Chief Academic Officer, Instructional Program and Curriculum

LEAP Academy University School - Camden City, NJ - Full time

LEAP Academy University School - Camden City, NJ - Full time


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The LEAP (Leadership, Education and Partnership) Academy University Charter School (LEAP) is a kindergarten through 12th grade public charter school that serves Camden City, New Jersey. LEAP was founded in 1997 on one core principle: all families deserve access to quality public education. LEAP serves a vibrant and highly talented student population that is composed of more than 99% students of color with over 92% qualifying for free and reduced lunch. Each year, 100% of LEAP Academy graduates are admitted to a four-year college and the school has truly become a model of excellence for urban education. Graduates of LEAP who attend Rutgers University receive a full scholarship through the school’s endowment fund and additional scholarship funds are available to ensure that every student is able to achieve their goal of going to college.

LEAP’s STEM/STEAM curriculum is grounded in providing rich learning experiences and project based learning opportunities. This includes a fully equipped Fabrication Lab that provides the setting for multi-disciplinary projects. Founded in partnership with Rutgers University, the school has garnered every resource and investment necessary to effectively revitalize the community surrounding the school and provide every support necessary – academic and beyond – to ensure the success of its students. Its relationship with Rutgers has allowed access to university social, intellectual and financial resources including faculty, the financial backing to purchase a city’s block worth of real estate, and the ability to embed a college curriculum into its 11th and 12th grade coursework. 


LEAP is seeking an experienced and visionary academic leader to serve as the Chief Academic Officer, Instructional Program and Curriculum (CAO). The CAO will ultimately be responsible for owning the design and implementation of a rigorous, high quality, and fully aligned college preparatory academic curriculum. In addition, the CAO will own the implementation of that vision by ensuring that teachers and principals have the training, coaching, and support they need to leverage the curriculum to its highest potential. S/he will craft and align supporting programs such as the performance management process, professional development programs, and staffing structure to ensure that everyone is accountable for and fully equipped to achieve success.

The ideal CAO candidate will be a system-wide thinker with the ability to organize and map out a global curriculum, as well as a skilled coach, mentor, and modeler. They will be a strong communicator with expertise building rapport with multiple stakeholder groups including parents, principals, teachers, board members, community partners, and central office staff. S/he will be skilled at engaging these stakeholders to build alignment and buy-in around a vision for student success and then managing the process to ensure that vision comes to life.Reporting directly to LEAP’s Board of Trustees, the CAO will serve on a leadership team along with the COO and CFO and will manage school principals and other school instructional leaders and academic support staff.


The CAO’s Key Responsibilities Include:

  • Leading the development and implementation of a rigorous and aligned curriculum, instructional tools, systems, and practices that lead to college and career readiness for all LEAP students;
  • Developing a comprehensive academic improvement plan to address academic challenges and deficiencies and support school leaders in the implementation of this plan;
  • Regularly reviewing data to ensure that all schools are on track to meet performance goals, identifying potential challenges and working with principals to develop clear action plans for addressing these areas;
  • Guiding executive staff, principals, supervisors, teachers, and other staff in the development of instructional systems that encourage rigorous, developmentally appropriate, and culturally relevant academic learning across all content areas for students, including curriculum in all grades and subjects, interim and summative assessments, scope and sequence, intervention programs, and other instructional tools;
  • Building and supporting a high performing educational team by inspiring, integrating and aligning the academic work of the schools, and developing and maintaining clear and inclusive decision-making processes;
  • Allocating resources to ensure academic goals are achieved;
  • Supporting the professional development of school leaders, teachers, and staff in academic standards utilizing best-in-class adult learning methods that engage staff and pursue excellent outcomes for students;
  • Supporting the development of tools and communications to parents and other community partners that enhance learning outside of school hours;
  • Communicating and disseminating the details of the current and future instructional programs to the administration, board, staff, parents, and public to build parent and community participation in advancing the goals of LEAP Academy;
  • Ensuring a school-wide culture that sustains positive learning environments, engages families, and builds character among all students;
  • Partnering with the Chief Operating Officer to assure that all schools have the operational support they need for success, and develop recruitment and retention procedures to ensure well-qualified applicants for instructional positions;
  • Leading interactions with the State and other external stakeholders and constituencies on matters of academics, instruction, and assessment.
  • Serving on the C-Level Leadership team along with the Chief Operations Officer and Chief Financial Officer to engage in strategic planning, budgeting, and short and long-term planning processes for board approval;
  • Developing a communication system to keep the Board of Trustees informed of school academic issues, reports, and critical information needed for decision-making, and serving on all board committees to provide administrative support and input.


Candidates must meet the following requirements:

  • A minimum of 10 years professional experience in education encompassing both teaching (preferably in a core content area), and school or program leadership experience in an urban school setting that produces outstanding outcomes for the children they serve;
  • A Master’s Degree in related field is required, and a Doctoral level degree is preferred;
  • Eligibility or current possession of NJ School Administrator credentials as set by the State Board of Education.

In order to fulfill these responsibilities, the ideal CAO will also possess:

  • Demonstrated success as a visionary educational leader with strong instructional insight, and demonstrable evidence of improving student learning;
  • A strategic mindset, with the ability to craft and align a team around a compelling vision for excellence;
  • Effective management and leadership experience with a track record of effectively coaching, developing, and evaluating senior level leaders and holding them accountable to measurable results;
  • Experience in overseeing a complex organization with an ability to manage organizational change effectively;
  • Demonstrated knowledge of national and state standards and assessments, particularly in core content areas;
  • Knowledge of pedagogical models and strategies to improve instructional delivery with an ability to design, deliver, and support high quality professional learning for teachers and staff;
  • Appreciation of the needs of English Language Learners and Special Education Students;
  • A track record of developmentally appropriate and culturally responsive efforts and initiatives with an ability to mobilize a diverse community around effective instruction;
  • Versatility and dynamism, able to engage a variety of individuals in dialogue and speak in a clear, compelling, and authentic manner about the organization’s goals and priorities.


Please apply by submitting your resume and detailed cover letter which highlights your interest in the position, relevant experience, and how you meet the qualifications and qualities sought for the position online at For additional questions about this position or to speak with someone about your interest, please contact Allison Wyatt at or at 510.575.9635.

LEAP Academy University School is an equal opportunity employer and an organization that values diversity. Recruiting staff to create an inclusive organization is a priority, and we encourage applicants from all cultures, races, colors, religions, sexes, national or regional origins, ages, disability status, sexual orientations, gender identities, military or veteran status, or other statuses protected by law. All candidates are evaluated solely on their qualifications to perform the work required.

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LEAP Academy University School

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