Interviewing with UP Education Network

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1 Interviewing with UP Education Network This page contains information regarding the interview process for UP Education Network and its schools. It is not meant to cover everything that will happen in the interview process, but it is meant to help explain what individuals may encounter. The Interview Process Phone Interview Detailed Interview Sample Lesson or Selection Day Reference Check Offer Onboarding Stage Descriptions and Tips Stage Description of Activity Tips and Suggestions Phone Interview After your resume has been submitted, you may receive an inviting you to a phone interview. You will be scheduled to speak with an UP Education Network team member about the job you applied for and your experiences. This will last approximately minutes. Days before the Interview Familiarize yourself with our website and the job description for the position to which you applied. Familiarize yourself with the key vocabulary handout provided by UP Education Network Recruitment. Prepare questions to ask the phone interviewer about the position and the organization. Day of the Interview Be prepared to answer follow-up questions or additional details about an experience, as this is a typical part of our interview process. We are focused on measurable results. When giving examples, be prepared to talk specifically about the results you have achieved and how you knew you achieved those results. We are not looking for someone who has never failed, but, instead, are looking for someone who has faced adversity and tried to work through that adversity. We recommend that you are humble and honest about the struggles you have faced rather than suggesting that you have never come across something challenging. During the Interview Many people try to infer meaning according to who is interviewing them. Please know all interviewers are trained to interview for all positions and there is absolutely no relevance to who is completing which interviews. Be clear and concise with your answers. Make sure you are conducting your call from a quiet place and that your phone reception is good. If you are struggling to hear your interviewer, it is likely that your interviewer is also struggling to hear you. Please let your 1

2 Detailed Interview(s) Sample Lesson/Activity and/ or Performance Task(s) Reference Check After your phone interview, you may be contacted by a member of the UP Education Network Recruitment Team to schedule a follow up interview. You will speak to the direct manager for this position about this role in more depth, and your skills to be effective in this role. After the detailed interviews, you may be contacted by a member of the UP Education Network Recruitment Team to teach a sample lesson or do a simulation of an activity (or activities) you might undertake in your potential role. After the activities, you will debrief with one or more members of the team to discuss the strengths and weaknesses of your activity. After the sample lesson or activity, a member of the UP Education Network Recruitment Team may contact you to ask for 3 professional references. interviewer know if that is the case so that the interview can be appropriately conducted. You may find that you need to share information that you have already shared. While we do share comprehensive notes with our colleagues, many members of the team prefer to ask questions directly. Please don t be surprised if you are asked the same question by several people during the interview process. Be prepared to share situations or accomplishments in addition to what you shared during the phone screen. Be prepared to elaborate on the answers you gave during your phone screen. Be prepared to discuss challenges you ve come across in your professional life, what actions you ve taken to solve these problems, and the results of these actions. Know that we value candidates who show their engagement in the interviews through thoughtful follow-up questions, volunteering observations and questions about the program, and projecting their passion and personalities in this professional setting. If and when you are interviewing at the school, please be mindful of how you are dressed. We take dress code seriously and expect all individuals working at the schools (and the home office) to be dressed in a manner that is as formal--if not more formal--as the dress code the students are asked to follow. Thoroughly read the sample lesson packet sent to you by UP Education Network. If teaching a sample lesson, be prepared to reflect on all aspects of the sample lesson from choosing an objective and planning to execution, assessment, and self-evaluation. If completing performance tasks, be prepared to engage in activities that would be similar to tasks you would be given in your role. For performance tasks and sample lessons, be prepared to engage in feedback sessions. You will almost certainly be given feedback. This is not indicative of concerns about your performance. Instead, we believe that everyone including the individuals completing debriefs is invested in continued improvement. We care deeply about how you respond to feedback. Know that part of the simulation involves a discussion of the feedback you receive. When given feedback, be prepared to respond to the feedback given with thoughts, questions, or actionable next steps. Make sure that your references are aware that they could be contacted. It is often helpful to send them some information about the position and our organization, so they can speak more specifically to your fit for the position. Be sure to include the name, title, phone number, and address for your references. Note if your references are located in another time zone. Note if your references are located outside of 2

3 Offer Onboarding After UP Education Network has spoken to your reference, you may be offered a position within the organization. When you accept your offer from UP Education Network, a member of UP Education Network s team will contact you regarding next steps, including certification and other necessary paperwork. the United States and, if so, the best way to contact those references. Be careful about whom you chose for references; we ideally would like to speak to former and current managers, but understand that that is not always possible. Your references should be familiar enough with your work that they can speak in detail about your strengths and weaknesses. Take time to think about the offer before accepting it. Your manager will give you a timeline for your response. During the call, do not hesitate to ask any questions that you might have. Reach out to the manager by phone or after the call to ask questions if you still have them. Be sure to follow the timeline outlined by your manager during the call. Please note that most offers are contingent upon the satisfactory completion of the CORI and certification within the state of Massachusetts. Fill out and submit any paperwork as soon as possible. Be responsive to s sent by UP Education Network and its partner school districts. If it is necessary to pursue certification, begin the certification process immediately. If you have questions about the onboarding process, please reach out to a member of the UP Education Network Talent Team. 3

