Upper Primary Associate Principal (August 2024) at Hong Kong International School in China/Hong Kong
China/Hong Kong < Back to Leadership Vacancies

Upper Primary Associate Principal (August 2024)
Hong Kong International School (China/Hong Kong)

Jan 23, 23

A co-educational PreK-12 private day school grounded in the Christian faith, Hong Kong International School (HKIS) serves over 2,800 students from around the world who seek an American college-preparatory education. HKIS is accredited by the United States’ Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) and is a member of the East Asia Regional Council of Overseas Schools (EARCOS).

Founded in 1966 by a partnership between the American community and the Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod, HKIS seeks to develop an educational community that lives out the words of its mission statement, while striving towards its vision:


Dedicating our minds to inquiry, our hearts to compassion,

and our lives to service and global understanding

An American-style education, grounded in the Christian faith

and respecting the spiritual lives of all



HKIS will be a leading place of learning

that inspires a socially engaged community

of collaborative, creative and resilient learners

dedicated to realizing their full potential

HKIS provides educational excellence with a difference. We focus on developing the whole child and are committed to nurturing each child to achieve his or her full potential. HKIS is dedicated to offering the best in academic and co-curricular excellence while supporting the socio-emotional needs of our students, to ensure a solid foundation for a university education and a well-rounded life.

Admissions qualifications are selective rather than competitive. Students must demonstrate English language competency and an academic record to succeed in a rigorous college-preparatory environment. HKIS also aims to continually expand the cultural diversity of the school; our students come from over 40 nations.

HKIS embeds six Student Learning Results into our academic and co-curricular programs:

Academic Excellence

Students will achieve their intellectual potential by striving for and attaining the highest standards of academic excellence.



Students will understand and respect Christianity and other religions and will identify and develop their own spiritual identity.

Character Development

Students will demonstrate respectful and caring attitudes at school and in the community, as well as the courage to stand up for what is right.


 Self-Motivated Learning

Students willingly apply a variety of learning and motivation strategies throughout their learning process.


 Contributing to Society

Students will develop the skills they need to form genuine relationships in our diverse society and to make contributions to our community.


Chinese Culture

Students will gain an understanding of China and an appreciation of the Chinese culture.

About the role

The Associate Principal is an instructional leader who collaborates closely with the second Associate Principal to support the Principal in the day to day leadership and management of the Upper Primary (Grades 3-5 with approximately 670 students). The Associate Principal provides leadership and support for teaching and learning at the assigned grade levels, aligning the Upper Primary Divisional Goals with the School’s Operational and Strategic Plans and Student Learning Results. Primary responsibilities include supervision and evaluation of teachers; mentoring and developing Team Leader’s, leadership for monitoring student learning (e.g. collection, analysis and reporting of student learning data); instructional planning of curricular units; implementation of the curriculum; supporting best pedagogical practices in instruction and assessment; planning and leading professional development of faculty; allocation of resources; participation in various whole-school improvement committees, strategic planning initiatives, divisional committee work and other identified action areas.


Instructional Supervision and Leadership

  • Supervises classroom teachers and supports their professional growth and performance appraisal (Profile Year, Self-directed Professional Growth and those new to HKIS)
  • Regularly observes teachers and provides timely feedback to facilitate student learning and the ongoing improvement of pedagogy
  • Provides leadership and support to develop teachers’ instructional and assessment practices through coaching, modeling or in-service workshops, particularly in the areas of differentiation, assessment (particularly as it pertains to literacy and math) and inquiry
  • Leads teachers in the implementation of effective assessment practices and, collecting and analyzing student learning data to inform instructional practices
  • Builds on current systems of collecting and analyzing student data, including the use and interpretation of formative, summative and standardized assessments (e.g. F&P, MAP) to monitor growth and inform practice
  • Ensures that the individual learning needs of students are met
  • Actively supports the Student Learning Result on spirituality, implementation of religious education while encouraging learning about other faiths

Day to Day Management

  • Reviews and updates operational procedures and systems to promote consistency of practice and maximize student learning
  • Makes management decisions to enhance teaching and learning
  • Supervises grade level Learning Specialists and counselors, while participating in Student Review Team meetings to ensure learning needs are being met
  • Collaborates closely with the grade level counselor to proactively develop the social and emotional growth of students
  • Supervises and manages student behavior and collaborates closely with teachers, counselors, and parents to address any concerns that may arise
  • Promotes a sense of community and school spirit within the Upper Primary, overseeing the running of assemblies, chapels, and other community events
  • Maintains effective communication channels with all stakeholders
  • Supervises students during arrival and dismissal times and handles student discipline when necessary

