Program Director - Horizons Greater Washington (Washington, DC)



Organizational Background

Horizons Greater Washington (HGW), an affiliate of Horizons National, advances educational equity by building long-term partnerships with students, families, communities, and schools to create experiences outside of school that inspire the joy of learning. HGW supports over 400 students in grades 1-9 with year-round programming and support.

Working in partnership with our families, sending schools, and host schools, HGW is committed to developing the whole child through experiences that build problem-solving skills, foster awareness of community responsibility, instill respect for self and others, encourage a lifelong interest in learning, and inspire a meaningful, choice-filled life. The program begins when a student enters first grade and extends until they enter ninth grade, allowing for a rewarding long-term relationship between a diverse set of learners and the nurturing staff who work with them every summer.

HGW has served our community for over 20 years and operates three summer program sites in DC and Maryland, coordinating and supporting administrative operations through a central office in Washington, DC.

HGW’s programs adhere to the Pyramid of Program Quality designed by the David Weikart Center for Youth Program Quality. All HGW staff, including the Program Director, strive to support the domains of Engagement, Interaction, Supportive and Safe Environment which ensure that programs are meeting the needs of youth.

Position Description

The Program Director leads all school year programming for our students, connecting with our students’ feeder schools, and engaging Horizons’ families. In the lead up to and during the summer, the position will focus on leading the work around administration and compliance to ensure the smooth operation of Horizons’ flagship summer program.

Salary Range:  $80,000-$90,000/year

Job Type: Full-Time

Job Responsibilities:

Program Leadership

  • Fully develops and implements Horizons’ summer program. Assesses needs and ensures program quality and consistency across all sites in accordance with the Weikart Center’s expectations for Program Quality.
  • Lead on all program operations, including transportation, vendors/contractors, food, local clearance procedures, and additional district or state requirements. 
  • Lead on developing swim program that is core to Horizons’ model, including securing swim locations and hiring water safety instructors.
  • Develop and execute contracts, oversee contract management, and ensure adherence to budget.
  • Hire, train, and serve as a motivating manager to staff.
  • Creates functional strategies and specific objectives for the Program Manager, Site Directors and Assistant Site Directors. Lead on performance issues for direct and indirect reports. 
  • Works directly with the Program Team to ensure all sites are implementing the program model, incorporating observation feedback, and meeting goals and objectives.
  • Lead on Saturday Academy programming planning and implementation (6 Saturdays in the fall; 6 Saturdays in the spring), including hiring staff, confirming transportation and program space, ordering food, planning program activities and managing Site Leaders in program implementation.
  • Oversee the design and build of curricula to ensure site staff have stimulating lesson plans, resources, and the right knowledge and skills to competently deliver core services, including experiential learning components.
  • Lead feedback sessions with implementing partners and conduct classroom observations to identify elements to refine.
  • Receives and responds to all incident reports and follow-up required, lead on decision-making related to safety issues and program risk-management, supports Program Team (Site Leaders and Program Manager) with in-person conversations and next steps as needed (e.g. parent meetings, student issues). Provides feedback annually on risk management procedures and leads staff training as needed.
  • Oversees all summer program administration.
  • Stays up to date on research and best practices, uses data and feedback from previous programming to continually improve Horizons’ programming and experience for students, staff, and families.

Student Recruitment

  • Sets enrollment goals and strategy and manages the Program Manager in developing relationships with feeder schools and Horizons families to meet all student recruitment and re-enrollment goals.

Administration and Compliance

  • Develops and maintains local partnerships (e.g. peer organizations, districts, program partners) in conjunction with the Executive Director. Includes field trip partners, enrichment activities, feeder schools, and corporate partners.
  • In conjunction with CFO, tracking local program expenses and ensuring compliance with all org-wide policies, as well as compliance with major government funders such as Learn24.
  • Ensures compliance with all grant requirements and provides grant writing support.
  • Represents Horizons through various outreach efforts by attending external conferences, presenting client work, and fostering partnerships with external partner organizations.
  • Contributes to a strong organization culture by cultivating a positive and motivating environment.


  • Minimum of 5+ years of related work experience directly managing a high-performing team; ability to delegate and own the work as appropriate; minimum of three years’ experience working directly with youth. Instructional experience in a traditional or non-traditional classroom a plus.
  • Bilingual (English-Spanish) highly preferred
  • Deep understanding and respect for the cultural and communications norms, styles, and preferences in working with first-generation American students and families
  • Degree in a related field (bachelor’s or master’s) preferred
  • Experience with swim instruction and water safety training preferred
  • Experience in the out-of-school time field; background and interest in youth development or education, particularly for under-resourced minority communities
  • Experience managing direct youth program operations with a focus on risk management and youth safety, including familiarity with best practices and local child safety laws, an ability to develop, refine, and implement organizational policies, and an ability to make and communicate appropriate decisions in response to incidents
  • Experience building relationships with and participating in feedback conversations with parents related to youth program participants
  • Experience with project management including working across teams with a focus on implementation
  • Strong analytic and strategic thinking skills
  • Highly organized, motivated, and detail-oriented planner with an ability to manage competing timelines and many details at once
  • Polished communication skills, including written and oral, demonstrating tact, diplomacy, and accuracy
  • Fluency with Microsoft Office Suite and Google Suite

Background Check Requirements

All offers of employment to employees 18 or over are contingent on the successful completion of the background checks described below:

  • Fingerprinting (FBI) (MD & DC) 
  • MD Criminal Database Background Check (MD)
  • Maryland Child Protective Services Clearance (MD)
  • DC Child and Family Services Agency (CFSA) Child Protection Registry (CPR) (DC)
  • Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) Criminal Background Check (DC)
  • National Sex Offender Registry (DC)

All offers of employment at Horizons Greater Washington are contingent upon clear results of the above suitability checks. Background checks will be conducted on all final candidates immediately after acceptance of employment offer and on all employees who are promoted, as deemed necessary.



This position may be onsite, virtual, or both based on health restrictions and other factors in the community and the organization. Candidates must be willing to work in the full range of work environments. 

Environmental and Physical Conditions

The environmental factors and/or physical requirements of this position include the following: While performing the duties of this job, the employee is required to have ordinary ambulatory skills sufficient to visit other locations; and the ability to stand, walk, stoop, kneel, crouch, and manipulate (lift, carry, move) light to medium weights of 10-20 pounds. Requires good hand-eye coordination, arm, hand and finger dexterity, including ability to grasp, and visual acuity to use a keyboard. The employee frequently is required to be in one position for long periods of screen use, reach with hands and arms, and talk and hear both in person and over devices. The employee interacts in close spaces and frequently with children and other staff. May be in situations which require conflict resolution. The position works in an office environment with artificial light and air.


Horizons Greater Washington requires that the holder of this position be fully vaccinated against COVID-19, as defined by the CDC, and as ordered by DC law. Horizons Greater Washington will review and consider requests for reasonable accommodation to this requirement and determine whether an accommodation can be provided based on the essential functions of the job. Horizons Greater Washington may require information or documentation from an employee and reserves the right to request additional information or documentation in consideration of the request for accommodation.

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Horizons Greater Washington does not discriminate in employment opportunities or practices on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, veteran status, sexual orientation, or any other characteristic protected by law. 

We are an Equal Opportunity Employer.