Overview

REPORTS TO: Superintendent of Schools

SUPERVISES: Office of Enrollment and School Choice, Communications and Marketing Department, Facilities Department, Food & Child Nutrition Services Department, Transportation Office, and Athletics Department

PRIMARY FUNCTION: The Chief Operating Officer (COO) will be responsible for the oversight of all Company’ operational areas and will supervise and evaluate administrators and teachers as assigned. Specific areas of responsibility include: Enrollment and School Choice, Communications and Marketing, Facilities, Food Services, Transportation, School Athletics, and the educational functions of Metro-Hartford Information Services (MHIS). The COO will define the operational structure to support these and all responsible areas. Additionally, the COO will perform supervisory responsibilities in accordance with the Company’ policies and applicable laws.

The Chief Operating Officer will have a laser focus on accelerating equity and organizational excellence by achievement of the overarching priorities of the Company:
Teaching & Learning: Quality instruction and support to ensure students graduate ready for college and life.
Family & Community Partnerships: Strengthen relationships with families, businesses, government, faith-based groups, and the community.
Operational Effectiveness: Maximize use of resources, initiatives, and operations, and minimize redundancies.
School Culture & Climate: Ensure ALL students feel safe and valued at HPS.

RESPONSIBILITIES AND ESSENTIAL FUNCTIONS: The Chief Operating Officer’s responsibilities will include, but will not be limited to the following:

  • Advises and counsels the Superintendent regarding district/school operations
  • Develops and establishes strategies for non-instructional activities in a way that highly supports the educational goals and the Strategic Operating Plan of the district
  • Provides comprehensive understanding of key instructional activities and establishes and implements goals to maximize performance between the instructional and non-instructional areas of the district
  • Develops and implements short- and long-term operational plans and budgets based on the district’s Strategic Operation Plan objectives
  • Clearly and effectively communicates with, and presents information to, governing bodies, policy makers, federal and state law making bodies, local community districts, parental districts, news media and other interested parties upon request of the Superintendent
  • Develops and maintains positive working relations with local, state, and federal governmental and community partners
  • Assists school and district administrators in areas of operations as needed
  • Represents the Superintendent in functions, meetings, conferences, etc. related to operations
  • Centrally coordinates all school district operations-related functions and develops seamless approach and strategy for eliminating work silos
  • Blends district’s operations functions to increase efficiencies and improve communication between departments
  • Eliminates workflow bottlenecks and streamlines processes and protocols by serving as point person between Superintendent and departments
  • Develops and institutes customer-based approach to district’s operations to serve students in the most effective and cost-efficient manner
  • Serves as strategic leader and thought partner for Superintendent and Superintendent’s Cabinet
  • Supports Superintendent in driving district accountability and responsiveness to student, teacher, and community needs
  • Creates and manages short-term and long-term strategies for smooth and effective operations and collaborative approaches across departments and schools
  • Supports the goals of the Superintendent and establishes and directs all short-term and long-range operational plans consistent with school system philosophy
  • Creates a culture of engagement and expectations with principals and other administrators
  • Provides guidance and direction to subordinate managers toward their professional development to ensure and maintain a competent department staff
  • Participates in the effective negotiation of contracts that enhance the educational environment for schools in a cost-effective way
  • Assists in ensuring district compliance with local, state, and federal polices laws and regulations; analyzes and interprets government regulations and statutes
  • Directs the operations of educational support management of contractors, other vendors, and school district staff in the provision of daily services to include student bus transportation, food service, custodial and grounds maintenance, and other areas as assigned
  • Oversees compilation, preparation, and distribution of statistical and other data for federal, State Department of Education, and local reports
  • Makes presentations as necessary when required by the Superintendent
  • Ensures the implementation of district policies and procedures throughout the school system
  • Oversees the educational functions of MHIS
  • Oversees school athletics
  • Performs other duties as directed by Superintendent

SKILLS AND ABILITIES REQUIRED: The following characteristics and physical skills are important for the successful performance of assigned duties.
Empathy and commitment to cause:

  • Deep understanding of the urban school system environment and commitment to improving student achievement
  • Passionately believes that all students can achieve at high levels
  • Demonstrates cultural competence and a deep understanding of and empathy for issues facing urban families

Communication, interpersonal and team skills:

  • Builds and maintains strong relationships
  • Works successfully alone or on a team
  • Coaches, coordinates, and leads teams
  • Strong verbal and written communication skills; tailors message for the audience, context, and mode of communication
  • Actively listens to others and effectively interprets others’ motivations and perceptions
  • Builds consensus and resolves conflicts; exhibits willingness to have difficult conversations
  • Skillfully navigates existing political structures/systems

Problem solving and systems thinking:

  • Skilled in leading complex teams and change management
  • Understands how various systems/departments interact to achieve the long-term goal
  • Understands systematic continuous improvement processes
  • Makes decisions using data and technological resources
  • Takes initiative to solve problems and create stakeholder buy-in
  • Identifies and prioritizes mission critical issues with alignment of people, time, and resources
  • Offers innovative solutions to seemingly intractable problems
  • Exhibits strong focus on goals and results; sets clear metrics for success
  • Thrives in achievement-oriented and fast-paced environment
  • Removes barriers or obstacles that make it difficult for principals to achieve their goals and ensures that school leaders have the resources they need to succeed
  • Demonstrates excellent execution and project management skills, including attention to detail, organizational skills, ability to balance the “big picture” with detailed steps to reach the end goal, and ability to balance multiple projects under tight deadlines

Leadership skills:

  • Motivates, inspires, and moves other adults to action to achieve ambitious goals
  • Skilled at re-envisioning, building, and managing a team, especially in a time of growth and change; excellent at identifying talent and taking advantage of each person’s skills and contribution to team effort
  • Builds and maintains positive relationships with individuals and groups
  • Moves groups to consensus and resolves conflicts; exhibits willingness to have difficult conversations
  • Builds coalitions and works collaboratively with diverse stakeholders at all levels, including but not limited to district personnel, students, families, communities, and/or advocacy groups
  • Establishes clear expectations, deliverables, and deadlines
  • Sets clear agendas and facilitates effective meetings
  • Ability to train, supervise, and evaluate staff from different cultural backgrounds and skill sets

MINIMUM QUALIFICATIONS:

  • Bachelor’s degree in business, public administration, education, or related field; advanced degree (JD, MBA, MPA, or CPA) preferred
  • Extensive (over five 5 years) relevant work experience and knowledge of business, finance, schools/district management, human resources management, information technology, ancillary services, and operations
  • At least five (5) years of senior level experience working directly with superintendents, executive cabinet leaders, school board members, nonprofits, or community representatives preferred
  • Evidence of successful experience leading major change management efforts, preferably in public schools or a similar organization
  • Evidence of successful experience in an urban school district, nonprofit organization, or public institution
  • Experience with bargaining unit contract administration and negotiation preferred
  • Ability to maintain strict confidentiality and strong judgment
  • Have a professional demeanor and thrive in a fast-paced environment
  • Strong, effective oral and written communications skills, as well as interpersonal skills
  • Organizational skills, including follow-up and meticulous attention to detail
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