At Ascend, we’re excited about professionals who are fired up about our liberal arts program, positive approach to discipline, and commitment to serve all students. Join us as we foster innate curiosities, encourage discussion and debate, and guide students to think their own way through to answers. Director of upper elementary literacy leads and elevates our upper elementary literacy program. S/he adapts, curates, and paces Ascend-selected curricula and compiles and creates assessments, guiding their instructional implementation through regular school visits. Under the direction of the managing director of literacy, the director of upper elementary literacy develops literacy materials for grades 3-4, works closely with associate and assistant literacy directors and curriculum developers, designs leader and professional development for various members of the schools’ leadership teams and teachers; supports on occasion the work of third-party expert trainers and coaches; leads the development of curricular materials in preparing for teacher planning and development meetings focused on upper elementary literacy content; and in collaboration with other members of the curriculum team and under the leadership of the managing director of literacy, and in consultation with the data and analytics team, uses academic data to adjust and refocus curriculum materials as needed. S/he serves as an in-house reading expert to support our vision and philosophy for upper school literacy and our schools.We look for educators and staff who are excited about our liberal arts program, positive approach to discipline, and commitment to serving all students in truly public schools. Above all, we seek individuals who are deeply committed to urban education and our ultimate goal of closing the achievement gap for the children of Central Brooklyn.
Why extraordinary professionals choose Ascend
Ascend is a network of K-12 public charter schools serving 5,500 students across 15 schools in Central Brooklyn. Our mission is to lead our students on a great intellectual journey, providing them with an exceptional education and placing them firmly on the path to success in college and beyond.
We guide our students to think critically and independently and to enjoy education as an end in itself. We teach a rich and rigorous liberal arts curriculum that nurtures students’ natural curiosity about the world. We foster a positive, non-punitive school culture where students feel connected, empowered, and safe to take academic risks. Even our school buildings are designed to reflect our high aspirations for teaching and learning and the notable accomplishments that occur within our walls.
To create this kind of vibrant learning community, we invest heavily in our faculty by providing ongoing professional training and support, and encourage our educators to collaborate closely and push each other to achieve great outcomes.
You can learn more about the Ascend approach by visiting www.ascendcharterschools.org/careers.
Responsibilities of the director of upper elementary literacy will include but are not limited to the following.
Lead the design and of Pacing Charts and Assessments:
- Adapt, curate, create and pace commercial and “Ascend-developed” ELA curricula aligned to Common Core standards for grades 3-4. S/he will revise and support in the writing and proofing of assessments that result in a grade for scholars, in particular, benchmarks, unit tests, exit tickets, quizzes, and a variety more performative assessment tasks, when appropriate, using free and commercially-available Common Core-style assessment items.
Revise and refine Curriculum/Unit plans:
- Oversee the creating and refinement of exemplary curriculum materials aligned to the Common Core State Standards. This includes writing unit plans for literacy programs and Shared Text curricula for grades 3-4.
Designs and leads Professional Development in upper elementary literacy curriculum elements:
- Serve as an in-house reading expert who can seamlessly integrate all elements of the vision and philosophy of upper at Ascend.
- Design and support a range of ongoing professional development sessions (actual and virtual) that support the vision for the Ascend liberal arts curriculum, implementation of the curriculum and growth of core literacy skills and knowledge. S/he will lead relevant curriculum team leaders in planning for or delivering curriculum content for teacher planning and development meetings to ensure that teachers deeply understand the literacy content and curricula they teach.
- Continuously research and study developments in English Language Arts instruction and best practices implemented in excellent schools.
Support in monitoring program implementation:
- Conduct site visits with curriculum leaders focused on implementation at each school to push content-specific instructional practices, gather information on best practices and improve program fidelity, and gather samples of scholar work.
- Guide implementation through regular school visits to enrich the programming elements of upper elementary literacy (3-4).
- Collect and analyze videos of exemplary teaching practices around strong implementation of curriculum components and curate an initial body of annotated student work.
Lead the revision of key literary elements and programs:
- Support in the rollout and writing of CDT-wide initiatives, such as pairing down Unit Guides, revising assessments, and working closely with curriculum literacy leaders to create a greater variety of literacy assessments.
- Gather feedback regularly from schools toward the improvement of the upper elementary literacy curricula.
- Work closely with literacy team members and with members of the data and schools teams to analyze student data using periodic reports and data meetings to determine how better to develop curriculum materials.
- Build positive and efficient working relations with the Ascend School Team and with the Leadership Teams of each school.
Staff and Reporting Relationships
The director of upper school school literacy 3-4 shall report to the managing director of literacy and collaborate closely with other members of the literacy team, the curriculum team, and Ascend’s academic team.
- At least one year as instructional coach or dean of instruction with proven track record of elevating ELA student achievement, preferably in upper elementary grades in urban schools
- Demonstrated success of coaching literacy teams to use data to drive instruction, including developing a strong understanding of pedagogy, that drives results
- A sustained record of outstanding academic results as a literacy specialist in the elementary grades
- Four or more years teaching experience with exceptional results in literacy instruction
- Bachelor’s degree, with an advanced degree strongly preferred
- Some weekend/evening work and travel within New York is required
Skills and Traits
- A deep understanding of the Common Core ELA standards and New York’s Common Core-aligned state ELA assessments and of the literacy selected by Ascend for grades 3-4
- A broad familiarity with ELA pedagogies and programs and effective practices
- Exemplary curriculum and assessment writing skills
- Expertise in early literacy and research findings
- Superb organizational, project management, self-management skills, and problem-solving skills
- Excellent presentation skills and the ability to train and coach educators
- Passion and commitment to urban education and our ultimate goal of closing the achievement gap
- Insistence on academic excellence and rigor
- Excellent communication skills (written and oral)
- A hunger for feedback and an openness to engage in a process of self-improvement
- Alignment with the educational philosophy and core beliefs of Ascend Learning
- Maturity, humility, strong work ethic, and “roll-up-my-sleeves” attitude
Ascend and its schools are committed to building a diverse and inclusive community, both through our hiring practices and our focus on creating a culture and environment where diverse perspectives, ideas, and identities are valued and integrated into our way of working and educating students. Ascend staff represent a wide diversity of racial, socio-economic, gender, religious, and national identities—opening a window to the entire Ascend community on the richness of humanity. We welcome all applicants who share our mission and vision to join us in our deeply consequential work.
Ascend offers a competitive salary and comprehensive benefits package. To learn more, visit: www.ascendlearning.org/careers.