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International School of Sosua (Dominican Republic)
Appointed - Mr. Jorge Ruiz
Sep 16, 2019
Oct 16, 2019
Dear Search Colleagues,
On behalf of the Search Committee of the International School of Sousa, we are pleased to announce the appointment of Mr. Jorge Ruiz as the ISS Director and Secondary Principal beginning in August 2020. The appointment has now been shared with the ISS faculty, staff, and community.
The following is information from the announcement from Ms. Ivonne Milz, Board Chair at ISS:
“Mr. Ruiz has been involved in the private K-12 and higher educational systems in the Dominican Republic for the past 17 years and, since 2013, has served as secondary principal in a US curriculum-based international school in Punta Cana, the Cap Cana Heritage School.
He has a Master’s degree in Education, a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration, and is completing a School Management and Leadership Certification from the Harvard Business School. He has a sound knowledge in best instructional practices and data to impact teaching and learning, curriculum design & mapping, staff development, MAP testing, PSAT/SAT testing, professional learning communities, Advanced Placement courses, and Project-based Learning. Mr. Ruiz has served AdvancED as a team member in the Caribbean, Central America, and South America.
Jorge’s wife, Leticia, is an ESOL and Special Education specialist. She is currently the Student Academic Support Coordinator at their school and will be the Kindergarten teacher at ISS next school year. Jorge and Leticia have three children; a son who will be in grade 4 and twin girls who will be in grade 1.
The Board of Directors wishes to thank everyone who participated in the process of meeting and interviewing the candidates. The input from the various stakeholder groups comprised of parents, students, faculty, administration, and the staff was valued and provided the Board with additional insight into the candidates. We are very excited to welcome Mr. Jorge Ruiz and his family to our ISS school.”
Search Associates would like to thank all of the candidates who applied for this highly sought position and to everyone who assisted and supported the successful search process for the International School of Sousa.
INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL OF SOSUA (ISS)
PUERTO PLATA, DOMINICAN REPUBLIC
seeks a new
--effective August 2020--
THE SCHOOL PROFILE
The International School of Sosúa (ISS) was established in 1989 to provide quality education for the children on the North Coast of the Dominican Republic and originally began offering educational services to twelve children in Kindergarten and Grade One. ISS was designed to be “a school dedicated to formal education and cross-cultural enrichment which would lead to the academic excellence the world expects along with the social consciousness the world needs”.
Early community response confirmed the demand for high quality education in a region rich in a diverse cultural background. In order to meet demand and community needs, the school gradually expanded to include additional grade levels. Today ISS is a college preparatory school that offers a US Curriculum from Pre-School through 12th grade.
ISS is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS), now referred to as AdvancEd and the Dominican Ministry of Education.
Teachers are recruited from all over the world to provide instruction to 200+ students hailing from 27 different countries. Student ages range from 18 months to 18 years old.
The International School of Sosúa (ISS) is the realization of the founders’ dreams, providing superior educational opportunities for children and youth living on the North Coast of the Dominican Republic.
- Is located on the northern side of the Caribbean island of Hispaniola in the Dominican Republic in a rural setting.
- Is located on a ten-acre campus which includes classroom clusters, a computer lab, a library, an art studio, a dance/dream space, a science lab, cafeteria/multi-purpose building, an administrative complex, basketball/volleyball courts, two soccer fields and cabanas for study and socializing.
- Is accredited by AdvancED/SACS (Southern Association of Colleges and Schools) and the Dominican Ministry of Education.
- Currently enrolls approximately 200 students from 27 countries.
- Includes Preschool, Elementary, and Secondary School programs.
- Implements a U.S. Curriculum delivered in English + Spanish and Sociales in accordance with the Dominican Curriculum.
- Employs fully certified teachers from the U.S., Canada, Europe, and the Dominican Republic.
- Class sizes average 15 students in Grades 1-12.
- Offers U.S. and Dominican diploma paths that afford students the opportunity to enter universities around the world.
