Common Ground High School is Seeking a Director of School Operations

Director of School Operations

School Year 2020-2021

Location: New Haven, CT

In the 2020-2021 School Year, this role can be up to 50% virtual


About Common Ground High School

Common Ground High School is the nation’s longest-running environmental charter high school, founded in 1997. Our 225 students form an inclusive, powerful community of learners and leaders. These students benefit from a unique learning environment: an urban farm and 20-acre site, home to state of the art school facilities, adjacent to West Rock Ridge State Park, and located in the City of New Haven. We strive to create a learning environment grounded in foundational building blocks: rigor, responsive relationships, relevance that’s rooted in the local community and environment, and real roles & rights. Common Ground’s graduation rate consistently surpasses the state average, and between 97 and 100% of our students are accepted to college each year. 

Common Ground High School is part of a community nonprofit organization that also operates an urban farm and community environmental education center. As a whole, Common Ground is a center for learning and leadership, inviting people across ages and identities to connect to their urban environment, build community, grow into their full potential, and contribute to a just and sustainable world. We work toward this mission through active, authentic learning rooted in justice and our environment: a farm, in a forest, in a city.

About the Role

Common Ground High School is currently seeking a strategic and dynamic Director of School Operations. Reporting to the Executive Director, the Director of School Operations is responsible for all matters of school administration that do not directly relate to instruction and student support. The Director’s role is to ensure that all who enter the school feel safe, welcomed and cared for and that teachers, students and instructional staff have the materials and resources to focus on teaching and learning. 

This role is ideal for a real systems thinker – someone who can create the operational and tracking systems to ensure everything we do is efficient and aligned to our values. The Director of School Operations will work closely with the Business Office of the New Haven Ecology Project, the community non-profit that runs Common Ground High School – ensuring alignment between systems at the high school and the non-profit. The Director, School Operations also supervises a team of operations professionals including office staff and kitchen staff.

Responsibilities of the Director of School Operations will include but are not limited to:

Budget & Finance

  • Work with the Executive Director and Director, Business and Administration to develop and manage the school’s budget.
  • Maintain accurate records of all financial transactions and submit them to the business office for processing.
  • Participate in monthly meetings to review/account for budget variances; monitor usage of the school credit card.
  • Ensure adherence to school’s fiscal policy and procedures; participate in annual financial audit process by providing documentation as needed to auditors.
  • Manage school purchasing process by placing orders with vendors, tracking delivery and maintaining inventory.

School Operations

  • Implement efficient and effective operational systems to maintain entire campus, including front/admin office(s), reception, storage rooms, conference rooms and other common areas
  • Ensure proactive planning and training around all emergency operating procedures; maintain campus security in accordance with local, state, and federal laws;
  • Prepare the campus for start-up/new school year by ordering furniture, equipment, and classroom supplies as well as ensuring that school services (i.e., student food services, student transportation services) are lined up and ready for action annually.
  • Process and onboard new hires and maintain employee records to prepare the facility for occupation.
  • Manage the tracking and follow up regarding teacher certification and employee benefits.
  • Ensure compliance with all state, federal, and local employment laws and policies with support of the Director, Business and Administration
  • Work with the business office to ensure the maintenance of campus facilities. 
  • Manage the school’s food and transportation services by coordinating with service providers and overseeing deliveries.
  • Manage the school’s supply and asset inventory.

School Administration

  • Collaborate with the Executive Director to create and implement a monthly administrative calendar to ensure timely completion of annual tasks.
  • Facilitate, develop and implement the school’s Master Schedule for staff and students in consultation and partnership with the leadership team. 
  • Ensure all classes and duties are covered when staff members do not report to work
  • Ensure that the school is adhering to all local compliance and reporting requirements, as per state guidelines. 
  • Provide oversight of the planning and execution of school special events.
  • Oversee the administration of all student tests.
  • Oversee the enrollment process for new students
  • Ensure that student records are properly maintained and updated at the school.

