The following items offer sample language from a variety of sources to help craft or review a position description. Several examples are provided to allow schools to choose those that best match the culture of the school and the requirements of the specific position. 

Job Summary Example

The school seeks a passionate, experienced educator to serve as dean of students. The dean of students is the primary advocate for students in the division and is responsible for all non-academic, student-related matters. This position will work collaboratively and in full partnership with the division head and the dean of academics to design, refine, and nurture a student experience that meets the unique needs and opportunities of our students.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities

Mission and Leadership

  • Embrace the mission, philosophy, and culture of the school.
  • Demonstrate visible, active leadership in the daily life of the school, including during the daily routines of arrival, dismissal, lunch, and break times as well as at major divisional and school functions and events such as those that occur beyond the school day.
  • Demonstrate alignment with the school’s core purpose, values, and strategic priorities.
  • Lead the division in the absence of the division head.
  • Work collaboratively as a part of the divisional administration team to support students, parents, and faculty.
  • Provide leadership in advisory programming and execution. 

School Community

  • Identify proactive approaches to keep our community strong.
  • Create inclusive processes and make informed decisions based on community input.
  • Provide strategic direction, implementation, and communication about all facets of student life programming using research and best practices to inform this work.
  • Continue to develop the student life curriculum centered around the core values of the school which incorporates diversity, equity, inclusion, belonging, and social-emotional learning.
  • Collaborate with the director of communications on the production and distribution of the student handbook.
  • Oversee the planning and implementation of student leadership training throughout the academic year.
  • Initiate and lead proactive student life programming in partnership with the administrative team and faculty, including divisional community events (community meetings, assemblies, outside speakers and performers), advisory programming, clubs, and extracurriculars.
  • Communicate frequently with both faculty and parents about students’ experiences.
  • Provide input on small-scale modifications or adjustments to the daily schedule.

Working with Faculty and Staff

  • Establish and support respectful relationships with faculty and staff.
  • Work closely and communicate regularly with the athletic director, school counselor, school nurse, and facilities personnel.
  • Work with the residential life staff, faculty, and administration to create a safe, structured, and nurturing environment for both academic and social development.
  • Collaborate with the division head and other faculty in facilitating assemblies, clubs, and advisory group programming.
  • Serve as a conduit between students and faculty by providing important feedback to staff about the student experience and mediating conversations between students and adults.
  • Serve as a point person along with learning specialist, counselor, and division head in supporting students facing significant challenges.
  • Collaborate with the division head in leading new student onboarding and plan new student events and programming throughout the school year.
  • In conjunction with school administration, interview and evaluate applicants for administrative and teaching positions.

Working with Students

  • Build relationships with students.
  • Create and oversee student programming, including grade-level retreats, clubs, activities, and student leadership opportunities.
  • Center diversity, equity, and inclusion in all aspects of student life, with the belief that these ideals are critical to engendering a true sense of belonging.
  • Identify priorities and allocate resources to support the emotional and mental health of students.
  • Oversee the student experience and foster a school climate that enhances community and student growth.
  • Be present and visible in the school community by frequently connecting with students in common areas, dining hall, co-curricular spaces, hallways, and other spaces students gather.
  • Nurture and coach student leaders.
  • Coordinates selection and election of student leaders.
  • Co-lead the student council.
  • Provide proactive and responsive one-on-one and group-based student support.
  • Coordinate with the student support team to address student needs and offer leadership when considering the intersection of academic, behavioral, social, and emotional supports.
  • Commitment to student-centered learning and student-centered leadership.
  • Foster a caring, positive, and engaging learning environment.
  • Encourage student enthusiasm for, and sense of community in the school by generating student support for school activities and developing class programs.
  • Develop programs that support students’ developing identities, build resilience, and instill confidence.

Discipline and Attendance

  • Enact and continually improve a thoughtful and thorough student discipline program.
  • Support and communicate the community expectations including the code of conduct, honor code, and major school rules.
  • Develop and implement innovative approaches to discipline, to include restorative practices.
  • Develop and communicate clear disciplinary procedures and policies to students, families, and the school community.
  • Work collaboratively with the school community to help implement innovative forms of discipline that promote justice, healing, and learning in ways that are guided by empathy, compassion, transparency, and fairness.
  • Help to create academic, behavioral, and social communal norms in the division and educate students both formally and informally about these norms.
  • Lead the disciplinary process including the community standards committee by discussing violations of norms with students, planning interventions for students and the community, and leading restorative efforts.
  • Implement disciplinary interventions including early morning studies, opportunities for restoration, suspension, and expulsion.
  • Mediate and resolve discipline and honor issues.
  • Consult with the division head on repeat and/or significant discipline and honor issues.
  • Coordinate discipline meetings with students and families involved.
  • Manage and communicate daily student attendance.

Other Duties or Responsibilities

  • In partnership with the division head and admissions department, develop and lead family programming, including new student/family orientations and retention/admission events.
  • Teach one course—either a full-year class or an elective offering.
  • Develop and oversee the outdoor program.
  • Act as student advisor.
  • Represent the school frequently at school events, some that may extend beyond the regular school day.

Common Qualification Requirements

  • A Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university in education or related field required. Master’s degree or higher preferred.
  • Must possess a minimum of five years of experience as a teacher leader or administrative role.
  • Three to five years of experience in a similar job in a high school setting.
  • Three to five years of experience as an associate or assistant dean.
  • Independent school leadership and teaching experience.
  • Deep knowledge and understanding of adolescent development.
  • Proven success working collaboratively in educational leadership
  • Proven experience in supervising and managing multiple departments and programs.

Sample Skill Requirements

  • Demonstrate the qualities of compassion, empathy, and openness, while utilizing excellent active listening and communication skills.
  • Commitment to collaboration with students, parents, and faculty.
  • Possess a sense of perspective and a sense of humor.
  • Ability to build community with equity, and inclusion.
  • Timeliness and follow-through in terms of action steps across multiple projects.
  • Display a contagious sense of enthusiasm and joy.
  • Passionate advocate for high-school-aged students.
  • Amplify student voices and support student empowerment.
  • Excellent planning and time management skills with an emphasis on organizational and collaborative skills.
  • Ability to effectively manage a team and work well independently.
  • Demonstrate integrity and flexibility while nurturing a dynamic student community.
  • Ability to balance the needs of multiple constituencies.
  • Warm and friendly, yet also firm with student accountability for school rules.
  • Positive attitude, flexible approach, and a passion for learning.
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills, and experience with public speaking.
  • Effective facilitator in large groups, small groups, and in one-on-one situations.
  • Maintain high professional standards for integrity, tactfulness, discretion, fairness, and confidentiality.
  • Culturally responsive and relational.
  • Growth-minded and committed to professional development.
  • Team player with the ability to seek input from multiple sources to inform decision-making.
  • High level of energy and enthusiasm.
  • Display good judgment, time management, and an ability to prioritize.
  • Actively seek avenues for personal and professional growth.
  • Demonstrate confidence and comfort in leading through change.

Sample Requested Documents

  • Cover letter indicating the candidate’s particular interest, qualifications, experience, and how they are a fit for this position
  • Current resume or CV
  • Statement of educational philosophy
  • Personal statement about your leadership philosophy and style
  • 3-5 references