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Assistant Superintendent of Schools, School District of Philadelphia



Philadelphia, PA, USA
Posted on Tuesday, December 19, 2023

The School District of Philadelphia (SDP) is the eighth largest school district in the nation, serving a historic and culturally vibrant community. We are a community of 19,000 dedicated employees working together with parents, families, volunteers and community members to support the limitless potential of more than 203,000 young scholars. We are committed to educating and graduating generations of thought leaders, entrepreneurs, artists, government officials and change makers. Our goal is simple; to become the fastest improving district in the country. Our mission is to deliver on the civil right of every child in Philadelphia to have an excellent public school education and ensure that all children graduate from high school ready to succeed, fully engaged as a citizen of our world. To meet our mission, we seek leaders who have a passion for working with schools and communities dedicated to ensuring all students achieve. Serving a population as diverse as ours requires creativity, commitment, and vision. Will you join us?

Job Summary

Assistant Superintendents for the School District of Philadelphia supervise and support a network of 15-20 school principals. Assistant Superintendents are expected to promote high quality instructional practices; provide instructional leadership and direction through coaching, mentorship, and support to principals as they grow their leadership skills. The work of Assistant Superintendents is an integral part of the classroom-by-classroom, school-by-school effort to ensure that all students are given an education that allows them to thrive, succeed and lead in a global society. Assistant Superintendents are responsible for helping to select and assign principals, support differentiated professional growth and build the leadership capacity of the District. Data collection and analysis, to guide the continuous improvement of schools is an important function of this job. Assistant Superintendents are also expected to help assess school climate and to assist principals with the development of plans to achieve the Goals and Guardrails of the School District over the next five years.

What You’ll Do (Responsibilities)

Instructional Leadership

  • Guides the principal group to create learning environments to achieve the Goals of the District which enable every student to achieve and read on or above grade level, perform on or above grade level in math and graduate ready for college and career.
  • Ensures the consistent implementation of instructional practices across all schools to achieve the District’s Goals and Guardrails.
  • Coordinates the successful integration of evidence-based strategies to ensure the growth and success of all District schools.
  • Formulates, plans and implements mentoring and professional growth and development to assigned principals; develops and implements differentiated professional growth plans that include current, evidence-based practices.
  • Reviews and assesses the effectiveness and efficiency of professional development plans.

Operations Leadership

  • Works with principals on the development of strategies that support the Goals and Guardrails and enhance the learning environment and support administrative efficiency.
  • Ensures the deployment of resources and intervention approaches to appropriately and effectively address challenges.
  • Ensures the implementation of strategies to meet the District’s Goals and Guardrails.
  • Ensures that all functions and activities are executed in compliance with District policies and professional standards and local, state and federal laws.
  • Uses executive judgment to solve problems and manage crises.
  • Ensures coordinated, excellent services are delivered to schools.

Develop and Lead an Effective Team

  • Helps to select, develop and evaluate principals.
  • Functions as a qualified observer of teachers and principals.
  • Supports principals to assess the core competencies that teachers need to implement curriculum, deliver instruction and improve student outcomes.
  • Develops effective working relationships with principals and school stakeholders, and provides leadership in organizational or school change.

Build and Cultivate Strong Relationships Across Stakeholder Groups

  • Actively engages with students, parents and families to learn from them and support their needs.
  • Responds to constituents’ concerns and serves as the liaison to schools, central offices and community groups on matters related to instruction and school leadership.
  • Advocates on behalf of school communities within the School District central administration.
  • Effectively represents the District in a professional manner and serve in a liaison capacity.
  • Communicates clearly with principals, parents and the community about the District’s mission and the Goals and Guardrails.

What Skills You Need to Be Successful(Competencies)

Exceptional Communication

  • Connects authentically, purposefully and thoughtfully with diverse stakeholders in the spirit of inclusivity and equity. Communicates with clarity, respect, and awareness in conversations and interactions with others.
  • Embraces opportunities to push a group’s thinking and challenge ideas to enable better decisions.
  • Listens intently and actively to stakeholders; understands nuance, and skillfully interprets motivations and perceptions.
  • Understands servant leadership and acts as a welcoming presence and collaborator to all stakeholders.

Exceptional Organization & Team Leadership

  • Fosters a culture of high expectations with shared strategic goals around measurable outcomes and continuous improvement in school operations and principal leadership capacity-building in key stakeholders.
  • Prepares building leaders for effective decision-making conversations, anticipating and organizing key questions and data that support productive discussions about school and district priorities.
  • Builds coalitions and works collaboratively with diverse stakeholders at all levels, including district personnel, students, families, community and political leaders, and advocacy groups.
  • Ensures targeted, differentiated professional development is delivered to members of the principal leadership team.

Advancement of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

  • Holds self and team accountable for extraordinary academic achievement of all students. Collaborates with central office and site-based leaders to ensure equitable access for every student to effective teachers and who represent the stakeholder community.
  • Acknowledges systemic racism, power, and privilege in organizations and commits to dismantling inequities. Fosters a culture of inclusion by building relationships across lines of difference and including the voices of those closest to the challenge we seek to address.
  • Fosters, promotes, and drives inclusion across the district and community. Collaborates with district leaders to develop and implement DEI performance indicators as a key aspect of assessing organizational health.
  • Demonstrates skill, respect, and honesty in addressing matters of equity, race, and bias in decision-making.

Instructional Expertise & Effective Execution

  • Deep knowledge of research-based school improvement designs and current issues facing urban public education.
  • Ability to plan and administer academic and instructional programming involving coordination across schools and departments.
  • Maintains a focus on goals and results; establishes clear metrics for success for how the academics functions play an essential role in the district meeting its defined student outcome goals
  • Demonstrates excellent execution and leadership skills, including acute attention to detail; the ability to balance overarching district goals with detailed steps to achieve academic objectives.
  • Leads from the perspective of a service provider, policy advisor, thought partner, and capacity-builder for school leaders.
  • Demonstrates strong planning, organization and project management skills, with the ability to identify numerous dependencies and develop a comprehensive, technical plan of action.
  • Ability to coordinate and oversee the work of staff and attain effective results.
  • Deep knowledge and experience implementing differentiated instructional methods and techniques.
  • Demonstrated ability to lead and implement broad-based initiatives and programs.
  • Demonstrated knowledge of governmental statutes and regulations relating to instruction and curriculum.
  • Extensive knowledge of the state and national trends that impact development and improvements in curriculum design, standards and current frameworks.