Head of School Search

Announcement from Board Chair, Alexa Seip

Announcement from Founding Head of School, Chrissy Aull

The following tentative timeline and actions will mark the process to hire a new Head of Wye River Upper School:

February-March 2020: Interview Interim Candidates

March-April 2020: Announce Interim Head of SChool- to start summer 2020

April-May 2020: Begin the process of the full Head of School Search (which will include community involvement - surveys, focus groups, Advisory Committee)

Summer 2020: Interview Head candidates

Early fall 2020: Head of School finalists visit the school

Mid-fall 2020: Announce new Head of School

Opportunity Statement

Wye River Upper School (WRUS), an independent school located in Centreville, MD on the Eastern Shore serving bright students with learning differences, is seeking an experienced educator to serve as Interim Head for the 2020-2021 school year.

The Opportunity

WRUS is a co-ed college-preparatory high school that provides an individualized and supportive education to approximately 60 students in a low- stress, yet challenging academic environment. WRUS was founded in 2002 by Chrissy Aull who has lead the school for the past 18 years and will retire in June of 2020. The school is currently in a position of financial, programmatic, and leadership strength and seeks a seasoned independent school administrator to provide stability, positivity, and continuity while the school undertakes a full, national Head search.

WRUS Fast Facts

∙We currently serve 57 students.

∙We employ 20 faculty and staff.

∙We have a 4:1 student to teacher ratio.

∙Our average class size is 6-8 students.

∙Students and alumni have come from 12 counties across the region.

∙Approximately 50% our students come from the Eastern Shore and half come from west of the Bay and Delaware.

∙50% of our faculty and staff hold graduate degrees.

∙Wye River is a non-profit-organization with 501(c)(3) status.

∙We are in good standing with AIMS (Association of Independent Schools)

∙Applications are accepted year-round; tuition is prorated based on student start date.

∙Wye River promotes dual enrollment for eligible juniors and seniors, enabling them to start earning college credits while still in high school.

∙College and postsecondary advising is offered throughout a student’s four years.

∙The majority of Wye River graduates attend 2 year and 4 year colleges. Our students have also found success in Gap Year Programs, Vocational Schools, the Military, the Coast Guard and Americorps.

WRUS Program and Curriculum

Mission Statement

Students who learn differently discover through innovation, develop with rigor, and celebrate their strengths at Wye River Upper School while preparing for success in college, career and life.

Authority for curriculum design, scope and sequence is given to department leaders and teachers. WRUS follows the Common Core Standards in language arts, social studies, and math. The Next Generation Science Standards and MSDE Core standards guide the science program. Performing and fine arts follow The Maryland Voluntary Curriculum. Emphasis is placed on real-world learning and helping students make higher-level connections between key concepts and applications within their communities - local and beyond. A significant portion of our classroom instruction is project-based, with focus on strengthening communication skills and collaboration among peers and instructors.

Our program includes a daily emphasis on personal wellness through competitive and non-competitive athletic programs.

Supporting Learning Differences

WRUS dedicates resources and attention to academic, social and executive function challenges of each student. Among the tools we implement are Orton-Gillingham based reading interventions, EmPower writing structures, daily tools to improve mindful approaches to time management and academic responsibilities and a daily advisory in a teacher guided session.

Every student’s academic achievement is monitored bi-annually using the Woodcock Johnson Achievement Battery and, effective 2019-20, the Fast- Bridge Curriculum Based Assessments are completed twice annually.

If a student demonstrates qualifying academic needs, a Student Development Plan is written by a special educator and serves as a comprehensive tool for faculty to identify instructional classroom strategies to strengthen student skills in specific areas of need.

WRUS Financial Position

WRUS has total assets of about $6,500,000, with $5,500,000 being in property and equipment and $1,000,000 in cash equivalents. We operate on a balanced annual budget of about $2,000,000. More than 50% of the students are full-pay. Financial assistance provided to other students is third-party adjudicated based on need and is consistently covered by financial aid fundraising. Annual debt service for the building restoration has been about $120,000 and is expected to drop to $60,000 beginning in 2020, based on refinancing opportunities. A five-year Strategic Financial Plan was adopted in 2019 that provides for a continuing balanced operating budget, maintaining appropriate cash reserves, servicing long term debt and modest endowment growth.

Interim Head Candidate Qualities

∙ An experienced leader who understands small independent schools

∙ A knowledgable educator with experience engaging students with learning differences

∙ An exceptional communicator, orally and in writing

∙ A collaborative community-builder who will quickly and positively engage and connect with our internal and external community-members

∙ A skilled school financial manager, able to maintain and enhance budgets, development, and planning

∙ An organized and detail-oriented manager, able to support our exceptional faculty and staff

How to Apply

Wye River Upper School offers a competitive salary and benefits commensurate with experience and qualifications. Interested candidates are asked to provide a cover letter and resumé to our Search Consultant Brooke Carroll at: brooke@aciesstrategies.com no later than March 1st, 2020.

Wye River Upper School does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, age, gender, sexual orientation, nationality or ethnic origin in the administration of its educational policies, admission policies, employment policies, financial aid programs, and athletic and other school-administered programs.