Manhattan Country School, a progressive pre-K-8 school located on Manhattan’s Upper West Side, seeks a creative, experienced, full-time Director of Communications.
Manhattan Country School is recognized for its strong academic program, racial and economic diversity, social justice activism, and emphasis on environmental education that features a working farm in the Catskills in Roxbury, New York. Committed to principles of equity and multiculturalism, MCS is unique among New York City independent schools. MCS’s educational philosophy relies on educators who have strong knowledge of child development and can apply it to effective pedagogies of inquiry and learning, enjoy the excitement and curiosity of children, want to help build a community where diverse perspectives are valued, and appreciate the life-long impact of working together for social and environmental justice.
Summary of the Position
This position will play a key role in furthering the strategic goals of the school’s long-term vision specifically related to re-imagining the MCS brand as we endeavor to clearly and compellingly articulate how the MCS progressive pedagogy provides a unique and powerful learning experience while providing a safe space for all our students. In addition, the ideal candidate will have demonstrated skills in photography, videography, graphic design, and social media.
Reporting to the Director of Advancement, responsibilities include:
Plan and execute strategic communications for all constituents to include current and prospective families, alumni and alumni families, donors, faculty/staff and the general public.
Work with the Advancement, Admissions/Enrollment and Program Administrators on community messages, crisis communications and branding to ensure consistency in messaging and marketing strategies for student recruitment and retention, academic programming, fundraising and special events.
Work closely with ThoughtMatters, the branding and marketing firm that MCS is partnering with, to ensure commitments are managed and completed on time.
In collaboration with peers, create a dynamic communications calendar that works in conjunction with planned fundraising and community events, including arranging for media coverage as needed.
Manage and update the school’s website and social media platforms.
Create original content for digital and print media along with a strategy to ensure all communications have been proofread and fact-checked, including email/news announcements, social media posts, and short and long form articles for the website.
Attend and document (photos and video) school and community events with an eye toward utilizing these opportunities to demonstrate MCS’s commitment to superior quality progressive education.
Create content and design for a bi-weekly newsletter, Nuestra Semana en MCS, showcasing curricular activity at the city and farm campuses and over the summer, an annual magazine, Courtyard, that highlights the academic year.
Manage the school’s website and social media platforms to include gathering and updating content, curating and archiving photos and videos, drafting text for posts, tracking analytics.
Serve as lead contact for MCS website and SMS
Work with outside vendors to coordinate print, design, photography
Participate as needed in all school communications and fulfills other duties as assigned by supervisor
Commitment to the MCS mission and core values.
Minimum of six years professional experience in communications and marketing. Experience at an independent school a plus.
A strong and consistent work ethic.
Excellent written and oral communications skills, including knowledge of AP style.
Strong research skills and the ability to draw upon multiple sources to craft a comprehensive narrative.
Knowledge of and facility with website content management systems, SEO and social media (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube and LinkedIn).
Familiarity with progressive educational pedagogy. Prior writing on the subject ideal.
Demonstrated ability to track and manage multiple projects on differing timelines.
Experience working collaboratively in an inclusive community.
Sensitivity and experience in socio-economically diverse communities.
Flexibility to work evenings and weekends as needed.
Strategic planning experience ideal.
Graphic design skills (proficiency in Photoshop and InDesign) ideal.
Reflecting the vision of the civil rights movement, Manhattan Country School teaches students in a community with no racial majority and broad economic diversity. Our goals for students are academic excellence, intellectual freedom, social awareness, self-confidence, and first-hand knowledge of the natural world. MCS is unique among NYC independent schools in having a 180-acre working farm integral to the curriculum and a sliding scale for tuition.