Beauregard for this document)
- Letter of Interest addressed to the Head of School
- Current Resume
- Statement of Statement of Educational Philosophy
- A list of five or more references with contact information (name, relationship to candidate, phone and email addresses)
- Up to three letters of reference (optional)
- Educators Collaborative Disclosure Form (Contact Joan Beauregard for this document)