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French American School of Rhode Island Providence, Rhode Island Head of School July 1, 2017

The Position

Mission FASRI develops globally connected, responsible and adaptable citizens through an exceptional multi-language program that empowers students to realize their full potential.

Values Our efforts are guided by a set of values that reflect: • Partnership—engaging in collaborative relationships in the classroom, within our school, in our community, and with the network of French Schools around the globe to help us provide the best possible experience and opportunities for our students • Respect—exhibiting respectful behavior in all that we do • Strength—instilling a global awareness that keeps our minds open and adaptable, promotes excellence, and makes a positive difference in the lives of our students, faculty, staff and the state of Rhode Island, which is our home • Diversity—embracing diversity and multi-culturalism that results in an appreciation of different perspectives and points of view • Curiosity—encouraging critical thinking, innovation, and a love of learning • Joy—pursuing our work, studies, and relationships with a joyful spirit and optimistic attitude

The French American School of Rhode Island (FASRI) is a unique institution that provides a transformational educational experience for students. With an extraordinary sense of community and a real pride in its identity as a truly bilingual, diverse, international and internationally-minded school, FASRI has been educating students in preschool through grade five since 1994, with grades six through eight starting in 2006. No other school in the area shapes the worldview of students through firsthand experiences with international classmates and teachers quite like FASRI. Students graduate as multilingual adaptive thinkers and respectful citizens, equipped to succeed in high school and beyond. The next Head of School is being offered an extraordinary opportunity to lead this exceptional and thriving school. While seeing the incredible potential of the school, the next Head should also see the opportunity to make a deep commitment to its values and strengths while helping to build confidence and a sense of shared forward movement and purpose. Building upon the school’s current assets in order to establish a renewed spirit and enthusiasm for the school, its values, and its programs should be a key goal of the new leader. It will also be important for the next Head to be an active spokesperson for the school and spend a significant amount of time visiting with teachers, administrators, staff members, students, and parents to get to know them personally and show genuine interest in and respect for them as individuals, members of the community and employees. At the same time, the Head can build capital by sharing with faculty some of the work a Head must do that is not curriculum related, such as budgeting, marketing, and fundraising. This is a superb opportunity to lead and continue to develop a renowned school.

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The School Founded in 1994, The French American School offers an effective and successful dual-language program to students in preschool through eighth grade. The school is accredited by the Ministère de I’Education Nationale (French Ministry of Education), the Rhode Island Board of Education, and the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC). The school holds memberships with the Independent School Association of Rhode Island (ISARI), the Association of French Schools in America (AFSA), the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS), and the Independent Schools Management Consortium (ISM). The school takes a bilingual approach to education, following both the rigorous requirements of the French government and the highest standards of American independent schools. FASRI belongs to a worldwide network of French schools (Agency for French Education Abroad) that has been in existence for over a century and has produced thousands of alumni who are now CEOs, political leaders, artists, and innovators in all disciplines. With a 7.8:1 student/teacher ratio, the school is able to provide individualized attention and care towards each student, preparing them for success in high school and beyond. FASRI is a school community that is diverse in many ways—ethnically, socio-economically, and culturally. Currently the school enrolls 209 students with richly diverse backgrounds. More than 25 nations are represented in the school community and 25% of the student body is students of color. Thanks to a strong financial aid program, 31% of students attend the school with financial assistance.

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High School Placement

The following high schools have been attended by FASRI alumni: • Attleboro High School, MA • Barrington High School • Belmont High School, MA • Bishop Hendricken • Classical High School • East Greenwich High School • Indian River High School, DE • International School of Boston, MA • LaSalle Academy • Lincoln School • Lycée de Sèvres, France • Moses Brown • Providence Country Day School • Seekonk High School, MA • St. Andrew’s School Rhode Island • St. Gregory College Prep, AZ • St. Mary Academy - Bay View • Towson High School, MD • Wheeler School

