Senior Director of Operations

Philadelphia, PA /
Network Support – Operations /
Full-Time Immediate
About Mastery:
We believe educational inequity is the most pressing social problem facing our country and the civil rights issue of our day. Mastery exists to help solve this problem. Our ultimate goal is to create a model urban school district that serves all students with excellence. We are organized around one driving mission: All students learn the academic and personal skills they need to be truly prepared for postsecondary success and able to pursue their dreams. To fulfill this mission, we attend to the whole child – academically and emotionally – matching high expectations for students with high levels of support.
Mastery Charter Schools is a nonprofit network of more than 24 schools serving over 14,000 students in Philadelphia and Camden.   We are the largest turnaround school operator in the nation and have been lauded by President Obama and the US Department of Education for our ability to dramatically boost academic achievement in historically low-performing schools.
We know neighborhood schools matter, all students deserve access to a great education, and the people in our building can grow and develop sustainably to make the biggest impact possible in this work.
Mastery's Equity Vision:

We believe that diversity, equity, and inclusion are essential to achieving our mission.

We strive to be an anti-racist school district that eliminates the inequities in academic achievement that limit our students’ choices; that cultivates classrooms where every student is affirmed, supported, and held to high expectations; and that nurtures a diverse organization where students, staff, and families are valued, respected, and included.

The Opportunity:
Mastery Charter Schools seeks a highly skilled leader and manager to serve as the network’s Senior Director of Operations (SDO).  The Senior Director is responsible for building operational systems that enable our school-based leaders to effectively support teachers and students in the pursuit of student achievement.  The SDO reports to the Chief Operating Officer (COO) and is a senior member of Mastery’s Network Support team.  The SDO manages a small, nimble central team of Network Directors of Operations (NDOs) and supports school-based Assistant Principals of Operations (APOs) across all schools.  In addition, the SDO works with other Mastery central office departments such as School Management, Finance, and Compliance to design and implement operational systems and tools. 
This position is an amazing opportunity for a strategic thinker and operational ‘tinkerer’ – the opportunity to create a best-in-class District-wide operational strategy that will transform the lives of 1000’s of young people.  The ideal candidate will demonstrate a relentless commitment to excellence and will share a deep belief in Mastery’s mission. The right candidate will have a track record of managing change in a matrixed organization.  The ideal candidate will confidently navigate the potential opportunities and challenges stemming from the need to balance school level autonomy and the benefits of network-wide scale.  Lastly, the ideal candidate must be a high-capacity, high quality executer – willing to manage multiple projects simultaneously and with an eye on the details. 

Duties and Responsibilities:

    • Operational Program Design and Implementation
    • In partnership with the Chief Operating Officer and Network Directors of Operations, the SDO will develop the school operations strategy for all Mastery sites. To drive this work, the SDO will be responsible for reviewing the current operational performance of schools and developing an operations strategic plan to build on successes and address any deficiencies. In order to develop the plan, critical decisions such as what is centrally managed versus school-based, as well as staffing and service levels, will need to be reviewed and adapted to meet the strategy. A successful plan will also include the adoption of performance measurement in areas such as finance, facilities, enrollment and compliance. Responsibilities include collaborating with stakeholders to:
    • Design and continuously improve on a school operations plan for all Mastery sites.
    • Develop yearly operational success metrics to track performance against goals and periodic protocols for reviewing progress.
    • Manage NDOs and ensure quality of all central operations services including APO coaching and centralized services like enrollment, purchasing, safety, food service, and transportation.
    • Partner with cross-functional central office team to develop Student recruitment/Enrollment strategies and facilitate central office supports for schools via (Technology, Talent/HR, Finance, Facilities, Academic and etc.) 

