The Prep Schools, Model Operations Leader (Immediate Opening) (Cleveland, OH)

Cleveland, OH


Date published: 13-Sep-2017

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Breakthrough Schools is the highest-rated network of tuition- free, non- profit public charter schools in Cleveland. Our mission is to develop a growing network of distinctive school options that prepare Cleveland area students for success in life. Breakthrough Schools have been recognized as the best performing schools in Cleveland, honored by local, state and national organizations for excellence in teaching, leadership, and student achievement.  Breakthrough currently serves over 3,500 K-8 students across 11 schools. The Prep Schools account for 6 of Breakthrough’s 11 schools and serves roughly half of the total student body.

The Opportunity


The Prep Schools Model Operations Leader is accountable for all schools operations across the Preps model, seeking to optimize and enhance the non-instructional performance of all model schools to allow the Prep Schools Model Education Leader and principals to stay focused on their primary responsibilities as instructional leaders.  This position will take on a variety of leadership and operational responsibilities from overseeing the development and implementation of multiple school budgets to gathering and analyzing school data to identify trends while ensuring that the school has sufficient materials and the quality services to serve its students. In conjunction with the school principals, the Model Operations Leader will supervise school-based operations staff and the Preps Finance Manager and will be the lead advocate for the Prep Schools at the network level – working closely with the Breakthrough Support Team to refine network operations policies and to resolve any service issues or concerns that become a disruption to the schools.

The Prep Schools Model Operations Leader will serve as a senior member of the Breakthrough network leadership team, reporting directly to the COO, but will also have accountability directly to the Preps Board of Directors through its Chairperson. The Operations Leader will also work closely with peer Model Operations Leaders and the Breakthrough Support Team Leadership on continually improving the efficiency and effectiveness of the model and network operations.

A strong collaborative partnership with the Prep Schools Model Education Leader is essential. The Prep Schools Model Operations Leader will partner with the Prep Schools Model Education Leader to guide the direction, priorities, culture and evolution of the model design.



As a member of the Breakthrough Leadership Team, the Model Operations Leader will contribute in seven critical areas:


General Operations and Leadership

  • Responsible for building and continuing to improve the internal and network operational systems, processes, infrastructure and services that support model schools and will allow model to continue to grow and fulfill its mission sustainably and cost efficiently;
  • Drives operational excellence in coordination with Support Team colleagues and school operations teams across all operations functions and back office systems including: student recruitment and enrollment, facilities, meals, transportation, procurement, compliance, new school expansion, human capital and technology;
  • Ensures operational strategies are translated into specific objectives and plans (with contingencies); integrates and aligns efforts across functions, locations; sets realistic yet aggressive timeframes for achieving key objectives; ensures uniform & consistent application of agreed programs & processes;
  • Incorporates a strong customer service orientation into all aspects of school operations;
  • Assists in the preparation and implementation of, and adherence to, policies and procedures that guide, track, or document the activities of schools;
  • Sets service-level agreements and redesigns processes to consistently deliver on commitments;
  • Analyzes and communicates school operations performance metrics to key stakeholders and identifies and leads strategic projects that improve the efficiency of school operations;
  • Collaborates with Chief Operating Officer on special projects as needed.

Planning, Budgeting and Finance

  • Manages the Prep Schools Finance Manager;
  • Responsible for all portfolio schools' budgeting, long-term modeling and financial sustainability;
  • Leads and actively partners with the schools and Support Team in development of annual and five year budgets;
  • Designs school replication financial model and targets;
  • Manages all financial reporting with school treasurer and BCS Support Team;
  • Coordinates with Support Team regarding state and federal audits and tax filing preparations;
  • Prepares for Finance Committee meetings for all schools within model to support financial oversight from Board;
  • Ensures portfolio of schools adhere to Breakthrough fiscal policies and procedures;
  • Oversees all model components of payroll processes, accounts receivables, accounts payables and serves as an authorized signer for all accounts;
  • Conduct ad-hoc model-wide financial/operational analyses that provide strategic direction, guidance, and monitoring.

