Preschool / Early Childhood Education Director

  • 951 O' Connor St, East Palo Alto, CA 94303, USA
  • Full-time

Company Description

La Scuola International School is a private, Preschool - Grade 8 independent school in San Francisco soon to be expanding to the Peninsula with the opening of a new Campus in East Palo Alto in February 2022. 

The school founded its preschool, La Piccola Scuola Italiana,  in 2002 and has earned awards and accolades for its work with Reggio Children in Italy as a leading example of the Reggio Emilia pedagogy in North America.  In 2012, the school expanded its curriculum through grade 8 and is the only school in San Francisco to offer the International Baccalaureate program for the elementary and middle school years as well as the only school in the world to offer a program that blends Reggio Emilia, the International Baccalaureate and Italian language immersion. 

The mission of the school is to inspire brave learners to shape the future. The school does this by believing steadfastly in children’s innate ability to learn and by challenging them academically, creatively and innovatively in an environment that is intentionally designed to elicit creativity and curiosity from those that work there. 

Its language immersion program helps children to develop cognitive skills as well as empathy and awareness of the world around them. The school’s  multicultural and diverse community esteems different perspectives and experiences and strives to educate the global citizens and leaders of tomorrow.

La Scuola International School is accredited by NAIS, CAIS, WASC and CIS and is one of two  Italian schools recognized by the Italian government in the United States.

We believe our community thrives through diversity of backgrounds, perspectives and realities. Only through a persistent drive to listen and learn from one another, create and promote equitable opportunities and to continue to reflect and evolve will we be able to establish systems which will address the needs of the one and the many.

Job Description

Position Overview

The position will report to the Head of School, while working with Leadership Team members to successfully open and manage the newest campus. The Director works in collaboration with teachers and administrative staff to design, implement and evaluate a developmentally appropriate Reggio inspired and IB PYP program.

Key Responsibilities

Program Oversight

  • Maintain a high quality program for children and staff and ensuring that the philosophy and core values of the school are being realized;
  • Ensure the school’s activities reflect best practices in child development and that the school provides inclusive and developmentally appropriate learning experiences and activities;
  • Ensure that the school provides an environment that is physically and emotionally safe for children;
  • Supervise and direct the ongoing operation of the school;
  • Communicate school philosophy and objectives to all school constituencies (including students, teachers, parents and alumni/ae) and to the community outside the school;
  • Foster and oversee communication and partnership among the staff and families
  • Provide community outreach and participate in important meetings and conferences related to the preschool community and early childhood education;
  • Act as a resource to parents for concerns or collaboration about their child;
  • Interact with parents by attending and speaking at events such as potlucks, new parent orientations, school-wide events, workshops and affinity group meetings;
  • Support children with special needs and their families and ensuring full inclusion;
  • Maintain an effective Kindergarten placement process, including:
  • Providing guidance and support for families and teachers during the Kindergarten search and admissions process;
  • Maintaining an open and positive dialogue with elementary school admission directors and heads of school at both public and private schools; and
  • Maintaining a working knowledge of both private and public school options in San Francisco and neighboring areas, and of both the public school and private school application/selection processes;

Faculty/Staff Supervision

  • Hire, evaluate, supervise, manage, mentor, retain and support a superior faculty;
  • Recruit and vet outstanding and diverse teachers and staff whose style and values complement the school;
  • Provide for effective integration and training of new teachers;
  • Establish and maintain standards of performance and supporting exemplary teaching;
  • Maintain positive, active relationships with staff and creating an open, safe environment for peer-to-peer communication and conflict resolution;
  • Ensure ongoing professional development of [teachers/staff];
  • Inspire reflection and encouraging innovation;
  • Supervise administrative staff responsibilities, including student records, program supply maintenance, tuition payments, payroll, and payables and receivables;
  • Maintain an effective and fair process for allocating non-teaching roles;
  • Be available to advise and to support teachers and staff [to help solve problems];

Enrollment and Safety

  • Supervise registration and enrollment, and be responsible for maintaining full enrollment by engaging in and monitoring activities such as: (i) introducing prospective parents to the program in collaboration with Admissions, (ii) supporting the school’s outreach efforts, (iii) maintaining a waiting list, (iv) participating in/advising the indexed tuition committee in its decision making and (v) making admissions decisions that are supportive of the school community and program;
  • Assume ultimate responsibility for compliance with federal, state and local laws and regulations for the operation of the school, including maintaining familiarity with licensing regulations and ensuring that the school is in compliance as well as maintaining communication with Community Care Licensing;
  • Ensure that a pleasant, safe and clean facility is maintained, including contracting with and vetting third party contractors;
  • Assume ultimate responsibility for school record-keeping and its security; 

External Relations

  • Promote and enhance support the school’s mission and objectives among staff, parents, alumni and the wider community;
  • Attend and participate in ITP groups, meetings, preschool directors meetings and other professional development growth opportunities
  • Maintain positive relationships with:
  • local community educators, including those at peer preschools and relevant elementary schools;
  • funders (both private and public);
  • potential or actual partners of the school; and
  • neighbors of the school.


Preferred Experience, Qualifications, and Attributes: 

  •  A BA/BS degree from an accredited college or university in a field related to education or education leadership
  • Five to seven years of leadership experience in a school leadership role preferably in an independent school or other non-profit organization.
  • Extensive knowledge of Reggio Emilia, Language Immersion and International Baccalaureate, the pillars of La Scuola’s program. 
  • Collaborative team player that must interact with a number of different constituencies to be effective.
  • Highly organized, detail-oriented, excellent communication skills
  • Demonstrated success in managing multiple projects with shifting priorities 
  • Comfortable feeling uncomfortable, high degree of accountability 
  • Joyful attitude, likes change and a dynamic environment
  • Eager to learn new things and excited by new challenges
  • Strong work ethic, adaptability and solid team player

Additional Information

Position receives excellent benefits, including medical, vision and dental coverage. The school also offers group life insurance, employer-matched retirement, long-term disability insurance and commuter benefits. Other fringe benefits include PTO, paid holidays, daily warm lunch and outstanding professional development.

To be considered for the position, please apply here with a letter of intent, a resume and a minimum of 3 references. More information about our school can be found here 


In order to provide equal employment and advancement opportunities to all individuals, employment decisions at La Scuola will be based on merit, qualifications and abilities. La Scuola does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, ancestry, citizenship, sexual orientation, gender identity, pregnancy, childbirth or related medical condition, marital status, veteran status, physical or mental disability (actual or perceived), medical condition, genetic characteristics, political affiliation or any other characteristic protected by state, federal or local law. This policy governs all aspects of employment, including hiring, job assignment, compensation, discipline, termination, layoff, promotion, transfer and access to benefits and training. If you feel you may have been discriminated against on the basis of sex or would like more information, please contact Dani Sollberger, Director of Administration, by email or 415-558-9006 or by mail at 728 20th Street, San Francisco, CA 94107.

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