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Chief Student Support Services Officer, School District of Philadelphia



Customer Service
Philadelphia, PA, USA
Posted on Tuesday, June 4, 2024

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 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

The Chief Student Support Services Officer leads the planning, development, and implementation of a comprehensive student support services plan for the School District of Philadelphia. This role is responsible for developing new strategies to strengthen the District’s engagement with public school parents and families throughout Philadelphia. The officer oversees a substantial workforce, managed through subordinate administrators, involved in various business service functions that support their respective divisions' missions. This leader will develop comprehensive policies and programs to ensure that each division's operations are consistent with the School District’s mission. Additionally, they will build and maintain effective relationships and partnerships with key external stakeholders, facilitating communication between these parties and the appropriate internal resources. The officer ensures that student support initiatives are carried out in accordance with established policies, procedures, and mandates.

Key Responsibilities

Strategy and Leadership for Student Support Services

  • Plan, develop, and implement a comprehensive program for student support that includes the whole child, addresses the needs of every student, establishes objectives and priorities, prioritizes strategies to achieve objectives, and evaluates programs.
  • Work to build partnerships with internal and external stakeholders including students, families and staff.
  • Represent the Superintendent and other District leadership during public presentations, speaking engagements, or other activities associated with District business, as requested; facilitate forums and other public meetings.
  • Advise District leaders on matters related to student support.

Program Development and Implementation

  • Support parents and caregivers to ensure all SDP students are provided with the best services and resources to support high academic achievement.
  • Ensure a central structure to provide District and school-based services that will improve the quality of student, family and community engagement and encourage student academic achievement.
  • Apply research and best practices to inform the development of theories of pedagogy, innovative intervention programs and improve service delivery including, mental health, restorative justice, trauma informed care and other social services.
  • Direct the development and revision of programs, policies and procedures to comply with federal, state, and local legislation and District policy.
  • Develop plans specifically focused on crisis management and response, ensuring the safety and well being of students.
  • Develop project plans, work stream structures, and schedules required to successfully complete projects on time and within budget constraints.

Support Services Team Leadership

  • Plan, coordinate, and direct the teams who oversee the student support services throughout the district
  • Define, delegate, and evaluate the services of staff assigned to the Support Services department.
  • Oversee recruitment, selection, placement and evaluation of staff employed within the Support Services department.
  • Provide professional development for staff based on established program goals and objectives.
  • Provide appropriate supervision, mentoring and professional growth and development to assigned staff; develops and implements professional growth plans to include keeping abreast of current developments, literature and technical resources of information.
  • Ensure direct reports and departments within their purview provide excellent customer service to schools, parents, and the community.

Effective Operations Management

  • Assess the effectiveness of the department and effectively prioritizes, plans and implements improvements, as needed.
  • Prepare and administers the annual department budget and grants and exercises proper financial controls.
  • Oversee departmental policies and operating procedures and ensure departmental goals and objectives.
  • Prepare reports for federal, state and local regulatory agencies and ensure that all programs are in compliance with governing federal, state and local regulations.
  • Establish and maintain relationships with key stakeholders within and without the District including leaders and organizations in the civic, religious, political, philanthropic, business, and non-profit sectors to create trust and solidify a strong foundation to advocate for School District priorities.
  • Oversee the effective management of all grants related to student support services, in alignment with District goals.

Skills You'll Need To Be Successful

Exceptional Communication

  • Connect authentically, purposefully and thoughtfully with diverse stakeholders in the spirit of inclusivity and equity.
  • Communicate with clarity, respect, and awareness in writing, conversations and interactions with others.
  • Embrace opportunities to push a group’s thinking and challenge ideas to enable better decisions.
  • Listen intently and actively to stakeholders; understands nuance, and skillfully interprets motivations and perceptions.
  • Build positive relationships and coalitions primarily with staff members and principals as well as district staff, students, parents and families, communities, advocacy groups, etc.

Organizational & Team Leadership

  • Foster a culture of high expectations with shared strategic goals around measurable outcomes and continuous improvement and capacity-building in key stakeholders.
  • Prepare the leadership team for effective decision-making conversations, anticipating and organizing key questions and data that support productive discussions.
  • Build coalitions and work collaboratively with diverse stakeholders at all levels, including district personnel, students, families, community and political leaders, and advocacy groups.
  • Promote targeted and differentiated professional learning and utilizes effective adult learning techniques for members of the team.

Advancement of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

  • Hold 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.
  • Acknowledge systemic racism, power, and privilege in organizations and commits to dismantling inequities.
  • Foster 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.
  • Foster, promotes, and drives inclusion across the district and community.
  • Collaborate with district leaders to develop and implement DEI performance indicators as a key aspect of assessing organizational health.
  • Demonstrate skill, respect, and honesty in addressing matters of equity, race, and bias in talent decision-making.

Student Support Services Expertise & Effective Execution

  • Maintain a focus on goals and results; establishes clear metrics for success for how the Student Support Services Office plays an essential role in the district meeting its defined student outcome goals.
  • Demonstrate excellent execution and leadership skills, including acute attention to detail; the ability to balance overarching district goals with detailed steps to achieve academic objectives.
  • Develop innovative solutions to seemingly obstinate problems.
  • Leads from the perspective of a service provider, policy advisor, thought partner, and capacity-builder for school leaders.
  • Demonstrate ability to develop and deliver innovative programming that improves academic performance.
  • Understand and implement promising, innovative and effective instructional supports and models.


The School District of Philadelphia provides equal employment opportunities to all employees and applicants for employment without regard to race, color, age, creed, religion, sex, sexual orientation, ancestry, national origin, disability, pregnancy, marital status, gender identity, or genetic information. Please refer to Board Policy 348 for further information regarding the District's commitment to Nondiscrimination in Employment Practices.