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Superintendent Philadelphia, PA

The School District of Philadelphia, one of the largest school districts in the United States and the largest public school system in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, is seeking a strong educational leader who is committed to transforming the education experience for the approximately 200,000 children who attend public school in the City of Philadelphia.

Few jobs have the impact of a school superintendent. Beyond students themselves, a high-performing district changes the lives of families, teachers, and communities as a whole. Society’s challenges—recovering from the pandemic; racial inequality; misinformation; the changing landscape of work—are all addressed with an educated populace and thriving communities. In Philadelphia, the School District sits at the center of this. The new superintendent will have the support of citizens, elected officials, business, and philanthropic leaders. The School District welcomes qualified candidates to consider this important and gratifying opportunity.

The School District has strong financial management and is making progress in improving academic achievement and outcomes for students. In the last 10 years, and prior to the pandemic, the School District invested in early literacy support by creating new grade-level libraries in all K-5 classrooms and upgraded early literacy classrooms in 48 elementary schools. To expand college and career readiness experiences for students, the District increased Advanced Placement (AP) and dual enrollment course offerings and saw greater enrollment in these courses. The District has made $1.1 billion in capital investments with the construction of 15 new school buildings, 14 building additions, and 37 athletic field upgrades. Through community partnerships, the District improved attendance strategies, social-emotional learning, restorative justice practices, and mental health and trauma support for students, staff, and families. To prioritize equity and inclusion, a newly established Student Advisory Council now infuses the student voice into District decision-making, and a new Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion is charged with leading and sustaining system-level change in alignment with the District’s Anti-Racism Declaration.

In 2020, the Board of Education introduced Goals & Guardrails, a formal commitment to prioritizing students and their achievement in School District decision-making and when prioritizing resources. Goals & Guardrails is a five-year strategic plan to raise student achievement in Philadelphia public schools and guides the Board's efforts to ensure that all students in the School District are equipped to thrive, succeed, and lead in a global society. Raising the academic outcomes of students will be the core work of the next superintendent. It will be the responsibility of the next superintendent to create and execute a plan to achieve the School Districts Goals and Guardrails vision.

The Superintendent must be a visionary; a strategic, resilient, and results-oriented leader with a demonstrated ability to manage a culturally and socioeconomically diverse large urban district, navigating with the evolving outcomes of the pandemic on the public education landscape. The current climate has elevated the importance of fostering a school community where all students are valued, respected, and encouraged. The leader of the School District is expected to be a coalition builder who can provide innovative and forward-thinking solutions with a laser focus on achievement that ensures all students receive an education that allows them to thrive, succeed, and lead in a global society. The leader of the School District must be committed to transparency, effective communication, and setting the benchmark for every single child in the District to compete in a global society. At the foundation of their work must be the desire to increase student achievement.

Philadelphia is a city with a high rate of poverty and a public school district with a majority of students of color and many with special needs who have been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic. The demographics of the student population are 52% Black/African-American; 22% Hispanic/Latino; 13% White; 7% Asian; with 5% identifying as multiracial or another racial background. Therefore, the District requires Superintendent proven experience as a change agent by sensibly yet firmly implementing sustainable practices that promote educational equity giving each student what they need to reach their fullest potential. For the Board, the fundamental way to accomplish this is through setting clear expectations for what our students must know and be able to do and then rigorously monitoring our progress toward achieving our goals over the next five years.

Reporting to the mayoralty-appointed Board of Education and with oversight of more than 19,000 employees, and nearly 9,000 teachers in over 200 schools, the Superintendent must have the ability to thoughtfully lead a large team in a complex and dynamic environment within an operating budget of approximately $3.4 billion.

Please review the full position profile downloadable below for more information.

Andy Lee is leading this search with Tiffany Weber and Madeline Fitzpatrick.

The School District of Philadelphia does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, disability, religion, ancestry, gender expression, gender identity, sexual orientation or age in its programs and activities and provides equal access to the Boy Scouts and other designated youth groups.

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