Mobile/Tablet Menu

Desktop Menu

Search Container

Chief Academic Officer, High School

  • Management

Salary range: $186,615 to $205,988 plus Masters/Doctorate Stipend

Reports to: Superintendent


The Chief Academic Officer of High School Education collaborates with the Elementary and Middle School CAOs in the development, coordination, articulation, and evaluation of curriculum, instruction, professional development, and assessment. The Chief Academic Officer - High School will be active in the schools and highly visible to staff and public.

  • Ability to pass a Department of Justice (DOJ) fingerprint clearance
  • Broad knowledge of curriculum development, elementary instructional best practice, supervision and evaluation, and issues related to elementary education
  • Completion of a Master's degree, Doctorate preferred
  • Demonstrated high school administrative experience required, previous district-level experience preferred
  • Legal authorization to work in the U.S.
  • Possession of a valid California Administrative Services Credential, in appropriate content area, as required by the California Education Code
  • Specific preparation in administration of public education, curriculum, and instruction
  • Within 60 days of start, provision of TB (tuberculin) clearance, as mandated by the California Education Code
  • Serve as a member of the Superintendent's council and full cabinet.
  • Work with the Superintendent and leadership team in implementing the Board's adopted strategic plan and in articulating a vision for the district's program.
  • Contribute to the meeting of district goals by participating with the other senior-level managers in assisting the Superintendent in planning for and managing district operations.
  • Attend all regular and special meetings of the Board of Education and make reports on district programs as directed by the Superintendent of Schools.
  • Prepare and implement policies, procedures, and practices and interpret policies and practices for the Board, the staff, and the community under the direction of the Superintendent for assigned areas of responsibility.
  • Oversee the preparation and presentation of studies and reports critical to effective decision-making in assigned areas of responsibility.
  • Act as the key spokesperson for assigned areas of responsibility. In that capacity provides public representation regarding district issues on various committees and before special interest groups, citizen groups, and other public meetings.
  • Attend professional meetings, conferences, institutes, etc., to represent the district and the Superintendent as needed and to keep abreast of current trends and practices.
  • Stay current on local, state, and federal laws, rules, regulations, and other requirements for compliance by the district.
  • Provide leadership and assistance in the design, operation, monitoring, and evaluation of assigned programs.
  • Provide leadership, management, supervision, and direction to assigned management, professional, and support staff and consultants.
  • Play a significant leadership role in fostering professional growth and building of staff morale throughout the district
  • Perform other specific job-related duties as directed or as the need arises.

Specific Division Responsibilitieswill include such things as:

  • Direct processes related to development, evaluation, and revision of high school curriculum:
    • Keep informed as to the operation of the instructional program in the high schools for the purpose of evaluating the instructional program and for improving teaching procedures focusing on improvement and accountability.
    • Manage analysis and reporting of high school student achievement data including district, site, classroom and individual student data and coordinates preparation of reports.
    • Manage curriculum articulation grades 9-12 and collaborate with CAOs of Middle School and Elementary Education to monitor articulation of pre-K - 12.
    • Share coordination of Secondary Steering Committees and share coordination of pre-K - 12 committees.
    • Coordinate the ongoing review and revision of district grade level standards, expected student learning results, and graduation requirements.
    • Assist in the development of district policies and/or services related to instructional materials.
    • Seek out and disseminate research that addresses best practices to support instructional improvement.
    • Assist in the planning and organization of the district's summer school program.
    • Facilitate the development and alignment of curriculum for categorically funded programs, including SIP, ELD, ROP, and Career Technology Education.
  • Direct the implementation of the district program for ensuring student mastery of content and performance standards:
    • Oversee the WASC accreditation process.
    • Provide assistance in administrative reviews.
    • Supervise the preparation of all courses of study and course catalogs for grades 9-12.
    • Formulate and oversee high school intervention programs for students who are not meeting standards.
  • Direct planning for district and school improvement:
    • Oversee selected secondary steering committees.
    • Direct planning and implementation of processes related to the selection of textbooks and instructional materials.
    • Formulate and encourage innovative curricular programs that will improve instruction in conjunction with the supervisory staff, principals, and teachers.
    • Communicate with the public and media on curriculum and instructional issues.
    • Provide for community input and participation in high school programs and serve as Chair of the Secondary Records Committee.
  • Student Welfare and Attendance:
    • Develop and update suspension/expulsion procedures. Coordinate service provided by Juvenile Probation, Palo Alto/Stanford Police Departments, County Office of Education, Family Services Association, Adolescent Counseling Services, and drop-out prevention activities.
    • Appeal administrator for discipline/expulsion. Chair the School Attendance Review Board (SARB).
  • Serve as liaison from the Superintendent's cabinet to the Palo Alto Partners in Education and other professional, volunteer, and community agencies as requested by the Superintendent.
  • Develop and monitor high school budgets; oversee grants and research activities connected to high schools.
  • Serve as the Uniform Complaint Officer.
  • In collaboration with the Elementary and Middle School CAOs, develop and monitor Professional Development for administrators and leadership retreats.
  • Oversee and evaluate assigned management personnel.
  • Facilitate selected Steering Committee and Instructional Supervisor meetings in consultation with CAO for Middle School.
  • Demonstrate success as a strong and visionary leader
  • Ability to solve practical problems and deal with a variety of concrete variables in situations where only limited standardization exists
  • Ability to interpret a variety of instructions furnished in written, oral, diagram, or schedule form
  • Ability to analyze situations accurately and adopt an effective course of action
  • Ability to interpret, apply and explain rules, regulations, policies and procedures
  • Ability to promote positive staff morale
  • Ability to work independently with little direction
  • Collaborative yet decisive in decision-making, seeking consensus whenever possible
  • Demonstrated knowledge of assessment and its relationship to curriculum and instruction
  • Ability to contribute significantly to staff development programs and planning
  • Effective communication (written and verbal) and conflict resolution skills
  • Knowledgeable about current and emerging educational research as well as "best practice"
  • Skilled in conceptualizing, clarifying, and effecting organizational patterns best suited to accomplish the curricula and instructional goals of the district

The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

While performing the duties of this job, the employee is regularly required to talk or hear. The employee frequently is required to use hands to finger, handle, or feel objects, tools, or controls and reach with hands and arms. The employee is occasionally required to stand; walk; sit; climb or balance; and stoop, kneel, crouch, or crawl.

The employee must occasionally lift and/or move up to 25 pounds. Specific vision abilities required by this job include close vision, distance vision, color vision, peripheral vision, and depth perception. Employee will frequently work at a computer and travel to attend meetings.


The work environment characteristics described here are representative of those an employee encounters while performing the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

While performing the duties of this job, the employee occasionally works in outside weather conditions. The noise level in the work environment is usually moderate. Work environment includes working directly with children. There are a number of activities and situations happening at once, and the employee must ensure that children are supervised at all times, and that children are involved in safe and appropriate activities. The employee must be prepared to handle accidents and emergencies at any time.

The job entails potential for exposure to adverse weather conditions and temperature extremes; exposure to blood-borne pathogens and communicable diseases; and for interaction with disruptive and/or unruly individuals.

Work Year: 224 days

Revision Date: 03/29/2017

Initial date: 03/29/2017

Equal Opportunity Employer in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act and all other applicable federal, state, and local laws.

No portion of this job description shall supersede the Master Agreement between the Palo Alto Management Association and the Palo Alto Unified School District and applicable State or federal laws. Any changes in working conditions applicable to the current agreement shall be subject to negotiations at the demand of either party.