- Provides SSL (Spanish as a Second Language).
- Includes Art, Music, Computers, Drama and Physical Education, along with extra-curricular activities.
- Offers an independent cafeteria service (snack/lunch program).
The International School of Sosúa is dedicated to the academic excellence the world requires and the social consciousness the world needs.
The International School of Sosúa provides students the opportunity to become well versed in 21st century learning skills, to learn essential social-emotional skills and to develop global consciousness. In a multicultural environment, all students will be able to:
- Think critically and problem solve
- Effectively collaborate and communicate
- Consider and value multiple perspectives
- Develop and express creativity
- Utilize and apply technology
The International School of Sosua believes that:
- Student learning and the best interests of students are the foremost concerns of all stakeholders and therefore guide the decision making processes of the school.
- All students are unique and learn differently.
- Education is a shared responsibility between the home and the school.
- Effective and proactive communication between all stakeholders facilitates the learning process.
- A safe and nurturing environment and community fosters learning.
- Exposure to, and immersion in, service learning is an essential component of education
The Elementary School is comprised of six self-contained classes, Grades Kg-5, each with its own homeroom teacher who instructs students in the core subjects of English, Math, Science and Social Studies.
Classroom teachers collaborate with and are supported by a Librarian, Technology Coordinator and specialists who teach Spanish Language, Music, Art and Physical Education. All subjects are taught in English with the exception of daily Spanish language classes.
A standards-based curriculum drives instruction in the elementary school. Teachers use a theme-based approach to instruction and integrate subject areas when possible. Real world lessons and hands-on experiences are incorporated within daily instruction to link theory with practice.
The wide range of language abilities among students at ISS require teachers to implement a variety of instructional strategies to engage the students in learning, facilitate their growth, and encourage success.
Spanish as a Second Language (SSL) classes are available for non-Spanish speakers and English language support is given to students who need reinforcement. In addition, teaching assistants work with individual students in the classroom to provide individualized instruction and support.
ISS utilizes standards-based assessment in Grades K-5 to describe what a student should be able to do at each grade level in all subjects. Standards-based report cards provide a clear picture of what the student knows and the extent to which the student has mastered the skills required to move to the next grade level. Portfolios allow students to chronicle their learning and achievements. Twice a year, students present their portfolios to their parents and discuss their goals and achievements.
We encourage our parents to be actively involved in their children’s education, to read with their children nightly and to encourage them to strive for excellence. Moreover, we welcome parent volunteers on campus in classrooms, the library and at special events.
The Secondary school is comprised of Middle School (Grades 6-8) and High School (Grades 9-12). ISS recognizes the unique characteristics of the adolescent learner and is committed to the development of both academic and life skills. ISS students are provided a diverse curriculum, exposure to a wide variety of career and life options, and instruction and encouragement to master the basic skills required to know their options and pursue their choices.
A strong foundation of core skills, the ability to perform research and to use technology to enhance their educational experience is nurtured and developed at ISS. The ISS Library provides space for students to read, perform research and access books and media services to further classroom learning. The librarian works collaboratively with the teachers to reinforce and support daily instruction.
Ten teachers are dedicated to Secondary School instruction. In both Middle School and High School specialized teachers instruct single subjects.
ISS provides secondary students the following learning opportunities:
- Advanced Placement (AP) Classes: ISS offers AP Spanish Literature and Culture, AP Spanish Language and Composition, AP World History, AP European History and AP English Language and Composition as part of the ISS Program of Study.
- Forensic Science, Journalism and Statistics are offered as academic electives.
- Advanced Math Option: Students in Grade 11 and 12 are offered pre-Calculus and Calculus. They may also choose to take Statistics in lieu of, or in addition to, either course as their fourth Math course requirement.
