Who We Are
Cincinnati Public Schools (CPS) is the third largest district in the state of Ohio, serving approximately 36,000 students in 65 schools, including 13 high schools, 47 elementary schools and 5 K-12 schools. As a result of our steadfast dedication to the whole child and our innovative programs and supports, we remain one of the few urban school districts in the US experiencing growing enrollment year over year. CPS strives to create a supportive learning environment with a rigorous curriculum that allows all learners to create, connect and engage in the world around them. Central to the district’s success are the dedicated teachers and administrators who possess a growth mindset and are committed to creating a system of continuous improvement, implementing strategic interventions, and evaluating their performance. CPS has a rich and diverse history of innovation serving the community and creating long lasting community partnerships all dedicated to removing barriers, ensuring equity and enabling a strong education. CPS is renowned for its Community Learning Centers and school-based health centers, enabling schools to truly serve as the centers of their communities, providing holistic health and mental health services to students and families. We also offer accredited Montessori programming, including at the high school level. The district has expanded access to preschool for all students. We are the first and currently the only school district in the state of Ohio with a COVID vaccine policy, and we are proud of our recently approved anti-racism policy, as well as our Equity and Excellence in Education Policy.
What You’ll Do
The Superintendent will serve as the face of the district and our chief communicator of CPS. This role, along with the Treasurer, report directly to the Board of Education. While CPS is proud of our accomplishments, there is much left to do on behalf of our students, and the Superintendent will bring the vision and leadership skills necessary to build on our successes to date, while tackling the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead. Key leadership responsibilities for our next Superintendent include the following:
Your Key Responsibilities (The “What”)
- Foster an intentionally inclusive and diverse school system, supporting the whole student for strong academic achievement and growth
- Build on CPS’s track record of whole student supports and ensure an immediate focus on social emotional learning supports and safety for students.
- Adopt instructional models and structures based on practices that are research based, culturally responsive and demonstrated to be effective and desired by families.
- Address systemic racism and other ‘-isms’: confront through analysis, action, and how the district is addressing persistent systemic segregation and inequities in order to improve the experience of students, teachers, staff and families of color.
- Advocate for learning environments that fully support multilingual learners and students with diverse learning needs.
- Make a positive impact on student learning, with a balanced focus on academic rigor, proficiency and student growth over time.
- Prepare our students for career and college, by strengthening programming from PK-16. This begins early with more students reading by 6, all the way to high school graduation, ensuring that students graduate with credits for college and on a path to a career.
- Continue to expand and strengthen program opportunities into neighborhood schools, advanced placement offerings, career and technical education, and our academic learning centers.
- Strengthen relationships and foster an environment of increased trust with the Board and the community to build a unified vision
- Communicate and collaborate with all members of the board, advising the board on initiatives and issues in the district; provide leadership to enable the board to function effectively. This includes fostering an open relationship and clear vision for role clarity between the Board and Superintendent.
- Strengthen communication and collaboration with parents to enhance learning for their own children and all children.
- Expand trust, partnership and connection with our community, learning what matters to our families and our communities to inform key decisions and priorities for the district.
- Our relationships with employee associations in the district are vital to our success. Our Superintendent will continue to strengthen partnerships and collaboration with our unions.
- Develop and implement a clear strategy for the future of the district
- During the summer of 2018, CPS created a community-designed three-year strategic plan, which has guided the work of the district over the three years since. Our strategic plan completes in the 21-22 school year. Our next Superintendent will have the opportunity to engage our community once again, and lead the development of our next strategic plan.
- The Board sees the strategic planning process as essential to establishing the future vision of the district, with a focus on innovation in all areas, including the support of green community initiatives and furthering our goals for student success in every classroom.
- Support a Thriving Workforce:
- We know that our most important factor in closing opportunity gaps is to attract, retain and develop our school leaders and teachers, who are central to student success. We must continue to support strong leadership development programs – of both school leaders and teacher leaders – and we are fully committed to investing in the growth and development of our educators.
- Recruit, retain, develop and inspire highly effective staff at every layer of the organization, with a particular emphasis on diversity, fair and equitable compensation, and the implementation of culturally-responsive education practices.
- Create the conditions where staff collaborate, feel supported and are able do their best work on behalf of the students they serve.
- Leading effective systems and efficient operations within the district:
- Manage the day-to-day operations of the district within the policy parameters adopted by the Board, assuming responsibility and authority for the planning, operation, supervision, assignment, and evaluation of the programs, services, staff, students and facilities of the district.
- Starting from the leadership team through the organization, assess and ensure a strategic organizational structure that is optimized to provide efficient service, strategic problem solving and customer service mindset in support of each school’s success.
