Lower School Division Head
Carroll School, Lincoln, MA
LEADERSHIP OPPORTUNITY WALTHAM, MA
LOWERS SCHOOL DIVISION HEAD
Guiding students to become confident, academically skilled learners and kind, empathetic humans.
Carroll School, a dynamic independent day school that serves students from grades 1–9 who have specific language-based learning differences (dyslexia), seeks a mission-aligned educational leader to serve as its next Lower School Division Head.
The Lower School Division Head will join a dedicated leadership team and expert educators to lead one of the school’s three divisions starting July 1, 2023.
A major tenet of school is one where dyslexia allows children to see the world differently. With that, Carroll has created an entire curriculum, teaching mindset, and community to support each child’s unique perspective. The school’s overarching promise is to “Give Each Child What They Most Need” and this rings true every day, where the focus is on each student.
In an effort to address the greatest need of each child, Carroll recognizes that diversity and inclusivity are essential to a child’s learning experience. The school welcomes candidates who add to the diversity of the community and demonstrate a commitment to equity
and inclusion in their work. This is a well-organized, high-performing organization that is both casual and intense while being deeply passionate about its transformative work with students, families, and teachers. Its core values of empathy, respect, inclusion, and kindness can be seen, felt, and realized in every aspect of the school.
Carroll is led by the recently appointed head of school, Dr. Renée Greenfield, who brings over 20 years of experience as a teacher, Orton-Gillingham Fellow, teacher educator, and leader in education. She has put together a collaborative, collegial, and highly committed team that values and practices distributive leadership. The next Lower School Division Head will replace the long-serving Sue Kingman who has led the division since it moved to its own campus in 2010.
The division and its campus are both in great shape and ready for a smooth transition of leadership. Given the division’s position of strength, the next Lower School Division Head should come to campus ready to listen, lean-in to, learn from, and be excited about leading and inspiring the dedicated educators within the division. In addition, the mission-aligned leader needs to serve as a source of love, light, and steadiness for students and their families.
Reporting directly to the Head of School, and serving on the senior leadership team and academic team, the Lower School Division Head contributes to the strategic priorities of Carroll, manages the day-to-day operations of the division, and is an important conduit between and among families, students, educators, and staff at the school. As such, this position serves as a shepherd, educator, lead collaborator, key problem solver, and essential builder of teams.
The Lower School Division Head will be responsible for all aspects of leadership within the lower school and on Carroll’s Waltham campus.
The Division Head will be supported by an administrative team that includes an Assistant Division Head and an administrative assistant. In addition, the Division Head oversees the Lower School Academic Team who helps to carry out the academic program at the school and serves as coaches and evaluators for the faculty. The Lower School Division Head works in concert with two other division heads for grades 6–8 and 8–9 to develop continuity throughout the school with regard to mission, philosophy, and instruction.
STRATEGIC PRIORITIES AND OPPORTUNITIES AS A MEMBER OF THE LEADERSHIP TEAM INCLUDE:
- Building, maintaining, and partnering with faculty and staff, parents, and other administrators
- Enhancing the weekly professional development program for the division so that it continues to align with the individual goals of the faculty staff, the requisites of the Orton-Gillingham program, and the yearly themes of the school
- Recruiting, retaining, and developing a diverse faculty and staff that better reflects Carroll and the neighborhoods from which its students derive
- Examining the staffing and compensation models in an effort to continue to attract, develop, and retain a dedicated faculty and staff
- Identifying leadership skills in faculty and finding opportunities to hone and grow these skills
- Seeking innovative opportunities to enrich the academic, social, and emotional development of students
- Exploring ways to continue to build and sustain community within the division and opportunities for connections across the division
- Researching, evaluating, and implementing ways that all students can access, without obstacles, all aspects of the Carroll program; this includes thinking about transportation, auxiliary activities, additional testing and tutoring, and extracurriculars
- Work collaboratively to uphold the mission of the school
- Act as the educational leader of the Lower School, responsible for its day-to-day operation and management of its campus
- Work cooperatively with the Head of School, the
Middle & Upper School Division Heads, and all functional directors to ensure that all operations are coordinated and efficient across all three campuses
- Demonstrate and maintain a strong commitment to DEIJB practices in all aspects of the role and the division
- Supervise and support the division’s Academic team
- Support, supervise and assess performance of the Lower School faculty
- Act as lead organizer of the division, conduct regular divisional team meetings, schedule events, and schedule regular parent meetings
