The Open School is seeking to hire a staff member who will act in a program director capacity for our Virtual Program. Our school is a self-directed, democratic school, situated in Santa Ana, California with a unique online program launched in December 2020. Our virtual program and on-campus program work in conjunction with each other and are part of the same organization. However, the virtual program is growing and needs dedicated staff and development to continue to serve our families and advance the community.
Though successful candidates may live in any time zone and adjust to fit the Pacific time schedule, it would be ideal for applicants to live in one of the 4 main US time zones. International candidates may apply, but may or may not be eligible depending on applicable laws and regulations. If you do not live in the US please inquire to determine eligibility.
The Open School staff members work directly with students and take on specific responsibilities within the democratic system of the school to maintain and grow the organization. We hire staff rather than teachers to emphasize that adults are not automatically teachers and that people learn from each other in complex ways. The Open School staff are not responsible for creating activities for students to pursue and do not have the authority to unilaterally establish or enforce rules. Staff at The Open School are available as role models, facilitators, and peers as students pursue their own interests.
There are numerous ways that staff interact with students ranging from tutoring in a specific subject, playing games (computers, cards, sports), working on collaborative projects, building things, going on field trips, cooking, producing plays to playing music, etc. Staff are expected to act as dependable stewards of the school; facilitate student access to resources; exemplify mature practice of personal fulfillment and societal engagement; and anchor school culture to values of interpersonal respect.
Staff also support all areas of school operations including administration and development. Most work is done from Monday through Friday, 9am-4:30pm Pacific time, but there are times when staff will need to work outside of those hours, such as a weekend event or an evening meeting. Additionally, this position has the ability to have a flexible schedule depending on the needs of the virtual program.
In addition, this position is specifically for someone who will act as a program director for our virtual program. This includes taking part in online activities, meeting one-on-one or in a small group with students virtually, and holding any number of meetings online. This person will also be a leader in the program and will help manage other staff who work virtually. They will continue to develop the virtual program by identifying new technologies, meeting the needs of our virtual families, and coming up with new ways to grow and market the program.
Staff members are also expected to pursue relationships with parents, holding regular conversations and meetings with them to deepen the parents’ understanding of and relationship with the school.
All candidates should share these commitments:
Upon hiring, staff members are considered “fellows” for a period of at least 3 months and no more than 1 year. During the fellowship period, they are compensated at $18/hour while they complete their training to become a full staff member. At the end of the fellowship period, the successful candidate will receive a vote of confidence from the School Meeting and earn the title of Staff Member. A full-time staff member is an exempt employee and at this time earns an annual starting salary of $36,331, paid bi-weekly throughout the year.
The Open School is committed to increasing staff wages each year to meet our goal of paying $45,000/year with benefits by 2026.
The Open School follows a standard academic calendar and staff work 35-40 hours per week during the school year. Due to the virtual nature of this position, there is some flexibility with the daily schedule provided that all responsibilities are being completed and the virtual staff member is attending required meetings and is available to other staff and students during the school day.
Staff have fewer responsibilities during the summer and therefore have a fair amount of time off during those months. There are periodic meetings and this position will require some summer work to prepare for the following year as well as further develop the program. Additionally, staff are considered on break during the school breaks (i.e. winter break, spring break, etc). Note for international applicants: the holiday breaks are tied to national US holidays.
Interested applicants should submit a resume (including names & contact information of previous managers), cover letter, introductory video, and three references to [email protected].
The cover letter should include information about your background knowledge, research, and experience in self-directed education environments. Include how long you have been interested in this type of education and why you are committed to it. Also, please share your weekly availability and what time commitment you are willing to make.
Along with this, please send a 3-minute video that explains who you are and why you would be a good staff member.
Upon receiving an application, the process is as follows: