The Kew-Forest School, a preschool through 12th grade, co-educational day school in Forest Hills, New York, seeks an experienced and dynamic educator with a passion for working with early childhood and elementary school students, faculty, and parents to serve as Head of Lower School. The Head of Lower School is responsible for the academic, co-curricular, and student life programs for approximately 110 students in Preschool (3-year-olds) through Grade 5 and supporting, inspiring, and hiring 17 full-time lower school faculty. The Head of Lower School is a full-time administrative position. With a new Head of School, the School’s centennial celebration and planning for the next one hundred years, and recent growth in the Lower School division, it is an exciting time to join the Kew-Forest community and administrative team.
The Kew-Forest Lower School has a strong, well-developed program as well as an experienced and cohesive instructional team. The curriculum establishes a strong foundation in reading, writing, math, social studies, and science within a classroom culture that prioritizes social-emotional learning alongside academic instruction. The curriculum is enhanced by rich learning experiences in studio art, music, Spanish, STEAM, physical education, and library/research. Lower School classrooms are places of active learning where students have the opportunity to develop their individual voices within a curriculum that promotes inquiry-based practices, encourages risk taking, and fosters problem solving.
The Kew-Forest School was founded in its current location in 1918 by Louis D. Marriott and Guy Hinman Catlin. Their objective was to establish “a country day school which has modern equipment, high standards of scholarship and discipline, and a sincere spirit of service.” Kew-Forest opened its doors to neighborhood residents and presently has students from Forest Hills and 40 other communities in Queens, as well as areas of Brooklyn, Long Island, Bronx and Manhattan. Today, the Kew-Forest student body is one of the most diverse and international to be found at any independent school in the country. Kew-Forest students have varied cultural, racial, ethnic, and religious backgrounds and a majority are multilingual. The current school building, anchored by the original brick building of Georgian architecture, includes lower and upper school wings, a gymnasium/auditorium, a library wing, and a laboratory building on two acres of land. Kew-Forest is in close proximity to public transportation.
The Kew-Forest School is accredited by the New York State Association of Independent Schools (NYSAIS), the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools, and the New York State Department of Education. The School is also a member of the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS), the Independent School Admissions Association of Greater New York (ISAAGNY), and the Guild of Independent Schools of New York (GISNY).
The Kew-Forest Head of Lower School reports to the Head of School and serves as a key member of the school’s ten-member senior leadership team. This senior administrative position is supported by the Assistant Head of Lower School/Lower School Learning Specialist and the School Counselor for the Lower School.
The Head of Lower School’s specific responsibilities include the following:
Ensure alignment between the school’s board-approved mission statement and all activities of the Lower School division.
Serve as the educational leader of the Lower School division.
Direct day-to-day operations and the activities of the members of the instructional staff in the performance of their duties.
Plan school assemblies and programs; assist in maintaining a comprehensive calendar of school events; keep the entire school community informed of various Lower School programs and activities.
Maintain a safe and secure working, learning, and teaching environment, while promoting a culture that values diversity and inclusion.
Work toward a resolution of all problems - both routine and unique.
Communicate in an effective, meaningful, and timely way with all constituencies - students, parents, teachers, and other administrators - regarding the Lower School division’s programs, expectations, behavioral guidelines, and other information as necessary.
Keep the Head of School informed of the general programs, activities, and challenges of the Lower School.
Be an active and effective member of the school’s senior leadership team.
Be a visible presence in all areas of the school and attend division-specific events as well as many all-school events.
Foster and maintain positive relationships with the parent community and establish an authentic and open style of communication that prioritizes a positive home-school connection.
Oversee and work collaboratively with the student support team and divisional staff in their guidance and support of students.
Ensure compliance with legal requirements of government regulations and agencies; to maintain the educational standards established by the State of New York and by the New York Association of Independent Schools (NYSAIS) that examines and accredits the school.
Maintain the Lower School budget.
Assist in the admission process to evaluate Lower School applicants for enrollment.
Assist with marketing and communication initiatives, content for website, and social media pertaining to the Lower School students, faculty and program.
Perform other duties as assigned by the Head of School.
Program and Curriculum
Supervise the faculty in the development and implementation of curriculum; review and evaluate the academic programs.
Lead all Lower School teachers in the articulation of the school mission, school goals, curricular objectives, materials, methods and means of assessment.
Steward an environment in which learning can take place, and a school climate which is supportive and which reflects high morale. Ensure that core values of honesty, kindness, respect, responsibility are upheld throughout the Lower School.
Work with the Registrar to prepare a master Lower School class schedule.
Build and maintain strong relationships with faculty and staff, based on collaboration and mutual respect.
Make recommendations to the Head of School regarding the hiring and retention, and the assignment of faculty.
Establish programs for the orientation of new teachers, for in-service training of all teachers, and for the evaluation of classroom teachers, to ensure that teachers are familiar with and adhere to school policies in all areas of the school operation.
Supervise, observe, and evaluate the faculty and promote their professional growth and development.
Serve as a consultant to teachers in matters of classroom management, teaching methods, and general school procedures.
Strive for unity, harmony, and cooperation through tact, helpfulness, respect, and a recognition of individual differences and the special abilities and strengths of each teacher.
Conduct regular meetings with faculty which deal both with routine school matters and with the stimulating exchange of ideas on issues of educational/philosophical interest and concern.
Read, edit, and provide feedback on written reports; oversee grading and methods used by teachers in measuring student achievement.
Be aware of the educational, physical, and social-emotional needs of the members of our school community and develop plans for monitoring and meeting these needs.
Provide for the academic and social-emotional guidance of students; maintain complete academic records on all students.
Be responsible for establishing guidelines for proper student conduct and dress; maintain student discipline in line with school policies; monitor students’ adherence to established school rules; work with Registrar to maintain accurate records of student attendance.
To apply, please send a cover letter, resume, statement of educational philosophy, and contact information for three professional references to Head of School Carla Jantos MacMullen at email@example.com
The Kew-Forest School does not discriminate in employment opportunities or practices on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, age, disability, gender, sexual orientation or any other characteristic protected by law.
A minimum of 3 years of experience as an administrative leader, preferably in independent schools
Teaching experience preferred
Commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion work
Outstanding leadership skills
Proven success at working collaboratively on a school team
A solid understanding of lower school students’ developmental and curricular needs
Exceptional written and oral communication skills
Excellent organizational and presentation skills
Additional Salary Information: Non-salary benefits include medical, dental, and vision insurance; employer contribution to 403 (b) after one year (employee may start contributing sooner); life insurance up to $25,000; catered lunch daily; and on-site parking.
About THE KEW-FOREST SCHOOL
The Kew-Forest School is an equal opportunity employer.
The Kew-Forest School is an intimate early childhood through 12th grade learning community that is small by design, inclusive, and globally representative. Kew-Forest provides a safe, nurturing, and intellectually vigorous environment that inspires every student to explore and expand creative interests, to apply courageous and innovative thinking, and to become an ethical contributor to ever-widening communities. Kew-Forest students develop the skills necessary for pursuing higher education and for acquiring the essential competencies of a responsible citizen.