The Primary School, Executive Director (Hayward)

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


The Primary School (TPS) is a 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. We pair high expectations and joy, in a powerful community of supports to care for the whole child. We partner with a progressive health center that aims to redefine the boundaries of primary health care. With this innovative new model, we aim to expand the traditional definition of “school” in order to prepare all children to succeed in college, career, and life.

The Primary School approach has three defining characteristics:

  • Provide integrated supports: We partner with an existing health care organization to address the needs of the whole child. Educators, parent coaches and healthcare professionals come together as a team to provide integrated academic and health (physical, mental, and socio-emotional) services to students and families.
  • Start early: We admit students at or before birth, and will provide parent-driven, early childhood supports alongside medical care during the critical years of child development, ensuring that students are ready for school at age 3. Our infant-toddler program consists of regular parent-child playgroups to support the goals of attachment, language development and resilience.
  • Offer two-generation supports: We put families at the center of this work and focus on building parent capacity to support the health and education of their children. Families receive services, including primary care, parenting coaching and connection to other social services, to help them better support their children and become healthier themselves.

We opened our first site in East Palo Alto in 2016 and currently serve 300 children (ages 0 to 7) and their families. In 2018-19, the TPS school will serve children Pre-K (3s and 4s) through 1st grade. We are now exploring growth to a second site, driven by deep work with partners in the community. TPS was seeded by the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, a major national philanthropy.

TPS is committed to designing a model that is replicable in other communities and redefines what is possible for our highest need children and families. We are investing in design, research, evaluation, and dissemination that will allow us to replicate our model and transfer our learnings to others.


The Executive Director will drive the successful development and launch of The Primary School-Hayward in deep collaboration with families and community partners, including health care, family support services, and other key stakeholders in the Hayward community. This responsibility includes setting the direction and plan for the site overall in a way that reflects the needs of the community together with the vision and strategy of The Primary School. The Executive Director will be responsible for managing the 0-3, parent, and school programs, ensuring effective and innovative cross program integration that leads to outstanding results for TPS’s children and families. This position reports to the CEO.

Community and Partner Engagement

  • Develop and sustain deep relationships with key local partners, in particular with city leaders, school district and health care partners.
  • Listen actively and consistently to the voices and interests of families, community members, and partners to inform our program
  • Actively support our ongoing facilities needs through strong partnership with local officials, community members, and other stakeholders in this process

Strategic Leadership

  • 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
  • Develop clear academic, parent, health, operational and financial goals and manage to them while remaining responsive to internal and external changes
  • Leverage data to help teams continually refine the program and improve practice; support design and iteration of new program design
  • Lead the site-based annual and multi-year planning to match priorities to resources

People and Program Management

  • Provide direct management, coaching, and support to school and program leaders to deliver game-changing results while growing the capacity of leaders and teams
  • Cultivate and live out a supportive, results-focused culture for the Hayward site team that reflects the values of Excellence, Growth, Courage, Community, and Soul
  • Develop and create effective and scalable management processes and systems, including around human capital, knowledge management, communication, and operations.
  • Support school and program leaders to ensure efficient and consistent day-to-day operations
  • Oversee planning and usage of space for student, infant-toddler and parent programming

Growth & Sustainability

  • Set and achieve sustainable multi-year growth goals and plans, forecasting the financial and human resources required to deliver on plans and commitments with the community
  • Advance a responsive, informed strategy to grow the program grade by grade, partnering with central office teams and others to pursue public funding, facilities, and other required pieces
  • Partner with the CEO along with key staff and board members to build and cultivate donor and foundation relationships in support of the Hayward site
  • Partner with the CEO and central leadership team to develop the Board of Directors to be positioned for strong oversight, stewardship, and ambassadorship of the Hayward site


  • You have 7-10+ years of experience working and leading in mission-driven settings
  • You believe in the mission and vision of The Primary School and that all children and families are capable of extraordinary things
  • 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 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 either bring a track record of success in cultivating relationships with donors and raising funds, or a high motivation for building that competency area and very strong related skills
  • 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

Ideal candidates will be familiar with the region, political landscape, local healthcare networks and/or school systems, and will have experience working in Hayward or with a similar community. Ideal candidates will have significant leadership experience in education, healthcare, or complex nonprofit settings, with a comfort and proficiency in Spanish preferred.

Compensation is commensurate with qualifications and experience, plus excellent health benefits, 401k retirement plan plus match, flexible spending account (FSA), dependent care FSA, and generous paid time off, including a competitive paid parental leave benefit.


Please submit a resume and thoughtful cover letter online at For additional questions about this position or to speak with someone about your interest, please contact Serena Moy at

The Primary School values diversity; people of all backgrounds are encouraged to apply. The Primary School provides equal employment opportunity for all applicants and employees. As an equal opportunity employer, we hire without consideration to race, religion, creed, color, national origin, age, gender, sexual orientation, marital status, veteran status or disability.

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C Level Executive Leadership

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Senior Level

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