The daily schedule in both middle and high school operates on a block schedule, with alternating four-period days (80 min. per period) except on Wednesdays when students attend all eight classes. They will attend a thirty-minute fifth period at the end of each day. This course is designed to enrich student learning through a Project-Based Service-Learning course and/or technology. Students will be enrolled in a total of eight classes each year.
Additional Requirements for Graduation
Each year students in the secondary school must complete at least one substantial project that documents their contribution to a Project Based Learning (PBL) project. To receive full credit, students must share and exhibit their work, document the process of their project, write a reflection and seek a recommendation from their supervisor.
School Governance Structure
ISS is a privately owned school that functions under a Board of Directors. The Board is composed of 5 members which includes owners, members from the community and parents of students. This Board stands full-time and was appointed by the Ownership Group.
Faculty: The International School of Sosua employs a diverse group of 30+ fully certified and highly qualified educators.
The Director of the school is employed by the school Board/Ownership Group and is responsible for the educational and administrative management of the school. He/she shall fulfill the administrative functions in accordance with the policies and decisions of the Board of Directors.
The Director will also be responsible for leading one of the school divisions (Elementary or Secondary).
Director Responsibilities and Duties
Educational Program Management:
- Implement the academic vision and mission of the school.
- Lead and supervise all phases of the instructional program, including establishing and maintaining high academic standards, developing, enhancing and ongoing review of the curriculum and implementing assessment methods.
- Promote a culture of collaborative planning and reflection by facilitating opportunities for teaching faculty to review the curriculum in terms of content, design, implementation and assessment.
- Supervise and guide the use of data from the standardized assessments given (MAP, PSAT, SAT, AP) to improve instruction.
- Work side by side with teachers to develop academic goals, strategies and monitor progress.
- Develop staffing plans that support and build the school’s academic programs and attract and retain the best qualified staff to the school.
- Supervise and manage the extra support program and extracurricular activities.
- Is responsible for maintaining successful accreditation status with AdvancED and the Dominican Ministry of Education.
- Carry out all duties assigned by the Board and be accountable for the efficiency of the school’s operations.
- Ensure the implementation and progress of the school improvement plans including the annual goals approved by the Board. The Director is responsible for planning and supervising all necessary works to ensure the beginning of every academic year.
- Work in collaboration with the Board to regularly assess the plan to meet the school’s future needs. The Director shall also continually seek and recommend growth opportunities for enrollment.
- Is responsible for the daily operation of the School, including the supervision of all support services (e.g. security, maintenance and food/catering services) and ensure the health and safety of all personnel and students on campus. He/she shall implement safety regulations and emergency plans, and report to the Board any incidents.
- Directly supervise any health/safety concerns.
- Oversee admissions and placement procedures for new students, oversee development of student programs and be responsible for student supervision and enforcing student behavior policies.
- Supervise the staff evaluation program by conducting timely performance evaluations and promote an ongoing staff development program.
- Recruit, hire, manage and dismiss faculty in accordance with Board policy (and based on Board approved staffing levels).
- Develop the Orientation Week schedule for new faculty.
- Lead workshops and trainings for new teachers as appropriate
- Provide mentorship for new administrators/teachers where appropriate
- Oversee and manage the school’s website and Facebook pages
- Is actively involved with the strategic marketing of the school.
- Ensure proper management, operation and maintenance of the school’s physical plant and facilities.
- Is able to take different roles as required in a small school environment
- Implement policy and other decisions approved by the Board. The Director shall also serve as a conduit to ensure effective communication between the Board and the school community.
- Provide guidance and supervision for Principals, teachers and coordinators on a bi-weekly basis, regarding weekly curriculum documentation and all approved academic policies and maintaining adherence to the teacher’s handbook and general school policies.
- Provide staff development programs
- Is the key spokesperson for the academic philosophy and programs of the school.
- Maintain a communications program to keep all members of the school community informed of school academic direction, regulations and activities and facilitate a wholesome and cooperative working relationship within the school community.
- Represent the school in dealings with outside organizations and agencies, both locally and internationally, including governmental bodies.
