Location: Greater Cleveland, OH
Julie Billiart Schools (“JB Schools”) is a network of Catholic, non-public schools serving children in grades K-8 with special learning challenges. Currently operating on two campuses in Lyndhurst and Akron with plans to expand to a third campus in Greater Cleveland in August 2021, JB Schools creates unique learning environments for students with autism, ADD/ADHD, dyslexia and social learning challenges.
Overview of Julie Billiart Schools
Beginning in 1954, the Sisters of Notre Dame set the standard in Northeast Ohio for providing the highest level of education and care for children with special learning and social needs. Since its founding, JB Schools has built self-confidence, inspired Christian values and empowered students with skills, knowledge and enthusiasm for life-long learning in a respectful environment that welcomes diverse faith traditions.
The JB Way
Creating an atmosphere of love, acceptance and belonging in the classroom, recognizing students’ unique gifts and talents, and collaborating with students’ families to reach goals is just a part of the culture at JB Schools, since the entire community knows that every child learns differently. At JB Schools, certified intervention specialists collaborate with onsite therapists to assess and develop strategies that are tailored to each child’s learning style. JB Schools’ team approach to whole-child learning combines the benefits of occupational, speech, behavior, art and music therapies with academics and social skill development. Also, because continuity is critical to a child’s academic success, teams of special education experts work closely with students' families to ensure they have the skills and knowledge needed for at-home-learning.
- Enrollment: The 213 students enrolled at JB Lyndhurst and Akron come from over 65 school districts located throughout Cuyahoga, Geauga, Lake, Lorain, Medina, Portage, Summit, and Wayne Counties.
- •Religion: 40% Catholic: 60% other, including those who attend Jewish, Methodist, Lutheran, Presbyterian and non-denominational places of worship.
- •Ethnicity: A diverse student body comprised of many ethnic cultures including African American, Asian, Caucasian, Hispanic, Multiracial and Native American.
- •Financial Assistance: 100% of students receive full or partial financial support through the Autism or Jon Peterson Scholarship Programs or financial aid through JB Schools.
- Types of Diagnoses Served: JB Schools employs an educational model designed to best meet the academic and social needs of children with learning challenges and those that have been diagnosed with high functioning autism (60% of student population), dyslexia, dyscalculia, dysgraphia, ADD/ ADHD, expressive language delays, receptive language delays, written expression difficulties, anxiety disorders and executive function deficits.
The Principal Opportunity
JB Schools will open a third campus in Greater Cleveland in August 2021 with an anticipated full enrollment of 132 K-8 students by its 3rd of operation. As an educational entrepreneur, the Principal will be hired in July 2020 and will initially work with JB Schools’ CEO and central office staff to plan and execute the opening of the new school, including facilities design and improvements, student recruitment and enrollment, program planning, teacher hiring, onboarding and professional development as well as support for fundraising activities. Once opened, the Principal will assume the more traditional responsibilities of a school building leader, contracted to work 225 days per school year and entitled to 21 paid days off annually.
Strategic Opportunities and Challenges
The Principal will have the exciting opportunity to join this mission-driven and faith-based organization with a high performing team during a time of unprecedented growth and expansion. High priorities for the Principal include:
- Working in close partnership with JB Schools’ CEO and its Board of Directors to launch the school and recruit students at the third school in a network anticipated to grow to six schools by 2027.
- Recruiting, training and supporting a corps of exceptional special education teachers and specialists charged with designing unique learning environments for students.
- Creating deep and meaningful partnerships with families and students to ensure that each child reaches his or her potential.
- Fostering a growth mindset that leads to a reflective, collaborative and inspiring culture for students, families, staff members and external stakeholders.
- Leading the development, coordination and implementation of all school systems, student registration, scheduling, structures and operations aligned with well-established and proven network policies and procedures.
- Building capacity in direct reports to interpret and use data, develop teacher skills and implement targeted interventions that align with the philosophies and mission of JB Schools.
