Director of Lower School Counseling & Academic Services
The Out-of-Door Academy
June 11, 2018
Full Time - Faculty
4 Year Degree
Director of Lower School Counseling &
Located on two campuses totaling 90 acres in beautiful, Sarasota, Florida, The Out-of-Door Academy (ODA) is an independent, coeducational, college preparatory day school serving over 750 students in pre-kindergarten through twelfth grade. At ODA, students are happy, engaged, and excited about their academic and personal growth. Talented and dedicated faculty members challenge students to reach their maximum potential while providing a high level of support. The school’s rigorous and innovative academic program ensures that learning is both meaningful and lasting. Offerings in the arts and athletics enrich the ODA experience and provide opportunities for students to discover and develop their unique interests and talents. Graduates leave ODA not only academically prepared but also with the strength of character and passion for learning that provide a strong foundation for their future success in college and in life.
As an independent, college preparatory school, we provide an environment in which students strive to achieve their highest academic goals and to build character through a balanced program of academics, the arts, and athletics.
To create an educational foundation and passion for life-long learning that will give our students a competitive advantage in higher education and help them realize their full potential in a rapidly changing, complex, and increasingly interdependent world.
Out-of-Door was founded on Siesta Key in 1924 to serve students in pre-kindergarten through eighth grade. In 1996, a second campus in the Lakewood Ranch area of Sarasota was acquired to accommodate the addition of an upper school. Over the past ten years, the school has experienced steady and impressive enrollment growth from 550 to 750 students. The campuses have also evolved and developed in response to this growth. Today, the five-acre Siesta Key campus is home to the Lower School (PK-5), and the 85-acre Uihlein Campus in Lakewood Ranch houses both the Middle and Upper Schools. Facilities include interactive technology in every classroom, a fine and performing arts center with a black box theater, a full-size gymnasium with a wellness center, a lighted stadium, tennis courts and both competition and practice fields. The campus’s newest building, the Dick Vitale Family Student Center and Dart Foundation STEM Center, provides a collegiate atmosphere with flexible indoor and outdoor spaces where students can work, collaborate, and socialize. On the second floor of the building are state-of-the-art science laboratories, math classrooms, and a STEM project lab that provide students with a variety of research and project-based learning opportunities that integrate the sciences, technology, engineering, and mathematics. Construction of a new Field House to support a rapidly growing athletic program will commence in the spring of 2018.
The Lower School
As an independent, college preparatory school, we provide an environment in which students strive to achieve their highest academic goals and to build character through a balanced program of academics, the arts and athletics. The Lower School’s mission is to create a foundation, passion, and self-awareness for inspired learners. This is accomplished through a dynamic curriculum enhanced by unique programs that cultivate the development of the whole child and create a school wide culture of learning and engagement.
The core curriculum includes mathematics, language arts, science, social studies, and technology, richly balanced with specials classes and character education. We strive to shape an academically and intellectually rigorous curriculum that emphasizes mastery of essential skills, collaborative inquiry and a more customized learning environment for our students.
The school’s core values of respect, integrity, service, excellence and responsibility are infused into the Lower School program through proactive instruction, timely intervention, and focused reflection. All members of the Lower School are stewards of the school’s inclusive community, and in this role they actively exhibit, promote, and intervene to support the school’s values.
Accordingly, students feel the intellectual and emotional security necessary to explore new areas, take reasonable risks, and ultimately make the most of the educational opportunities afforded to them. Adults and students enjoy mutual respect, feel a sense of ownership and pride in the school, and consistently strive for excellence both personally and as members of the broader Middle School community.
The Director ofLower School Counseling and Academic Services will join Out-of-Door at an exciting time and will be instrumental in the ongoing, qualitative progress of the division.
Strategic priorities for the Lower School include building a more rigorous and innovative curriculum; creating a more inclusive school community; increasing the racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic diversity of the student body, faculty and staff and strengthening the school’s commitment to wellness.
Like all Out-of-Door faculty members, the successful candidate should expect to develop healthy and lasting relationships with students, inspire them to reach their full academic and personal potential, live the school’s mission and core values on a daily basis, and contribute to the broader life of the school community, including advising, coaching and leading extracurricular activities.