- Act as divisional crisis manager coordinating appropriate personnel including the nurse, counselor, teachers, and/or other key support systems
- Work closely with and support the activities of all other school leaders and functional directors to help ensure their success. This includes directors of enrollment, marketing, equity & inclusion, advancement, information technology, and facilities
- Understand the Carroll School student profile: strengths and opportunities, and appropriate instructional or strategic techniques, practices or program modifications
- Work with teaching teams, counselors, speech & language pathologists, and others, as necessary, to respond to the concerns of the teachers, parents, evaluators, and/or students
- Stay informed regarding academic, social, and emotional issues that may affect student performance or behavior
- Collaborate with outside professionals working with students
- Participate in admission events and decision making processes regarding student enrollment and retention
- Attend school events and be actively involved in all aspects of school life
- Communicate in effective, efficient, timely, and meaningful ways with faculty, staff, students, and parents/guardians within the division
QUALITIES OF THE NEXT LOWER SCHOOL DIVISION HEAD
Carroll School’s core tenets of empathy, respect, inclusion, and kindness, and its mission of empowering children with language-based learning differences by meeting them where they are in order to give them what they need to be successful serves as the foundation for all aspects of the division. Therefore, the next Lower School Division Head will be a collaborative, compassionate, and dedicated educational leader who has demonstrated successful
experience in working with students with language based learning differences and a deep understanding of child development.
As the primary voice conveying the strengths and uniqueness of Carroll School to all constituencies, the Lower School Division Head must have excellent skills in written and verbal communication. Substantial leadership experience in a lower school/elementary setting and an insightful understanding of the role of the teacher coupled with a collaborative, collegial, and joyful leadership style that encourages faculty to take risks and explore passions will position this person for success. The Division Head will model intellectual curiosity and problem-solving while maintaining a generous spirit, positive attitude, sense of humor, and even temper. This person will also be able to find the good in the tough moments and know how to balance transparency with discretion. Possessing a personal and professional commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion and the requisite skills to facilitate critical conversations is a must.
In addition, the next Lower School Division Head will possess:
- A bachelor’s degree; an advanced degree is preferred
- Exceptional organizational, problem-solving, and communication skills
- Experience in the field of learning differences is preferred, including an understanding of and experience with students who have language-based learning differences and dyslexia. Knowledge of and experience with the Orton-Gillingham approach is a plus.
- 5+ years of experience in education and experience leading school initiatives
- A track record of contributing to creating a diverse, culturally responsive school environment
Carroll School empowers children with language-based learning differences, such as dyslexia, to become academically skilled students who are strong self-advocates and confident lifelong learners. Carroll is an inclusive community committed to embracing diverse strengths, identities, and lived experiences in order to give
each child what they most need to thrive.
Carroll School is a 450-student, Grades 1–9 program for children with language-based learning differences on three campuses outside of Boston.
It serves a culturally, ethnically, and economically diverse population, and believes that multiple points of view enrich the school’s community. The school is designed to provide a comprehensive independent school education that meets the unique needs of each of its students. Once students enroll at the school, they typically remain with them through ninth grade. The school’s broad, flexible, and customized program alongside a dynamic student culture makes Carroll the ideal setting to prepare children for high school and beyond.
Over the decades, Carroll has evolved from a program that offered a superb remedial program to a complete school with strengths in many additional curricular and extracurricular areas. As such, students are well positioned for success after Carroll in a broad range of experiences.
Teachers and tutors assess and track students’ performance daily and build lessons based on their mastery of essential grade-appropriate skills in reading, writing, and math. Content is aligned with the Massachusetts Curriculum Framework, but uses a project-based, cross-curricular approach. Classrooms and tutoring sessions are designed for small group and individualized instruction, with low student-to teacher ratios. By optimizing group sizes, and using a student’s neuropsychological testing as a base, teachers and tutors are able to customize instruction so each student can master decoding, reading fluency, comprehension, written expression, and mathematics. Students receive individualized, multisensory, systematic instruction designed specifically to deliver what they need to become strong learners. In addition, Carroll is committed to their cognitive development & intervention to strengthen students’ cognitive skills in order to enhance academic outcomes.
