Summer Residential Assistant
Phillips Academy, Andover, MA
Phillips Academy Summer Session Residential Assistant Job Description
June 20-August 1, 2023
About the Program
One of the nation’s premier boarding schools, Phillips Academy offers a number of summer programs for rising 7th through 12th grade students that are held on its picturesque campus just 21 miles north of Boston. Collectively they are referred to as “Andover Summer”. Our flagship program, Summer Session, challenges students in an innovative five-week, residential program. More than 60 courses are offered, ranging from computer science to marine biology, from ethics and philosophy to economics. Mathematics & Science for Minority Students – better known as (MS)2 – is a residential, STEM scholarship program for underrepresented students of color that runs concurrently with Summer Session. Regardless of program, Andover Summer students bring the world into the classroom by virtue of their enormous diversity of geographic origin, religion, ethnicity, and socioeconomic background. With strong academic records and a serious desire to spend the summer in a residential community, our students enjoy challenging themselves and one another through disciplined study. Every summer Phillips Academy hires a number of visiting Residential Assistants (RAs) to live in the dorms, coach an afternoon activity, and support students through their on-campus experience in these summer programs, which are slated to run from June 20-August 1, 2023. As a Summer Session faculty member, the RA experience is rigorous, intensive, and challenging, structured to provide support to students academically, socially, and emotionally throughout their 5-week experience.
About the Role
Residential Assistants (RAs) are typically rising college seniors or recent college graduates who are interested in gaining direct experience with the sorts of residential and athletic duties that comprise the life of a boarding school faculty member, who have a deep commitment to youth development and student support, and who believe deeply in the importance of building strong communities. RAs seek to create a fun, exciting, and joy-filled experience for their students, while also serving in loco parentis while students are away from home. Typically, RAs are hired to serve as house counselors in the dorms and to coach an afternoon activity; assignments may vary slightly depending on the program.
In these capacities RAs are charged with creating a safe, supportive living environment and ensuring the health and wellbeing of the students in their care, whether that is in the dorm or on the playing field. Dorm teams consist of 2-5 house counselors (depending on the size of the dorm) who share residential responsibilities, rotating through evening dorm duties, facilitating dorm meetings and activities, coordinating dorm events, communicating with families, and providing care and support to students as needed. Coaching teams consist of 2-5 coaches (depending on the enrollment in the activity) who design and lead hour-long sessions three times per week to ensure students are physically active, having fun, and engaging socially in an athletic setting. Expertise in athletics is not required, as Andover Summer’s afternoon activity offerings range substantially in scope and skill level; there is something for everyone.
The schedule of the RA role, which takes place primarily in the afternoons and evenings, allows these faculty members to balance other daytime commitments and explore all that the Boston area has to offer, while still providing an intensely gratifying, challenging, and transformative summer work experience. Specific duties, schedules and assignments, including summer dorm coverage calendars, chaperone assignments, and coaching assignments, are typically provided in May or June prior to the start of the summer program. During their time on campus, RAs have full access to Andover Summer’s breadth of resources, and are provided with in-dorm housing (living in a dorm room with a shared bathroom), access to the Academy’s dining facilities, and access to athletic facilities and museums. Because of the short, intense nature of the summer, absences from assigned duties are not permitted. Few exceptions are made to this policy, although unusual circumstances may determine that an applicant’s situation should be handled on an individual basis. RAs are also expected to chaperone at least three on-campus social events and at least two off-campus trips during the summer.
In addition to working collaboratively with the Lead House Counselor and Lead Coach to complete all residential and athletic duties described above, RAs are responsible for ensuring that their own developmental needs are met and that they engage with the opportunities provided for skill-building and support.
RAs’ Responsibilities and Duties
- Become familiar with all materials sent in advance for your review.
- Complete required pre-employment activities including HR paperwork, background checks/fingerprinting, and completion of online trainings.
- Communicate with the Lead House Counselor and/or Coach about personal/professional goals, expectations, and desired level of engagement during the summer.
- Become familiar with the responsibilities outlined in the House Counselor Handbook.
- Attend faculty orientation.
- In collaboration with the house counseling team, prepare dorm for summer.
- Review the student information and files available in the student information system for the students in your dorm and/or activity.
- 1st Week:
- Participate in the facilitation of Student Orientation activities, including All School Meeting, campus tours, Dorm Olympics, and Field Day, among others.
- Complete all tasks required of house counselors and coaches, including contacting advisees and their families, coordinating dorm team-building activities, participating in dorm meetings and athletics assemblies or the Club Fair, and completing assigned duty night responsibilities.
- Build relationships with advisees and their families, and serve as an active presence in the dorm during free times and evenings.
- Ongoing:Build relationships with students in your dorm and/or activity through regular check-ins, being available for extra support during study hours or other free times, communicating in- person and through email, etc.
- In collaboration with the house counseling team, solve student issues and address concerns as they arise, and escalate to deans when necessary.
- Facilitate students in weekly Club meetings or Connections groups, and chaperone Wednesday or weekend field trips.
- Participate in faculty meetings.
- Participate in RA Seminars
- Schedule and hold mid-summer check-in meetings with each advisee and any students of concern, and communicate with families regarding their students’ progress.
- In collaboration with the Lead House Counselor, write House Counselor Reports for each student according to direction provided.
- Prepare dorms for departure: return to original layout, ensure boards and wall spaces are left as they were originally found, supervise cleaning and move-out.
- Provide feedback to Director via survey and reflection session.
Additional RA-specific duties include:
- Prior to arriving on campus, complete a series of readings that will be sent before the end of May.
- Attend a TA/RA Orientation, as well as New Faculty orientation.
- Provide support for student registration and departure days by acting as bus chaperones.
- Prepare for, and participate in, each of the TA/RA Seminar meetings held under the direction of the TA/RA coordinator.
- Hold a regularly scheduled meeting with the Lead House Counselor to review student concerns, develop interventions and supports, and plan dorm activities.
*Please note that duties and responsibilities may shift depending on public health guidance, updated program offerings, or Andover Summer policies.
Ideal Candidate Profile
- At least three years of undergraduate education completed by the time of employment;
- Strong interest in teaching or youth development;
- Experience working with middle- or high-school-aged students, or previous experience in residential life or student activities at the college level;
- Demonstrated experience and success in collaborative environment;
- Flexibility and adaptability in a fast-paced, dynamic environment requiring both the ability to take direction and the readiness to problem-solve;
- Appreciation of the mission and culture of independent, residential, college-preparatory schools;
- Exceptional communication skills (speaking and writing);
- Exceptional interpersonal skills;
- Strong sense of humor and humility;
- Demonstrated commitment to anti-racism, diversity, equity and inclusion.
Starting salary is $2500 for a Residential Assistant with a basic workload of house counseling and coaching an afternoon activity. Salary offers may increase based on the demands of a particular program or the RA’s years of education/experience.
How to Apply
In order to apply for this position, please visit our website at: https://workforcenow.adp.com/mascsr/default/mdf/recruitment/recruitment.html?cid=7ddc8884-11ea-4d1a– a8a0-2e8834b6caf3&ccId=9200508496526_2&lang=en_US.
Phillips Academy is an equal opportunity employer. Phillips Academy is an intentionally diverse and inclusive residential community “committed to creating an equitable and inclusive school in which students from diverse backgrounds, cultures, and experiences—including race, ethnicity, nationality, gender, socioeconomic class, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, and ability—learn and grow together.” The ideal candidate supports the inclusive and diverse nature of the community. Any offers of employment will be contingent upon successful CORI/SORI and fingerprinting background checks as well as unrestricted authorization to work in the United States.