• Full Time
  • Boston

Website Neighborhood Schools, Inc. Neighborhood Schools, Inc.

Justice-centered learning, teacher-led, purposefully small

Dear hopeful, caring, liberation-minded school leaders,

Neighborhood School seeks a Director to join our teachers in continuing to build and cultivate our transformative learning community. For the first year, the new Director will overlap and lead in partnership with founding Director, Tricia Morrow, in preparation for Tricia’s retirement. This overlap will help to balance honoring the essence of Neighborhood School’s past while giving the new Director the space to lead and collaborate with teachers on intentional visioning and growth through and beyond the leadership transition. We are looking for someone who is inspired by what we have done so far and who will join us in an interdependent process of learning how to educate together.

About Neighborhood School
We are a group of loving, multigenerational, multiracial, multilingual, queer, trans, and allied teacher-leaders. As a staff of fifteen (eight full time), with sixty students between the ages of five and twelve and their families, we find joy in creating rhythms of learning to support students in being critical thinkers and engaged community members. We envision and teach towards a more radically liberated way of educating.

We believe that transformation of our world is possible. Our teaching and learning holds justice at its center —an intersectional view of justice that examines how forces of power and oppression have shaped our world, and how forces of resistance are woven throughout history and how they continue today. We believe in the inherent worth of every person and in creating a learning community where everyone can be their true self. In relationships grounded in trust, connection, and compassion, we engage in practices of transformative justice drawing from Indigenous forebears. We are exploring what it means to be an urban school that values environmental justice and values a return to the land. We teach and learn with gratitude, appreciating beauty and rich connection to each other.

We center liberation in our classrooms, relationships, and our lives by learning from others about how to do so. We seek, value, and amplify marginalized voices to provide more full and essential perspectives on
history, culture, science, and current issues. We have important things to learn from hearing and discussing these perspectives and we understand that it is our responsibility as educators to forefront and explore them with our students. We return to play, ritual, and connection to nature, so that students and adults can be grounded in gratitude and a sense of responsibility to each other. We value youth voice and agency, and we teach our academics in rigorous ways that allow students to be empowered and critical readers, thinkers, and communicators.

We learn through thematic and project-based learning experiences led by curiosity, fueled by research, a deep understanding of each student, and framed by reflection. Through curricular and intellectual freedom, teachers create an environment where children are nurtured and challenged to become deep thinkers. Collaborations with community organizations and local issues are central to our learning process. Learners of diverse abilities are fully immersed in our program. We consider the balance of needs and resources in the admissions process to ensure that all members have access to what they need. Our four class groupings are multi-age and multi-year groupings, providing time for students and teachers to know one another well and opportunity for roles to change (older/younger) from year to year.

This Moment: Context, Opportunities, Challenges

Neighborhood School’s longtime Director and one of the school founders, Tricia Morrow, is transitioning out of her role as school Director into retirement at the end of the 2024-25 school year. NS teachers
recognize Tricia’s retirement at a moment of transition for the school, which also comes at a transformative time in education more broadly.

This is a moment of national teacher resignation and shortage. Students feel the consequences of the poor workplace conditions that teachers have faced. The country faces questions about how to reimagine schools as healthy learning spaces for students. As we face our own moment of transition, we know that there may not be clear solutions for how to build a school that is charging tuition, striving for racial and socioeconomic diversity, subverting the high pressure norms of education, centering student joy and creativity, and supporting teachers’ leadership and work life balance.

Neighborhood School is a loving, justice-minded learning community that provides a meaningful option for families of Boston. Our strengths include:
– Embodiment of education powered by love
– Powerful and caring teachers who thoughtfully focus on the growth and learning of each child, their class, and the whole school community. NS teachers are committed to the success and mission of the school
– Caring and inspiring students who become confident, community-minded change-makers
– Families who are invested in the school community, each other, and education justice
– A well-earned reputation for being a diverse, affordable learning choice for Boston families
– An ongoing commitment to community learning and meaningful local partnerships with
grassroots organizations doing justice-work in Boston
– 38 years of “grads” who go on to embody values they learned at NS, thrive in holistic ways and stay connected to the school and one another in unique ways

The Position and Responsibilities

The Director of Neighborhood School has been a teacher-director since the school was founded by a trio of teachers in 1986. The Director has a teacher’s heart and leader’s mindset, with the capabilities to shepherd a learning community. The Director’s direct service time with children models that everyone is well-known at NS and provides the student knowledge base needed to work effectively with teachers and families. It is the Director’s responsibility to ensure each member of the community is valued and convinced that NS is their school. Additionally, the Director, with the support of the Board, provides the resources needed for students and teachers to accomplish their work. The Director of NS applies an equity lens to all aspects of the role’s responsibilities to help the school to fulfill its mission of providing transformative, justice-centered learning to children from all families of all economic means. Helping core stakeholders (students, teachers, parents, and board members) check our systems for bias and develop habits of equitable practice are at the heartbeat of the Director’s role. The Director embodies love, intellectual humility, and propels the school’s vision to build community and reimagine education.

In addition to continuing these responsibilities as a teacher-director, the Director has the responsibility to collaborate with teachers and Board members related to organizational structures such as enrollment &
admission, hiring, leadership transition, fundraising & grants, and building & physical infrastructure.

Our Ideal Candidate

Our next Director is an individual who:
– Develops warm relationships with staff, families, Board members, and community partners inside and outside of the classroom
– Has demonstrated a commitment to progressive education, diversity, equity, and liberatory practices in schools.
– Is aligned with our mission and can clearly communicate the mission, vision, and goals of the school to diverse stakeholders including: teachers, families, board members, sustainers, alumni, and community partners.
– Has experience overseeing and managing a non-profit educational organization including: budgeting ($1.2 m); fundraising and development; private school governance (shared with
Board of Directors); employment and personnel processes; and admissions.
– Has experience working, and preferably leading others, in a democratic and collaborative structure, so that the voices and perspectives of the members of the NS community are recognized and valued while roles and decision making structures are clear.
– Has experience supporting diverse staff, students, and families, including racial, ethnic, linguistic, socioeconomic, neuro, and gender diversity.
– Has experience supporting and reflecting with teachers in the design, implementation, and evaluation of curriculum that meets needs of students and aligns with mission and standards.
– Has experience with facilitating and overseeing social emotional learning and restorative justice practices in education among and between students, staff, and families, so that all members of the NS community are supported in building and healing relationships.
– Has experience sharing direction and responsibilities with staff and providing opportunities for ownership of tasks.
– Identifies key capabilities needed to perform staff roles and use available resources to ensure that the right people are in the right positions.
– Has experience mentoring and coaching teachers and staff to assess and grow their leadership skills.

A job description of the Director’s role and responsibilities is available to candidates.

Specific Qualifications

● 10+ years teaching and leading at the elementary school level
● Master’s degree or commensurate experience working in an urban educational environment
● Experience with educational or organizational renewal
Salary Range: $100,000 – $115,000 based on experience. Benefits include Health and Dental Insurance.

Thank you for reading our message of hope. We are grateful to be in community with allies in the meaningful work of teaching and leading towards mutual liberation, and for you taking the time to read about our story and vision. If you see yourself as a possible fit for this position, and imagine yourself learning with us as we learn with you, please reach out to hr@neighborhoodschooljp.org.

With great hope for the future,
The Staff and Board of Neighborhood School

To apply for this job email your details to hr@neighborhoodschooljp.org