College Placement The following colleges and universities have been attended by FASRI alumni: • Bennington College • Brown University • Ecole du Cirque, Montreal • Fordham University • Harvard University • ICES (Institut Catholique d’Etudes Superieures), France • Johnson & Wales University • La Sorbonne, Paris, France • Manhattanville College • McGill, Canada • Naropa University • Notre Dame University-Louaize, Lebanon • Providence College • Sacred Heart University • Tufts University • U Mass Amherst • Wesley College • Yale University • Université de Sciences, Montpellier, France • Université de Droit et de Sciences Politiques, Montpellier, France • Université du Québec à Chicoutimi, Canada • Université du Québec à Rimouski, Canada • University of Rhode Island

Academics Students who learn in a bilingual environment have the world opened up in front of them. At FASRI, the school prides itself in being able to build a deep understanding of differences within each student, cultivating empathy and respect and shaping students into better citizens of the world. While many students come to FASRI with no previous knowledge of French, as they begin to build their proficiency they not only gain skills in a language that is the fifth-most-spoken in the world, but they also develop increased mental flexibility, creativity, and higher self-esteem. FASRI’s effective and successful dual-language immersion program offers students the best of two educational systems, and a strong 21st-century academic program prepares students well for their future education. Students experience a true international curriculum that allows for a sincere dialogue between cultures and languages. Graduates are equipped with the communication, technological, and critical-thinking skills they need to lead successful lives and contribute to the world in which they live. The school also works to continuously evaluate and improve the academic program in order to provide students with an outstanding and cutting-edge education that aligns with top learning best practices and pedagogical development. The French American School’s curriculum is divided into four learning cycles, following the French educational system. The first cycle, preschool through kindergarten, focuses on targeted areas of development. In the second cycle, grades one and two, students begin to acquire literary and math skills. In the third cycle, grades three through five, students

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use their reading and math skills to grow in knowledge in specific subject areas. The fourth and last cycle, grades six through eight, sees students using their newly gained skills and content knowledge as a foundation for deeper thinking. Acknowledging that students learn at different rates with different styles of learning, many classrooms are combined-level, a popular method used in French schools. French schools have implemented this type of structure for over a century with excellent results. Students in multi-level classrooms learn how to work on their own and as part of a team, and older students reinforce their grasp of the classroom material, while building important leadership skills. Further, this environment reflects the diverse ideas and abilities of the real world, and prepares students well for the 21st century. The faculty is highly skilled at devising multiple activities on the same subject with respect to every learning style. This differentiated pedagogy gives every child a specific way to reach his or her goals and achieve personal excellence. The teacher is not at the center of the class, but rather guides students as they draw from their own abilities to solve problems and become independent learners.

Maternelle: Preschool, Prekindergarten, and Kindergarten In Maternelle, or Cycle 1, students learn in both languages. Students learn in French for the majority of the time, but as these youngest learners are still developing their English vocabulary, lessons in English enhance core skills. Just as a young child learns how to communicate from a parent, children learn the French language at this early age through listening and mirroring, getting used to the sounds of words as teachers speak them and then reproducing them naturally. Teachers take a visual and animated approach to expressing themselves, allowing students to pick up on vocal and facial cues that guide them in the learning process. Regular outings, play, music, and poetry are all part of the experience to assist in language learning, and games and manipulation are used to foster mathematical concepts. At the end of the program, students have learned how to participate respectfully, how and when to listen, how to control their emotions and express themselves effectively, and how to participate actively in their own learning. The Search Group | Carney, Sandoe & Associates

