The Primary School, Vice President of Strategy and Operations

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 support 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. 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 VP of Operations & Strategy is responsible for leading highly effective and efficient strategy, planning, and systems that support the vision and mission of The Primary School. This position reports to the CEO and leads a team focused on providing exceptional planning and operations in support of children, families, and staff. The current team to be led by this individual includes the following: Director of Finance and Accounting, Senior Accountant, Senior Manager of Regional Operations, and contracted real estate, legal, and IT services.

Strategy, Planning, and Performance Management

  • Collaborate with the CEO, board, and leadership team to drive a timely, inclusive process for annual and multi-year planning that translates vision into clear, actionable goals and plans
  • Design and drive performance management cycles that support strong focus, execution, and ongoing reflection across goal areas, including process for 90-day goals/KPIs and integration with talent processes for all staff
  • Develop the capacity and performance of leadership teams by designing and facilitating regular meetings and retreats, all through the lens of equity and reflective practice

Operations and Program Management

  • Oversee successful implementation of site operations through systems development, staff training, and regular quality control & monitoring (includes physical space, resources, IT, health, attendance, meal program, safety/emergency, and all other core site operations)
  • Oversee the successful startup and implementation of all public programs (e.g., California State Preschool Program, school nutrition program), achieving program goals & requirements
  • Ensure all staff have the data tools and systems they need to capture and use information effectively through clear oversight and management of data platforms & supports
  • Ensure all staff have the materials they need to deliver the program through oversight of purchasing, vendor management, and inventory systems

Facilities and Real Estate

  • Drive annual and multi-year space planning for all staff teams, owning the portfolio of short- and long-term options that meet program and budget needs
  • Support the launch of new sites by identifying, evaluating, and pursuing short- and long-term facilities options, in partnership with real estate partners and consultants

Finance and Accounting

  • Oversee the total financial health of The Primary School, bringing financial acumen to bear in setting future direction, shaping policy and funding priorities
  • Monitor relevant shifts in the regional and national landscape, and oversee the development of systems and practices that reflect that context
  • Oversee the annual and multi-annual forecasting process to inform strategic decisions
  • Ensure clear and strong financial accountability, planning, and controls through active management and anticipation of future needs
  • Manage facilities financing decisions for all sites, driving strategic analysis of options

Legal and Governance

  • Oversee risk management for The Primary School as an organization, reviewing policies and contracts to address key areas of risk
  • Manage a range of outside sources of counsel on key legal questions
  • Drive board recruitment, development, and performance in support of the impact strategy of The Primary School


  • 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 direct experience working in and/or supporting schools, specifically in areas of data, operations, finance, and facilities
  • You value and demonstrate cultural humility and competency in your work, and strive to ensure community voice deeply informs the work
  • You are comfortable in ambiguity and environments that change rapidly
  • You are able to lead, coach, and develop others in a way that both delivers results and cultivates professional growth over time
  • 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 have the ability to execute on complex, cross-functional projects that engage a variety of stakeholders and workstyles effectively
  • You are collaborative and excited to work with an interdisciplinary team
  • You are highly detail-oriented and able to ensure accuracy and privacy with sensitive information
  • You are able to lead, coach, and develop others in a way that both delivers results and cultivates professional growth over time
  • You have the ability to manage multiple priorities simultaneously
  • 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

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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Senior Level

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