National Director of School Culture

Great Oaks Charter Schools - New York - Full time

The Great Oaks (GO) Foundation is a non-profit organization with the mission of launching and supporting a network of charter schools that prepare students for college success through high-dosage tutoring coupled with outstanding classroom instruction. By design, GO’s schools contribute to the vitality of the urban neighborhoods where they are located by attracting and creating social, human and investment capital.

What sets Great Oaks schools apart from other college preparatory charter schools is a high-dosage tutoring model. The tutoring is provided by the Great Oaks Fellows, which is a selective cadre of recent college graduates who deliver at least two hours of individualized instruction to every student every day. This is a crucial strategy in Great Oaks schools to improve achievement and prepare teachers to work in our schools.

The Great Oaks Foundation has successfully replicated this program in Newark, NJ; Bridgeport, CT; New York, NY and Wilmington, DE. A select group of the tutors at Great Oaks are enrolled in a Teacher Residency program that is being conducted in partnership with NYU’s Steinhardt School of Education and Relay Graduate School of Education.

Under the leadership of the Executive Vice President, Great Oaks is currently undergoing a model design process towards Great Oaks 2.0. Key components of this process include designing the Great Oaks High school and adjusting the middle school, strengthening the alignment with blended learning models and incorporating an even stronger teacher residency component.

Position Summary

Great Oaks is seeking an experienced educator to lead the network efforts to build warm, caring and disciplined school cultures built on strengths-based youth development principles and restorative justice. The National Director of School Culture is responsible for building on the effective work to date to shape the culture work for the Great Oaks schools. Critical to this effort is supporting each school to sustain a school culture of discipline and warmth while ensuring that the students internalize the school’s values and goals for academic excellence. The National Director of School Culture also serves as a resource to leaders, teachers and Fellows on issues of school culture, classroom management, discipline, and relationships with students and coaches, teachers, tutors and staff in holding all students to high and consistent behavioral expectations. Key responsibilities include:

  • Design and implement programs that recognize and celebrate positive behaviors and mindsets.
  • Support network-wide rituals that promote culture, sustain school values and create a school-wide identity among students.
  • Support network-wide efforts that cultivate students’ cultural competency, growth and development through school programs and events.
  • Awareness of and comfort with issues of diversity, specifically around race, class, and gender; ability to engage in and facilitate discussion about diversity, equity, and inclusion
  • Establish an across network learning community of the school-based leaders of culture.
  • Implementing positive and restorative behavior management tools including overseeing staff training in behavior management policies, techniques, and strategies and ensuring consistent deployment of such tools school-wide.
  • Monitor school data to ensure equity and improvement of practices over time.
  • In partnership with our data team, implement and support the school-wide use of information technology tools for reporting and documenting student culture information, including documentation of communications with parents regarding discipline.
  • Work closely with other members of the Great Oaks Foundation Academic Team to align the work on school culture with the approach to goal setting and academic learning.
  • Help coordinate the development of the Great Oaks college readiness pathway.
  • Facilitate school-based and network wide professional development.
  • Provide direct support to the team working with Great Oaks Fellows (our Americorps staff) to ensure they have the tools necessary to effectively support students.
  • Support effective development and implementation of improvements in the school model and culture practices over time.

This position reports to the Executive Vice President

Qualifications and Competencies

The successful candidate will have proven success in elevating student culture in an urban school, district or CMO. . The candidate will possess exceptional relationship building skills and the ability to communicate clearly to multiple stakeholders. The successful candidate will also have:

  • A strong academic record with a Bachelor’s degree from a competitive college or university required; advanced degree is preferred
  • 3-5 years of demonstrated experience in an urban school setting
  • Experience leading adults - through professional development, director supervision or coordination of key efforts.
  • A strong understanding of - and experience with - strengths-based youth development models and restorative justice and an understanding of how to implement that to ensure quality learning environments for all students.
  • Passion about academic learning and an insistence on academic excellence for all students.
  • Excellent communication skills both oral and written; ability to provide constructive feedback to staff members.
  • Superb organizational and self-management skills and an ability to handle multiple responsibilities effectively and thoughtfully.
  • Self confidence, flexibility and the ability to respond well to feedback
  • The ability to thrive in a fast paced environment where the ability to multi-task and prioritize work is essential
  • A do-whatever-it takes attitude doing whatever is necessary to help all students achieve academic success including a willingness to work occasionally on the weekend or in the evening.
  • A strong belief that all students can succeed


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

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Superintendent / Assistant Supe.

Experience Level

Mid Level

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