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ElÉmentaire: Grades One through Five Students in FASRI’s elementary program receive the best of both the American and French educational systems. The French Ministry outlines that a curriculum must allow for the acquisition and understanding of core foundational skills along with specific content. Because there are areas where the American common core standards and French curriculum overlap, students at FASRI can learn the same set of skills in multiple languages. They are able to easily shift perspectives and adapt their critical thinking to creatively solve problems across subject areas. Important inquiry and process skills are developed at this level, including observation, communication, measurement, and prediction. At the same time, students earn deep respect and curiosity about their cultures and have a strong grasp of global history. The dedicated elementary school faculty collaborates across grades and subjects, ensuring that all necessary lessons are taught in a comprehensive and coordinated manner designed to broaden students’ understanding of a topic. For example, English and French teachers in history might collaborate on a lesson about revolution, presenting different points of view and cultural perspectives. In first and second grade, reading, creative writing, world discovery, and mathematics are cotaught. Students build upon the skills they learned in the Maternelle and develop basic literacy and mathematics abilities while becoming more independent and responsible learners. Students in grades three through five receive dual language instruction in civics, mathematics, literature, and creative writing. They strengthen the skills they have been building and explore new content knowledge across subjects. Hands-on, experiential learning projects drive science lessons, and students have both guided and open opportunities for learning. At the end of the elementary level, students have developed a high level of bilingualism and understanding of all subjects.

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CollÈge: Grades Six through Eight The middle school years are a transformative time, and The French American School of Rhode Island provides a vibrant community of teachers, parents, and administrators who support students during this process. The faculty pays close attention to the social and emotional well-being of every student, creating a safe and comfortable environment where students can realize their full potential. During this culminating time of a student’s education at FASRI, language skills are advancing significantly and students are becoming highly creative and inquisitive critical thinkers. Dual language instruction continues, with language arts taught in both English and French, social studies in French, and math and science in English. When Spanish is introduced in sixth grade, students are able to absorb and retain this third language with ease. Students also take courses in the visual arts, music, and physical education, providing a well-rounded academic experience. Project-based learning is at the core of the academic program in Middle School. This approach to teaching sees students working for an extended period of time to investigate and respond to an authentic complex question and empowers students to take ownership of the learning process. Students remain actively engaged in their learning and become confident in their abilities. Technology is integrated into the classroom to support and enhance the learning experience, and each student is provided their own Chromebook. In support of the school’s mission to shape students as prepared global citizens, the school also recently launched an international exchange program for Middle School students with Lycée Français International in Dubai and with families in Reus, Spain.

Enrichment Programs Enrichment programs are offered at every grade level, encouraging leadership skills and socialization and enhancing the educational experience. Taking place during the day, the programs help to develop coordination and physical strength, while gaining meaningful experiences in problem-solving and teamwork. Programs vary by grade and can include swimming, ice skating, and athletic meets with The Search Group | Carney, Sandoe & Associates

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neighboring schools. Middle school sports programs are offered in cooperation with Providence Country Day School and the Fox Point Boys and Girls Club. Teachers take full advantage of the community’s resources through field trips that support classroom lessons. At all grade levels, students participate in trips throughout the school year, visiting places such as the East Side Fire Department, local farms and orchards, the RISD Museum of Art, and even overnight trips to Philadelphia, QuÊbec, or Washington, D.C.

School Life In addition to a strong academic program, FASRI offers a close sense of community among students, faculty and staff, and parents. The environment is nurturing and safe, and students feel comfortable taking risks. Students are respectful of the cultural differences among their peers and take great joy in celebrating the diversity in which they are immersed. Knowing that an education should include experiences outside the classroom, the FASRI club program provides a fun and safe opportunity for students to continue to grow and learn, while also exploring other areas of interest and making new friendships. Open to both FASRI students and the larger community and often taught in French, clubs are offered from preschool through grade eight and include a diverse selection that appeals to every student. Past examples of club options include cooking, fencing, sailing, robotics, and yoga.

Providence, Rhode Island Providence is the capital and most populous city in the state of Rhode Island. Home to approximately 180,000 people, the city is the third-largest in the New England region. Founded in 1638, it is also one of the oldest cities in the country. The Search Group | Carney, Sandoe & Associates

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Most of Providence’s attractions are organized into four neighborhoods: Downcity, which includes the core of the downtown area; Federal Hill, a neighborhood known for its nightlife and Italian dining; and College Hill/The East Side, which is home to some of the city’s oldest homes and features smaller neighborhoods with eclectic shops and restaurants. South Providence is home to many restaurants that feature cuisine for every taste, especially Spanish and Chinese. The neighborhoods are walkable and great to spend a day in on foot enjoying the city’s historic charm. The city is home to two very prominent educational institutions, Brown University and the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD). Brown is consistently ranked by US News and World Reports as a top university in the country, and both attract students and professors from around the world. The result is a city filled with rich cultural and ethnic diversity from which FASRI students, faculty, and staff benefit. Providence’s many museums, including the Museum of Natural History and Planetarium, Providence Children’s Museum, RISD Museum, and two historic mansions (John Brown House Museum and Governor Henry Lippitt House Museum), provide further enrichment opportunities for tourists and residents alike. Despite being an urban capital city, Providence boasts an impressive array of green space and recreational opportunities. Nationally recognized for its outstanding design, Waterplace Park is the focal point of Providence’s revitalized downtown. This four-acre urban park surrounding a tidal basin features an amphitheater, landscaped terraces, and boat landings. Roger Williams Park, with more than 430 acres to enjoy, is comprised of outdoor gardens and the Roger Williams Park Zoo. India Point is perfect for water lovers who can get their sea fix at the Community Boating Center which offers sailing lessons and recreational boating opportunities.

Opportunities and Challenges With a rigorous academic program, enhanced by adherence to the French national curriculum taught by French teachers, FASRI prepares its students very well, not only for their further education, but for lives as globally aware citizens who are sensitive to and respectful of cultural differences. Parents value highly the educational and developmental opportunities FASRI offers their children as well as the strong sense of community it provides for them (as one parent said, “We feel a tremendous sense The Search Group | Carney, Sandoe & Associates

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of appreciation for what the school has done for our family.”). The school takes full advantage of its small size to develop its sense of community within an intimate and highly personalized context. At the same time, FASRI faces challenges that will need to be addressed by its next Head of School, working in close collaboration with the Board and the faculty. As a small school that relies upon tuition revenues, a healthy enrollment is essential and the commitment of families who have clear alternatives in the community depends heavily upon their continued confidence in the school. In recent years, changes in administration and high faculty turnover have created a sense of instability and it will be very important to restore a positive sense of identity and purpose. Similarly, FASRI needs to find a way to serve a predominantly American population while offering a program that largely follows the French national curriculum, taught by capable French teachers who have trained in France. There is also a need to address the social-emotional development of students and their social education. Opportunities for the next Head of School include: • Playing a leading role in a school with a strong sense of community • Working in a truly diverse, internationally-minded school that offers a unique opportunity for its students to become bilingual • Being a learning leader who understands curriculum and faculty support and development • Building on the current strengths of the school to enhance its reputation and role in the greater Providence educational arena Challenges for the next Head of School include: • Addressing faculty turnover and building a sense of stability and confidence within the school community • Being a visible, engaged, and hands-on leader who relishes being an inspirational presence • Finding new programs and activities that are consistent with the mission of the school and provide new sources of revenue • Improving programs that support the social-emotional needs of students

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• Being an educational leader who continuously builds the academic excellence of the school and models what is expected of teachers and provides a more consistent and effective faculty evaluation program • Driving growth in enrollment

Desired Qualities of the Next Head of School The successful candidate will demonstrate a substantial capacity to become passionate about FASRI and its mission. The next Head should be a capable leader with strong organizational skills who also understands school finances and budgeting. The school seeks a leader with strong communication and listening skills. While not required, it is preferred that the next Head has experience running a French or international school, possesses experience in fundraising, and understands the French culture. In addition, the following qualities are seen as high priorities: • An inclusive, collaborative leader who is a team player and team builder • Values, supports, and retains teachers • Experience in the French educational system • Bilingual French-English strongly preferred • Visible, accessible, and approachable • Values community and is a proven community builder • An educational leader, strong in curriculum

To Apply Interested and qualified candidates should submit electronically in one email and as separate documents (preferably PDFs) the following materials: • • • •

A cover letter expressing their interest in this particular position A current resume A one-page statement of educational philosophy and practice A list of five (5) professional references with name, phone number, and email address of each to:

John Chandler Senior Search Consultant Art Charles Managing Associate, International Search

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French American School of Rhode Island Head of School Search  

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