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  • ARCHDIOCESE OF

    CINCINNATI

    ********************

    Hiring Procedures for

    Parish Elementary Schools

    Revised Fall, 2012

  • 2

    Hiring Procedures for Parish Elementary Schools Archdiocese of Cincinnati

    Purpose

    This document is meant to provide pastors with information and support for hiring a

    principal at a parish elementary school. Principals are the academic, spiritual, and operational

    leaders of their schools; as such, it is vital that motivated, well qualified, and highly effective

    individuals be hired for this key responsibility.

    This packet provides step-by-step descriptions for supporting an outgoing principal,

    posting the open principal position, forming and training a search committee, screening

    applicants, making the final hire, and transition planning. As you go through this process,

    remember that the Catholic Schools Office is poised to fully support you. Our office is dedicated

    to partnering with all pastors to ensure that our schools recruit and retain the best leaders

    possible. Please feel free to call upon us at any time.

    NOTE: This packet frequently makes use of the term Regional Director. If you are

    unsure of your assigned Regional Director, please contact the Catholic Schools Office.

    Table of Contents

    The Outgoing Principal.....3

    The Search Process............4

    Conducting Interviews.......7

    The Hire.............8

    Appendix A: Steps in the Principal Hiring Process..........10

    Appendix B: Qualifications & Duties of a Catholic School Principal..11

    Appendix C: Sample Principal Interview Questions.....14

    Appendix D: Sample Interview Rubric..16

  • 3

    The Outgoing Principal

    Principals leave for a variety of reasons. Whether this departure is voluntary or

    involuntary, it is important that you develop a plan for how the outgoing principal will transition

    away from his/her duties. When considering this issue, it is critical that you remain in contact

    with the Archdiocesan Director of Human Resources as to the legal risks and responsibilities of

    this transition.

    The first important step in this process is announcing the departure of the outgoing

    principal. You must carefully consider when and how this announcement will be made, and who

    will be the first to hear of it. In general, we recommend the following steps in announcing the

    departure of the principal:

    IF THE PRINCIPAL IS LEAVING VOLUNTARILY (i.e. a resignation, retirement, etc.):

    1.) The Principal should inform the pastor of his/her departure in writing. It is

    recommended that this contact be made by the end of February (at the latest) of the

    current school year.

    2.) The pastor should inform the assigned Regional Director of the imminent departure.

    3.) The pastor or principal should inform the staff of the parish and school.

    4.) The pastor or principal should inform the Educational Commission of the school.

    5.) The pastor or principal should inform the parents, students, and general community of

    the parish and school.

    IF THE PRINCIPAL IS LEAVING INVOLUNTARILY:

    1.) The pastor should inform the Superintendent of Catholic Schools of his intentions

    regarding the principals future employment.

    2.) With consultation of the Superintendent (who will likewise inform the Director of

    Human Resources), the pastor should inform the principal of his decision. If the

    principal will be serving out the remainder of the school year, it is recommended that

    this contact be made by the end of March at the latest. The Superintendent will

    inform the Regional Director of the departure of the principal.

    3.) The pastor or principal should inform the staff of the parish and school.

    4.) The pastor or principal should inform the Educational Commission of the school.

    5.) The pastor or principal should inform the parents, students, and general community of

    the parish and school.

    Remember that, in all cases, the message is critical. Transitions of leadership are difficult,

    and many parents, staff members, and students will feel anxious as the principal leaves the

    school. Once again, the Catholic Schools Office is committed to making this transition as smooth

    as possible. We encourage you to be in close communication with us throughout this transition.

  • 4

    The Search Process

    Once the announcement has been made that the principal is leaving, the time has come to

    begin the search for his/her successor. It is recommended that this search begin as soon as

    possible. Most potential principals are seeking employment during the months of February,

    March, and April. Thus, the longer you wait to begin the search, the smaller the pool of potential

    applicants will be.

    Posting the Job Opening:

    The first step in the principal search process is posting a job opening. You should utilize

    the Job Description template (available through the Catholic Schools Office) to develop a Job

    Posting. When you are ready to post the open position, you should contact your assigned

    Regional Director. A job description will then be posted on the Archdiocesan Catholic Schools

    website. Likewise, announcements regarding the job opening will be circulated internally to

    schools and parishes throughout the Archdiocese. Postings may also be placed on the website of

    the National Catholic Educational Association (NCEA) as well as other national websites. It is

    the responsibility of the Catholic Schools Office to post this opening for you.

    In posting your job opening, you may want to consider advertising the position in local

    newspapers and church bulletins. Likewise, you may want to utilize online job agencies (such as

    Monster.com) as well as contact local universities of the job opening. Ultimately, the goal is to

    attract as many well qualified candidates as possible. The more candidates that apply to the

    position, the more likely it will be that you will find the best possible fit for your school.

    The job opening will include a job description for the position of principal. For this

    purpose, the Catholic Schools Office uses a template job description. A copy of this job

    description can be found attached to this packet (see Appendix B). If you wish to make changes

    in this description, you should inform your assigned Regional Director.

    The posted job description will require all applicants to complete a Principal Job

    Application. Applications are available on the Archdiocesan website

    (www.catholiccincinnati.org) under Human Resources (instructions on how to access the

    application will be included in the job description).

    Note that job postings should require that interested applicants submit information to

    the Catholic Schools Office (not your location). See the next section for more information.

    The Approved Candidate Hiring Pool:

    As of the 2012-2013 school year, all principal applicants must be pre-screened by the

    Catholic Schools Office. Individual schools may only consider principal candidates once they

    have been added to the official Approved Candidate Hiring Pool. Thus, if any candidate contacts

    you directly about your job posting, you should inform them to submit their application to the

    Catholic Schools Office so that they can be cleared.

    In approving potential candidates, the Catholic Schools Office will review basic

    qualifications, ask some basic questions of each candidate, and perform fingerprint checks. Any

    candidates with issues will be noted on the Hiring Pool documentation. As fingerprinting will be

    performed at this stage of the process, you need not fingerprint candidates once you have selected

    http://www.catholiccincinnati.org/

  • 5

    them for interviews.

    You are free to interview any candidate on the Approved Candidate Hiring Pool,

    including those that did not necessarily indicate an initial interest in your school (some

    candidates simply send the Catholic Schools Office their information with no particular school

    specified).

    The Search Committee:

    During the weeks after you post the principal position, you should form your Search

    Committee. Although the final decision regarding the hire of a principal resides with the pastor,

    current Archdiocesan policy requires pastors to utilize such a committee when making hires. The

    Search Committee will be charged with reviewing and choosing candidates from the Approved

    Candidate Hiring Pool, conducting interviews of the finalists, and making a final

    recommendation to the pastor. The Search Committee should be comprised of well informed and

    positive members of your school/parish community. In forming the search committee, we

    recommend the following:

    1.) Search committees should number approximately 5-8 members.

    2.) Members of the search committee should represent various stakeholder groups. Thus,

    we suggest proportional representatives of teachers/staff members, school parents,

    school commission members, and non-parent parishioners. Students and alumni can

    also be included if desired.

    3.) We strongly recommend placing the current Business Manager and/or the parish

    Catechetical Leader (i.e. DRE, CRE, or equivalent) on the committee.

    4.) We strongly recommend that your assigned Regional Director serve on the Search

    Committ

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ARCHDIOCESE OF CINCINNATI ******************** Hiring Procedures for Parish Elementary Schools Revised Fall, 2012
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