Elementary Principal at International School of Tianjin in China
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Elementary Principal
International School of Tianjin (China)

Appointed - No longer accepting applications
Oct 9, 15
Nov 20, 15

The International School of Tianjin, People’s Republic of China

seeks an

Elementary Principal


The International School of Tianjin (IST) is a Nursery/Pre-Kindergarten through Grade 12, non-profit, parent governed day school for the children of expatriate families living in the city of Tianjin. IST was founded in 1994, has a current enrolment of 470 students (210 in Elementary and 260 in Secondary) from 30 different countries. The school currently employs 65 highly qualified teachers from a range of countries including Australia, Canada, China, Korea, New Zealand, German, France, the UK, and the USA. The senior academic administrative team consists of the director, and the elementary and secondary principals. The language of instruction is English.


IST is an IB World School, fully authorised to teach the Primary Years Program (PYP), the Middle Years Program (MYP), and the Diploma Program (DP). The most recent programme evaluations took place as part of a synchronised 3-party accreditation visit with CIS and WASC in April 2015.


IST is fully accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) and the Council of International Schools (CIS).


Location, Campus, and Facilities

Tianjin, China’s third largest city, is located some 50km inland from the Bohai Gulf and is a 30 minute high-speed train ride from Beijing. It spans China’s largest artificial harbor and is a key transportation hub serving northern China. Tianjin has been nicknamed “The Shanghai of the North” in reference to its history as a foreign concession. The city has many temples of various religious affiliations and is itself a museum of late 19th century European architecture.


Situated on approximately 7.2 hectares of park-like grounds the International School of Tianjin has 30,000m2 of architecturally designed facilities to support its academic, cultural and sporting programmes. The campus has two wonderful buildings: the original 12,000m2 ‘Qin’ Building constructed in 2001, and the 18,000m ‘Han’ Building completed in 2011.  Facilities include a 520 seat theatre, black box, teacher and student lounges, music, art and design suites, exhibition centre, science laboritories, magnificent library and information literacy centre, double-sized gymnasium, 400m running track, multiple sports fields, over 80 classrooms, and a school-wide clean air filtration system.


The Position: Elementary Principal

Professional Qualifications

Candidates should have an appropriate academic preparation, with an advanced degree preferred and/or principal certification. Previous leadership experience is required, preferably at an IB school that has the PYP programme, although this is not a prerequisite. IST is looking for a dynamic, innovative leader who possesses strong interpersonal, organizational, communication, and information technology skills with a record of excellence in instructional and curricular leadership.


Salary and Benefits

The salary and benefits package is highly competitive and will be commensurate with the qualifications and experience of the successful candidate. The initial contract is for a period of two years, but the school is looking for a candidate willing to stay for several years to provide continuity.

Salary and benefits include

  • Competitive net starting salary in the range of USD 72,000 to 86,000 per annum (the school pays taxes on salary)
  •  10% of net salary retirement allowance
  •  Sign-on and contract renewal bonuses
  •  Relocation/excess baggage allowance
  •  Annual flight allowance (including all dependents)
  •  Monthly taxi allowance
  •  Personal professional development allowance
  •  Fully furnished housing
  •  World-wide medical coverage (including all dependents)
  •  Personal accident and long term disability insurance
  •  Full tuition (for all dependent children)


How to apply

Please email your cover letter, current resume (to include list of referees with contact details), and two to three letters of reference, to the director, Steve Moody, at steve_moody@istianjin.net

Additional information about the International School of Tianjin can be found on the school’s website at http://www.istianjin.org


All applications must be received by Friday 20 November 2015. Finalists will be selected by November 23. On-site interviews will be arranged as soon as possible thereafter, with the intention that final interviews will be concluded by 11 December and an appointment decision made no later than 18 December. The school reserves the right to conclude the search prior to the dates indicated above if the right candidate is found.


