Program Director (Immediate)

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


The Primary School is seeking an exceptionally skilled individual and leader to drive operations and program implementation at our flagship East Palo Alto site. The Program Director will work with our three program/content teams to ensure The Primary School model is successfully implemented with fidelity on the ground across our school, parent and health programs. The Site Director will have practiced experience and a strong track record of executing complex projects, managing a talented and diverse team of staff, building parent and community support and capacity, and creating efficient systems that continually improve delivery of services.


Site Management & Operations

  • Lead the implementation of our integrated programs in East Palo Alto.
  • Work with program leaders to translate design into executed reality
  • Manage and align shared talent, time, space and resources to execute on all program goals and TPS-wide events.
  • Manage operations and administration related to the program.
    • Provide on-the-ground support with events, activities, and direct parent support as needed.
    • Build systems to track and manage the parent program, ensuring it is delivered efficiently and to fidelity.
    • Track program expenses and identify areas to reduce costs while maintaining or improving quality.
    • Manage compliance and reporting for federal and state grant programs.
    • Serve as the site liaison for back office needs including human resources and vendor management.
  • Develop and maintain relationships with community leaders, vendors, and partner organizations.

Program Management & Coordination

  • Oversee and manage implementation of all components of the parent program, including our signature parent coaching program.
    • Ensure program is implemented with fidelity, working closely with the parent and health design teams along with external evaluation teams.
    • Manage the parent coaching team to develop effective systems to organize and deliver intentional coaching practice
    • Enable team to be reflective and agile in delivering a high quality experience
  • Coordinate with the school principal to ensure the school and parent programs work in tandem to create a seamless experience for families, delivering on our commitment to team-based care.
  • Ensure our overall parent experience is consistent and provides parents with engaging, responsive programming.
    • Develop systems to track and manage all parent communication..
    • Implement consistent language guides and messaging.
  • Lead our cross-program integration across school, parent, and health program areas.
    • Develop and manage project plans to support cross-functional teams.
    • Create systems to manage cross-team communication and meetings.
    • Ensure family and child plans are tracked and implemented in a timely and efficient manner.
  • Project manage the recruitment and intake process to create warm welcome for new children and families.


  • You have 8+ years experience leading a significant program or site
  • You know how to manage teams. You understand how to enable team members to achieve their potential..
  • You excel at motivating individuals from different teams, including peers, to work together and achieve common goals.
  • You are a practiced project manager and have an exceptional ability to plan for and drive forward complex, cross-functional projects that involve multiple individuals with diverse backgrounds and experiences.
  • You can see the problem, assess the gaps, and navigate your team towards effective solutions.
  • You have demonstrated experience building and managing technical and human systems that optimize scarce resources (e.g., people, time and money).
  • You exhibit consistent implementation effectiveness. You are able to move seamlessly from design to plan to execution without losing sight of the high-level strategy or down-on-the-ground details.
  • You are comfortable with ambiguity and environments that change rapidly.
  • You are excited to build a new model to deliver excellent outcomes for children and are passionate about constantly improving our work to get closer to this vision.
  • You exhibit sound, mature judgement and understand how to navigate diverse audiences and across differences.
  • You believe in the mission of The Primary School and that all children and families are capable of extraordinary things.

A Plus If

  • You are an East Palo Alto or Belle Haven native and/or have experience working with the East Palo Alto and Belle Haven communities.
  • You have experience as a manager of managers.

Apply Now

Experience Level

6 or more years

The Primary School


The Primary School (TPS) is a new non-profit organization dedicated to dramatically improving health and educational outcomes for children. Fueled by the belief that the current model of school is too limited to close the achievement gap for our nation’s most at risk children, TPS is designing a new model of primary education and primary care which braids together education, health, and family support services starting at birth. In doing so, the school will expand the traditional definition of “school” in order to prepare all children to succeed in college, career, and life. TPS was seeded by the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, a major national philanthropy.

TPS’s innovative new model of support has three defining characteristics:

  • Provide integrated and comprehensive services: The new school will partner with an existing health care organization. Educators and health care professionals will provide integrated academic and health (physical, mental, and socio-emotional) services to students and families.
  • Begin serving children at birth: The school will admit students at or before birth, and will provide early childhood supports alongside medical care during the critical years of child development, ensuring that students are school-ready by the time they enter the elementary school grades.
  • Offer two-generation supports: Families will receive services, including primary care and intensive parenting education, to help them better support their children and become healthier themselves.

We opened our first site in East Palo Alto in 2016 and will serve 300 children and their families (age 0 to 5) by spring of 2017.

In addition to our core focus on directly serving children and families, TPS is committed to designing a model that is replicable in other communities. We are investing in design, research, evaluation, and dissemination that will allow us to replicate our model and/or transfer our learnings to others.

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