  Governance, Sponsor Relations & Compliance

  • Creates agenda, materials and meeting minutes for all Board meetings;
  • Serves as primary liaison with board chair and governance committee and other relevant committees;
  • Reviews and implements policy updates in accordance with network and model-wide policies and procedures;
  • Prepares organizational metrics for monthly board review;
  • Oversees legal activities, including letters of agreement, contracts, leases, and other;
  • Ultimately responsible for all schools' compliance with all local, state, federal and sponsor requirements;
  • Ensure that all model schools are in compliance with all state, federal, and district deadlines (i.e. legal regulations, entitlement grants, health and safety laws, charter contracts, state education mandates, and workplace regulations).

Team Leadership & Talent Development

  • Builds and manages a high-performing team of operations directors and staff;
  • Trains and supports school operations leaders to make good hiring, professional development, and retention decisions;
  • Coordinates training throughout the model to help the organization grow strong leaders and customer focused support staff;
  • Develops skills and competencies of school-based operations teams, leveraging the formal evaluation process to tailor professional development and coaching to maximize each individual's growth;
  • Designs systems to retain and reward high performing operations staff;
  • Partners with Network Operations and fellow Model Operations Leaders to select and support the training of new Operations Fellows; on boards Fellows assigned as new operations directors in Preps schools;
  • Supports performance evaluations for school level operations staff.

  Technology Facilities, Safety & Procurement

  • Works with BCS and landlord to ensure adequate facility space for existing and future schools' needs, including space renovations, room changes and miscellaneous needs;
  • Works with BCS and Breakthrough Facilities Committee to identify long-term capital improvements and short-term repairs and maintenance needed to ensure warm, safe and dry facilities;
  • Coordinates with Support Team on procurement of network-wide services and with schools on model-wide services and purchasing;
  • Partners with BCS IT to ensure that schools receive adequate and timely technical support;
  • Ensure that all safety and security drill are successfully performed at their required intervals.

  New School Planning and School Start Up

  • Partners with Network Operations to hire and train the operations team to support new school openings;
  • Partners with Support Team regarding facilities acquisitions and renovations, sponsorship application and sponsor assurances, systems setups, student recruitment and community outreach;
  • Establishes first-year budgets in coordination with BCS and FOB;
  • Works closely with schools to prepare the campus for annual start-up/new school year (i.e. ordering furniture, equipment, and classroom supplies) and ensure that school and student services (i.e. student food services, student transportation services) are lined up and ready from day one.

  Breakthrough Schools Operations Leaders Cohort

  • Represents model at bi-weekly network operations leadership meetings;
  • Participates in all network operational policy decision-making and contributes to all initiatives to improve network efficiency and scalability and streamline network-wide processes;
  • Partners with Support Team on a rotating basis to act on behalf of all school models in various initiatives from systems evaluations to procurement opportunities;
  • Identifies, collects and shares best practices across the Operations Leaders Cohort.



The ideal candidate will bring the following attributes and skills:

  • Passion for urban education reform
  • Very detail-oriented with strong organization, prioritization, time management, and follow-up skills
  • Demonstrates excellence by taking initiative, following through on commitments and surpassing expectations
  • Self-starter with excellent problem solving and critical thinking skills, with a desire to take on new challenges
  • Systems thinking, broad and strategic perspective, and ability to create clarity from complexity
  • Demonstrated strengths in strategic planning, financial analysis, project management, incorporating the perspective, participation and support of multiple stakeholders and handling multiple projects concurrently
  • Ability to collaborate effectively and build relationships with representatives from all levels of organization
  • Strong interpersonal and communication skills with demonstrated ability of motivating and influencing
  • Ability to create, monitor, and continually improve systems that enhance organizational efficiency
  • Advanced skills in Microsoft Office Suite, particularly Excel, Word, and PowerPoint; demonstrated comfort with data systems

The ideal candidate will bring the following experience:

  • 5 to 10 years of relevant experience in education, non-profit, and/or business, preferably with management and operating experience
  • Demonstrated track record of managing and leading teams and working closely with multiple stakeholders
  • Experience leading a planning and/or budgeting process and modeling scenarios
  • Bachelor’s Degree from an accredited four-year educational institution, preferably in business or a related field, Master’s Degree preferred


Location: Cleveland, OH

Compensation:  Competitive salary; comprehensive benefits


Breakthrough Charter Schools is an equal opportunity employer and will not discriminate against any employee or applicant for employment because of race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, or national origin.

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