[2024 - 2025] KIPP Durham Middle Dean of Students ($25,000 salary boost, 3+ years of teaching experience)

  • Full-time
  • Grade Level: Middle
  • Start Date: Next year opening
  • Department: School Leadership

Company Description

Organizational Overview

Leading a school is one of the absolute hardest professions in the world. Full stop. No contest. Next question. 


Leading a school turnaround is a whole other level of hard. The reality of too many of our country’s schools—especially those serving low-income and other marginalized communities coming out of a global health crisis and with a century of systemic under-investment—is that the academic achievement of their students doesn’t match their students' brilliance, and their student culture does not create an environment where each and every student is seen, valued, and loved. 


KIPP Durham Middle School on the east side of Durham, North Carolina, has been one such school. Every 6-8-Grade student in our classrooms today is brilliant, but our efforts over the past decade have not successfully harnessed that collective brainpower to get exceptional results on North Carolina’s state middle school exams in reading, math, and science, the benchmarks that ensure they are on track towards being academically prepared to lead the choice-filled lives they envision for themselves.


KIPP North Carolina, in partnership with the leaders and national resources of the KIPP Foundation, is seeking to change that reality. 


For the 2024-25 school year (and for the next two school years after that), we are assembling a dream team of 18 exceptional professionals—master teachers, instructional leaders, operational leaders, special education experts, and other supporters of learning—who are eager to “re-found” our Durham middle school to create a dynamic and engaging middle school learning environment that maximizes our 160 students’ limitless potentials. 


The Dean of Students we are seeking to join our team will be instrumental in ensuring and maintaining a safe and nurturing learning environment for students and staff. The Dean of Students will oversee and lead the development and growth of a positive, structured, and achievement-oriented school and student culture. They will support teachers to effectively develop a strong classroom culture and model for student behavior management. They will work with students and families to improve student behavior in order to ensure success in the classroom. 


While we founded the school in 2015, we are treating 2024-25 as a re-founding school year, an endeavor that requires a staff with a founder’s mentality around doing what it takes, making it happen, sweating the small stuff, and creating a reimagined reality for our students.



Job Description



Our Dean of Students will blow the following four crucial competencies* out of the water:


Driving for Results: Our Dean of Students will have a strong desire to help create and nourish the environment that supports outstanding student learning results and the task-oriented actions required for success. Our Dean of Students will set high goals for themselves and their students, making persistent, well-planned efforts to achieve these goals despite barriers and resistance; holding others accountable for doing their part to achieve results; and putting in all the extra effort necessary to ensure success. 


Influencing for Results: Our Dean of Students will motivate others—students, staff colleagues, and families—and influence their thinking and behavior to obtain outstanding student learning results. Our Dean of Students will understand that they cannot accomplish change alone, but instead must influence the work of others. They will use a variety of influencing moves—inspiring students, nurturing ridiculously joyful AND rigorous schoolwide culture, grasping and responding to unspoken student needs and motivations, and simultaneously supporting and prodding colleagues to collaborate on the path to schoolwide success—as the situation requires. The relationships they will form are for the purpose of influencing others to enhance student learning, not just for the purpose of personal bonding. 


Problem-Solving: Our Dean of Students will be LASER FOCUSED on planning, organizing, and delivering high quality supports for the school and the specific students in their care. They will work through any challenge and overcome any obstacles to ensure that all students demonstrate dramatic student achievement gains and develop their social-emotional skills.


Personal Effectiveness: Our Dean of Students will exhibit flexibility and optimism when faced with stressful, uncomfortable, and unfamiliar situations; maintain confidence in themselves and a willingness to keep improving despite the many challenges of their role; actively embrace the constant changes needed to ensure student learning in high-challenge situations; and hold and maintain a strong belief in the human potential for learning and improvement, despite significant societal pressures to settle for less. Our Dean of Students will see themselves as a SCHOOLWIDE colleague oriented around solutions and being proactive in their engagements. 