4 Common Terms Used in the Interviewing Process Below, please find a glossary of terms often used by UP Education Network staff members. CHARTER SCHOOLS: Charter schools are independently run public schools that are held accountable by an authorizing body, which, in the case of Massachusetts, is the Department of Education. Each charter school has its own board of trustees. The board of trustees makes decisions about the charter school's goals, curriculum, teaching methods, budgets, and staffing. Charter schools must be approved by the Massachusetts Board of Education. The Board of Education grants a five-year charter to each approved charter school. During the five-year period, the charter school must show that it can do a good job educating its students, or the school risks losing its charter. There are two types of charter schools in Massachusetts: Commonwealth charter schools and Horace Mann charter schools. Commonwealth charter schools are completely independent of local school committees. Approval for the school comes from the state Board of Education. The state pays a tuition amount to the charter school for each student who enrolls. The state deducts that tuition amount from each sending district's state funding. Commonwealth charter schools accept students from anywhere in the state. Students who live in the district where the school is located get preference. Horace Mann charter schools are also independently run. However, Horace Mann charters must be approved by the local school committee and teachers union as well as the state Board of Education. Funding for Horace Mann charter schools comes from the local school district. The charter school must submit a budget request to the superintendent and school committee each year. Community members start charter schools to improve the quality of education in their communities and give parents more choices for their children. Charter schools have the freedom to choose their mission, curriculum, and teaching methods, and to try innovative approaches to education. Each school's goals and methods are outlined in the school's charter. UP Academy Charter School of Boston and UP Academy Charter School of Dorchester are Horace Mann charter schools. CLASSROOM CULTURE: Classroom culture is a term we use to describe the vibe of classrooms. We are interested in hearing about how individuals have built a culture in which all students are engaged almost all (if not all) of the time. Classroom culture does not refer to the racial and ethnic backgrounds of the students in the classroom. CLASSROOM MANAGEMENT: Classroom management describes how an individual teacher effectively works to ensure students are doing what they are supposed to be doing almost all (if not all) of the time. When we ask about classroom management, we want to hear about the systems individuals use for classroom-wide procedures (sharpening pencils, turning in homework, asking for a Kleenex, arriving to class, etc.) and procedures to manage issues (rolling eyes, saying something disrespectful, not completing homework, etc.). COHORT: UP Education Network s schools have often used a cohort model, in which two or three homerooms are all served by the same group of teachers. Within each cohort, there is typically a cohort leader, a staff member who is a more experienced teacher and serves as the liaison between his or her cohort and the school s leadership team. Cohort leaders typically observe other teachers and provide non-evaluative feedback to those teachers.

5 CO-LEADER MODEL: UP Education Network schools use a Co-Leader model. Our schools are led by a Director of Operations (who oversees the business-end of running the school, including things like finance, facilities, and transportation) and a Principal (who oversees curriculum and instruction). Our school-based co-leaders report to individuals who work from UP Education Network s main/ home office. CONTRACT SCHOOL: A contract school is a district school that is operated by a school management organization that has a contractual relationship with the local school district. UP Academy Leonard and UP Academy Oliver are contract schools. DATA-DRIVEN: We use the term data-driven to describe individuals who look at information regarding student performance and use that information to inform what they do next with their classes and/ or with individual students. If you use exit tickets to determine what your students have mastered in a given day (and to use that information to determine how your lesson must be modified as a result of these results), you would be considered data-driven. DISTRICT SCHOOL: A district school is a public school which, unlike charter schools, does not have a board managing the structure. UP Academy Leonard and UP Academy Oliver are district schools. FEEDBACK: UP Education Network believes strongly in feedback; we believe everyone in every position should be pushed to improve his or her performance. We have built formal structures to allow for individuals to get feedback from their managers (and for managers to get feedback from the individuals they manage) with frequency. We want to hire individuals who are reflective about the feedback they have received and who have pushed themselves to improve, even if good feedback has not been readily available to them. HIGH EXPECTATIONS: To us, high expectations refers to the high standards we set for students, families, and staff members. For students, we believe it s a big deal when homework is not completed, someone is late for class, or a piece of the uniform is missing. For staff members, we believe that it s a big deal when someone is late for a meeting or is not carefully reviewing his or her students work to monitor progress. We believe in the broken window theory, in which we make a big deal out of minor things in an effort to drive down the likelihood of the major things occurring. HOME OFFICE: UP Education Network s home office is the office where the employees of the organization (but not the employees of the schools) work. The home office is located at 90 Canal Street in Boston. When we refer to the home office, we are not talking about an office actually located within someone s residence. INTERIM ASSESSMENTS: Our schools use interim assessments every 6-8 weeks. Interim assessments are tests used to assess student progress within an academic year. Typically, schools will often have professional development days soon after these tests are completed, so that teachers and leaders can dig through the information on these assessments and determine what they must change in their practice to increase their students academic results. MERIT AND DEMERIT SYSTEM: Our schools use merit and demerit systems to manage student behavior. Students earn merits for going above and beyond. For example, a student who is struggling in a particular content area but who continues to push through the content, seeking extra help from his peers and/ or his teachers, may likely earn a merit for perseverance. Students earn demerits for behaving in ways that go against the values of the school. For example, if a student called another student a name, she would likely earn a demerit. Weekly, students and families receive reports on their total merit/ demerit scores. Those students with scores below a certain threshold will receive a consequence. Our schools often have merit auctions, in which