Management and Leadership

  • Directly supervise the Operations Manager 
  • Actively serve on the school’s leadership team
Skills and Characteristics
  • Deep, unshakable belief in the capacity of all young people to learn and lead.
  • Demonstrated commitment and understanding of environmental justice, environmental leadership, anti-racism, and the dismantling of systems of oppression 
    • Proven track record of developing and executing effective operational systems at a school or youth-serving organization
    • Demonstrated skill contributing to a  positive organizational culture, strong relationships with students and their families.
  • Prior experience working in urban public schools; prior experience working in or with charter schools is preferred.
  • Proficiency with financial oversight and budgetary tracking to support strategic growth.
  • Willingness to work autonomously, collaboratively, and/or under the direction of senior staff, as needed.
  • Acute attention to detail coupled with the ability to think and act strategically.
  • Flexible and able to multitask; can work within an ambiguous, fast-moving environment, while also driving toward clarity and solutions.
  • Demonstrated resourcefulness in setting priorities and guiding investment in people and systems.
  • Maturity, humility, strong work ethic, sense of humor, and a “whatever it takes” disposition.
Educational Background and Work Experience:
  • Bachelor’s degree from an accredited 4-year institution; Master’s Degree preferred.
  • Minimum 3 years of operations management experience in a fast-paced, entrepreneurial environment.
  • Experience managing cross-functional teams to develop and implement systems and processes 
  • School Business Administration Certification (085) from the CT State Department of Education preferred
Compensation and Benefits 

This is a 1 year, full time, 12 month position from July 1, 2020-June 30, 2019 with the potential to continue beyond the one year period dependent on performance and need. Competitive salary and benefits package includes vacation, sick, and holiday time, medical, dental, disability, life insurance, and retirement plan. 

How to Apply 

Essential pre-application inquiries may be directed to No phone calls please. 

To apply, please send a cover letter and resume to  In your cover letter, please describe why you are passionate about joining the Common Ground community and how your qualifications and experience fit with the goals and responsibilities of this position. 

Posting Date: June 17, 2020

Applications will be reviewed and evaluated on a rolling basis.

Equal Opportunity Employer 

Common Ground is particularly eager for candidates who can help us to fulfill our commitment to building a racially and culturally diverse faculty and staff. Common Ground has a commitment to examining the intersection of social, environmental, and food justice issues; how systems of oppression, including white privilege, impact the organization’s work; and how resistance to those systems can offer windows into a more sustainable society.

Common Ground is committed to the recruitment and retention of staff that is reflective of the communities we work with. We strongly encourage applicants from people of color, immigrants, women, people with disabilities, members of the LGBTQ community, people whose native language is something other than English, and other underrepresented and historically marginalized groups.

It has been the policy and will continue to be the strong commitment of the Common Ground and all contractors and subcontractors who do business with Common Ground to provide equal opportunities in employment to all qualified persons solely on the basis of job-related skills, ability and merit. Common Ground will continue to take Affirmative Action to ensure that applicants are employed and that employees are treated during employment without regard to their race, color, religion, sex, national origin, ancestry, mental disorder (present or past history thereof) age, physical disability (but not limited to blindness), marital status, intellectual disability, sexual orientation, gender identity and criminal record. Such action includes, but is not limited to, employment, promotion, demotion or transfer; recruitment or recruitment advertising; layoff or termination; rates of pay or other forms of compensation, and selection for training, professional development, attendance at conferences or other opportunities for advancement. Common Ground, its contractors and subcontractors will continue to make good faith efforts to comply with all federal and state laws and policies which speak to equal employment opportunity. The principles of Affirmative Action are addressed in the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments of the United States Constitution, Civil Rights Act of 1866, 1870, 1871, Equal Pay Act of 1963, Title VI and VII of the 1964 United States Civil Rights Act, Presidential Executive Order 11246, amended by 11375, (Non-discrimination under federal contracts)< Act 1, Section 1 and 20 of the Connecticut Constitution, Governor Grasso’s Executive Order Number 11, Governor O’Neill’s Executive Order 9, the Connecticut Fair Employment Practices Law (Sec. 46a-60-69) of the Connecticut General Statutes, Connecticut Code of Fair Practices (46a-7081), Deprivation of Civil Rights (46a-58(a)(d)), Public Accommodations Law (46a-63-64), Discrimination against Criminal Offenders (46a-80), definition of Blind (46a-51(1)), definition of Physically Disabled (46a-51(15)), definition of Intellectual Disability (46a51(13)), cooperation with the Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities (46a-77), Sexual Harassment (46a-60(a)-8), Connecticut Credit Discrimination Law (360436 through 439), Title I of the State and Local Fiscal Assistance Act of 1972. This Affirmative Action Policy Statement re-affirms Common Ground’s commitment to equity in the workplace and the principles of Equal Employment Opportunity



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