Focus School Director

State of Tennessee

Nashville, TN


Position Description / Responsibilities

Reports To:   

Executive Director of School Improvement   


Tennessee Department of Education

710 James Robertson Parkway          

Nashville, TN 37243   

Position Description:

The Focus Schools Director will be charged with leading the implementation of a comprehensive support plan and service model for the state’s Focus schools and districts. Focus schools are those schools with student group (e.g., economically disadvantaged, English learners, students with disabilities, and Black, Hispanic, and Native American students) performance in the bottom 5% across all accountability indicators.  The Focus Schools Director will reside in the department’s Office of School Improvement (OSI). The OSI will be positioned within the Office of the Commissioner and concentrate on coordinating supports for the state’s Priority (schools in the bottom 5% of performance) and Focus schools.   

Position Responsibilities Include:

·  Manage the implementation of a differentiated service model to support all Focus schools and districts across the state

·   Analyze data from schools and districts to identify trends in student performance across districts, regions, and state and use that data to refine the Focus schools service model

·   Lead internal coordination amongst TDOE divisions to develop a clear set of deliverables for Focus school support that include revised school improvement plans and technical assistance

·   Operationalize the delivery of technical assistance to Focus Schools and districts in collaboration with the regional offices (CORE), the division of Consolidated Planning and Monitoring (CPM), and other teams from across the department

·   Communicate with stakeholders, including schools and districts, about the Focus school designation and available supports

·    Monitor the implementation of school improvement grants and the use of funds

·   Connect Focus schools with other districts and schools with successful outcomes in common areas

·    Participate in school visits and monitoring at Focus and Priority schools to learn and share promising practices

Position Requirements

Preferred Qualifications:

·   Master of Science or Master of Arts in education or related field

·    Minimum of five years’ educational and/or administrative experience; district experience preferred Experience at the school or district level managing or leading school turnaround in particular for students in historically underserved student groups

·   Excellent oral and written communication skills and experience communicating complex information clearly, concisely and effectively

·   Strong interpersonal and organizational skills

·   Experience with managing complex projects and developing focused strategic plans that ensure project success   


Successful candidates must be:

·    Passionate about student equity and school turnaround work

·     Able to work in a fast-paced environment in which the work can be ambiguous and complex

·    Comfortable with change

·    Able to manage multiple projects simultaneously

·     Able to prioritize work and produce quality results with attention to detail


Successful candidate will exhibit the following:


Salary and Benefits:

Salary is competitive and commensurate with qualifications. In addition, a comprehensive benefits package is included.


Pursuant to the State of TN's policy of non-discrimination, the Department of Education does not discriminate on the basis of race, sex, religion, color, national or ethnic origin, sexual orientation, age, disability, or military services in its policies, or in the admission of, access to, treatment, or employment in its programs, services, or activities.


Application Instructions

To Apply:

Please e-mail a cover letter describing your interest in the position, a resume or CV, and contact information for three professional references to

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