Chief Academic Officer

Alexandria, Virginia
May 31, 2023
Jul 28, 2023
Executive, Chief
Full Time
Job Description

The Chief Academic Officer (CAO) implements both near-term and long-term plans, policies and programs for the curriculum and instruction department with the goal of continuously improving student academic achievement. The CAO coordinates, defines and communicates integrated plans for the growth and development in all educational arenas. The CAO is a member of the senior executive staff but has close, day-to-day interaction with school principals and educational staff members.

The ideal candidate combines both strategic thinking and strong execution skills across various forms of instructional styles and demands. Specific academic areas include, but are not limited to, strategic planning, academic programs and procedures for the system, oversight of and compliance with system and state guidelines, and regional and national accreditation criteria. Work is performed within policies included in state and federal law and administrative regulations with wide latitude for the exercise of independent judgment and subject to periodic review on the basis of results achieved.

This position reports to the Division Superintendent.


Education: Ph.D or Ed.D in the field of education preferred. Master's degree required from a regionally accredited institution of higher education. An equivalent combination of education and experience will be considered.

Certificates & Licenses: Valid Virginia Department of Education license required, or the ability to obtain one, with an endorsement in Administration and Supervision.

Experience: Minimum of five years of extensive academic leadership experience in an educational setting. Demonstrated knowledge of current educational issues, strong interpersonal and communication skills that support consensus building and shared decision-making and understanding of how school divisions operate. A performance record that demonstrates high integrity, vision, innovation, enthusiasm and a strong commitment to diverse schools.

Additional Experience:
  • Experience in research related to the design and implementation of new school models.
  • Serve as the district expert on innovative school models, new approaches to teaching and learning, and strategies to improve central office support for innovative models.
  • Champion the creation of new schools, redesign of existing schools, and support extensive cross-departmental collaboration and internal consensus.
  • Demonstrate awareness of the district and community needs and initiate activities to meet those needs.
  • Develop buy-in for and excitement around innovation schools among internal and external stakeholders.
  • Communicates the district's mission, Superintendent's initiatives, and board's goals as related to student achievement.
  • A performance record that demonstrates evidence of improved student performance, instructional leadership, high integrity, vision, innovation, enthusiasm and a strong commitment to diverse schools
  • Knowledge of curricular trends, issues, school reform, and standards development

Essential Functions
  • Provide supervision of department and leadership in facilitating system-wide multidisciplinary academic programs.
  • Develop and implement educational activities, both strategic and operational, including metrics to track and evaluate progress.
  • Review and interpret highly technical information, write technical and content-specific materials, speak persuasively to implement desired actions, and analyze situations to define issues and draw conclusions.
  • Plan and manage organizational change, provide leadership and supervise the planning, development, and establishment of new, modified, and/or improved personnel programs, services, and activities.
  • Create and execute, in collaboration with division leadership and departmental personnel, and in the context of the division strategic plan, an organizational development plan with measurable outcomes for the academic function in the division.
  • In collaboration with school division leadership, assist in the development and implementation of the division education plan and the division budget.
  • Supervise staff to include, but not limited to: recruitment and selection, performance reviews, grievances, disciplinary action, terminations, etc.
  • Chair, attend, staff and provide leadership to the various academic councils and provide information to other councils as deemed appropriate; responsible for oversight of all other committees and councils that the department oversees.
  • Work in the areas of policy development, articulation, distance education, curriculum review, academic calendars, student admissions requirements, discipline reviews, long-term leave requests, promotion and continuing contracts on the academic side, scholarships, accreditation, academic and accountability reporting, and any other academic issue.
  • As needed, work with Board Counsel and Human Resources Officer in the areas of employment and meetings with local employee groups.
  • Assist with any grant objectives related to academic departments and programs.
  • Ensure the integration of the ACPS five college competencies (i.e., reading comprehension, writing to promote post-secondary success, data analysis and interpretation, discourse within the disciplines, and speaking and listening) into the entire Pre K-12 curriculum.
  • Collaborate, develop and nurture partnerships with public and private-sector community agencies including the universities, the legislature, the Pre K12 community, and the Department of Education.
  • Respond to institution requests for consultation on academic initiatives; provide information; conduct or oversee studies, analyze findings, and write reports.
  • Attend Superintendent's meetings, State Academic Officer meetings and various system meetings as needed.
  • Attend training, seminars and workshops as deemed necessary.
  • Perform all duties in compliance with policies established by the Alexandria City School Board.
  • Perform other related duties as assigned.

  • Criminal Justice Fingerprint/Background Clearance.
  • Tuberculosis Skin Test.

Public Health Compliance
  • Proof of COVID vaccination. Exemptions for religious/medical will be reviewed.
  • Must follow safety and health protocols.


Primary Location:
Alexandria, VA
Salary Range:
$156,676.80 - $216,943.20 / Administrator LAS-J
Shift Type:

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