Director of High School Programs

Director of High School Programs

Breakthrough Overview

Breakthrough San Francisco at SF Day School supports motivated San Francisco students on the path to college and trains outstanding college students for education careers. In 2017-18, we’re serving 244 young people in grades five – twelve, providing intensive year-round academic enrichment and support; 89% will be the first in their families to attend a four-year college. Each year, we also train 32 Teaching Fellows through our highly selective eight-week summer teaching residency, and provide a meaningful service experience to roughly 150 volunteers. Founded in 1993, we are a community involvement initiative of San Francisco Day School and one of two dozen affiliates of the national non-profit organization Breakthrough Collaborative. For more information, please visit

Position Summary

The Director of High School Programs oversees all aspects of eighth - twelfth grade students’ experience at Breakthrough, with the ultimate goal of their matriculating at a four-year college. They ensure students are participating actively in our programming, succeeding academically, building supportive relationships, and embodying our core values of collaboration, excellence, gratitude, perseverance, and responsibility. They build a strong relationship with each student, effectively handle all issues that arise, and maintain our culture of high expectations and strong community. They oversee the high school admissions process for our eighth graders and the college admissions process for our eleventh - twelfth graders, helping each student matriculate at an academically rigorous school that is a good fit for them holistically. They lead our programming for ninth - twelfth graders during the school year, and our Volunteer Leadership Program during the summer. In addition, they support the planning and implementation of our after-school and summer programming for fifth - eighth graders. The Director of High School Programs collaborates closely with the other members of our administrative team and reports to Breakthrough San Francisco’s Executive Director.

Essential Functions

Student Support and Leadership
  • Serve as the main point of contact, year-round, for Breakthrough eighth - twelfth graders. Build strong relationships with each student, characterized by positive rapport and clear communication. Ensure each student participates actively in our program, succeeds academically, and embodies our core values.
  • Regularly review student performance data (report cards, test scores, teacher feedback, attendance, etc). Maintain organized systems for both performance data and student contact information.
  • Promptly and effectively handle all academic, behavioral, personal, and social issues that arise throughout the year. Maintain high expectations while always affirming each student’s dignity and tremendous potential. Demonstrate cultural competence and thoughtful communication at all times.
  • Maintain a culture of strong community and high expectations among our student body.
  • Communicate as appropriate with family members, building a strong partnership that supports each student’s success; utilize translation/interpretation as needed.
High School Programming
  • Oversee high school admissions support for Breakthrough eighth graders. Lead student and family workshops and fall High School Options class. Oversee SSAT prep services and test administration. Work closely with each student and their family on application strategy and support students with application completion, including tuition assistance application process. Communicate closely with admissions directors at independent and faith-based high schools to maximize student admissions results. Advise students throughout the decision making process, helping each student matriculate at an academically rigorous school that is a good fit for them holistically. Plan spring Moving Up Ceremony for eighth graders and support their transition into high school.
  • Lead school-year programming for 9-12th grade students, including Saturday grade-level workshops, college campus visits, and one-on-one conferences, that supports student achievement, reinforces students’ desire and capacity to attend a four-year college, and maintains a strong community. Connect students with impactful opportunities at partner organizations, including College Track, Making Waves Foundation, The Posse Foundation, ScholarMatch, SEO Scholars, SMART, SMASH, and more.
  • Oversee college admissions support for eleventh - twelfth graders. Oversee test prep services. Work closely with each student on application strategy and support them with application completion, including FAFSA and additional need and merit-based scholarship opportunities. Advise students throughout the decision making process, helping each student matriculate at a selective college or university that is a good fit for them holistically. Plan spring Commencement Celebration for high school seniors, and support their transition out of the program.
  • Lead summer Volunteer Leadership Program, an intensive, seven-week service and leadership opportunity for two dozen high school students that supports the operation of Breakthrough’s summer program. Recruit and select a group of high-performing volunteers, including Breakthrough students as well as other high school students from across the city. Lead week-long orientation and ongoing workshops on college, professionalism, and other topics related to participants’ future success. Manage volunteers in decorating the school, supporting academic instruction, co-teaching elective classes, overseeing lunch service, providing special event support, staffing the after-school program, and more. Maintain a culture of strong community and high expectations.
Additional Program Support
  • Support planning and implementation of after-school and summer programming for fifth - eighth graders.
  • Lead planning and implementation of key programmatic events, potentially to include Career Day and Closing Day. Support planning and implementation of other events, including Back to Breakthrough Bash, Pre-Summer Orientation, and Celebration.
  • Assist with fifth - eighth student supervision during arrival/dismissal, Morning Meeting, meals and snack, passing periods, study hall, All-School Meetings, and other times as needed. Possibly, oversee breakfast and lunch service.
  • Support recruitment and selection of new Breakthrough students.
  • Collaborate effectively with other Breakthrough staff members, as well as staff at San Francisco Day School and other Breakthrough sites nationally; participate actively in staff meetings.
  • Complete other projects as needed.
  • Bachelor’s degree
  • At least 3-5 years of experience working with youth, preferably at the high school level
  • Experience providing high school and/or college admissions support strongly preferred
  • Demonstrated ability to work effectively with first-generation college students and their families
  • Demonstrated ability to hold students to high standards and achieve meaningful results
  • Demonstrated commitment to educational equity
  • Demonstrated cultural competence and responsiveness
  • Demonstrated history of reflecting on own performance and striving for professional growth
  • Exceptional organizational and time management skills
  • Exceptional interpersonal communication skills
  • Supervisory/managerial experience highly desirable
  • Familiarity with San Francisco public and/or private high schools highly desirable
  • Prior experience with Summerbridge/Breakthrough highly desirable
  • Fluency in Spanish and/or Cantonese a plus
Commitment and Compensation
  • Year-round, full-time, salaried position, beginning no later than September 4, 2018 (a summer 2018 start is also possible) Competitive compensation and benefits package, commensurate with education and experience and consistent with San Francisco Day School personnel policies

To Apply

Apply online by submitting your resume and cover letter using the link below. Prior to applying, please thoroughly review our website, Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis. Questions can be directed to Executive Director Andy Shin at (415) 568-3661 or