A focus on students’ social-emotional wellbeing is also central to their educational experience. While Carroll cannot enroll students whose primary school difficulty
is based in emotional struggles, the school understands that every child with a language-based learning difference is at risk for low self-concept, self-doubt, and anxiety, so they take on these issues directly as a core component of the program.
In addition to addressing some significant gaps in reading, writing, and math, Carroll provides an enriched and broad program in content areas such as science and history, the arts, athletics and outdoor education, project-based learning, maker spaces and technology, leadership, and social justice activities.
Having a strong sense of a community with a common purpose, learning and leading with joy, and open collaboration and communication are fundamental to the daily success of Carroll students. Strengthened by their passion and faith in the school’s mission, Carroll administrators are instrumental in building a community of professionals that are well-prepared to take on the challenges of delivering a life-changing education. Everyone is encouraged and provided opportunities to engage in professional development as
a part of the weekly schedule. In turn, Carroll teachers and tutors thrive in an environment that is fueled by optimism and professional support. Working alongside the administrators, they are encouraged to develop inspired curricula and effective methodologies.
Carroll’s story begins with Dr. Edwin Cole, a neurologist from Mass General Hospital whose specialty was children with learning challenges. He heard the best work was being done in New York City. Cole packed up and headed to Manhattan where he worked with Dr. Sam Orton and psychologist and teacher, Anna Gillingham.
Orton and Gillingham’s techniques in working with children struggling to read were cutting edge and showing results. Impressed with Orton and Gillingham’s proven methods, Cole headed back to Boston and opened a clinic and private practice. Over the years, he helped families to encourage schools to offer academic supports to the students he worked with.
In 1966, Dr. Cole was asked by F. Gorham Brigham to take a look at the Miss Carroll School that was closing its doors in Newton. Thanks to the dedication of Dr. Cole, Orton, and Gillingham’s groundbreaking work, and the financial generosity of parents who were desperate to find a school where their children could thrive, the new Carroll School opened with 7 students in the fall of 1967. Over 50 years later, the school expanded its capacity and footprint with three campuses located in Waltham, Lincoln, and Wayland, and close to 450 students. Teachers work in tandem with tutors, researchers, doctors, and scientists to be able to infuse data to reshape curriculum, in real-time, in order to emphasize what students are good at.
The Lower School community is built on a foundation developmentally tailored to children ages 6 to 11 years. The division rallies around the principles of Empathy,
Respect, Inclusion, and Kindness (ERIK) which shines through in the classroom, on the playground, in the Bounders woods, and on the playing fields.
In the Orton-Gillingham Focus area classes, Orton Gillingham practitioners work with their students in 1:1, pairs, and triad settings. Following Orton Gillingham principles, the instruction is direct, structured, systematic, and highly multi-sensory. Teachers and tutors are diagnostic, and their daily lessons are prescriptive in direct correlation to student performance and needs.
The division’s diversity curriculum is designed to help students understand and broaden their perspective about the world – locally, globally, and historically. Teachers and teaching teams create projects and activities that immerse students in history, social studies, and DEI content to give them a real sense of time, place, and culture. An example of this is when the entire 3rd grade transforms their classrooms into a Whaling Town or when the 4th graders create their own Iditarod sleds using the school’s Maker space.
The following statements were written and voted upon by the 2019 Carroll School faculty and staff during their opening meetings in August. “We Believe” statements are designed as an accompaniment to the Mission Statement, and they are rewritten by faculty and staff every 3–4 years.
…that our Orton-Gillingham approach and understanding of neuroplasticity drive our diagnostic, prescriptive, multisensory, and student-centered teaching. We give each child what they most need by building on students’ strengths while addressing learning differences.
…Carroll School is a highly-skilled community of compassionate adults working in concert to guide our students. Combining data and empathy enables us to give each child what they most need while holding each child to challenging expectations. Our goal is to create confident lifelong learners, strong self advocates, and empathetic global citizens.
