Chinese American International School seeks candidates for two
Lower School Leadership Positions
Chinese American International School (CAIS) is conducting an extraordinary search for a team of two educational leaders to guide our 330-student lower school. CAIS is committed to building its cohesive, all school leadership team around the strengths, experiences and passions of its individual leaders; accordingly the configuration and specific responsibilities of both positions are being deliberately held open. Rather than evaluate candidates against a set list of criteria, we will assess each candidate’s particular gifts and ultimately decide on the best way to leverage those gifts vis-a-vis the school’s needs and the complementary skill sets of other members of our leadership team. We want consequential leaders who will make an impact on our school culture and programs. If this interests and excites you, please read on!
IMPORTANT AREAS OF FOCUS FOR OUR NEW LOWER SCHOOL LEADERS
At CAIS we value honest self assessment, thoughtful self reflection, intentional planning and focused implementation. We are known as an ambitious school, and in recent years we have introduced and implemented a number of significant initiatives in the areas of overseas programing, student support services, systematic assessment in Chinese, reading and writing workshop across languages, educational technology, integrated curriculum units across subjects and languages, the arts, diversity equity and inclusion, and daily scheduled PLC time, to name a few. We are particularly keen to identify new lower school leaders who can help us make consequential progress in the areas of:
● Social emotional learning (SEL) and community building
● Diversity, equity and inclusion
● Establishing a culture of professional learning communities
CANDIDATE SKILLS, EXPERIENCES, AND POTENTIAL
We will look for candidates who possess several (though of course not all) of the following:
● Significant teaching experience required with demonstrated success (we will consider current teacher leaders with demonstrated potential for one of the two positions)
● Successful leadership experience in schools (at least one of the positions will be filled with an experienced school leader)
● Chinese (Mandarin) language proficiency (while not a requirement, we will almost certainly hire one Chinese speaking candidate)
● Experience with/commitment to language immersion and multilingualism
● Commitment to fostering a school environment rooted in kindness and respect where all members feel a sense of belonging
● Interest in and success with school community building and social emotional learning
● Interest in/experience with instructional coaching and developing faculty
● Experience with strategies for differentiated curriculum, instruction and assessment
● Comfort and competence with multiple pedagogies, e.g., project based learning, experiential learning, blended learning, design thinking, etc.
● Knowledge of designing physical learning environments
● Strong strategic thinking skills and the ability to turn ideas and strategies into action
● Ability to manage change initiatives
● Ability to foster teamwork and collaboration among lower school faculty across grades, subjects and languages
● Ability to work closely and collaboratively with the whole school educational leadership team
● Outstanding communication skills, including public speaking, interpersonal communication, and writing
● Ability to make tough decisions and deliver difficult news with compassion, clarity and firmness
● An interest in early childhood education and aligning early childhood and lower school programs
● Overseas experience
● Outstanding work ethic
● Patience, good humor, humility, and perseverance
● Bachelor’s degree required, master’s degree preferred
● Technical/Computer skills as required for job performance
● Initial and continued tuberculosis clearance
● Initial and continued criminal background clearance by DOJ and FBI
● CPR and First Aid Certification
The CAIS Board of Trustees and administration are expressly dedicated to ensuring that CAIS is a great place work. As a critical component of our Strategic Vision, the school has committed to attracting, developing, retaining, and rewarding top-tier faculty and excellent educators with a benefits package including:
● Transparent salary scale benchmarked to the Bay Area’s competitive Robust opportunities for professional development, support, and growth
● Comprehensive insurance package (covering 100% of premiums for individual employee)
● School contribution to 403(b) retirement plan
● Numerous opportunities to participate in international travel
● Commuting cost assistance
● Consideration for relocation
LOWER SCHOOL PROGRAM BASICS
CAIS is a Chinese-English dual language immersion school, and Lower School students spend approximately fifty percent of their learning time in each language. All of our faculty possess full working proficiency in English, and the primary language of instruction is Mandarin Chinese for approximately half of the lower school faculty and English for the other half. Three-quarters of our students come from homes with no Chinese language support. We strive to prepare tomorrow-ready, world-ready students, and we believe that the globally focused experience of immersion in a foreign language and culture is one key strategy to achieving this outcome. At CAIS we are committed to empowering our students to become independent, effective, and inspired learners and good people–in two languages.
THE CAIS TEAM
Our new lower school leaders will join a group of earnest, hardworking and highly collaborative teachers. Our teaching team’s orientation toward collaboration led to the initiation this year of a new schedule; time is built in every morning to support various professional learning community configurations. Teachers collaborate within and across grade levels, languages and subjects.
The school’s highly collaborative educational leadership team (ELT), of which our new lower school leaders will be a part, consists of division directors, Chinese and English curriculum directors, an educational technology director, and a director of student services. This group of talented and experienced school leaders functions as a whole school team that supports each other with initiatives across divisions and departments. The Lower School is also supported by a full time administrative assistant.
The CAIS mission exhorts all community members to embrace Chinese, become their best selves, and create their place in the world. As the nation’s first dual language Chinese and English Pre-K through 8th grade school, CAIS embodies this mission by working continuously to maintain our role as a leader in immersion education. CAIS incorporates the innovation and best practices from both Chinese and English language teaching traditions to create an immersion experience that leverages our distinct opportunities for language, subject, and cultural intersections.
Our three campuses are located in the heart of San Francisco and accessible by public transportation in San Francisco. The lively neighborhood echoes the school’s vital energy and provides ready access to cultural treasures such as the Asian Art Museum, SF Jazz, the San Francisco Symphony and more.
For more information, visit https://www.cais.org/about-us/
CAIS’s commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion is central to our mission. People of color and LGBT candidates are strongly encouraged to apply.