- Implementing network-wide systems to gather data for the purpose of assigning and determining the appropriateness of interventions using MAPs and other assessments that drive instruction and services.
- Overseeing the condition of the school’s buildings, grounds and equipment.
- Providing fiscal oversight, including operating within an approved budget, analyzing variance from budget and maximizing resource utilization.
Establishing business partnerships and positive relationships with community leaders while participating in collaboration with JB Schools CEO and the central office advancement team in fundraising activities.
Communicating and collaborating effectively with the school’s Advisory Council to ensure that decisions are well-informed by the school community.
- Bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution
- A practicing Catholic
- Valid Ohio Principal’s License or non-tax principal license (obtained or in process)
- Valid State certification as an Intervention Specialist and/or Special Education Teacher or significant experience overseeing special educators and/or specialists
- Completion of an approved Principal Preparation Program (obtained or in process)
- Master’s degree in Educational Administration (obtained or in process)
Skills and Experience
Education Leader Aligned with JB Schools’ Mission and Core Values
The Principal must be an experienced educational leader who exemplifies JB Schools’ core values of collaboration, compassion, communication, family and positive attitude. The Principal must believe that every child learns differently and be able to support the development of tailored strategies for each child’s learning style to ensure every JB Schools’ student reaches his/her potential. The leader must be able to assess program and classroom effectiveness and offer an informed perspective on individualized programs and interventions, while supporting collaborative decision making amongst a team of special education professionals.
Strong Administrator with an Entrepreneurial Spirit
As the school’s administrative leader, the Principal will be responsible for overseeing the site’s operations, finances, facilities and staff, efficiently aligning and maximizing resources to achieve the school’s and the network’s strategic goals. As the founding Principal of a new school site, the leader must bring an entrepreneurial spirit to the work, be facile integrating network best practices, be bold in offering insight and perspective, and be able to navigate the challenges inevitably encountered when opening a new school, all while remaining focused and optimistic about the school’s future.
Proactive, Inclusive and Inspirational Leader and Team Builder
The Principal must be an experienced leader of staff who can hire and build a team of education professionals aligned with JB Schools’ mission and values. The Principal must inspire staff, delegate effectively, build teams and generate trust and respect across the entire school community as well as the JB Schools network. The Principal will be a hands-on, special education practitioner who can offer informed intervention and program strategies, but also comfortable and competent in empowering and delegating to others. Mentoring staff to grow personally and professionally in their individual and team roles is also a responsibility of the leader.
Although well-supported by JB Schools’ central office staff, as a remote site leader, the Principal will be responsible for managing a diverse and complex set of responsibilities, including implementation of the education program and management of the following functions: human resources, facilities, parent engagement, compliance, finances, community engagement, external relations and fundraising. As such, the leader will need to multi-task daily, delegate effectively and judiciously and have the exceptional organizational and time management skills required to juggle a highly diverse set of responsibilities.
Community Leader, Spokesperson and Advocate
The Principal must serve as an eager and energetic public face for the school, able to build and sustain collaborative relationships with parents, religious leaders, partners, community and business leaders, surrounding school systems and like-minded organizations. A consummate communicator when engaging with prospective or current parents, the Principal must listen carefully, speak persuasively and passionately about JB Schools, anticipate concerns and questions and proactively respond to inquiries. In addition, the Principal must be a fierce advocate for each student as well as the entire school community.
This search is being facilitated by John Tarvin of Claremont Consulting. Interested candidates should submit materials to: email@example.com. Please include a resume and a cover letter with salary requirements, where you learned of the position and a description of how your qualifications and experience match JB Schools’ needs. Applications will be accepted until the position is filled with preference given to those candidates who apply by January 31, 2020.
All submissions are confidential. Salary is commensurate with experience, within the framework of the organization’s annual operating budget.
JB Schools is an Equal Opportunity Employer and actively seeks a diverse pool of candidates.