Student Life Faculty/Houseparent Couple - Monument Academy - Washington, DC
Student Life Faculty/Houseparent Couple Job Description and Responsibilities
Unique opportunity for two individuals or a married couple to serve on the Student Life Faculty at an innovative charter boarding school targeting foster care youth
About Monument Academy
Monument Academy is a new, unique and innovative model weekday boarding school in Washington, DC with a mission to provide students, particularly those who have had or might have contact with the foster care system, with the requisite academic, social, emotional, and life skills to be successful in college, career, and community, and to create an outstanding school that attracts, supports, and retains exceptional and caring people. MA opened in 2015, added another class in 2016, and will add 2 more classes over the next 2 years to house 160 students in grades 5-8.
About the Position
Monument Academy Houseparent work weeks are Sunday from 3:30pm to Friday at 9:30AM, with off duty free time on Monday-Thursday from 9:30AM-3PM. Monument Academy houseparents also have every weekend off starting at 9:30AM on Fridays, 6 weeks of school holidays and all Federal holidays off.
Additional Benefits for Houseparents include:
• Salary per couple PLUS housing, utilities, cleaning service, internet, food, parking, and a benefit plan where 95% of your coverage -- such as health, dental, vision, and retirement -- are paid for by the school
• Very limited paperwork
• Minimal to no driving
• July 2017 start/move in date.
As a member of the Student Life Faculty, Houseparent pairs will play an integral role in shaping the lives of the students at Monument Academy. Houseparents at Monument Academy work in pairs (either two individuals or a married couple) that reside on property in a family-style apartment and provide direct care to 8-12 single-gender students Sunday evening-Friday morning. Houseparents have Friday late morning until Sunday afternoon off. They also have school holidays off. They are expected to participate fully in professional development days. Houseparents’ living quarters are two private bedrooms with a private bath abutting the family space. The family space includes living room and kitchen area shared with their students during the week.
The Houseparent role is much more significant than supervision. Houseparents will cultivate a safe and caring home environment that is supportive of all students’ social, emotional, and academic development. They must be consistent role models with their words and actions. It is imperative that Houseparents build strong family-like relationships that begin with taking a genuine interest in every student and his or her unique story. Families will set goals together, celebrate successes together, learn new skills together, and overcome challenges together. The Houseparents guide this process and are responsible for establishing and maintaining a positive culture at all times. This includes adhering to the Monument Academy approaches to structuring the student home expectations and systems. The Student Life team is responsible for designing lessons and activities aligned with Monument Academy’s life skills curriculum, scheduling and planning for celebrations and recreational family activities, as well as participating fully in the conversations around student progress and the development and review of students’ personalized learning plans.
Houseparents’ primary responsibilities are when students are in their care from 3:45pm until 8:45am. They have flexible time when the students are in school, although from time to time they may be required to participate in professional development or meetings regarding student progress as needed during the day. All Houseparents will participate in an emergency on-call rotation schedule for weekends, in the event that a student is unable to go home due to unforeseen circumstances. Houseparents will report to the Director of Student Life.
It is recommended that for houseparent couples with children that they have no more than 2 small children or 1 older child (10+) of their own residing with them on campus. Whether couples or individuals, everyone should each submit separate applications and, if married, note in the cover letter your spouse’s name and your intent to seek employment together as Houseparents at Monument Academy.
Key responsibilities include, but are not limited to the following:
• Promote Monument Academy’s core values and model the highest behavior standards for staff and student at all times
• Create and maintain a safe and positive family home environment for youth utilizing Monument Academy’s systems and approaches.
• Ensure that Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports are utilized effectively in the home and are consistent with the day time structure of the school
• Guide students in the development of their independent living skills using the life skills strand of the Monument Academy Well-Being Curriculum
• Maintain accurate records of daily activities and medicine dispensed
• Manage the day-to-day responsibilities of caring for a home, including scheduling, light meal preparation, and cleaning and home upkeep
• Participate in conversations with leadership, teachers, the well-being team, outside service providers, parents/guardians, and students to assess students’ progress toward goals, identify potential challenges, and implement interventions and supports.
• Conduct home visits with another staff member as needed
• Provide crisis intervention and initiate the proper protocols to ensure the involvement of the appropriate counselors and/or leaders in a given situation
The qualified applicant/couple is positive, caring, results-oriented, and of exceptional character and is deeply committed to Monument Academy’s integrated approach to supporting and educating students. The individuals/couple is passionate about working with adolescents, particularly those who may require additional support to meet their unique educational and emotional needs. The applicants believe that all children are capable of achieving at high levels and in the significance of making the connection between students’ aspirations for their lives and careers and their education. This couple also understands and models that learning, and setback, are opportunities for growth for both students and adults. The qualified individuals/couple will set an example as a continuous, open-minded learner, devoted to evidence-based practices that promote student achievement and well-being. They will build trusting relationships with and support faculty, staff, students, and parents.
Candidates should possess the following:
Character Traits and Values
• Commitment to the mission of Monument Academy
• Emotional self-regulation, patience, maturity and humility
• Honesty and integrity
• Patience, especially in highly stressful situations
• Curiosity and creativity
• Optimism and enthusiasm
• Excellent ability to build relationships with and relate to youth
• Respect for students, families, and staff
• Ability to accept and quickly apply feedback
• Proactive and able to anticipate issues and manage unanticipated events with thoughtfulness and grace
• Commitment to positive behavioral approaches
• Willingness to learn and grow in a new school environment
• Thoughtful self-reflection and good self-care skills
Experience, Credentials, and Skills
• Flexibility and willingness to work a wide array of hours, including early mornings, evenings, and weekends
• Proven record of sound judgment, particularly when working with at-risk youth
• Ability to pass a thorough background check and reference verification procedure to determine one’s fitness to satisfactorily and safely care for youth
• 1-3 years of work experience in a school setting or program (preferably residential) that works directly with at-risk youth, preferably in an urban/diverse educational setting
• Experience working with traumatized youth preferred
• Cultural competency in working with students and families from different racial, ethnic, linguistic, and sexual orientation backgrounds
• Ability to connect with families/caregivers
• Experience working with or knowledge of the foster care system a plus
• Experience working with students with special needs and technical knowledge of special education policies a plus
• Outstanding verbal and written communication skills
• Outstanding organizational skills and ability to prioritize, delegate, manage time and tasks to meet deadlines
• Proven track record working collaboratively with a team
Location: Washington, D.C.
Compensation package for each individual is $25,000 (for couples, $50,000). The compensation package for this position includes room, meals during school hours, 3% matching retirement plan, and competitive health care coverage. Monument Academy is committed to its policy of full inclusion and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation or identification or national and ethnic origin in hiring and employment, nor in the administration of its educational policies, or admissions policies.
Applicants should apply as a married couple or as an individual. Each member of the couple should apply separately and note your intentions in your cover letter. Please apply under the Careers section of our website at www.monumentacademy.org under the Careers tab.
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