Chief Program Officer

The Primary School - East Palo Alto, California - Full time

ABOUT US

The Primary School is creating a new school model that brings together all of the adults in a child’s life, including parents, educators, and medical and mental health providers, starting from a very early age. We recognize the entrenched racism that exists within our public systems and the unjust impact this has had on families of color. Our aim is that children and families most impacted by systemic poverty and racism receive the multidisciplinary support they deserve to be well, learn, and thrive.

Long-term, we hope to create a game-changing school model that can be replicated across the country. As we continue to learn and grow, we plan to share what we’ve learned and pursue policy and systems change on a local, state, and national level. We are supported by a growing coalition of philanthropic partners, building on the generous support of the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative.

Our approach has three defining characteristics:

  • We start early. We start working with children as young as 18 months and provide full-time school starting at age three to reach them at a critical stage in development.
  • We partner with parents. We believe that when parents thrive, children thrive, so we support the wellness and growth of parents alongside the growth of their children.
  • We integrate services. Our unique model unites health care and education, building a multi-disciplinary team and holistic system of care around a child’s full needs.

In 2016, we opened our flagship school in East Palo Alto, California, with our first class of four year olds. We have grown to serve over 300 children and their families through a birth to three program, parent wellness program, full-day preschool, and elementary school, which will grow through eighth grade. In 2021, we opened our second site in the East Bay.

ABOUT OUR EAST PALO ALTO SITE

We are continuing to grow our East Palo Alto site and are excited to launch 5th grade for our 2022-2023 school year. In our school program, we currently serve over 300 students across two preschool grades (3 and 4 year olds) and kindergarten through fifth grade. Integrated into our program are the other core components of our model including our parent program - partnering closely with parents throughout their child’s development and providing wellness programming for caregivers; our birth to 3 program - coordinating early developmental screenings and intervention services; and our medical home partnerships - working with existing health care providers in the community to coordinate care for children.

ABOUT OUR EAST BAY SITE

We opened our second site with a founding class of four-year-old children and families who started preschool in August 2021. Drawing on key learnings from our first site, core components of the model include our parent program - partnering closely with parents throughout their child’s development and providing wellness programming for caregivers; our birth to 3 program - coordinating early developmental screenings and intervention services; and our medical home partnerships - working with existing health care providers in the community, including Kaiser Permanente in the East Bay, to coordinate care for children.

ABOUT THE ROLE

The Chief Program Officer is responsible for leading program design, development, learning, and high-quality implementation in alignment with the TPS mission and long-term theory of action. The CPO is responsible for establishing and achieving core program and operational outcomes across TPS sites, as well as pursuing a learning and evidence-building agenda in alignment with strategic priorities. The CPO leads a large and diverse team including site leadership and staff within our current sites, as well as central design and learning teams. This position reports to the CEO and serves as a key member of the organizational leadership team of The Primary School.

RESPONSIBILITIES

Program Design & Learning

  • Lead internal and external experts from different domains to own and develop program design and strategy (across school, parent, health, 0-3), creating the conditions for integrated program design that is core to the TPS vision
  • Develop and drive a consistent approach to and framework for design and learning at TPS, grounded in our values around DEI and stakeholder voice
  • Develop and drive the overall learning agenda for The Primary School in alignment with strategic priorities, reflecting those priorities in program design and development processes and learning activities
  • Partner with internal and external experts to stay abreast of emerging research and practice; incorporate relevant insights and evidence into program development
  • Ensure programs are developed and implemented with meaningful stakeholder involvement, intentional learning and scaling goals, an integrated approach across programs, and within the organization’s replicability and sustainability goals
  • Partner with dissemination team to support codification and documentation of practice both to clearly guide internal work and to share with others
  • Partner with communications team to capture learning to share with external stakeholders

Site Management & Support

  • Articulate a clear, responsive strategy for achieving and growing impact that is deeply informed by stakeholder input and aligned with The Primary School’s vision and values
  • Partner with site leaders to develop clear academic, parent, health, operational and financial goals in service of long-term impact
  • Support and coach site leaders to achieve core program and operational goals while remaining responsive to internal and external changes
  • Partner with site leaders to develop and execute a clear community engagement strategy, including representing TPS in external relationships as needed
  • Lead program improvement efforts, utilizing internal data, user feedback, and external research
  • Partner with site leaders and key internal partners to develop and drive site-based growth plans
  • Support site leaders in collaboration with key internal partners to drive site-based annual and multi-year planning to match priorities to resources
  • Set clear roles and responsibilities for centralized site support and manage those resources against goals, including collaboration on resource-sharing with dissemination priorities
  • Set and achieve sustainable multi-year growth goals and plans, forecasting and managing the financial and human resources required to deliver on plans
  • Facilitate cross-site communication and collaboration in service of strategic priorities

Team & Organizational Leadership

  • Serves as a key member of the organizational leadership team, helping to directly shape overall strategy and resource decisions in alignment with strategic priorities
  • Actively lead and support the organization’s commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion in alignment with our multi-year DEI plans
  • Cultivate TPS core values (soul, community, growth, courage, and excellence) in all practices as a leader and staff member
  • Invest in the professional growth of team members through use of effective management practices

QUALIFICATIONS

  • You have 7-10+ years of experience working and leading in mission-driven settings, with a strong preference for direct leadership of early childhood programs and/or K-8 schools
  • You believe in the mission and vision of The Primary School and that all children and families are capable of extraordinary things
  • You believe in the strategy of The Primary School to invest in innovation and scale through public systems
  • You have exceptional oral and written communication skills, and the ability to synthesize information into clear and compelling messages for a wide range of audiences
  • You are comfortable in ambiguity and environments that change rapidly
  • You skillfully drive decisions and set clear priorities, bringing stakeholders together effectively in those processes
  • You value and demonstrate cultural humility and competency in your work, and strive to ensure community voice deeply informs the work
  • You are extremely collaborative and excited to work with an interdisciplinary team of partners and staff to design, develop, and implement a highly integrated program
  • You are able to lead, coach, and develop others in a way that both delivers results and cultivates professional growth over time
  • You excel in a fast-paced, entrepreneurial, and innovative organization
  • You have the ability to manage multiple priorities simultaneously
  • You have exceptional reasoning, problem solving, and strategic thinking skills
  • You have the ability to develop short and long-term plans that are both strategic and practical
  • You are highly detail-oriented and able to ensure accuracy and privacy with sensitive information

PHYSICAL DEMANDS

The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this position. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the functions. While performing the duties of this position, the employee is regularly required to talk, hear, and communicate with both adults and children. The employee frequently is required to use hands or fingers, handle or feel objects, tools, or controls. The employee is frequently required to stand, walk, sit, and reach with hands and arms. The employee must occasionally lift and/or move up to 50 pounds. Specific vision abilities required by this position include close vision, distance vision, and the ability to adjust focus. The noise level in the work environment is moderate to high.

COMPENSATION

Annual salary range begins at $180,000. Compensation is commensurate with qualifications and experience, plus excellent health benefits, 401k retirement plan, flexible spending account (FSA), dependent care FSA, and generous paid time off, including a competitive paid parental leave benefit. 

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Role

C Level Executive Leadership

Experience Level

Senior Level

The Primary School

The Primary School is creating a new school model that brings together all of the adults in a child’s life, including parents, educators, and medical and mental health providers, starting from a very early age.
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