- Address operational challenges, including transportation, busses and staffing. Build on technology strengths and narrow our digital gaps.
- Focus on developing professional development and competencies of staff through precise, individualized professional learning aligned with achievement goals.
- Make recommendations regarding selection or termination of the district’s staff, consistent with laws of the state and district policy.
The Skills You’ll Need to be Successful (The “How”)
- Student-Centered Decision Making
- Put students first, in all aspects, ensuring holistic supports while strengthening academic programs and instructional practice.
- Lead courageously, centered in children, and seek out the voices of marginalized communities to ensure diverse input on key decisions.
- Engage in transparency in decision making and share with stakeholders how their input informed the district’s decisions.
- Demonstrate belief and hold self and others accountable for reaching high academic achievement of all students.
- Commitment to Equity
- Recognize race and power dynamics playing out within our organization at all levels and interrupt those inequities through honest and difficult conversations and actions.
- Address matters of race, equity and bias in how decisions are made with clarity, confidence, humility, historical context, and empathy.
- Foster, promote, and drive a culture of inclusion in the organization and commit to improve DEI practices in the district’s planning, prioritization and implementation of key initiatives.
- Build authentic relationships across lines of difference (race, ethnicity, gender, age, socioeconomic background, LGBTQ status, etc.) both internally and externally.
- Innovative and Inspirational Leadership
- Build on the organization’s past successes and commit to continuous improvement through analysis, inquiry and assessment of results and alignment to district strategic priorities.
- Lead the organization through strategic planning and mobilize the community behind a unified vision, goals and key priorities.
- Facilitate and secure buy-in for a clear and compelling vision of innovation and organizational excellence.
- Effective Relationship Building and Communication
- Serve as an ambassador for CPS students, building effective relationships with city and community leaders, helping to tell the story of CPS’s successes, and successfully advocating when needed to ensure that the district is able to meet students’ needs.
- Challenge assumptions and preconceived notions when needed to avoid distraction from core priorities and goals in the better interest of student success.
- Build trust among board members, district staff, teachers, and leaders, and core stakeholders to establish a shared vision for the district.
- Communicate effectively, tailoring messages for the audience, context, and mode of communication.
- Listen compassionately with an open mind - seeking to fully understand community members and stakeholders perspectives before establishing the direction forward.
- Navigate politically complex structures, relationships and dynamics to challenge ideas and enable thoughtful decisions and positive outcomes for students.
- Maintain visibility and work collaboratively with diverse stakeholders at all levels.
- Extraordinary Team Leadership and Management
- Effectively balance the tension between local site based decision making, empowered school leaders and the vision/need for coherence and equity across all schools.
- Build, inspire, manage and coach an effective senior leadership team/Cabinet to achieve ambitious goals aligned with the strategic plan.
- Hold self and others accountable for high standards of performance, communication, collaboration and transparency toward the achievement of key goals and priorities.
- Model and foster conditions for professional growth and organizational learning through continuous feedback, honesty, and coaching.
What You’ll Bring
- Successful experience working in diverse economic, multicultural, and multilingual communities and environments. Proven cultural-competence skills with a history of inclusive and relevant equity practices.
- Demonstrated track record of success with improving student and/or organizational outcomes and data-driven decision making.
- Advanced knowledge of public school policy and law, procedures and management. Thorough understanding of national, state and local educational goals and standards required to advance PK-16 public education.
- A deep commitment to the importance of public education and advocacy for all students.
- 10 years of senior leadership experience at progressive levels of responsibility with evidence of successful development and organizational outcomes.
- Experience working in conjunction with a board to identify priorities, establish goals, monitor progress, and produce outcomes in service to stakeholders.
- A growth mindset and belief that continuous improvement happens through constant learning.
- Ability to navigate uncertainty and ambiguity in times of tremendous change, and to prioritize work efforts to achieve overall strategy as defined in collaboration with the Board of Education.
- Eligible for a Superintendent’s license in the State of Ohio.
Salary for this integral leadership position is competitive, and commensurate with prior experience. In addition, a comprehensive benefits package will be included in the ultimate offer for the identified sole finalist. We look forward to discussing details with you as the interview process progresses.
The Cincinnati Public School District provides equal educational, vocational and employment opportunities for all people without regard to race, gender, ethnicity, color, age, disability, religion, national origin, creed, sexual orientation, or affiliation with a union or professional organization, and provides equal access to the Boy Scouts and other designated youth groups. The district is in compliance with Title VI, Title IX and Section 504 of the Vocational Rehabilitation Act. For additional information, contact the Title IX Coordinator or Section 504 Student Coordinator, (513) 363-0000.
Cincinnati Public Schools