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American Cooperative School of La Paz (Bolivia)
Oct 15, 20
Nov 20, 20
American Cooperative School of La Paz, Bolivia
Effective July 2021
The American Cooperative School of La Paz, Bolivia, is a private, non-profit, non-denominational, coeducational school, which offers an educational program from KG3 through grade 12 for students of all nationalities. The school was founded in 1955.
The school is governed by a ten-member Board of Directors elected for two-year terms by the members of the Association. Membership in the Association is automatically conferred on the teachers and parents (guardians) of children enrolled in the school. ACS is supported by the US State Department through annual grants and the US embassy names a representative that participates on the Board as a nonvoting member.
The School is officially recognized by the Bolivian Government and was just accredited by Cognia in October 2020. ACS received "Blue Impact" ratings (the highest) for every single standard in all 3 domains. Additionally, for every "Impact Rating" ACS also received an "E" meaning that the standard is "embedded" in our practice. This is also the highest rating.
Organization and Administration
The school has two distinct sections. The elementary program encompasses the early childhood center (Kinder Three and Four) and lower and upper elementary (Kinder 5 through grade five). The secondary school includes the middle school (grades six through eight) and the high school (grades nine through twelve). The superintendent is the Chief Operating Officer and each section has a Level Principal.
The school implements a US college preparatory, standards-based curriculum (AERO and Common Core). The school uses data generated from the Measure of Academic Progress (MAP), the PSAT, SAT, and other internal measures to personalize instruction. Instruction is in English in all subjects except Spanish, Bolivian Social Studies, and French. High School students have the opportunity to enroll in 11 different Advanced Placement Courses. The majority of ACS graduates attend post-secondary colleges and universities in the United States. ACS has also developed a strong after-school extracurricular program that includes sports and fine arts.
There are 73 full-time and 15 part-time instructional staff including: 1 Superintendent, 1 Secondary Principal, 1 Elementary Principal, 1 Secondary Counselor/College Counselor, 1 Elementary Counselor, 2 Learning Specialists, 2 Librarians, 20 Elementary Teachers, 22 Secondary Teachers, 14 Instructional Assistants, and 4 Learning Services Assistants. Additionally, 13 Business/Administration and 9 Maintenance staff support the schooling process. The school also employs a full-time doctor to supervise the Medical Center.
Students / Enrollment
Student enrollment at the end of Quarter 1 of the 2020-2021 school year is 554 which includes KG3-KG4=68; KG5-5=253; 6-8=118, 9-12=115). Of the 554 enrolled, 421 were host country nationals, 41 were U.S. citizens, and 92 were children of other nationalities. Of the U.S. student enrollment, 15 were dependents of U.S. Embassy families.
The academic year includes 182+ school days divided into two semesters of study. The first semester begins in early August and ends in mid-December. The second semester begins in mid-January and continues until the first week of June. The school respects most Bolivian and American holidays and also offers an extended Fall and Spring break.
Campus and Facilities
The city of La Paz is situated in a series of canyons below the Altiplano of Bolivia. The views are magnificent and comparable to those seen in the American Southwest. The school is located in the Zona Sur, an exclusive residential area in La Paz, and is about fifteen minutes from the city center. The campus is approximately eight acres in size and includes nine buildings. The facility includes fifty classrooms, two libraries, four computer labs, a learning lab, two science labs, gymnasium and climbing wall, theater, auditorium, sports complex with an indoor swimming pool, two tennis and racquet ball courts, an athletic field, and a cafeteria.
In the 2020-2021 school year, about 94 percent of the school's income was derived from school fees (Tuition and Capital Fee).
The Superintendent of ACS is the Chief Executive Officer of the school, with the responsibility and authority for the overall management of the school within the policies and directives established by the Board. The Superintendent is in charge of the development, implementation, evaluation and revision of all administrative, programmatic, and operational programs, effectively utilizing available human, fiscal, and physical resources according to priorities set by the Board. He/she supervises the daily operations of the school, providing leadership, guidance and direction to the administrative, instructional and support services staff in achieving school objectives. More specifically, the Superintendent:
- Assures that school instructional programs: comply with host country requirements; meet all Accrediting Agency standards (Bolivian Ministry of Education and AdvancED) reflect the best principles of instruction; and, are consistent with the mission of the school.
- Provides leadership to principals in the development, implementation and evaluation of innovative school curriculum and teaching methodologies.
- Organizes and carries out a planned program of staff evaluation and improvement.
- Provides systematic procedures in curriculum development, implementation and assessment of the school's academic program, utilizing the abilities and talent of the professional staff and appropriate consultants and school community members.
- Promotes a high level of student academic performance and ensures that student disciplinary measures are set in place and administered with equanimity.
- Uses both short and long-range planning (such as implementing a School Improvement Plan) to assess the school's needs, examine viable alternatives, select strategies and monitor progress.
- Exhibits confidence and inspires it in others associated with the school.
Business and Financial Management
- Is responsible for all fiscal management, the preparation and execution of the annual budget and acts on all financial and accounting matters within the policies set by the Board;
- Keeps the Board informed on needs of the school program, facilities, equipment and supplies.
- Supervises all aspects of the school's operations, insisting on competent and efficient performance.
- Ensures that appropriate controls are in place regarding accounting and purchasing procedures.
- Understands the budgeting process and makes (short, medium and long-term) recommendations to the Finance Committee and/or Board to keep the school fiscally sound.
- Provides regular, detailed reports to keep all Board members updated on the status of the budget and overall fiscal condition of the school.
- Develops and/or executes the school's Business/Financial Plan to include short and long-term goals.
