Director of Religious Exploration
The Director of Religious Exploration is responsible for managing the Children and Youth Religious Exploration (RE) program which includes the year-round Sunday RE classes, and children and youth group activities. This is a primarily administrative job that aims to create a positive, supportive environment for the children and to facilitate the work of the volunteer teachers. The congregation expects that effective management of the program will result in a safe and nurturing environment for the children, teachers, and families.
This position directly supervises the Youth Ministries Assistant and the Nursery Supervisor and indirectly supervises all Nursery personnel.
Organize RE classes with regard to appropriate age, class size, classroom location, and available teachers; recruit, train, meet regularly with and supervise teachers; meet regularly with the Minister and CYRE Committee for consultation and guidance on CYRE matters and to maintain a collaborative relationship.
Conduct registration for RE Classes beginning in May and run through the end of August. Have all registered students’ information ready for teachers the first day of class, listing all allergies, special needs, and other important information. Maintain the registration record by class in a notebook. Maintain an historical record of registrations for at least five years.
Maintain current knowledge of available curricula and other curricula resources and how to use them; periodically review curriculum guides and course materials for suitability; in consultation with the CYRE Committee, determine the subjects to be taught to each age group; obtain any guides, books and supplies for scheduled courses. Maintain a calendar for the entire CYRE year and coordinate with the administrator to secure rooms and other spaces needed for all CYRE activities.
Provide all teachers with the curriculum at least one month prior to teaching. Provide New Teacher and Returning Teacher orientation at least one month prior to the new teaching year which includes review of curricula, classroom management, Safe Congregation Policy and safety forms, and procedures for requesting or securing classroom supplies. Ensure that all teachers sign the Religious Education Contract and Code of Ethics Agreement each year at the orientation.
Co-organize (with CYRE Chair) and run the annual CYRE Retreat no later than the end of April. Review the year’s goals and plan goals for the coming year. Determine and/or present curricula for the coming year.
Volunteer Recruitment and Supervision
Work with the CYRE Committee to recruit teacher and other volunteers for the program. Maintain a list of substitutes who can assist in the classes and with special events. Adhere to congregation policy to run background checks and maintain the record of reports on all volunteers, nursery workers, and temporary staff.
Assist teachers in maintaining discipline; discuss behavior issues with parents; intercede if teachers are conducting classes in an inappropriate manner; act to ensure the physical and emotional well-being of students and teachers. Report to the Right Relations Committee/CYRE Committee Chair/Minister any cases of adult misbehavior.
Maintain monthly communication with teachers to check on their needs, provide support and recognize appreciation for their work with the children and youth.
Inform the congregation of CYRE events through a monthly CYRE newsletter, the main congregational Newsletter, the CYRE Web Communication Board, and/or the main congregational website. Distribute information on CYRE activities and classes at least one-month in advance to allow congregation members and families time to plan and to volunteer. Do special flyers and emails when necessary; maintain the CYRE information table, and post other items on the various bulletin boards; attend meetings of the CYRE Committee, Board of Trustees, and other committees that need DRE input or reports. Submit a monthly written report to the Board and minister and act as a liaison with local, district, and national CYRE personnel and programs.
While the CYRE Committee has primary responsibility for fundraising, assist the committee with any requested communication with the congregation, committees and the community. Work with the CYRE Chair to ensure that all those responsible for fundraising follow the CYRE and congregation procedures and policies for handling money. Verify that all fundraising receipts are deposited the day of the event into the black box in the office. Maintain a record of all fundraising receipts and expenses.
Prepare the annual proposed CYRE program budget, including DRE professional expenses, in consultation with the CYRE Committee. Adhere to UUCC financial policies to account for money spent in accordance with the budget; work with the CYRE Committee to determine RE expenditures and oversee the purchase of all CYRE supplies, snacks, materials and curriculum, or reimburse teachers for their expenditures.
Maintain regular posted office hours; in conjunction with the CYRE Committee, determine the CYRE records to be maintained and oversee maintenance of those records. In consultation with the Minister and the CYRE Committee, establish and follow procedures for assessing and improving the CYRE program; maintain a library of CYRE materials. Assist the Building and Grounds Committee in arranging, maintaining, and improving CYRE program space and in providing and maintaining CYRE program equipment, such as playground equipment and audiovisual equipment. Assess classroom furniture and equipment needs.
File all necessary paperwork for Youth Conferences (CONS) and special activities (permission forms, emergency/insurance information, the BIG FIVE statements, copies of chaperones’ drivers’ licenses and insurance, etc.).
Follow proper procedure for locking the building and documenting it. Ensure the kitchen is kept clean after CYRE activities. Date and rotate snacks out of the kitchen CYRE cabinet.
Maintain monthly updated attendance charts for each classroom. Include registration and attendance numbers in the report to the board.
Ensure that all substitute teachers and substitute DRE’s review children’s allergies and special needs and provide easily accessed information for the substitutes.
Verify that work hours are turned in to the administrator for the nursery workers and Youth Ministry Assistant. Hold monthly meetings with nursery workers and Youth Ministry Assistant. Direct the work of these staff members to include assignment of tasks and verification of completion.
In consultation with the Minister and CYRE Committee, engage in professional education and development to enhance knowledge and skills as a DRE.