6 students can bid on prizes. Of course, the more merits one has, the more likely it will be that she or he can get whatever it is that he or she desires. MISSION DRIVEN: We refer to individuals as being mission-driven when their focus is on what UP Education Network s focus is: namely, to take underperforming district schools and transform them into extraordinary schools and to sustain that achievement over time. When employees are focused on students and outcomes for students, we often describe them as being mission-driven. NO EXCUSES: No excuses is a mentality our schools and many other schools working to close the achievement gap try to implement in everyone. Regardless of circumstances, in our minds, there is no reason why a student cannot be successful in school and why a teacher cannot achieve meaningful results with his or her students. If someone s homework is missing, we do not want to hear excuses about why it s missing. Instead, we want to see the homework completed and we don t want the homework to be missing in the future. OPERATIONS: Operations refers to the school-wide logistics and systems that can support the overall success of the school. Explicit and detailed plans that make lunch run more smoothly, clear and efficient systems for dismissal procedures, clean and well-maintained facilities, and more all fall within the bucket of operations. ORGANIZATIONAL SYSTEM: An organizational system is a term we use to describe something someone has built to more efficiently and effectively complete his or her work. For example, UP Education Network Talent might say they built an organizational system when they built a database system that would allow for candidates to apply online and that would help manage informing individuals about decisions. When we ask about organizational systems, we do not want to hear about a system someone else built that you use and we do not want to hear about how you use a calendar. However, if you built a system that allows for absent students to collect their missing work more easily or if you built a system that allows for students to miss less instructional time due to trips to the bathroom, we would define those systems as organizational systems. RESULTS: We believe results are measurable outcomes that show the progress of an individual or class. Results for teachers are reflected in standardized test results, trackers that monitor mastery of results, information regarding homework completion, and other things. We do not believe results can be measured in things that are anecdotal or not objectively tracked. For example, we do not think a teacher can tell she has been successful because she can see the light bulbs going off in their heads. Instead, we believe a teacher can tell if she s successful if she can provide data to show progress among her students. SCHOOL LEADERSHIP TEAM: UP Education Network School Leadership Teams are led by Principals and Directors of Operations. In addition to Principals and Directors of Operations, the teams include Deans of Students and Deans of Curriculum and Instruction. SCHOOL-WIDE SYSTEMS: UP Education Network schools utilize the terminology of school-wide systems to refer to procedures and structures that are applied consistently across the school by all teachers (different from personal organizational systems). For example, every UP Academy teacher utilizes the same system for helping students regulate their volume, involving a "noise level meter" in the classroom (a sign) that indicates whether the expected volume is silent, library level (whisper), soft voices (partner work, 6-inch voice) or productive and professional. This is an example of a school-wide system for classroom management. We look for individuals who have demonstrated strength in developing efficient and effective classroom systems (or school-wide systems). TURNAROUND THROUGH RESTART: Turnaround through restart is when an underperforming district school becomes a contract school or a charter school in an effort to improve the school. Turnaround through restart is the method of turnaround that UP Education Network almost always uses. To date, turnaround through restart is the only method of turnaround that the organization has used. In this method, we take over a failing school and work to reopen the school in the same

7 facility with as many of the same students enrolled in our school as were enrolled in the failing school. We hire new Directors of Operations and Principals for the schools. Individuals working at the schools we are taking over can and should apply for positions within our schools. That being said, those individuals will be expected to complete sample lessons like all other candidates.

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