About the School

The first and only inclusion school of its kind in Manhattan, The IDEAL School of Manhattan is an independent, non-profit school that currently serves students from Kindergarten to 12th grade. Established in 2005, IDEAL was founded by three families with children with Down syndrome who wished for their children to be educated together with their typically developing peers. From this, the idea of a truly inclusive school with differentiated and individualized education to meet the needs of all learners emerged. To achieve their vision, the founders partnered with educators committed to creating a school that teaches and reaches children of all abilities, all backgrounds, all socio-economic levels, and of different races, cultures, and religions. As the school became a reality, its broader mission of social justice and academic excellence took shape.

IDEAL opened its doors in September 2006 with its first 20 students in Kindergarten and Grades 1 and 2 and has added a grade each year since that time. In the fall of 2014, the school launched its High School and the spring of 2018 saw the graduation of IDEAL’s first three seniors. The school is currently looking ahead to the continued expansion of its High School and to the development of an 18-21 program.

The School is a growing and dynamic place and seeks a highly flexible, creative, entrepreneurial, strategic, and bold leader to work with the Head of School,  leadership team, and board as the School expands, and as IDEAL fulfills its public purpose and moves into its next phases of growth. Please learn more about The IDEAL School and Academy at www.theidealschool.org.

Chief Financial Officer, The IDEAL School of Manhattan

Reports to:  Head of School

Time: Full-time

About the Position

The CFO develops and oversees the financial strategies and operations for IDEAL and its related entities in partnership with the Head of School and the Board of Trustees. S/he is a key hands-on partner with the Head of School in the implementation of the financial management of the School.  As an instrumental leader, s/he oversees the finance and human resources functions, is a primary board liaison, and organizes and facilitates the Board Finance and Audit Committee meetings. S/he oversees the relationship with the school’s financing partners and develops and manages the School’s multi-year financial model and annual budgeting and reporting process. S/he is a key member of School’s leadership team, and serves as a visible community leader, working with parents, teachers, leadership, and Board members on implementing the mission and vision of the School.



  • Oversee and manage the financial operations of the school to achieve the strategic goals identified by board and leadership, including managing and developing the business office employees and interacting directly with the administrative, faculty, and parent communities.
  • Facilitate and prepare reports and presentations for the Head of School, the Finance and Audit Committee, Executive Committee and Board Meetings.
  • Oversee Human Resources, including benefit programs, policies and practices, organizational structure, salary scale determinations, employee records, and legal compliance.
  • Supervise personnel, planning, and work in the areas of Technology, Facilities, and Registrar
  • Oversee and maintain corporate and legal filings for The IDEAL School of Manhattan, and maintain the corresponding archival systems.
  • Guide the allocation of financial aid and amended payment plans, providing strategic direction, developing and managing annual TA allocations, recommendations, analysis, and reporting, and serving as the primary liaison with families.
  • Oversee and maintain the appropriate insurance for all of the IDEAL School of Manhattan corporate entities.
  • Oversee all aspects of the school pertaining to compliance, safety, and risk management
  • Serve as main point person for any future real estate development and any and all construction and related financial planning.


  • Oversee and continue to develop the finance and accounting function, financial reporting, and financial relationships for The IDEAL School of Manhattan, including the annual audit.
  • Continue to strengthen and develop the internal communication systems to effectively track, analyze, and report admissions and fundraising information in an aligned method amongst departments.
  • Serve as the primary liaison for all financing partnerships, overseeing the development of all reporting, and ensure the school is in compliance with the appropriate government entity/issuer or lender.
  • Collaborate to develop and report on departmental budgets and spending
  • Perform additional responsibilities as needed.

Candidates need to exhibit the following leadership skills:

  • Dedication to furthering the mission of IDEAL through sound financial management, effective communication and leadership, and an open, collaborative, and relational management style
  • Ability to explain financial and controllership issues to non-financial audiences and constituencies
  • Exceptional written and oral communication skills and excellent presentation skills with multiple constituents
  • Strong and efficient organizational skills and the ability to manage multiple large and small projects at any given time
  • Strategic, flexible, and creative thinker
  • Reliability and discretion in financial and personnel matters
  • Sense of humor and transparency

Education and Experience:

  • CPA background preferred
  • 3+ years of experience in a CFO, Controller, or Director of Finance role
  • An accounting degree or equivalent is preferred
  • Prior experience in education corporation/school with complex structure (501c3 and/or hybrid preferred)
  • Strong background in finance, budgeting, and cash management
  • Experience and oversight with diverse financing tools including loans, municipal bonds, contributed income, government programs or private debt financing preferred
  • Experience with start-up and/or growth organizations a plus
  • Ability to communicate with all constituencies – Board, teachers, staff, and families
  • Solid technology skills including Word, Outlook, Excel and database management software

The IDEAL School of Manhattan is committed to the principles of equal employment opportunities for all qualified employees and job applicants and to administer all employment activities regardless of race, color, creed, religion, gender, national origin, age, disability, sexual orientation, citizenship status, marital status, status as a victim of domestic violence, gender identity or expression, citizenship, genetic predisposition or carrier status, or any other status or condition protected by applicable federal, state or local law. The IDEAL School of Manhattan will not tolerate any action by its directors, officers, employees, supervisors, agents or independent contractors in violation of such policy. This policy of Equal Employment Opportunity applies to all policies and procedures relating to recruitment and hiring, compensation, benefits, discipline, termination and all other terms and conditions of employment.

This job description overview shall coincide with the yearly contract between The IDEAL School of Manhattan and the employee. This job description summary does not imply that these are the only duties to be performed. This job description is subject to change in response to funding variables, emerging technologies, improved operating procedures, productivity factors, and unforeseen events as determined by the Head of School.

How to Apply

Please send a cover letter and resume to Educators’ Collaborative Partner, Doug Cummings at dcummings@educatorscollaborative.com