…that social-emotional well-being is essential for both academic and personal growth. We actively create an inclusive community where students feel safe, valued, and connected by acknowledging and celebrating difference. Fostering this sense of belonging enables our students to continuously discover who they are as individuals, within the Carroll community, and beyond.
…that academic excellence is directly tied to a deep understanding and purposeful engagement in diversity, equity, and inclusion practices. The intersectionality of our identities reflects a variety of cultures, races, ethnicities, family structures, gender expressions, socio-economic backgrounds, and learning differences. We value and lean into the challenging, ongoing nature of DEI work in order to create an empathetic community that is safe and reflective of the rich and robust diversity of the 21st Century world.
…that the use of data is a crucial factor that helps tell the story of the whole child and inform their educational path. While at Carroll, the longitudinal profile evolves for each child in partnership with parents, teachers, and students. These data alone are just one chapter of a student’s journey that helps to make student growth visible.
Additionally, each grade level has a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) coordinator who works alongside the larger grade team to develop appropriate curricula and practices that teach students about identity, social justice, and equity.
Lower School students also have a Flex Block in their schedule for additional support. Students in Grades 1 and 2 work on readiness for learning and on early literacy skills. Grade 3 students focus on an integrated approach of cognitive development and reading interventions such as RAVE-O, reading
comprehension, and expressive/receptive language. Grade 4 and 5 students are placed in interventions for a semester, with one semester dedicated to Targeted Cognitive Intervention and one semester dedicated to a literacy skill such as reading fluency, reading comprehension, writing, and expressive language.
At each grade level, there are distinct identities and curriculum traditions — the 3rd grade Whaling Town project, the 4th grade States and City Planning projects, the 5th grade Gatehouse Birdhouse project — that create a sense of flow to the Lower School
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experience. Whole community events such as Activity Day, Fall Festival, and Today’s Hoorays create a warm, welcoming way for students and staff to connect and celebrate with each other.
Lower School teachers employ Responsive Classroom activities to create positive, healthy, and emotionally secure learning environments – and happy, confident kids. Teachers also help students make inclusive and positive connections through community service, talent showcases, recess, spirit days, and so much more.
EQUITY AND INCLUSION
Since its founding in 1967, Carroll School has been dedicated to affirming the experiences of different learners. However, it recognizes that its students’ identities are comprised of more than just their language-based learning differences. They come from a variety of different cultural, racial, and ethnic backgrounds, family structures, lived experiences, and communities that influence their day-to-day lives.
At Carroll School, they value, appreciate, and celebrate difference and strive to create a community that is safe and reflective of the rich and robust diversity of our 21st-century world.
The school’s mission — to give each child what they most need — recognizes that academic excellence is directly tied to a deep understanding and awareness of diversity, equity, and inclusion. Carroll aims to produce citizens of the world who are culturally responsive, possess a multicultural lens, and are equipped and empowered to affect social change. Therefore, this challenge extends to their approaches towards pedagogy and classroom practices, systems and protocols involving the hiring and retention of faculty and staff, admissions, support of financial assistance and other need-based programs, and all other forms of school life. One such example is the creation of the The Fellowship for Teachers of Color which provides two teachers of color with a full scholarship for the collaborative residency-based Master’s degree and
(163 in Lower School) Enrollment
60 Lower School Faculty,
80% of whom have advanced degrees
Student to Faculty Ratio
% Students of Color
% Faculty and Staff of Color
(12% on the Lower School Campus)
Financial aid awarded in 2022–23
% Families receiving financial aid
The Lower School is a warm and welcoming community that truly cares about and believes in each
person who is a part of it. It is small enough where you feel that tight knit sense of community yet big enough across three campuses that you feel part of something significant.
— 5th Grade Math Teacher
licensure program in Moderate Disabilities PreK–8 & 5–12 with Lesley University. For more information about how DEI fits into Carroll’s mission, please visit this post by Osa Osagie, Director of Equality and Inclusion.
Carroll School knows that teachers and tutors have the power to change lives. That’s why they have developed several robust teacher training programs filled with best practices, cutting-edge strategies, and leading research in the academic field.
