Walnut Hill School for the Arts, Natick, MA
Walnut Hill School for the Arts has an immediate Dorm Parent opening in the School’s Residential Life Program. Walnut Hill is an arts-focused high school boarding and day school in Natick, MA. Come make a difference for our students!
Compensation: Compensation for this position is on-campus housing and room & board with utilities (heat, hot water, electric, basic cable & internet) in an unfurnished 1-bedroom apartment located in a dormitory.
Dorm Parents are key members of the Residential Life team and are responsible for the daily operation and oversight of an assigned dormitory and are expected to help with other dormitories or provide other coverage as needed in times of emergency or crisis.
This position requires helping high school aged residents adjust to and manage independent living, encouraging academic and artistic progress and personal growth, promoting a family atmosphere, and maintaining safety and security within the dormitory. Knowledge of, and sensitivity to, the social, emotional, and academic needs of high school students is a must, as well as a strong desire to work with young artists during their formative years.
Reporting to the Dean of Students, Dorm Parents work closely with Student Life, Residential Life, and other School staff to facilitate a positive community experience for all students. Dorm Parents are typically on duty one or two nights per week and every third weekend. All Walnut Hill employees are active, engaged members of the school community who are committed to collaborating and growing in their field.
Dorm Parent Duties & Expectations:
- Provide adult supervision, parental care, activities, and guidance to student residents;
- Monitor student health, provide first aid, and communicate with the Health Center and/or AOC as needed;
- Check email daily and several times during duty shift for information and updates about residents;
- Manage and use dorm duty phone; answer calls, check messages/texts, and follow up as necessary;
- Understand and implement security procedures such as: securing the dormitory, fire drill protocol/practice, regular student key/chip checks, usage of master keys, etc.; respond calmly and efficiently to emergencies or crisis and escalate as needed;
- Be thoroughly familiar with dorm parent policies and protocols;
- Use the REACH System to track activity in the dormitory including: check-in, infractions, nightly reports, and permissions; use REACH to record and communicate student issues and information as needed;
- Use the REACH system to track student permissions and leaves
- Fully participate in the Restorative Justice process including holding restorative chats, mediations, repair circles and enforcing consequences which result from these processes;
- Communicate regularly and as needed with other Residential Life Staff regarding student issues, dorm-wide issues, maintenance concerns, and other applicable items as needed;
- Communicate with parents and advisors as needed;
- Use the SchoolDude request system to facilitate maintenance needs and repairs;
- Walk through the dorm a minimum of every 1-2 hours to monitor activity and provide active supervision;
- When on duty organize and chaperone dorm activities and required Sunday dorm meetings, may also be asked to attend other dorm meetings as needed;
- Complete roommate agreements by established deadlines and as needed;
- When on duty conduct weekly room inspections (Sunday) ensuring student rooms meet the expected standard; room inspections are daily for the first two weeks of the quarter/semester and weekly after that;
- When on duty go to all meals in the dining hall while on duty (dinner on weekdays, and brunch and dinner on weekends) to provide student supervision, monitor general noise level and student behavior in the dining hall, and build a sense of community with an adult presence;
- Attend all dorm staff meetings (orientation, monthly staff meeting), faculty meetings when possible, mandatory trainings, all-school dinners (1-2 per year), school traditions, and performances (especially when residents are involved); and
- Other duties as assigned by the Student Life Office, Head of School, or designee.
Dorm Coverage Schedule:
Dorm Parents are typically on duty one or two nights per week and every third weekend. The dorm coverage schedule is determined by each individual dorm based on the team needs. Weeknight coverage begins at 6:00 PM and continues through 7:00 AM. Weekend coverage starts Friday at 6 PM and continues through Monday at 7:00 AM (or Tuesday morning if there is a Monday no-school holiday).
Residential Life Staff will have additional coverage responsibilities when school is closed on holidays, snow days, or head’s holidays. The schedule is determined by the Dorm Head and/or School Administration. All staff, regardless of their daytime employment, are expected to participate in this coverage or provide substitute coverage for their team members during other duty times. This may require the use of vacation or PTO time from their day job. Residential Life Staff are expected to provide coverage and fulfill regular responsibilities during school breaks and over the summer when students or campers are on campus.
Dorm Parent teams are required to plan community building activities in support of our culture of restoration every Sunday. Sunday nights are reserved for dorm time (students return at 7pm). Dorm Parents are encouraged to provide activities on a smaller basis when they are on duty on weekends for those students who are not able to leave campus.
Collaboration, Professional Development, and Training:
- Complete required paperwork, forms, surveys, employment documents, background checks, fingerprinting, online training programs, request and report absences, accidents, and injuries, and follow other school policy and legal requirements by established deadlines;
- Work collaboratively with colleagues across all departments to foster a positive environment for students and support the school’s mission, vision, and core values;
- When able and appropriate, participate in communal programming, all-school events, art events, and support student performances, art openings, exhibitions, and other campus-wide activities; model and encourage appropriate behavior and monitor students during events and programming;
- Participate and engage fully in individual reviews and evaluations; be open to feedback and work with supervisor to set goals and expectations for the future;
- If appropriate and directed by School administration, attend and participate in Professional Development (PD) days, training programs, diversity, equity, and inclusion opportunities, orientation programs, mandatory seminars, team-building exercises, and safety training/drills; and
- Display willingness and ability to grow, learn, explore new approaches, and practice self-reflection.
Knowledge And Skill Set Requirements
- 5+ years of experience working with adolescents; school or camp experience a plus;
- CPR/First aid certification required (the school will provide if needed);
- Possess excellent decision-making skills;
- Demonstrate maturity and understanding of appropriate boundaries;
- Ability to respond calmly, quickly, and competently to emergency situations and escalate as needed;
- Demonstrated commitment to fostering a safe, brave, and inclusive community;
- Possess cultural competence in working with diverse populations and commitment to learning about and practicing anti-racist work;
- Experience with or interest in working with international students and families;
- Demonstrate sound work ethics and flexibility; commitment to handling highly sensitive information with discretion and high standards of confidentiality;
- Excellent communication, interpersonal, and organizational skills;
- Willingness and ability to adapt to changes in policy and procedures with professionalism and positivity;
- Proficient in basic computer skills and applications including Microsoft Office and Google Apps;
- Driver’s license required;
- COVID-19 vaccination with booster required; and
- Understand and enjoy working with adolescents and a sense of humor!
Work Environment, Dynamics, and Physical Demands:
This is an overnight position where individuals must be prepared to be woken up at a moment’s notice, and are expected to respond to student needs when on duty and during emergency situations. This job is performed from the employee’s residence (apartment within the dorm or in affiliate on-campus housing) and Dorm Parents are expected to share common spaces in the dorms and in their personal residences, as well as the entrance and exit to their residences, with the students. The environment is dynamic and can change from calm to chaos depending upon the circumstances.
Physical demands include dexterity for writing, using electronic devices, computer, phone, copy machine, and printers. Dexterity and strength to administer first aid/CPR, and respond to situations across campus. Walking, stooping, bending, traveling to/from locations on campus, ascending/descending stairs, reaching, pushing, pulling, and sitting or standing for extended periods of time are common. Proper use of applicable personal protective equipment (PPE) is required.
To Apply: Submit resume and cover letter through the Walnut Hill School for the Arts online Career Center.
Note: All Residential Life positions (including all residents 18+) are contingent upon successful state and federal background checks and fingerprinting.