The Dean will report to the Head of School and will work closely alongside Division Heads and Coordinators, the Chaplain, Academic Department Chairs, Advisors, and any outside consultants the school brings in for workshops, advice, and expertise. He/she will take a prominent role in the school’s upcoming strategic planning work.
Student Life (Including Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion)
The experience of belonging to a joyful community and learning to give one’s life in just service are essential features of an ESLA student’s spiritual and ethical formation. Within this theme, ESLA wishes to focus on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion as a major strand for its growth and development.
The Dean will take the lead in working with faculty and administrators in coordinating growth of curricular and co-curricular areas of social and emotional learning; diversity, equity, and inclusion; service learning; and (for want of a better expression) “the fun stuff,” through clubs and activities, councils, and events.
The Dean of Student Life and Service will steward, coordinate, and grow the programs, events, and traditions of these key areas so that they foster a sense of belonging, joy, and purpose in our diverse student body.
ESLA’s deep and robust traditions have created a community that is joyful while also nurturing student leadership and voices. Building on and developing established programs such as Councils and Advisory, the Dean will begin to integrate the school’s work on DEI into everything we do.
Examples of student life programs and traditions include:
Councils and Clubs: The five student governing bodies—the Honor Council, Vestry, Academic Council, Service Council, and Community Life Council— tend to specific aspects of school life as they connect to ESLA’s four virtues: generosity, integrity, curiosity, and courage. Council positions are for one or two years and are by election or appointment depending on the council. In the past two years, upper school clubs and affinity groups have exploded with energy. While it is part of ESLA’s “building together” mission that students take the initiative in starting clubs, a need for stronger scaffolding in this process is evident.
Red/White and Founders Day: Upon arrival, all students and faculty are selected onto the Red or White teams, which compete in a variety of academic, athletic, and wacky events throughout the year, including Founders Day (which involves a surprise announcement by bagpipe and a day of field games), culminating in the award of the Sacred Tiller. Tradition is strong and ceremony high.
Opportunities for growing community life include developing more upper and middle school club opportunities, strengthening student leadership skills, defining the role of affinity groups so that they benefit individual students and strengthen the larger community, and developing opportunities for older students to support new or younger students.
The Dean will work to establish and integrate DEI themes into student life programming through Councils, advisory, academic curriculum, events, and other appropriate avenues.
For reference purposes only, the current Director of Student Life job description is here. It is anticipated that specifics of this part of the role would be adjusted to fit the experience, expertise, and talents of the new Dean.
Service and Justice
ESLA’s Service and Justice Program blends service-learning and social justice education by engaging students in service that is grounded in personal relationships, challenges them to resist systems of inequality, and inspires them to pursue the Beloved Community. The current program includes the following:
One of the five student-led governing bodies, the Service Council is responsible for approving, and promoting service opportunities; selecting ESLA’s Community Partners—a small group of organizations to which the school directs its energy; organizing school-wide service events; working with other student groups to raise awareness about justice issues; and selecting the recipient of the annual Service Award
A graduation requirement of 75 volunteer hours in service and justice work that is person-to-person, 40 hours of which must be at one organization.
A variety of service-learning trips that are embedded in curricular courses including the Urban Immersion on homelessness connected to 9th grade L.A. History, the Immigration Learning Lab on the San Diego/Tijuana border connected to Spanish, and the Haiti school partnership connected to the Haiti Travel Seminar elective
Weekly outreach walks with our homeless neighbors to provide encouragement and practical support.
Opportunities for growth include strengthening curricular connections, establishing a Program for Social Transformation (a selective, multi-year program in which students would engage in work that is experiential, curricular, analytical and self-reflective), creating regular service opportunities for students and families; and developing a lasting, school-wide, on-site or near-site service project. The qualified candidate might wish to select one or two of these areas or recommend another direction in line with the School’s mission.
Skills and Responsibilities
The Dean of Student Life and Service should be passionate and knowledgeable about issues and programming relating to student life, service learning, and DEI, and eager to keep learning and to help the community to keep learning. He/she should have experience in adolescent spiritual and ethical formation in the Episcopal tradition. A sense of fun to complement the serious work is essential.
The position is both highly relational and administrative and includes identifying and training student and faculty leaders, working with outside organizations, consultants, and advisors, organizing annual calendars and budgets, and program evaluation. High attention to detail combined with creativity is essential. Work outside of traditional school hours is anticipated and necessary.
The Dean may be required to teach at least one class.
At least 3 years’ experience working with students, both inside and outside the classroom, in grades 6 through 12, preferably in an independent school and preferably in the Episcopal tradition.
Experience with Diversity, Equity and Inclusion work with students and adults.
Strong work ethic, flexible schedule, high integrity, sense of humor.
Top notch organizational skills combined with creative thinking.
About Episcopal School of Los Angeles
Serving students in 6-12th grade, The Episcopal School of Los Angeles is a city school founded in the heart of Hollywood. We are looking for bright, hardworking, creative teachers and staff members who are interested in being a part of a pioneering generation of educators. Technology and ethics play a central role in our culture. As an Episcopal School, we are an inclusive community that welcomes people from all backgrounds. Unlike traditional independent schools, 75% of our students receive financial aid. As a result, we offer one of the most diverse communities in the independent school market.