Modeling and Nurturing Relationships

  • Support efforts of every student to succeed academically and behaviorally and pursue choice-filled lives after they leave our care
  • Model positive interactions with students, as well as a variety of ways (principles of Love and Logic, Lemov techniques, etc) to handle misbehavior and disruptions
  • Plan, implement, and provide ongoing professional development and feedback to all staff focused on building positive student relationships, student culture, and classroom community
  • Support teachers in class to problem solve ways to address challenging student behavior
  • Serve as a resource for teachers to determine best ways to develop student management techniques
  • Collaborate with the school social workers to support at-risk and in-crisis students
  • Provide students in crisis with a space and strategies to cope, and/or improve in-class behaviors
  • Serve as the coordinator and leadership point person for student removals/in-school or out-of-school suspensions
  • Communicate with families of students in-crisis on a regular basis, and collaborate/problem solve the best ways to address student behaviors and support student needs
  • Lead/Assist in the creation and implementation of individual behavior plans for students who need extra love and support
  • Lead meetings with colleagues to discuss individual student and classroom needs
  • Set clear, high expectations, and hold students accountable for performance—all of which requires taking personal responsibility and doing everything required to reach challenging goals
  • Embrace and incorporate the gift of feedback from wherever it comes—colleagues, principal, assistant principal, regional coaches, students, wherever—in the spirit of Pursuing Excellence, one of KIPP NC core values
  • Do all the operational things that support great instruction, like maintaining an accurate and timely gradebook, keeping records, and completing tasks for data tracking systems


Building Positive Classroom and Schoolwide Cultures

  • Develop positive relationships with students, families, teachers, and staff through regular positive phone calls to families, routine curbside check-ins with families at arrival and dismissal, weekly newsletters, and attendance at all school events, including Back-to-School Night, family conferences, report card conferences, and all other school celebrations
  • Leverage those relationships to induce behaviors and instructional habits from students that are significantly different from those previously exhibited; pinpoint and tap the needs, wants, and underlying motivations of students
  • Provide teachers with professional development/resources to build a positive student and classroom culture
  • Lead the implementation of our school’s values integration/character development/Social Emotional Learning into classroom community
  • Plan and Manage Advisory/Community Meetings and Pride Time
  • Create structures and expectations for increasing student independence in the classroom and throughout the school
  • Facilitate, encourage and increase family engagement, relationships, communication, and participation
  • Create and lead a schedule of events throughout the year to involve families in school community
  • Lead onboarding process for new families, potentially involving home visits with new families
  • Organize and implement family engagement events/activities at the school, including, but not limited to, Coffee and Conversations, Potential Family Breakfasts, Family Workshops, and schoolwide family engagement events such as Family Feast, Family Saturdays, and Family Conferences
  • Participate fully in the daily routines of a school that form the foundation of culture, like arrival/dismissal, advisory/circle time, lunch, hallway transitions, and the 1,000 other moments that make up a day
  • Embody, nurture, and build KIPP NC’s core values (Pursuing Excellence, Building Knowledge, Fighting Injustice, Sparking Joy, and Rising Together) and the school’s student and staff cultures
  • Assume personal responsibility for student achievement, all the students in the school, and the success of staff colleagues
  • Create and maintain a joyful classroom space that exudes love, builds a sense of belonging, and celebrates learning, which includes displaying current student work and grade level/content- appropriate and identity-affirming decorations


Developing Teachers and Colleagues

  • Prioritize staff training needs and organize a plan for individual and staff-wide professional development focused on school and student culture, discipline, and character/SEL development;  oversee the implementation of the plan and revise as necessary in response to student and teacher needs
  • Conduct classroom observations and to follow-up with targeted feedback and support for teachers that help them to become even more effective teachers; work with teachers to problem solve areas of classroom discipline, behavior, and culture/community difficulty
  • Collaborate with Leadership Team to plan summer training and professional development full-days and half-days during the school year
  • Develop a menu of internal and external professional development opportunities available to our teachers and consistent with our mission/vision
  • Be a regular presence in classrooms, informally observing and following-up with teachers in order to improve teacher effectiveness
  • Utilize a variety of techniques (video, literal notes, real-time coaching, etc.) to provide feedback and coaching to staff


Exemplifying a Growth Mindset

  • Collaborate with school and regional colleagues to identify areas of strength and areas of growth for professional development throughout the year, some of which will be leader-led, and some of which will happen in the quiet after-school moments in classrooms with colleagues in the routine preparation for the next day
  • Attend practice clinics to hone and sharpen skills and delivery
  • Participate in Teacher Work Days, Regional Data Days, and Professional Development meetings after school; satiate their hunger to learn and grow as a professional


Taking Care of Yourself 

  • Use the many benefits the organization offers employees (health benefits, generous school holidays, etc.) to relieve stress after the workday is done or over school breaks and holidays, as the job of turning a school around is tough—teachers will experience stress and emotional challenges associated with all the essential duties enumerated above, and self-care will be a priority



The following are required of the KIPP Durham Middle Dean of Students:

  • A deep commitment to the mission of KIPP NC and an unwavering belief in the potential of all our students
  • An unwavering commitment to anti-racism, equity, inclusion, and liberation
  • A deep commitment to both racial equity and improving the lives of kids from economically marginalized communities
  • 3+ years of school or school-related experience in K-12; experience in teaching or leading in a high performing charter school and/or schools with a high population of students with free and reduced lunch
  • Demonstrated success in raising the achievement levels of economically marginalized students
  • A Bachelor’s degree in a relevant content area
  • Pass Criminal Background Check
  • Fluency in Spanish is preferred

Additional Information

Additional Notes

  • Hours are Monday-Friday, 7:00 AM – 5:00 PM (these are work hours for staff, not school hours for students)
  • Some Saturday/weekend commitments will be required for additional tutoring and intervention work with students
  • Durham Middle staff will be expected to help run summer academies in the Summers of 2025, 2026, and 2027


Total Benefits

All KIPP Durham Middle staff will be paid on the KIPP Durham 2024-25 Compensation Model (linked to model) and paid according to their years of relevant experience and educational attainment.

In addition, the KIPP Durham Middle Dean of Students will receive:

  • A $25,000 salary boost to recognize their investment in KIPP Durham Middle’s re-founding
  • Opportunity to earn supplements for a relevant PhD, additional licensure endorsements, National Board Certification, and teaching in high needs areas (these supplements are in perpetuity and in addition to base salary)
  • Health Insurance: State Health Plan with low premiums for individuals and deep discounts for spouses, dependents, and families
  • Paid Parental Leave: 8 weeks of 100% paid maternity leave and 4 weeks of 100% paid paternity leave
  • Paid Time Off + Sick Leave: 5 days of PTO and 6 sick days every year
  • Retirement: An optional 403b with a generous employer match with immediate vesting
  • Relocation Assistance: If you need to move 200 miles or more to the Triangle to take this opportunity, KIPP North Carolina will provide you with up to $5,000 to support your moving expenses. This will be determined based on the distance of your move.


Important Note: This incredible opportunity to magnetize a Dream Team staff to Durham Middle starting in the 2024-25 school year is made possible by the national KIPP Foundation. Their commitment to KIPP NC is for three school years (2024-25, 2025-26, and 2026-27). After those three years, we will reassess our approach and resource allocation model. We are asking all successful candidates in this role to commit to the entirety of those three years (with a TBD for 2027-28 and beyond!). 


*We are forever indebted to Public Impact, a North Carolina-based non-profit organization dedicated to an excellent education for all students and excellent careers for all educators through its national Opportunity Culture initiative, for this language and framework. 


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