Director of School Culture

Distinctive Schools - Chicago, Illinois - Full time

Title: Director of School Culture

Location: 910 W Van Buren St, Chicago, IL

Reports To: Managing Director of Student Services

Salary: Starting at $100,000 + based off of experience

Employee Type: Regular Full Time

Start Date: January 2024

Distinctive Schools creates diverse, joyful, welcoming communities rooted in social justice and rigorous learning. We support all learners to be engaged, curious, and to achieve their full potential. Our students become confident advocates, creative problem-solvers, and collaborative leaders.

Position Overview

The Director of School Culture will be responsible for the management of the school social emotional learning and discipline programs, Dean’s Office practices, Dean of Students training and development, student behavior support, crisis response, campus safety and security The Director of Culture will create a positive culture with a focus on student achievement by coaching and modeling for teachers and other staff behavioral and classroom management best practices. In addition to co- developing and leading the campus’ overall SEL program, the Director of School Culture will oversee SEL curriculum instruction, SEL competency assessment, Restorative Justice, PBIS, Tier 1 coaching, and Tier II and III interventions. The Director of School Culture will provide high energy, creativity and inspiration while collaborating with campus leaders on school wide systems and routines, safety policies, and has a talent for creating a warm but demanding learning environment for students.


  • Build and foster a culture of belonging and positive climate at all campuses
  • Honor stakeholder perspective as key to the decision-making process
  • Cultivate a strengths-based and, equity-focused mindset
  • Celebrate individual and collective growth towards goals
  • Promote a safe and supportive working environment with an equity-conscious mindset
  • Establish professional rapport with and maintain visibility with stakeholders
  • Maintain a student-centered perspective in decision making
  • Contribute to the equity work of the campuses and network and engage in culturally responsive decision making
  • Develop positive and professional relationships

Program Development and Monitoring 25%

  • Responsible for managing school leader inputs that lead to a positive culture with a focus on student achievement through coaching and collaborating with campus leaders to create, establish, or maintain behavioral and classroom management best practices
  • Codify culture practices across the network, including all campus systems, consistent culture systems, incentives, and expectations for conduct
  • Foster open communications within the network community and effectively convey high expectations for student achievement
  • Develop and train network staff on Student Code of Conduct, disciplinary, anti-bullying, and Dean’s Office practices among campuses and begin to codify network wide
  • Oversee the delivery of the SEL curriculums & SEL competency assessments

Coaching and Consultation 35%

  • Serve as subject matter expert and instructional support to campus leadership teams around SEL, behavior systems, routines and procedures; including the consistency and quality of the use of the behavior system and ladder of consequences through behavior referrals, suspensions, detentions, and other behavior-based consequences and communication to families.
  • Develop and lead onboarding for all new Deans, Assistant Deans and Restorative Counselors
  • Observe and coach teachers on SEL in classroom (routines & procedures, morning meeting, creating a conducive environment, SEL curriculum language and tools, etc.,)

Academic Team Member 25%

  • Partner with Academic and Student Services Team members to ensure parity and cohesiveness in philosophy, pedagogy, systems, structures, and protocols among all initiatives and content areas
  • Uphold the Distinctive Schools’ mission, vision, values, DS Model
  • Contribute to and implement the DS Model, strategic plan, campus growth plans, and network priorities
  • Provide strategic vision, support, and leadership in new school start-up or restart opportunities in the region
  • Design, implement, monitor progress, and provide updates on key SEL initiatives
  • Participate in professional learning opportunities in order to better support network growth and ensure that clinical practices reflect current research
  • Establish tasks and timelines and develop strategies to support projects through from beginning to end
  • Plan, design, and implement regional and network initiatives and professional learning, onboarding, and design teams in partnership with regional and network academic teams
  • Contribute to grant applications and other professional writing
  • Perform the responsibilities of an Academic Team member and other duties as assigned

Data Analysis and Response 15%

  • Manage and monitor of student incident referral tracking and communication system
  • Establish KPIs and guide in the analysis of SEL data to inform SEL instruction & interventions
  • Drive goal setting and action planning at each campus

Requirements (minimum)Education:Bachelor’s degree in human service or education


  • Expertise in restorative justice, youth development or human service field
  • Demonstrated understanding of the individual needs of students with disabilities from a variety of language and cultural backgrounds
  • Knowledge of intervention strategies
  • Knowledge of multi-tiered systems of support (MTSS or RTI)
  • Ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships with administrators, staff, students, parents, governmental and community agencies, and employers
  • Demonstrated expertise in customer service, consensus building, and use of problem solving skills and strong written, verbal, presentation, and interpersonal communication skills
  • Travel to various campuses as needed

Physical Demands

Occasional lifting, carrying, pushing, and/or pulling; some stooping, kneeling, crouching, and/or crawling; and significant fine finger dexterity. Generally, the job requires 30% sitting, 50% walking, and 20% standing.


  • 25+ Paid holidays & 15 days PTO annually
  • 12 weeks family paid leave
  • Comprehensive Healthcare (Medical, Dental, Vision)
  • 403b match
    • Fully match up to 3%
    • 50% match up to 5%
  • Professional development including tuition reimbursement
  • Gym and wellness discounts
  • And more

Description Disclaimer

Since no job description can detail all the duties and responsibilities that may be required from time to time in the performance of a job, duties and responsibilities that may be inherent in a job, reasonably required for its performance, or required due to the changing nature of the job shall also be considered part of the jobholder's responsibility.


Distinctive Schools is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate against any employee or applicant for employment on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, gender, national origin, age, disability, veteran status, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, or any other personal characteristic protected by applicable law.

Distinctive Schools is committed to the full inclusion of all qualified individuals. In keeping with our commitment, Distinctive Schools will take the steps to assure that people with disabilities are provided reasonable accommodations. Accordingly, if reasonable accommodation is required to fully participate in the job application or interview process, to perform the essential functions of the position, and/or to receive all other benefits and privileges of employment, please contact or call 773.828.4191

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K12 School Operations

Experience Level

Senior Level

Distinctive Schools

Distinctive Schools creates diverse, joyful, welcoming communities rooted in social justice and rigorous learning. We support all learners to be engaged, curious, and to achieve their full potential. Our students become confident advocates, creative problem-solvers, and collaborative leaders.
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