    • School Operations Support and Coaching
    • A major component of the role is to ensure that school operations leaders are receiving effective support and coaching on their individual and school operational performance.  This support may be delivered through direct feedback, whole group or individualized professional development, and the creation and adoption of tools for school use.  This support must also be differentiated – based on school region, school grade configuration, and experience level of the school leader involved.  Responsibilities include:
    • Coach APOs on best practices to managing annual school budgets, maintaining clean and safe buildings, and maintaining enrollment targets
    • Provide coaching and support to NDOs on key components of school operations including enrollment/student recruiting, budget management, data accuracy, and major vendor management such as food service, transportation, compliance, and nursing (among others)
    • Evaluate the performance of NDOs on job performance and customer service
    • Support principals in evaluating the performance of APOs on job performance and customer service
    • Identify school operations teams requiring additional support
    • Establish intervention plans and provide intensive coaching and hands-on support for targeted APOs
    • Design and modify a school operations program handbook & documentation structure
    • Review monthly school financial reports and provide coaching to ensure schools stay within budget
    • Oversee development of school operations handbook and new APO training modules
    • Lead hiring of new APOs at school sites
    • Oversee onboarding for new APOs

    • Centralized Services Management
    • In order to take advantage of network scale, Mastery centralizes certain procurement decisions (e.g., books, furniture, supplies) and provides technical assistance on major vendor work such as Request for Proposals (RFPs) coordination. In addition, Mastery has transitioned out of its previously-Philadelphia District managed food services function and now manages the service internally. 
    • Oversee delivery of high quality central services to school operations teams including centralized purchasing (books, furniture, supplies), food service consortium, performance metric gathering, RFP coordination, and vendor/contract management
    • Provide support to central office Food Service team to ensure a quality food service program is delivered, vendor management, and data support services for schools.  

    • Facilities Infrastructure
    • In support of the central office facilities team, the SDO serves as a thought partner on decisions related to school classroom design and school start up.  Responsibilities include:
    • Work with the facilities team to ensure that major facilities projects (new school or significant renovation) are effectively managed
    • Design and implement model classrooms in all new schools
    • Work with school leadership to support their planning of the layout and space usage for each facility


    • Strategic thinker: able to understand the interests of others and how to position an idea to move the ball forward
    • Smart: quick learner who is insatiably curious and able to figure it out
    • Analytical thinker: able to analyze programs and understand what drives program effectiveness
    • Organized and Execution Obsessed: focused on execution and quality
    • Exceptional Project Manager: understands how to get things done and scale programs across large organizations
    • Resilient and Adaptable: doesn’t get stuck by obstacles and resource constraints
    • High Expectations: demands quality in his/her work and throughout the organization
    • Personable: able to build relationships with multiple stakeholders including network support leaders, principals, and teachers
    • Self-Aware: has the ability to reflect and adapt to diverse environments

Education and Experience:

    • Minimum 5 years of senior management and/or school leadership experience
    • Experience in educational setting is strongly preferred, but not required
    • Experience managing teams and driving organizational change
    • Excellent oral and written communication skills
    • Unwavering commitment to students’ success and belief in Mastery Charter Schools’ mission
    • BA/BS required, relevant advanced degree preferred

Physical Requirements:

    • Ability to physically perform the duties and to work in the environmental conditions required such as traveling to network campuses and maneuvering in office space-reaching file cabinets, filing, faxing, coping, typing, mailing, and making phone calls; Must be able to sit for up to four (4) hours looking at a computer monitor, using a keyboard and mouse and typing
Mastery Charter Schools is an equal opportunity employer and actively encourages applications from people of all backgrounds. Compensation is competitive and commensurate with experience. We offer a full benefits program and opportunities for professional growth.

UPDATE AS OF JULY 2020 - Please review Mastery’s Back to School Plans here to learn about our response to COVID-19 for the 2020-21 school year. For ongoing positions, Mastery roles are designated as in-person, with regular on-site responsibilities, unless otherwise noted.  As such, Employees must be able to support Mastery Schools’ academic plan and business strategies on-site – at a Mastery campus - as required.  

Exceptions to this requirement will be considered on an individualized basis.