Leadership for Curriculum Implementation

  • Focuses on alignment of HKIS’ standards and benchmarks within teams and across grade levels to ensure a developmentally appropriate curriculum is delivered
  • Ensures continuity and consistency within teams and across grade levels by paying special attention to best practices in literacy instruction, math instruction, and inquiry as an approach to learning and curricula
  • Leads teachers in designing integrated units of inquiry using the Understanding by Design framework (UbD), developing assessments that support the development of knowledge, skills, and conceptual understanding
  • Ensures curriculum alignment and consistency across teams and between grade levels, and works in collaboration with Lower Primary and Middle School to ensure smooth curricular transitions
  • Facilitates purposeful collaboration around student learning
  • Leads parent education sessions that clearly articulate the curriculum being taught
  • Ensures appropriate use and organization of resources for curriculum implementation

Developing Others

  • Advocates and nurtures a positive school culture conducive to student learning and staff professional growth
  • Works collaboratively with teachers and administrators
  • Engages others in supporting positive change
  • Plans, supports and participates in professional development opportunities


  • Contributes actively to the HKIS Mission and Student Learning Results
  • Remains current with the latest research in elementary education, particularly as it pertains to Upper Primary students
  • Actively engaged in recruitment of faculty and staff
  • Participates in school-wide projects and events and values being part of the HKIS and Hong Kong community
  • Undertakes any other duties and functions as required which will help impact and strengthen the contributions of the Upper Primary and HKIS and/or improve the overall operation of the School

Qualifications and Personal Attributes

Minimum Requirements and Qualifications

  • Advanced degree in Education
  • Degree in administration or educational leadership preferred
  • Principal/Administration Certification preferred


  • A deep understanding of the developmental characteristics of Upper Primary aged children and a passion for building positive student relationships
  • Successful experience in a key leadership role in an elementary school, as an administrator, team leader, or curriculum leader; with record of being a flexible, positive and contributing member of a school leadership team
  • Solid conceptual and applied knowledge of current research and trends in elementary education, curriculum development, assessment, and best pedagogical instructional practices
  • Demonstrated success in working with teachers on continuous improvement initiatives
  • Classroom teaching experience with elementary aged students
  • Previous experience in an international school and familiarity with American educational system preferred


  • Grounded in knowledge about teaching and learning, particularly for Upper Primary grades
  • Attitude of a servant leader, focused on serving others, a strong commitment to the HKIS’ Mission to actively support the Student Learning Results of the School
  • Demonstrates respect for teachers as professionals and as adult learners and ability to develop positive and respectful relationships with others
  • Demonstrates ability to make decisions, work independently, as well as collaboratively
  • Excellent interpersonal skills
  • Effective communicator – communicates well with a diverse community, proficient writing skills, comfortable with presenting in public
  • Highly skillful at using technology, preferably Google Suite and/or Office 365
  • Strong organizational and time management skills
  • Enthusiasm for handling multiple tasks, challenging schedules, and a demanding clientele
  • Reflective thinker, able to learn, grow and model
  • Strong understanding of child development
  • Recognizes and respects the diversity of ideas, values and cultures that make up the
  • School

Schoolwide Competencies

  • As a school grounded in the Christian faith, we hire Christian teachers and administrators as well as those of other faiths. HKIS seeks to hire candidates who are interested in the complex questions of faith and spirituality and who are keen to learn and interact with others of different faith traditions
  • Global minded: Understands, respects and appreciates diverse cultures, a sense of global stewardship and responsibility
  • Demonstrates behavior consistent with the core values of the School
  • HKIS faculty are required to comply with the HKIS Code of Conduct and Child Protection Policy


Salary and benefits are very competitive and commensurate with the candidate’s experience and qualifications.


How to apply

Interested candidates are asked to send their cover letter and resume to recruitment@hkis.edu.hk.

Please visit our website (www.hkis.edu.hk) to learn more about our community: our beliefs, core values and learning principles and practices.

Did You Know…?

Senior Associate John Ritter consults on matters of governance, planning, head and board transition, and staff development with schools all over the world.