Job Description: Elementary Principal

Title: Elementary Principal

Contract Period: Initial 2-year contract followed by annual renewals

Reports to: Director

Supervises: All teachers with responsibilities in the elementary school and associated support staff


Primary Duties/Position Summary: The elementary principal is the educational leader of the elementary school. Under the guidance and supervision of the director, the elementary principal leads the elementary school in all aspects in furtherance of the school philosophy and the education and welfare of the students. The elementary principal may be required to cover for absent teachers and/or assume a small regular teaching load of 3-5 periods per week.



Teachers/Support Staff

  • Provide instructional leadership for the development and implementation of the educational philosophy, program, and curriculum of the elementary school
  • Guide the elementary teacher leadership team (PYP Coordinator, Upper and Lower Elementary Coordinators, Student Services Coordinator)
  • Assist in the planning for, interviewing, selection, assignment, and supervision and evaluation of teaching and teacher support personnel
  • Provide constructive feedback on classroom practice
  • Provide training and oversee the professional development programme for elementary teachers
  • Provide training and instructional support for teacher assistants
  • Delegate appropriate authority, responsibility and decision making whilst providing appropriate support
  • Liaise with the Student Services Coordinator to ensure that the needs of students requiring additional language, academic, or social-emotional learning support are identified and met
  • Liaise with faculty, parents, and students to ensure effective student transition from G5 to G6



  •  Promote student learning and the development of the whole child as directed by the school philosophy
  • Take reasonable precautions to safeguard the health and safety of students.
  • Provide disciplinary support for teachers to ensure that student behaviour is appropriate
  • Ensure that students have a voice in decision making processes
  • Promote high academic standards while meeting the varied learning needs and abilities of all students
  • Ensure that there is an appropriate programme of extra-curricular activities for primary students
  • Plan and organise an assembly and events programme that supports and promotes student learning



  •  Meet with new parents to orientate them to the school and its philosophy, and to oversee admission, registration, and placement of students in accordance with school policy
  • Communicate the school curriculum and organizational systems and procedures to parents
  • Ensure reporting of student progress is effectively and meaningfully communicated to parents
  • Communicate with parents, especially at community events such as ‘Back to School Night’
  • Initiate and liaise with parents regarding school events, questions, concerns etc. and seek parental opinion and feedback



  •  Ensure that the intent of the school philosophy is manifested in all stages of learning and curriculum delivery
  • Ensure that the curriculum and supporting resources are comprehensively documented and representative of current IB programme expectations
  • Conduct on-going review of the effectiveness of the instructional program with faculty
  • Provide direction and support in the development, implementation and evaluation of the elementary curriculum
  • Actively model and reinforce best instructional practices and established institutional expectations both within and outside of the classroom
  • Oversee assessment and reporting procedures and proof and edit all elementary reports
  • Assist in securing and organizing the necessary resources for instruction and its improvement
  • Liaise with the secondary leadership to ensure continuity of curriculum between sections and to celebrate IST’s philosophical commitment to ‘our’ school, ‘our’ students, and ‘our’ common future



  • Embrace the school philosophy and use it to guide decision making
  • Identify program, staffing and facility requirements
  • Communicate school news and expectations to students, teachers, support staff, and parents
  • Develop school calendars and instructional timetables as relevant to the elementary school
  • Ensure student records are maintained by relevant personnel
  • Work with elementary staff and finance to develop the annual budget
  • Oversee elementary expenditure and resource organization and inventories
  • Ensure that the elementary school is maintained in an appropriate manner and that classrooms and teaching spaces are kept clean and are attractively presented
  • Vet all outgoing elementary communication
  • Provide strategic leadership and articulate how to get there
  • Work with administrative and office personnel to improve operational systems
  • Maintain, update, and initiate the development of school promotional and informational materials as they pertain to the elementary school
  • Perform other related duties as they arise and as deemed appropriate or necessary by the Director


Attention: If you apply for this position, please inform the school and us (Admin@searchassociates.com) that you saw the notice on the Search Associates website. 

Did You Know…?

Senior Associate Harry Deelman was at various times headmaster of schools in a fascinating foursome of global cities: Buenos Aires, Rome, Dubai, and Bangkok.