Society Hill Synagogue Playschool is seeking a dynamic, warm, and experienced Assistant Director of Education to join our administrative team. Working closely with the synagogue’s Executive Director, who oversees the synagogue’s Playschool and Hebrew School, the Assistant Director of Education for Playschool leads a team of dedicated teachers and ensures that Playschool’s mission and philosophy are reflected in the curriculum, pedagogy, and day-to-day operations of the program. The Assistant Director plays a critical role in Playschool’s continued growth and success through the creation of meaningful learning experiences for children in a nurturing, progressive early childhood environment.
This is a full-time position. The compensation package is commensurate with experience and includes paid health insurance, paid vacation, paid sick leave, and paid parental leave.
• Supports the mission, vision, and goals of Society Hill Synagogue Playschool.
• Fosters a positive atmosphere and a close community among Playschool students, parents/caregivers, faculty, and staff.
• Ensures that the curriculum and daily classroom practices align with Playschool’s philosophy.
• Observes in classrooms and provides day-to-day oversight, support, and feedback to faculty.
• Monitors and assesses the climate of each classroom and the individual and group needs of the members of that classroom community.
• Ensures that information about students’ learning needs and learning profiles is being acted upon to fully support students, including maintaining ongoing dialogue with support specialists (e.g., occupational therapists, speech-language pathologists).
• Leads staff meetings and in-services, and plans professional development opportunities.
• Participates in meetings and presentations with parents/caregivers, including orientations, welcome events, and holiday programming.
• Serves as the primary contact for parent/caregiver emails and questions.
• Coordinates weekly classroom e-newsletters from the Lead Teachers.
• Supports Lead Teachers in preparation for parent-teacher conferences and in gathering appropriate samples and written notes about each child.
• Manages the ordering of instructional materials, school supplies, and snacks.
• Implements all safety and security protocols, including regular drills.
• Attends the monthly Playschool Committee meeting.
• Represents Playschool at community early childhood education events.
• B.A. required, M.A. preferred, in Early Childhood Education or Elementary Education.
• A minimum of five years of faculty supervision and/or teaching experience in a preschool.
• A passion for early childhood education and commitment to progressive educational philosophy.
• A collaborative work style and the ability to communicate respectfully and effectively with children, parents/caregivers, faculty, and other colleagues.
• Punctuality, professionalism, and good judgment.
• Familiarity with Jewish values, holidays, and customs is preferred but not required.
ABOUT SOCIETY HILL SYNAGOGUE PLAYSCHOOL
Society Hill Synagogue Playschool is a welcoming, inclusive school community for children ages 2-5 that embraces diversity in religion, ethnicity, race, and family structure. Our philosophy is child-centered and play-based. We believe that children learn through play in a safe and nurturing environment. We respect children as individuals and respond to their needs with compassion and dedication.
Our teachers are enthusiastic, experienced early childhood educators who love what they do and bring a wide range of skills and artistic talents to the classroom. Almost every staff member has earned their B.A., and several hold Master’s degrees. Professional development is a high priority at our school. Through planning and observation, our faculty provide appropriate developmental experiences designed to enrich the whole child, including social, emotional, physical, cognitive, and creative development.
Following three months of remote learning from March-June 2020 and after conducting surveys, more than 25 hours of Zoom conversations with families, and meetings with our Playschool Committee, COVID-19 Risk Mitigation and Safety Committee, and Board of Directors, we decided to reopen our Playschool Summer Camp in person, with an updated, comprehensive health and safety policy and strategic cohorting to mitigate risk and maximize safety. We wrapped up six wonderful weeks of camp in late August, and our new school year begins on September 8. We are building on the experience of successfully reopening for camp and will be open five days a week in person during the school year.
We have invested significantly in air purification and ventilation systems, PPE, contactless hand sanitizer dispensers, tents, and other equipment for outdoor activities. Everyone is required to wear masks, including our Playschoolers. There is currently little activity in person at the synagogue other than Playschool – e.g., no religious services, Board meetings, Hebrew School, or adult education – and those programs will remain virtual until health and safety conditions change.
ABOUT OUR CURRICULUM
Our curriculum integrates age-appropriate academics focused on literacy and language acquisition, early math skills, and scientific exploration with free play and early socialization activities indoors and outside in our large courtyard and at local parks, thematic art projects, circle time and singing, and a celebration of Jewish values, holidays, and customs.
Our schedule includes ZoomDance classes tied to seasonal themes and beloved stories, Soccer Shots to develop gross motor skills and good sportsmanship, music and drama classes, and a Friday morning Shabbat celebration with singing, dancing, and delicious challah. In addition, our students participate in trips to a variety of local treasures, including the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Academy of Natural Sciences, the Philadelphia Insectarium and Butterfly Pavilion, and theatre companies for live shows.