Reporting to the Head of Lower School, the Director ofLower School Counseling and Academic Services will be responsible for providing services and support to students, faculty, and parents in areas concerning the social-emotional, academic and developmental needs of adolescents striving to nurture an environment in which all students thrive.
Other specific responsibilities include the following:
Promoting a growth mindset and encouraging the achievement of professional goals among faculty and staff, through the use of Folio and other formal development plans and by promoting ongoing conversations about best practices and important trends in curriculum, pedagogy, educational technology, and extracurricular activities
Overseeing and administering assessments of students using diagnostic tools, determining educational goals and monitoring the progress of each student
Directing and employing a variety of instructional techniques and teaching strategies to meet different aptitudes and interests of students, including current technology and specialized instruction, in small group and 1:1 intervention and remediation scenarios
Creating and implementing developmentally appropriate and prevention-oriented group activities to meet student needs and school goals
Modeling a growth mindset regarding best practices and important trends in curriculum, pedagogy, educational technology, and co-curricular activities.
Living the school’s core values of respect, integrity, service, excellence, and responsibility and foster a culture in which students, faculty, and staff are known, valued, challenged, and supported along their unique educational journey.
Bachelor’s degree and Master’s degree from an accredited institution (including reading, special education and ESOL endorsements).
Five or more years of experience in a lower, independent school setting.
Training in specialized reading programs such as TouchMath, Barton, Lindamood-Bell, and Orton Gillingham.
Experience developing and communicating student accommodation plans.
A successful track record of working effectively with a wide range of constituencies including students with learning differences, faculty, staff and parents.
Skills and Knowledge
A broad and deep knowledge of traditional and emerging curricular and pedagogical trends, current thinking about best practices in teaching and learning, and the use of technology to enhance the student experience.
The ability to work successfully with a wide range of people from different backgrounds and to understand, respect, and acknowledge their unique perspectives, ideas, aspirations, and needs.
A commitment to promoting collaboration, creativity, innovation, excellence and risk-taking.
An active and engaged presence in the daily life of the division and the school community.
An honest person who will live the school’s values and who effectively blends candor, care, and empathy in dealing with others, and whose style is rooted in transparency, communication and collaboration.
An educator who delights in working with young adolescents and is committed to their holistic growth by balancing academic achievement with involvement in the arts and athletics, character development, and wellness.
A thoughtful teacher who embraces managed risk-taking and experimenting with new ideas, and is excited by the opportunity to help a well established and thriving independent school reach new levels of success.
A flexible, open-minded individual who is comfortable with ambiguity, sees the “grays” rather than simply the “black and white” of various issues, and possesses the courage to follow through on his or her convictions.
An approachable person who builds meaningful relationships, listens well, and respects differences of opinion.
A person who thrives in a fast-paced work environment with high expectations.
Located in a metropolitan area of approximately 720,000 people, Sarasota is a well-established city on the west coast of Florida. The region is known for its sunny climate and pristine beaches, and is served by two airports, one in Sarasota and one in nearby Tampa. The economy is largely service-based, with tourism, health care, retail trade and hospitality—together with attendant real estate, construction, and professional services—as primary drivers. Formerly known as a favorite destination for retirees, the Sarasota area is experiencing a steady and manageable growth in population and, in the process, is becoming largely intergenerational, with a number of young families who comprise a healthy demographic and demand for independent education. Sarasota is known for the internationally recognized Sarasota Opera, the Sarasota Orchestra, the Marie Selby Botanical Gardens, Mote Marine Laboratory, the Ringling Museum of Art, the Sarasota Film Festival, and several other museums and not-for- profit institutions. As a result, the region has a highly educated and sophisticated population benefiting from a stimulating intellectual and cultural environment.
Other Considerations ……………………………………………………………………………………………………
Start Date: Full-time position beginning in August 2018.
Compensation: Competitive with comparable independent schools across the country.
Education: Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees required.
Candidates May Now Be: School counselor; Family Counselor/Therapist; Social Worker.
Other: We value a diverse workforce and encourage applicants of all races and ethnicities
Posted: June 8, 2018.
Deadline: Application deadline is Thursday, June 29, 2018.