I have been working at The Solomon Schechter School of Westchester full-time (More than 3 years)
Wonderful students and families, excellent colleagues, warm community.
There are too many people in administrative positions, and none of them are actually effective in leading the school. The Head of School is young and inexperienced, and serves mainly as a figurehead; the Board of Trustees, Parents, and Division Heads determine major decisions. Too many Administrators means too many expectations on your time and priorities, and often, class-time seems to be the least important priority. Class time is given up for every minor event or idea that comes up - geography bee, random celebrations and events. There's too much going on and not enough of it is academic; students are often confused about schedule due to all the disruptions, and the environment can feel chaotic.
Also, your experience will vary depending on Division. The High School allows much autonomy in how faculty teach, colleagues are wonderful, and a lot of great things happen in the classroom, even if the environment is a bit more relaxed than an average institution.
The Middle School is a toxic environment, driven by administrators who run the school as if they are attending Middle School themselves; many professional decisions are made based on personal relationships, including promotions and layoffs, and everything seems to run on the whims of the leaders of the Middle School, including, again, random events and last minute schedule disruptions. The environment is chaotic, boundaries between adults and children are unhealthy and border on inappropriate, some colleagues thrive on the toxic environment and often successfully displace colleagues from their positions.
Additionally, there seems to be an odd trend of young women teachers being fired or leaving with no good reason over the past several years.
Pay is low.
Advice to Management
Advice to the board: recruit better management who will care more about the school than advancing their own personal agendas.
I applied online. The process took 5 weeks. I interviewed at The Solomon Schechter School of Westchester.
Be careful with them. I was asked an question about my religion during a phone interview, and religious background and practice was mentioned several times during my on-site interview - very unprofessional and illegal; they should take a course on EOElaws. Additionally, I was asked about teaching an additional course which was outside the job description - twice - this echos what others have said about working here - they try to get you to do more than you are actually hired for. Overall, the process was a bit unprofessional and hurried - after being told to prepare a 40 minute lecture to present - I was only given about 20 minutes to present when onsite.
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