Commongood Careers Nonprofit Job Listings
Operations Leader (Prep Schools Model)
Breakthrough Schools
Business Operations

Organization Overview
The Breakthrough Schools Network is the highest-rated network of tuition- free, non- profit public charter schools in Cleveland.  Our mission is to develop a growing network of distinctive school options that prepare Cleveland area students for success in life.  Breakthrough Schools have been recognized as the best performing schools in Cleveland, honored by local, state and national organizations for excellence in teaching, leadership, and student achievement.  Breakthrough currently serves over 3,200 K-8 students across 11 schools.  The Prep Schools – Breakthrough’s largest model -- account for 6 of Breakthrough’s 11 schools and serves roughly half of the total student body. 

To read more about Breakthrough Schools Network, please visit:

Position Summary
The Prep Schools Model Operations Leader is accountable for all school operations across the Preps model, seeking to optimize and enhance the non-instructional performance of all model schools to allow the Prep Schools Model Education Leader and principals to stay focused on their primary responsibilities as instructional leaders.  This position will take on a variety of leadership and operational responsibilities, from overseeing the development and implementation of multiple school budgets, to gathering and analyzing school data to identify trends, to ensuring that the school has sufficient materials and the quality services to serve its students by working closely with the Breakthrough Schools’ Support Team to refine network operations policies and to resolve any service issues or concerns that become a disruption to the schools. In conjunction with the school principals, the Model Operations Leader will supervise school-based operations staff and the Preps Finance Manager and will be the lead advocate for the Prep Schools at the network level.

Position Outcomes
A successful Model Operations Leader will:

  • Serve as a senior member of the of the Breakthrough Schools’ network leadership team, reporting to and collaborating frequently with the COO and working closely with the Prep Model’s Board of Directors and its Chairperson, peer Model Operations Leaders, and the Breakthrough Schools’ Support Team leadership
  • Continue to build and improve the internal and network operational systems, processes, infrastructure, and services that support Prep Model schools and that will allow the model to continue to grow and fulfill its mission sustainably and cost efficiently
  • Partner with the Prep Schools Model Education Leader to guide the direction, priorities, culture, and evolution of the model design and replication
Key Responsibilities
In order to achieve the preceding outcomes, the Prep Schools Model Operations Leader will:
General Operations and Leadership
  • Drive operational excellence in coordination with Support Team colleagues and school operations teams across all operational functions and back office systems including: student recruitment and enrollment, facilities, food services, transportation, procurement, compliance, new school expansion, human capital and technology
  • Ensure operational strategies are translated into specific objectives and plans and integrate and align efforts across functions and locations; set realistic yet aggressive timeframes for achieving key objectives; and ensure uniform and consistent application of agreed programs & processes
  • Analyzes and communicates school operations performance metrics to key stakeholders and identifies and leads strategic projects that improve the efficiency of school operations;
  • Assists in the preparation and implementation of, and adherence to, policies and procedures that guide, track, or document the activities of schools
Planning, Budgeting, and Finance
  • Manage Prep Schools Finance Manager and oversee and be responsible for development of annual and five-year budgets; the model’s long-term modeling; and the model’s financial sustainability
  • Conduct ad-hoc model-wide financial/operational analyses that provide strategic direction, guidance, and monitoring.
  • Manage all financial reporting, including preparing reports for Finance Committee meetings, with school treasurer and BCS Support Team and ensure portfolio of schools adhere to Breakthrough Schools’ fiscal policies and procedures and receive appropriate financial oversight from Board
  • Coordinate with Support Team regarding state and federal audits and tax filing preparations
Team Leadership & Talent Development
  • Builds and manages a high-performing team of operations directors and staff; including coordinating training throughout the model to help the organization grow strong leaders and customer-focused support staff
  • Trains and supports school operations leaders to make good hiring, professional development, and retention decisions
  • Develops skills and competencies of school-based operations teams, leveraging the formal evaluation process to tailor professional development and coaching to maximize each individual's growth and to retain and reward high performing operations staff
  • Partners with Network Operations and fellow Model Operations Leaders to select and support the training of new Operations Fellows; on boards Fellows assigned as new operations directors in Preps schools
Governance, Sponsor Relations & Compliance
  • Creates agenda, materials and meeting minutes, and prepares organizational metrics for all Board meetings and serve as primary liaison with board chair and governance committee and other relevant committees
  • Ensure that all model schools are in compliance with all state, federal, sponsor requirements, and district deadlines (i.e. legal regulations, entitlement grants, health and safety laws, charter contracts, state education mandates, and workplace regulations).
  • Reviews and implements policy updates in accordance with network and model-wide policies and procedures;
  • Oversees legal activities, including letters of agreement, contracts, leases, and other;
Technology, Facilities, Safety & Procurement
  • Work with network leadership and landlord to ensure adequate facility space for existing schools' needs, and work with network leadership and Breakthrough Facilities Committee to identify long-term capital improvements and short-term repairs and maintenance needed to ensure warm, safe and dry facilities
  • Coordinates with Support Team on procurement of network-wide services; partner with BCS IT to ensure that schools receive adequate and timely technical support; and
  • Ensure that all safety and security drill are successfully performed at their required interval
  • Works closely with schools to prepare the campus for annual start-up/new school year (i.e. ordering furniture, equipment, and classroom supplies) and ensure that school and student services (i.e. student food services, student transportation services) are in place
Breakthrough Schools Model Operations Leaders’ Cohort
  • Participate in all network operational policy decision-making and contribute to all initiatives to improve network efficiency and scalability and streamline network-wide processes
  • Identify, collect, and share best practices across the Operations Leaders Cohort
  • Represents model at bi-weekly network operations leadership meetings
  • Partners with Support Team on a rotating basis to act on behalf of all school models in various initiatives from systems evaluations to procurement opportunities
A successful candidate will bring many of the following experiences and characteristics:
  • Significant and relevant operations experience in an education, non-profit, and/or business setting, ideally with responsibilities across various functional areas, such as Finance, Facilities, IT, HR, and general operations.
  • Demonstrated staff management experience, ideally with a track record of managing and leading teams at various experience levels through complex implementation processes
  • Demonstrated experience leading a planning and/or budgeting process and modeling scenarios
  • Experience working with multiple internal and external stakeholders
  • Capable of being extremely detail-oriented, with strong strategic planning and systems improvement skills
  • A self-starter, with strong project management; critical thinking; and problem-solving skills
  • Ability to collaborate effectively, building relationships with and incorporating the perspective, participation, and support of multiple internal and external stakeholders
  • Strong interpersonal and communication skills with demonstrated ability of motivating and influencing
  • Ability to create, monitor, and continually improve systems that enhance organizational efficiency
  • Advanced skills in Microsoft office, particular Excel, Word, and Powerpoint; demonstrated comfort with data systems and analysis
  • Passion for urban education reform
  • Bachelor’s Degree from an accredited four-year educational institution, preferably in business or a related field; Master’s Degree preferred

To Apply 
Please upload a resume and thoughtful cover letter, outlining how your skills and experience meet the qualifications of the position and stating how you heard about this opportunity, both in Word format, addressed to Tyler Thornton. Use the below link. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis.

Breakthrough Schools is an equal opportunity employer and will not discriminate against any employee or applicant for employment because of race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, or national origin.
Breakthrough Schools offers a competitive salary and benefits, commensurate with experience and skills. 
About Commongood Careers
Breakthrough Schools has partnered with Commongood Careers to conduct the search for a Model Operations Leader.  Commongood Careers is a mission-driven search firm that supports the hiring needs of high-impact nonprofits. With an approach that leverages robust talent networks, recruitment and search management expertise, and a deep understanding of our clients’ missions and cultures, we help organizations secure the talent they need to create greater social impact. Since our founding in 2005, Commongood Careers has led more than 700 searches at 275 organizations in 33 states, making us one of the most experienced and dedicated nonprofit search firms in the country. Learn more about nonprofit job opportunities at Commongood Careers.

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