- Communicate operational processes including annual scheduling, faculty responsibilities, duties, school events, MAP testing schedules, etc.
- Communicate on a weekly basis to faculty overall organizational aspects of the division the Director oversees
- Ensure faculty are updating their website pages often as a communication tool
- Is responsible for directly overseeing and approving all expenditures
- Ensure that the expenditure of funds is according to the approved budget and following the accounting systems and methods of the school and the country. He/she shall also oversee the development of the annual budget for Board approval, ensure sound fiscal practices are followed, monitor ongoing income and expenditures against the budget, monitor the collection of school fees and track school assets.
ISS requires a Head of School who has a successful reputation for leading schools. With a commitment to excellence and personal integrity, the Head of School is resourceful in the Dominican environment, accustomed to a strong work ethic and business practices that promote quality, integrity, workplace enjoyment, and business profitability.
Masters in School Leadership, or the equivalent
Proficiency in Spanish
3+ years of experience in school leadership
Demonstrated success as a teacher and leader
- Background of teaching and leading in international schools, preferably in Latin America
- Experience in AdvancEd accreditation process
- Experience recruiting teachers and success in teacher retention
- Successful experience in improving school instructional technology
Desired Personal Characteristics
- Outstanding interpersonal skills: Open, approachable, and relational
- Exceptional oral and written communication skills
- Appreciation for the family/ community aspect of school
- Academic philosophical views that are aligned with those of the ISS Board of Directors
- Believes and works well in a relational, shared leadership model
- Innovative, progressive, open to new ideas, maintaining an appropriate sense of direction and standards
- Focused primordially on student-centered learning, and has proven strategies to develop strong relationships with students
- Flexible and adaptable to fit into Dominican culture
- Responsive and good listener, capable and building consensus amongst constituents
- High visibility on campus and integration within the school community
- Willingness to learn and sensitive to the particularities of the Dominican Ministry of Education
- Strong administrative and organizational skills, while maintaining a sensitive touch
- Strategic, analytical, and creative thinker that is systemic and solutions-oriented
- Understanding of how privately own schools’ function
- Comfortable with small town living, and the implications of such
Salary and Benefits
The salary and benefits are competitive and will be dependent upon the qualification sand experience of the successful candidate.
PROCEDURE FOR FILING AN APPLICATION
The Board of Directors of the International School of Sosua (ISS) has appointed Search Associates as its partner in its search for a Director with Dr. Brent Mutsch and Dr. Norma Hudson serving as the lead consultants. The deadline for applications for the position is October 16, 2019. Candidates are asked to submit a letter of interest and the requested materials listed below as early as possible as the Search Committee reserves the right to close the selection process at any time should the right candidate be identified.
The review of files will begin as soon as applications are received. Finalists will be selected by the Search Committee. Finalist candidates together with their spouse (if applicable) will be invited to Puerto Plata to meet with the Board of Directors, visit the school, and meet with faculty, parents, students, and non-teaching staff.
The new Director will be selected at the conclusion of the site visit, final interviews, and reference checks. The new Director will assume professional responsibilities in August 2020.
Candidates should submit the following information in the format requested:
- A letter of application, no longer than two pages, explaining your strengths as a candidate and why you are interested in this particular position
- A current resume not to exceed two pages
- A list of references of immediate supervisors including current email addresses and phone numbers
- A maximum of three letters of reference (scanned at low resolution) that may already be in your possession.
Please note that all materials must be scanned into a single pdf attachment of 4MB or less and sent to Search Associates at the email addresses listed below. Please send the complete application to both: firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com.
Additional information about the International School of Sosua (ISS) may be found on the school’s website with a link provided here.
Dr. Brent Mutsch Tel: 970-368-6879 USA- Mountain Time Zone
Skype: brentmutsch Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr. Norma Hudson Tel: 970-389-1906 USA- Mountain Time Zone
Skype: normajhudson Email: email@example.com