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Stage 5: Hiring Staff

Stage 5: Hiring Your Charter School Staff


Make no mistake, human capital is one of the most important aspects of any small business, and schools are no exception. In fact, the employees you hire as a school leader will define the product (education) that you deliver to your customers (parents) and will also determine how long your doors remain open.

Below is a list of the positions that will need to be filled at your school, but understand that the size of your school and what your school specializes in will control which staff you hire. For instance, a 100-student charter school probably doesn’t need a Dean of Students when the Assistant Principal could just as easily fulfill that role, whereas a 1,000-student school would likely benefit from having a staff member focused entirely on discipline. Likewise, a smaller school probably doesn’t need a registrar when the front-office administrator could probably handle those duties. Moreover, if you’re planning a specialty school (fine arts, health theme, STEM academy, etc.) you’ll want to make sure to focus on the staff members that pertain most to the theme.

Although combining some positions with others can save a lot of money, be sure to compensate the additional work appropriately and don’t overload your employees with responsibility as they could become burned out quickly and quit.


Charter school jobs: Administration

  • Principal: the highest authority in the school and responsible for day-to-day operations, including hiring/firing, public relations, school budget, etc.
  • Assistant (or Vice) Principal: a more hands-on version of the Principal, usually responsible for final disciplinary measures, bell schedule, pick-up/drop-off, and other school-wide duties
  • Dean (of Students): responsible for the implementation of rules and plans surrounding student conduct, achievement, college planning, etc.
  • Registrar: semi-administrative position that serves as first-point-of-contact for interested parents during enrollment season, one of the most important staff members from a marketing perspective
  • Front office administrator(s): responsible for general operations at front-desk, especially regarding parental inquiries, signing in guests/contractors, and internal administrative tasks


Charter school jobs: Instruction

Teachers: essentially the creators of your school’s value, your teacher corps is easily the largest, most expensive, and most valuable line item in your HR budget

Core Classes

  • Math
    • Algebra
    • Geometry
    • Calculus
  • English Language Arts
    • Reading
    • Grammar
    • Vocabulary
  • Science
    • Physical Science
    • Biology
    • Chemistry
    • Physics
  • Social Sciences
    • American History
    • World History/Geography
    • Government/Political Science
  • Physical Education
    • Health (if not considered a science class)
    • Subject intensive
      • Football/Basketball/Baseball
      • Weight lifting/Fitness

Elective and Specialty Classes

  • Foreign Language
    • Spanish
    • French
    • German
    • Mandarin
  • Performing Arts
    • Visual Arts
    • Theater/Drama
    • Music/Choir
  • Science
    • Anatomy
    • Health
    • Astronomy
    • Computer Science
  • Math
    • Advanced Core classes
    • Accounting
  • Social Sciences
    • Psychology
    • Philosophy
    • Economics/Business
    • Home/Family/Consumer Science
  • Other
    • SAT Prep
    • Subject intensive (especially English for ELL/LEP/ESL students)
    • Internship
    • Electrical/mechanical training
    • Wood and metal shop


Charter school jobs: Operational

  • School counselor/psychologist: focuses on student psychological wellness and development and assists in behavioral modification for problem children
  • School nurse: on-site medical generalist, typically the only staff-member qualified to provide medical care to children (including EpiPen, AED Defibrillator, CPR, first aid, etc.)
  • Maintenance workers
    • Custodian(s)
    • Landscaper/Groundskeeper
    • Handyman/Repairman
  • Cafeteria workers
    • Cook(s)
    • Meal plan administrator
  • School resource officer (campus security)

If your school is in an urban setting, the hiring search can be posted to a national job board like the one at NAPCS (http://jobs.publiccharters.org/). This will keep all your employment opportunities on one, high-traffic, SEO website, and if you’re in a large enough job market some of the best talent might actually relocate in order to work for you. You can also use traditional online job boards like Monster.com, CareerBuilder, GlassDoor.com, Idealist.org, etc. However, in a more rural area or deeper into the suburbs you’d be better off advertising in local classifieds like Craigslist or the newspaper, or even relying on word-of-mouth. In a small market, the opening of a charter school (especially if it is the first one in the area) will likely be a high-profile event, meaning you will have lots of interest (and hostility) directed toward your staff search.

As mentioned above, teachers will be your largest investment, so make sure you understand exactly what you hope to accomplish in that hiring process. You should already have a Principal in mind, and the sooner you loop that person in to your mission statement the sooner you can start seeking talent. The governing board will have already established a strategic vision for the school, but it becomes the Principal’s job to implement that vision. Teachers might be your biggest investment, but in terms of the importance of a single person to a school, no staff member comes close to the value of a good Principal.