Democracy Prep Public Schools is seeking an experienced, mission-aligned leader to join our Senior Leadership Team as the Chief Operating Officer of our growing organization. Applications are due on April 27th, 2020

Democracy Prep Public Schools Overview

Democracy Prep Public Schools is a tuition-free high performing public charter school network operating in New York, NY, Camden, NJ, Baton Rouge, LA, San Antonio, TX, and Las Vegas, NV educating 7,000 students, K-12th grade, on 21 campuses. DPPS is in the process of creating a Strategic Plan to govern its growth, quality assurance, staffing, and sustainability over a five-year period. DPPS plans to build on past success and ensure strong academic outcomes at each of our 21 schools and a special education program, Pathways, as well as grow responsibly in existing regions. Our scholars are current advocates, future voters, and blossoming leaders in their communities.

Democracy Prep is well-known as an organization that puts people first. We believe inspiring talent is at the core of our success. We also believe in equipping great talent with the tools they need and then stepping back to allow them to be creative on behalf of the organization, our mission, and the scholars we educate. In addition to our DREAM BIG values for adults, we also believe in transparency, collaboration, and excellence on behalf of our schools.

COO Role Overview

The Chief Operating Officer (COO) is responsible for all operational functions across Democracy Prep’s growing network of high-performing charter schools. The COO ensures that every school function—student recruitment and enrollment, school operations, meals, transportation, procurement, student and staff information systems, compliance and reporting, safety, and new school openings—is performed with excellence, so that student learning can flourish everywhere. 


Reporting to the CEO, the COO is a central member of the eight person senior leadership team, responsible for key operational functions that support Democracy Prep’s mission: to educate responsible citizen scholars for success in the college of their choice and a life of active citizenship. The COO manages a team of 26 with 6 direct reports, overseeing all operational functions including student recruitment and enrollment, school operations, meals, transportation, procurement, student information systems, compliance and reporting, safety, and school openings. The COO ensures the seamless execution of Democracy Prep’s operational functions and serves as a critical thought partner to the CEO and members of the leadership team. The COO also works in partnership with the CFO, CEO, and General Counsel on managing DPPS’ real estate holdings, preparing for growth, and engaging in long-term strategic planning.

This is an ideal opportunity for a dynamic and visionary leader with significant operational experience to drive the operational strategy and systems for a national K-12 charter management organization.

Responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

School Based Operations and Team Leadership 

  • Drive excellence across all operational functions including student recruitment and enrollment, external affairs, school operations, meals, transportation, procurement, student and staff information systems, compliance and reporting, safety, management of real estate holdings, maintenance and development of facilities, and school openings
  • Manage School-CMO relations and operational systems so that the network is using seamless and transparent systems, protocols, calendars.
  • Lead the design and implementation of systems, processes, and services that support Democracy Prep schools and programs in delivering best-in-class educational outcomes
  • Ensure operational strategies are translated into specific objectives and plans (with contingencies); integrate and align efforts across functions, locations; set realistic yet aggressive timeframes for achieving key objectives
  • Make recommendations for organizational structure to foster a healthy, unified culture among central office staff and school sites, ensuring all team members feel valued, supported and inspired
  • Incorporate a strong customer service orientation into all aspects of CMO and school operations


  • Responsible for all facilities management and planning, lease and licensing agreements, hazardous materials management, security systems, capital improvement, maintenance and repair service, energy management, refuse collection and disposal, and recycling programs, 
  • Develops and organizes ongoing, long range, and preventive maintenance plans and programs for sites, buildings and equipment, including grounds keeping, transportation, and custodial services;
  • Participates, as assigned, with demographic planning.  
  • Negotiates contracts as appropriate; reviews billings and contract terms with contractors, vendors, etc.; confers with District legal counsel 
  •  Manages, oversees and coordinates Project Managers, Construction Managers, Contractors, and Consultants during the planning, construction, and closeout phases of site construction projects or modernization.  

Expansion and New Site Development 

  • In partnership with Democracy Prep’s leadership team, execute the network’s expansion strategy, to lead the seamless launch of new school sites and to provide robust support to existing sites
  • Continue to refine and build a sustainable, scalable, cost-efficient operational infrastructure that supports Democracy Prep’s continued growth


  • Bachelor’s degree with equivalent work experience required; MBA or Master’s degree in a related field strongly preferred
  • 7+ years of operational leadership experience, ideally with success overseeing many of the following functional areas: student recruitment and enrollment, school operations, meals, transportation, procurement, student information systems, compliance and reporting, real estate and facilities, safety, and school openings
  • A track record of leading teams in diverse functional areas while serving as a member of a leadership team
  • Experience scaling operations in a high growth, multi-site environment
  • Exceptional systems and process orientation, with experience designing complex and scalable systems/processes from scratch and improving upon existing ones
  • Ability to define strategic issues clearly despite ambiguity, provide sound recommendations, and take all critical information into account when making timely, tough decisions
  • Record of achieving aggressive results, ability to establish meaningful metrics to support data driven decisions
  • Passion for the mission of Democracy Prep and public education
  • Commitment to the values of integrity, collaboration, humility, candor, and collegiality
  • Operations experience within a school based setting or high functioning social sector organization strongly preferred
  • Experience launching new sites strongly preferred


Salary is competitive and commensurate with your experience. Democracy Prep employees are provided with a benefits package that includes medical, vision, and dental insurance, 403B matching, parental leave, tuition reimbursement, a smartphone, and a laptop. 


Democracy Prep is an Equal Opportunity Employer and will not discriminate against an applicant or employee on the basis of race, color, religion, creed, national origin, or ancestry, sex, age, physical or mental disability, pregnancy, veteran or military status, genetic information, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, marital status, familial status, domestic violence victim status, or any other legally recognized protected basis under federal, state or local laws, regulations or ordinances. Our mission is to educate responsible citizen-scholars who will change the world. We strongly believe that by building a DREAM team that represents numerous perspectives, backgrounds, and expertises, we can achieve this goal together. This is a value we highly support and strongly encourage candidates of all backgrounds to apply.

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