- Oversees and administers the procurement, use and disposal of all school facilities and property with maximum effectiveness and efficiency consistent with the policies and directives of the Board.
- Administers all aspects of school operations, including personnel management, relations, and evaluation; fiscal management; school plant management and development;
- Supervises directly or through delegation, the work of the instructional and administrative and support staff.
- Provides counsel and motivation to school employees and students to foster "esprit de corps".
- Has authority over all employees and students, the education of students and the hiring and dismissal of employees in accordance with policy and procedures.
- Is responsible for the design and implementation of appropriate procedures for the efficient and effective administration of the school.
- Works with the Board, principals, faculty and parent community to develop school-wide goals and develop both short and long-term strategic plans.
- Demonstrates fairness and consistency in handling problems.
- Outlines clearly the responsibilities and expectations of the various employee groups.
- Develops programs and plans to lead the school to greater goal attainment.
- Values a team approach to problem solving and involves appropriate personnel in the process by delegating authority and responsibility to team members and by recognizing and valuing their contributions.
- Recognizes the Board's policy making function and protects it.
- Recommends to the Board benchmark indicators of school academic and financial performance.
- Provides the Board with facts, information, reports and recommendations needed for them to make informed decisions.
- Advises, counsels and assists the Board in the timely development of realistic school goals.
- Encourages Board participation in school activities and attempts to provide general information through, e-mail, newsletters etc.
- Keeps the Board fully informed about programs, priorities and problems at the school and provides full information, in a timely manner, in response to all Board inquiries.
- Encourages the Board to take advantage of opportunities to upgrade their knowledge and skills as Board members.
- Administers the school within the policies developed by the Board, and advises the Board when circumstances dictate new policy or policy revisions.
- Attends and participates in all meetings of the Board except those in which his salary and performance are being discussed, serving as spokesperson for the school administration.
- Serves as a representative of the school before the public and is responsible for developing means of keeping the school community and the public informed about the school.
- Is proactive in building and maintaining good relationships with, and meeting the requirements of, the local Ministry of Education and other governmental agencies.
- Presents a positive image of the school and shows a willingness to participate in school activities.
- Keeps the community informed about school activities, issues, plans and problems through newsletters, website, e-mail, etc. and listens to and addresses community concerns.
- Demonstrates an ability to work well with students, parents and others associated with the school.
- Provides professional leadership for the faculty through the school's Principals and/or Coordinators.
- Develops and executes consistent, fair and fiscally responsible personnel procedures and practices.
- Works to establish good relationships with all segments of the school staff—teachers, support staff, secretaries, maintenance etc.
- Encourages and supports in-service education opportunities for staff to improve their skills and performance.
- Keeps the faculty informed and involved in school issues.
- Previous successful experience as a Superintendent. (Highly experienced large school principals may also be considered);
- Previous instructional leadership experience with extensive knowledge in using data to build, implement and evaluate curriculum and innovative teaching and assessment methodologies at all levels;
- Previous successful experience in financial and business management;
- Previous international experience;
- Graduate degree in a related field;
- Certification as an administrator;
- Proficient in Spanish;
- Experience with strategic or long-range academic, financial and business planning;
- Experience in Latin America;
- Experience with marketing;
- Experience with accreditation and the school improvement process;
- Experience adopting, developing and implementing curriculum;
- Experience with technology and leading schools to meet the need of 21st century learners;
- Experience in a state department sponsored school.
- Accessible and able to generate trust with all constituent groups;
- Excellent interpersonal skills with students, faculty, and parents;
- Honesty, integrity, empathy, and a little humility;
- Open to a commitment beyond the initial three-year contract;
- Friendly, visible, and approachable;
- Open, compassionate, flexible, and a good sense of humor;
- Balanced interest in the ECE, ES, MS and HS;
- Good listening skill with a collaborative administrative style;
- Well-developed communication skills, both written and verbal;
- Cultural openness, sensitivity, and understanding;
- A person with good health who has a passion for his/her profession;
- Creative, out-of-the-box problem solver, but more deliberate than impulsive, pro-active;
- A life-long learner with proven management and well-developed organizational skills;
- Energetic with a sense of adventure;
- Commitment to community service;
- Strong character, fair, and firm.
As the initial selection begins, candidates should be aware of three major areas that are especially important regarding experience/knowledge for the selection of the next Superintendent:
- Successful experience as a leader in settings comparable to ACS.
- Strong curriculum development and implementation experience.
- A firm understanding of the needs of 21st century learners and the ability to develop a physical and learning plan to meet their needs.
- Hands-on experience with strategic planning processes and guiding emerging schools.
Salary and Benefits
Salary will depend upon the qualifications and experience of the successful candidate and will be competitive within the region.
The ACS Board of Directors has partnered with Search Associates to facilitate the search for a new Superintendent. Paul Poore is serving as the lead consultant.
Qualified candidates should send the information listed below as a single PDF File attached to an email as soon as possible, but no later than November 20, 2020:
- A letter of application, explaining your strengths as a candidate and why you are interested in the Superintendent position at ACS La Paz.
- A statement describing your leadership and educational philosophy, not to exceed one page.
- A current résumé not to exceed two pages.
- A list of 5 references from current and past supervisors, with current phone numbers and email addresses. (Please do not submit references from colleagues or those who were not in a supervisory role).
The Board of Directors reserves the right to close the selection process at any time if the right candidate is identified.
Successful candidates will be referred to the Search Committee for virtual interviews. Finalist candidates will subsequently be interviewed virtually by all constituencies of the school community including the Search Committee and the Board of Directors.
Candidates should send all requested information directly to Paul Poore at Search Associates: firstname.lastname@example.org