Director of High School Design

Great Oaks Charter Schools - New York - Full time

Great Oaks Charter Schools believe that strong school leaders are integral to the success of its scholars. As Great Oaks continues to expand the reach of its educational programming to serve more students in New York City, the Director of High School Design will further the mission of Great Oaks Charter Schools by coordinating the process to design our future High School will serve approximately 150 9th graders in the 2020-2021 school year and will build on the success and lessons of Great Oaks Charter Schools middle school programs. The new High School will incorporate the network’s guiding principles to create a high-performing, student-centered learning environment that prepares students academically, cognitively, and emotionally to excel in high school, college, and beyond based on 3 core anchors: Mastery, Leadership and Community. In addition, our High School will reflect our close partnership with Kunskapsskolan, a global network of schools.

The Director of High School Design is responsible for the design and realization of Great Oaks’ path-breaking global urban high school, and oversees and develops the high schools' curriculum, graduation path and externships. In this effort, the Director will work closely with the Great Oaks Foundation and our schools in Wilmington and Bridgeport to build a powerful model that can be impactful in multiple settings. Based on the academic foundation of the middle school schools, the high school engages students on a great intellectual journey, preparing them for admission to four-year colleges and universities, and supporting their career launch. In addition to pursuing a rigorous academic course of study, a central focus of high school is the development of agency– that students will shape the world, not just be defined by it. This capacity will prove essential for college and beyond, where the ability to demonstrate mastery and leadership, firmly rooted in community is critical.

The Director of High School Design serves as a bridge and thought partner with the middle school. Our mission is to lead our students on a great intellectual journey, providing them with an exceptional education and placing them firmly on the path to success in college and beyond. We guide our students to think critically and independently and to enjoy education as an end in itself.

The Director of High Schools Design leads the strategic planning process to refine the NYC Great Oaks’ high school and, in collaboration with the Foundation, the model for the entire network. The Design of the GO NYC High school began in 2018 so the Director will join a team developing the vision. In this context, the Director will be coordinate the finalization and crucial details across the components of the model. These include the following:

  • Define a distinctive and compelling vision for Great Oaks high schools.
  • Refine the Great Oaks’ high school design consistent with Great Oaks' commitment to a rigorous education, restorative approach to discipline, and family and community partnerships.
  • Design and implement the instructional vision for the high school, ensuring the successful implementation of developmentally appropriate, rigorous curricula and instructional materials
  • Lead the high school design team, by commissioning and overseeing outside consultants, working closely with our international partners, coordinating the work of staff financial analysts and curriculum developers, and engaging the Great Oaks founding team.
  • Recommend key design decisions for the Great Oaks high school, including their curricular and extra-curricular offerings, staffing structures, facility needs, and financial model.
  • Collaborate to structure and guide high school curriculum and assessment development to ensure alignment with NYS Regents and NYS credit requirements, while also including numerous opportunities for advanced work.
  • Work with middle and high school leaders to lead the student enrollment campaign from 8th to 9th grade, ensuring high matriculation rates, smooth enrollment processes, and a student body representative of the rising 8th grade.
  • Structure and guide the network data team to refine and develop data systems that support our high schools' academic, operational, and cultural success.
  • Structure and guide the development of the college and alumni program to ensure college readiness, high completion rates, and access to first jobs.
  • Partner directly with the Managing Director of Talent to recruit and hire teachers, using a rigorous selection process and screening for alignment with Great Oaks’ academic vision and values

Skills and Traits

  • A deep belief that all students can thrive in a challenging, high-quality, nurturing, and supportive learning environment
  • Ability to create, hold and execute a bold vision for a future High School
  • Able to investigate, digest and summarize multiple data sources and provide clear and concise recommendations to multiple stakeholders
  • Ability to lead and inspire through mission and vision
  • Relentlessly high standards, commitment to excellence, ambitious for our school and students • Strong coaching, strategic planning, and project management skills
  • Collaborative decision-making style, with a proven track record of working effectively with individuals at all levels to drive decision-making and results
  • Strong writing and verbal skills; PowerPoint and Excel a plus.
  • Effective project management experience
  • Deep knowledge of curriculum and instruction aligned to Great Oaks’ core beliefs.
  • Experience with blended learning environments a plus.


  • Bachelor's degree, with advanced degree preferred
  • At least five years of experience as an assistant principal, leadership coach, lead teacher or similar support position at a highly successful urban high school that posted high levels of academic achievement
  • Expertise in teaching and working with scholars at the high school level
  • Record of success in leading adults; prior experience with direct management and supervision
  • Candidate should be prepared to travel extensively, predominantly between Wilmington, DE and Bridgeport, CT

CompensationGreat Oaks provides a competitive compensation and benefits package; exact compensation will vary based on experience and education.

Position is Grant Funded for two years with possibility of extension or conversion to new role

General Information

Selected candidates will be contacted to setup a phone interview and an in-person interview.

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Curriculum Design

Experience Level

Mid Level

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