The Hall Copacino Institute of Professional Study courses were created to help identify and train teachers for the different aspects that make a successful teacher at Carroll. Educators take part in professional study each year and over their time as educators, they take all five courses: (1) Orton-Gillingham, (2) The Whole Child, (3) Data-Informed Instruction (4) Pedagogy — The Science of Teaching, and (5) Technology for teaching.
The Garside Institute for Teacher Training (GIFTT) at Carroll School was established to provide comprehensive Orton-Gillingham training and certification through coursework and practicum. Its mission is to educate professionals and to give them the skills to teach students who have language-based learning difficulties. Courses are nationally accredited by the Academy of Orton-Gillingham Practitioners and Educators (AOGPE) and The International Dyslexia Association (IDA). Carroll School’s teacher training is aligned with the content of IDA’s Knowledge and Practice Standards.
In a collaboration among Carroll School, Lesley University, and Buckingham Browne & Nichols School (BB&N), The Angela Wilkins Program
of Graduate Studies in Education is two dynamic programs each leading to a full Massachusetts initial license and a Master’s degree in Education: Moderate Disabilities — Pre-K–Grade 8 and Moderate
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Disabilities — Grades 5–12. These intensive fourteen month programs start in early June and end in the following summer. Graduate interns take courses at Carroll School and Lesley University and student teach in classrooms at Carroll and/or BB&N. Unlike other programs, graduate students receive nationally accredited Orton-Gillingham training, at no additional cost. Graduate courses take place at Carroll and Lesley, and topics include: Contemporary Perspectives in Special Education; Classroom Management & Behavior Support; Reading & Writing for Diverse Learners; Assistive Technology; Assessment in Special Education; and more.
LOCATION, CAMPUS, AND FACILITIES
Carroll School has close to 450 students on three campuses outside of Boston, Massachusetts. The Upper School is located on the Wayland campus, in a former expansive residential property that
accommodates the division with its 49 students in Grades 8 & 9. This close-knit faculty and staff, which is comprised of 10 full-time teachers, the US Division Head, 4 part-time tutors, and 2 interns from Lesley University. The Assistant Head of School is also located on the Wayland campus. The Middle School, located on the Lincoln campus with 235 students in Grades 6 – 8 and a faculty of 83 teachers and tutors, is the largest division in the school.
The Lower School for students in Grades 1–5 is housed in a beautiful one-story building on its Waltham campus. The campus includes an expansive playing field, the Bounders woods, library, classrooms, private tutoring spaces, and more. Waltham is a western suburb of Boston, with a little over 25% of its residents born outside of the United States. Although it is located only 10 miles northwest of downtown Boston, Waltham houses its own set of attractions including museums, hiking trails, and historic sites. It is also home to Brandeis University and Bentley University.
There are all kinds of different ways we do professional development at Carroll. We get to hear these brilliant speakers that are experts in their fields, such as neuroscience, the science of reading, or diversity and equity. But then every Friday afternoon, we also have a variety of training opportunities, whether it’s collaborating with your coworkers, having a meaningful conversation about race, or getting trained on a core Carroll teaching approach.
— Science Teacher
Carroll School is an inclusive and welcoming school that supports and celebrates all aspects of diversity, including race, religion, national and ethnic origin, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, disability, age or any other status protected by applicable law. As such, it welcomes and encourages candidates representing the diversity of today’s global world.
Carroll School is committed to attracting and retaining outstanding employees through a competitive compensation plan. A full benefits package includes retirement and medical/dental coverage.
Interested candidates should submit via https://bit.ly/ Carroll_LS_Head_AppForm the following materials confidentially as a single PDF file:
- A cover letter indicating the candidate’s particular interest in and qualifications for the position
- A current résumé
- A statement of educational philosophy
- The names, addresses, and telephone numbers of three references, including at least one recent supervisor References should speak to the
applicant’s ability to be an effective educator and administrator, to work successfully with children, and to work collaboratively and collegially with adults (references will be contacted only with the candidate’s permission).
Please address any questions by email to
email@example.com or by phone at 415-881-7105
December 5, 2022 Application Deadline
Early January, 2023 Semifinalist Interviews
Early February 2023 Finalist Interviews
Mid February, 2023 Announcement