Executive Director

The Little School - San Francisco, CA

The Little School

Executive Director Position


• Be passionate about children and early childhood education

• Embrace The Little School’s core values: relationship-based education, inclusion, diversity, commitment

to teacher excellence and strong parent / school partnership

Be a strong leader who can inspire, manage, mentor, and partner with a highly knowledgeable and

passionate staff

Recruit new teachers as needed

Facilitate Parent Education events central to the educational philosophy of The Little School

• Partner with the Board of Trustees to honor the school’s values, achieve the school’s strategic goals and

maintain a financially sound organization

• Honor and advance the vision, mission, philosophy, and culture of The Little School

• Be an ambassador, team player and consensus-builder who is comfortable working with and balancing

the needs of multiple constituents including professional colleagues, Board of Trustees, parents and

prospective families

• Be a strategic thinker and thoughtful problem solver who can listen attentively and consider many points

of view, develop an action plan, execute on the plan, and reflect on lessons learned

• Facilitate Kindergarten admissions by giving general guidance to families about the transition to

kindergarten, understanding kindergarten options, and forging relationships with admissions directors

• Be a strategic, active, and enthusiastic partner in fundraising efforts

• Embody a can-do, no-job-is-too-small attitude



• Early childhood education expertise: both on-the-floor early childhood teaching experience and strong

knowledge of early childhood education practices

• Demonstrated success as a leader and manager, including experience leading a team, structuring an

organization, and establishing and implementing a strategic vision and action plan; financial and

operational experience is a plus

• Genuine enthusiasm for The Little School’s philosophy, especially the tenets of inclusion, diversity,

relationship-based learning, and individualized education

• Strong interpersonal skills: a capable listener and communicator with high emotional intelligence,

warmth, and empathy

• Ability to understand and respond to the needs of a diverse community

• Integrity, humility, and a natural inclination for reflection and growth

• It is highly desirable that the Executive Director of The Little School meets all Director

Qualifications per the California Community Care Licensing Division or is engaged in the

appropriate coursework to secure that licensing. For more information, please see:

http://ccld.ca.gov/res/pdf/ChildCareCtrProviderReqStaffQual.pdf. Experience with Reggio Emilia

education and advanced degrees in child development and early childhood education are highly




Interested and qualified candidates are asked to submit electronically the following materials to the Search

Consultant, Janet McGarvey, in one email and as separate documents (preferably PDFs) no later than September

20, 2019:

A current resume and letter of interest, a one or two page statement of educational philosophy, and a list of five

professional references with name, phone number, and email address of each. (References will not be contacted

without the candidate's permission.)

Please send documents and inquiries to Janet McGarvey at directorsearch@littleschool.org



At The Little School, we focus on the development of the whole child. We celebrate an individual’s strengths, encourage interests, and support challenges. We believe that strong positive relationships and a robust, supportive community, where everyone feels respected and included, are the keys to a successful learning environment.

The pillars responsible for bringing our philosophy to life include:

• Quality Early Childhood Education. Early Childhood Education principles and best practices are the foundation of The Little School. Upon this foundation, the school has created its own inclusive, relationship-based approach. This approach has received local and national attention; has been taught in

local and national conferences, workshops, and consulting engagements; and has been documented in a

training film: “Relationships: The Key to Teaching and Learning in the Early Years” and a book: Including

One, Including All: A Relationship-Based Guide to Inclusion.

• Inclusion. The Little School is committed to serving children with diverse developmental profiles, including

children with identified special needs. A range of children with unique strengths, challenges, and interests

both strengthens the social competence and empathy of every child in the school and encourages

teachers to develop teaching strategies and learning tools that benefit every child.

• Diversity. The Little School strives to create a community with racial, ethnic, socio-economic and familystructure

diversity as well as a range of life experiences and abilities. This rich assortment of families

creates the potential for each individual member to stretch their cultural competence and communicate in

new ways.

• Excellent Teachers. The school is fortunate to have an outstanding and tenured team of teachers. The

success and long tenure of our teachers (approximately one-third have tenure of greater than 15 years

and one-third 6-15 years) are due to the individuals themselves, to the school’s commitment to

professional development and guidance, to teacher involvement in the program’s development, and to the

structure of the teacher work week (e.g. 5-7 hours per week off the floor to support the program, children,

and families).

• Parent – Teacher – School Partnership. Parents at The Little School are actively engaged in the school

community. Parents, teachers and administrators collaborate to support each child and the community as

a whole. It is a culture of caring and contribution. Each member of the community assists where possible,

whether chaperoning a field trip, attending a family share day, participating on a volunteer committee or

serving as a Trustee. Parents also come together for Parent Education events focused on topics central to

early childhood and The Little School’s core tenets.



The fundamental tools which support our educational approach include:

• The Sensory Lens. The Little School uses a sensory-processing lens as a basic tool for understanding a

developmental profile, for regulating and organizing children, and for helping children understand

themselves and others.

• Social-Emotional Curriculum. Social-emotional curricula (e.g. identification, processing and validation of

feelings, as well as conflict-resolution) and regulation curricula (e.g. identifying our internal state and what

tools help calm and organize us, such as those outlined in Zones of Regulation and The Engine

Curriculum) are embedded in daily classroom life and conversation.

• Emergent Curriculum. Teachers are intentional in providing experiences that reflect the emerging interests

of individuals and groups of children. The goal is to support overall development, be it cognitive, social,

emotional, symbolic, physical, or creative.


Other Key Facts

• The Program. There are 110-115 students enrolled with small class sizes and teacher ratios ranging from

1:4 to 1:8. Current individual programs or classes include: two 2-3 year-old programs with classes on two

half-days per week; two 3-4 year-old programs with classes on three half-days per week; two 4-5 year-old

programs with half-day daily classes; one transitional kindergarten with half-day daily classes; four

intertwined extended day programs; and a summer program.

• Admissions. The Little School has a stellar reputation. We have over 500 applications for approximately 25

spaces per year.



The new Executive Director will have the opportunity to lead a school that believes passionately in its

educational approach and is well positioned for new growth and development. The new Executive Director will

also have committed financial support to retain, recognize and attract top staff members, and will enjoy the

benefits and strategic opportunities provided by an excellent facility.

How to Apply

email us at directorsearch@littleschool.org

Contact Info

Janet McGarvey

Job Details

Category: Management

Type: FT

Location: San Francisco, CA

Salary: Competitive Salary

Posted On: July 2nd, 2019

Agency Details

Website: https://www.littleschool.org

The Little School is a nationally recognized, relationship-based, inclusive preschool program committed to providing individualized, quality education to young children. The San Francisco-based school is seeking an outstanding Executive Director to lead its unique program starting in July 2020.