Vice President of Finance and Operations

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


The Primary School is creating a new school model that brings together all of the adults in a child’s life, including parents, educators, and medical and mental health providers, starting from a very early age. We recognize the entrenched racism that exists within our public systems and the unjust impact this has had on families of color. Our aim is that children and families most impacted by systemic poverty and racism receive the multidisciplinary support they deserve to be well, learn, and thrive.

Long-term, we hope to create a game-changing school model that can be replicated across the country. As we continue to learn and grow, we plan to share what we’ve learned and pursue policy and systems change on a local, state, and national level. We are proud to receive funding from the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, a major national philanthropy.

Our approach has three defining characteristics:

  • We start early. We start working with children as young as 8 months and provide full-time school starting at age three to reach them at a critical stage in development.
  • We partner with parents. We believe that when parents thrive, children thrive, so we support the wellness and growth of parents alongside the growth of their children.
  • We integrate services. Our unique model unites health care and education, building a multi-disciplinary team and holistic system of care around a child’s full needs.

In 2016, we opened our flagship school in East Palo Alto, California, with our first class of four year olds. We have grown to serve over 300 children and their families through a birth to three program, parent wellness program, full-day preschool, and elementary school, which will grow through eighth grade. In 2021, we opened our second site in the East Bay.


We are continuing to grow our East Palo Alto site and are excited to launch 5th grade for our 2022-2023 school year. In our school we currently serve ~300 students across two preschool grades (3 and 4 year olds), kindergarten, and first grade through fourth grade. Beyond school, core components of our model include partnering closely with parents throughout their child’s development and supporting parent wellness; coordinating early screening and developmental support; and working with existing health care providers in the community to coordinate care for children.


We opened our second site with a founding class of four-year-old children and families who started preschool in August 2021. Drawing on key learnings from our first site, core components of the model include partnering closely with parents throughout their child’s development and supporting parent wellness; coordinating early screening and developmental support and offering a full-day school; and working with existing health care providers in the community to coordinate care for children.


The VP of Finance and Operations is responsible for providing strategic financial leadership, strong financial oversight, and effective IT, facilities, and risk management support to stakeholders of The Primary School. TPS is made up of a network of three entities supported by this role: our central office (TPS), our East Palo Alto site (TPS-EPA), and our East Bay site (TPS-Bay Area). This position currently reports to the CEO.


Strategic Financial Leadership and Planning

  • Oversee the overall financial health of The Primary School, bringing financial acumen to bear in helping to set future direction and implement long-term plans
  • Drive the long-term and annual budget process, collaborating with the TPS leadership team to develop long-term and annual budgets that reflect a healthy, sustainable funding model
  • Provide coaching and support to TPS program leaders as needed in the budget development process
  • Provide support on grants, proposals, project budgets, and analyses to support TPS development and communications priorities
  • Anticipate and monitor relevant shifts in the public revenue landscape (e.g., through direct involvement with County/State authorizing agencies) and drive ongoing forecasting processes that reflect that context

Finance, Accounting, and Contract Compliance

  • Manage a small team dedicated to day-to-day and periodic financial management and reporting (including board reporting, accounts payable, payroll, monthly closing, credit card management, annual audit, and relevant tax filings)
  • Ensure all staff have the materials they need to deliver the program through oversight of purchasing, vendor management, and inventory systems
  • Collaborate with site Executive Directors to oversee the successful startup and implementation of all public programs within TPS sites (e.g., California State Preschool Program, school nutrition program, LCFF/TK-6 public funding), providing ongoing compliance monitoring and technical assistance
  • Collaborate with site staff to ensure routine program compliance is completed (e.g., CSPP reports, audit planning and response, LCAP process)
  • Ensure clear and strong financial accountability, planning, and controls through active management and anticipation of future needs

IT, Facilities, and Operations

  • Manage IT team and resources to provide responsive, streamlined support to students and staff
  • Develop scalable policies for these functions that align to long-term budget
  • Ensure IT team is engaged in close coordination and collaboration with data & learning team in navigating priorities and needs
  • 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
  • Manage facilities financing decisions for all sites, driving strategic analysis of options
  • Manage ongoing leases and facility development processes
  • Ensure central office fulfills its service level agreements with respect to facility management

Legal and Risk Management

  • Oversee risk management for The Primary School as an organization, reviewing policies and contracts to address key areas of risk and owning insurance policies across TPS
  • Oversee entity management with outside counsel support to ensure compliance
  • Manage a range of outside sources of counsel on key legal questions


  • 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 are highly aligned with and motivated by the opportunity to build a new model that is both game changing and replicable
  • You have direct financial leadership experience in an education context, preferably a public school or public school system
  • You have sufficient fluency with required accounting standards and practices to provide bottom-line oversight for internal controls and reporting
  • You have prior experience managing IT, operations, and/or facilities
  • You have exceptional written, oral, interpersonal, and presentation skills and the ability to effectively interface with senior management, The Primary School's board of directors, and staff
  • 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 are highly detail-oriented and able to ensure accuracy and privacy with sensitive information


The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this position. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the functions. While performing the duties of this position, the employee is regularly required to talk, hear, and communicate with both adults and children. The employee frequently is required to use hands or fingers, handle or feel objects, tools, or controls. The employee is frequently required to stand, walk, sit, and reach with hands and arms. The employee must occasionally lift and/or move up to 50 pounds. Specific vision abilities required by this position include close vision, distance vision, and the ability to adjust focus. The noise level in the work environment is moderate to high.


Annual salary range begins at $150,100. Compensation is commensurate with qualifications and experience, plus excellent health benefits, 401k retirement plan, flexible spending account (FSA), dependent care FSA, and generous paid time off, including a competitive paid parental leave benefit.


TPS values diversity; people of all backgrounds are encouraged to apply. Please complete the online application and submit your most recent resume. These short-answer questions are designed to replace a cover letter, so take your time with them and copy in your answers from a separate document. If you feel that the questions do not accurately capture what you have to offer The Primary School, you are also welcome to attach a cover letter. Applications are being reviewed on a rolling basis so we encourage you to submit yours soon. We look forward to reading your application!

The Primary School provides equal employment opportunities (EEO) to all employees and applicants for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, national origin, age, disability, genetic information, marital status, amnesty, or status as a covered veteran in accordance with applicable federal, state and local laws.The Primary School complies with applicable state and local laws governing non-discrimination in employment in every location in which the company has facilities. This policy applies to all terms and conditions of employment, including, but not limited to, hiring, placement, promotion, termination, layoff, recall, transfer, leaves of absence, compensation, and training.

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Experience Level

Senior Level

The Primary School

The Primary School is creating a new school model that brings together all of the adults in a child’s life, including parents, educators, and medical and mental health providers, starting from a very early age.
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