Lower School Principal (Grades Pre K-5) at International Community School of Abidjan in Cote d'Ivoire
Cote d'Ivoire < Back to Leadership Vacancies

Lower School Principal (Grades Pre K-5)
International Community School of Abidjan (Cote d'Ivoire)

Appointed - William Seward
Oct 31, 2014
Jan 15, 2015

International Community School of Abidjan

Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire (West Africa)

seeks a

Lower School Principal (Grades Pre K-5)

- effective March 2015 –


The School and Community

The International Community School of Abidjan (ICSA) was founded in 1972 by a group of Americans connected with the US Embassy in the Côte d'Ivoire. It is a non-profit, independent, coeducational day school offering an American style curriculum from Pre-Kindergarten through grade 12.





The school is governed by a nine member Board of Directors and recognizes the U.S. Embassy/Abidjan as its “Founding Sponsor.” Seven members on the Board are elected by the ICSA Association and the remaining two members are appointed by the U. S. Ambassador.



ICSA follows an American curriculum that is based on academic standards developed by Project AERO (American Education Reaches Out). The use of AERO Common Core Plus standards is expected. The curriculum has been modified to meet local needs and opportunities. French, the official language of the Côte d'Ivoire, is offered in grades K-12. English Language Support (ELS) is offered in grades 1-10. ELS is required of all non-English speakers until they are peer-competitive in the classroom.


ICSA is fully accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools (MSA) and the Council of International Schools (CIS). ICSA received notification that it was granted re-accreditation with stipulations status by CIS and MSA in December 2013. The new Principal will be involved in addressing the visiting team’s recommendations and assisting in the development of a new strategic plan.


There are presently 43 professional employees at the school representing 11 nationalities. In addition, there are 17 teaching assistants, 7 classified administrative staff and 12 classified support personnel.



Enrollment at the beginning of the academic year 2014-15 was 375 (Grades Pre K-12) representing 58 nationalities. Of these, 230 are in Lower School (Grades Pre K-5) and 145 in the Upper School (Grades 6-12).



The school is a purpose built facility in the Riviera 3 area of Abidjan. It includes the following: a fully equipped science lab at the Middle and High School levels, a Lower School library-media center (Grades PreK-5) and a research library (Grades 6-12), IT Lab, 24/7 Internet Access, wireless access in the library and lunch areas, music and art rooms, a huge outdoor playing field (for soccer, volleyball, touch football, touch rugby), a multi-purpose outdoor court, and a canteen serving hot lunch daily.

Approximately 95 percent of the school’s income is derived from tuition fees. A one-time-per-family capital development fee, yearly registration fees and miscellaneous sources account for the balance of income. The school also receives an annual grant from the Office of Overseas Schools.


The Position

The Lower School Principal is the administrator for the Lower School of ICSA and is responsible to the ICSA Director. Sharing administrative responsibilities for the school with the Upper School Principal and working closely with the Curriculum Coordinator and the Director of Professional Development, the duties of the Lower School Principal include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Work with the Upper School Principal and the Curriculum Coordinator to focus attention on curriculum renewal, revising and upgrading the curriculum;
  • Continuously evaluate and take appropriate action to improve the curriculum content, assessment practices and the overall quality of teaching and learning;
  • Assist with the development and implementation of operational procedures, policies and systems that may be proper for the effective management of the Lower School;
  • Provide for the day-to-day operation of the Lower School;
  • Perform advanced planning for the school, including but not limited to the ordering of curriculum materials, audio-visual aids, recreational materials and related supplies;
  • Oversee the supervision and evaluation of all Lower School teachers and staff members;
  • Provide input to the short and long-range planning for the school;
  • See to the proper and effective projection of the school’s image to its stakeholder groups, including  undertaking appropriate community outreach endeavors; promoting and maintaining a positive school climate conducive to effective educational experiences;
  • Perform any other duties necessary to fulfill the school’s vision and mission.


Qualifications for the position

Applicants should possess a Master’s degree and be certified in educational administration, preferably with a proven track record as an overseas administrator in a developing country. Excellent human relations, leadership, and communication skills are essential. The Director is particularly interested in candidates with solid experiences in administration (particularly supervision and evaluation), a keen interest in staff development, experience in running a successful lower school (Primary/Elementary) program, knowledge of the CIS and MSA protocols and experience with the International Baccalaureate Program.


Additional skills that are desired, but not required:

  • A working knowledge of French would be very beneficial
  • A working knowledge of Understanding by Design
  • Experience with TCRWP (Teacher’s College Reading and Writing Project) model
  • Experience with Rubicon Atlas curriculum mapping


Salary and Benefits

The salary is competitive with other overseas schools of the same category (i.e. configuration and size) and will be commensurate with the qualifications and experience of the successful candidate.

Benefits include the following:

  • Furnished housing, including standard utilities;
  • Annual home leave to home of record for the Principal and dependents;
  • Tuition at ICSA for school age dependents;
  • Shipping allowance for household and personal effects;
  • Medical insurance;
  • Retirement benefits, including FICA


Procedures for Filing Application

The search is being conducted by Search Associates with Dr. Ralph Jahr being the primary consultant. The deadline for applications is 15 January 2015, but candidates are urged to submit applications as soon as possible. The Director reserves the right to fill the position at any time if an outstanding candidate is identified prior to the deadline. Interviews will be scheduled for finalists via Skype or at the Search Associates Toronto, Cambridge or the San Francisco recruiting fairs in January/February 2015.


Applications will be accepted in electronic form only. Please avoid sending high-density pictures or graphics. Qualified candidates should send the following items as a single pdf attachment:

  • Cover letter
  • Resume, generally not more than two-pages
  • Names and positions of at least three current or recent referees, with current email addresses and telephone numbers, including the Director or your supervisor of your present school. (These referees may be asked to submit confidential comments.)
  • A statement describing your management and educational philosophy, not to exceed two pages
  • Up to three (3) open letters of reference may also be submitted as part of the single, pdf document mentioned above.


Please send the requested materials as a single pdf attachment of not more than 4 MB to: rjahr@searchassociates.com


For additional information please see the ICSA website at http://www.icsabidjan.org or contact Ralph Jahr at the address below:


Ralph H. Jahr, Ph.D.                                                                       Tel: 609-759-0431

SearchAssociates                                                                            Email:rjahr@searchassociates.com

2008 Cove Lane                                                                              Skype: ralph.h.jahr

Roseville, CA 95747-8835

Did You Know…?

Senior associate Harry Deelman was a student under Alec Peterson ("father of the IB") in the 1960's, and was shown the DP hexagon very soon after its creation.