We are a dedicated and dynamic group of individuals who have joined together to create a more equitable and just education system in the United States. Located in downtown Portland, Maine, Great Schools Partnership (GSP) staff work on a variety of small- and large-scale educational initiatives throughout the country, with a focus on New England. Working with educators, administrators, state agencies, community members, parents, and business leaders, we partner with schools to create learning environments where students own their learning, engage in deep work, and prepare themselves for their chosen futures. We believe that each of us needs to be empowered to be creative, take initiative, think outside the box, work collaboratively, and assume leadership roles in our organization. For more detailed information about GSP and its work, visit greatschoolspartnership.org.
What’s the big plan for this job?
Our senior associates work alongside educators to transform practices, policies, and organizational models to ensure equitable outcomes for all students. This job involves coaching educators and leaders virtually and in person, while also interacting and collaborating with your GSP colleagues on a regular basis. In this role, you’ll be facilitating professional development in organizational design, leadership, teaching and learning, and community engagement. We work in teams as often as we can to share our expertise and problem solve, but our senior associates also have solo assignments and develop tools and resources as needed.
What will I be doing?
On site and virtual school coaching focused on achieving equitable outcomes. The bulk of your days will be assigned to contract work in schools and districts both in New England and across the country. You’ll be working with building and district leaders, leadership teams, staff, and, in some cases, school board and community members to support the development of sustainable plans for improvement. While we do have numerous tools and structures to support our work, each assignment is unique and our coaching is context-based and responsive to the unique needs of our partners.
Supporting schools to implement the following high-leverage approaches:
Anti-racist, inclusive, and equitable practices, policies, and cultures;
Proficiency-based teaching and learning;
Multiple and flexible pathways that promote deep learning as well as student voice and choice;
Shared, data-informed decision-making amongst educators, students, families, and community members;
Trusting relationships between and among students, families, and educators;
Professional learning groups
Convening and facilitating conversations among educators, students, families and members of the broader school community. Our senior associates are nimble facilitators, practiced in the use of protocols to lead conversations about practice, policy, and systems. A substantial part of our work is about bringing people together and ensuring all stakeholders have a voice in the conversation. In this role, you’ll work with school communities to structure and facilitate these important conversations.
Collecting data and reflecting on practice in cycles of learning and improvement. Senior associates are supported by our co-directors of coaching and our director of research and evaluation in creating work plans for each school contract. You’ll develop credible theories of action, collect appropriate progress monitoring data, and determine how your work contributes to positive outcomes for the schools you coach.
Facilitating workshops and conference sessions. While coaching is the primary focus of this role, we also host and present at conferences throughout the year. Many of these presentations will be a team effort.
Developing and implementing tools for school improvement. Our staff are incredibly talented and creative people who routinely create new processes and resources for use in schools and communities. You’ll work collaboratively to develop tools and resources for use with schools and in workshops. Many of these will also be featured in toolkits on our website.
Learning and reflecting together with colleagues. You will participate in monthly all-staff learning and planning days and monthly coaching retreats for senior associates to learn, plan, and develop new skills and resources. In addition, you will frequently work as part of a team on many contracts which will provide the opportunity for you to learn from your colleagues and for them to learn from you.
What qualities do I need to succeed in this role?
You share our commitment to equitable education for every student. This is a job, but it is more than just filling in your time. You need to be committed to public education and believe that by improving the quality of learning we can improve the life-long outcomes of our students and fundamentally and positively impact the lives of everyone in our communities. You have the bravery to challenge inequities in our educational systems and the strategic acumen to get results.
You bring expertise and experience in teaching, learning, and leading in K-12 schools, and are able to adapt best practices to meet the specific needs of schools and districts where we work. You believe in the high-leverage approaches listed above and are committed to demonstrating the moral courage necessary to support educators in implementing these ideas. You have the ability to quickly assess the most pressing needs of a school, district, or community and craft a plan and set of recommendations for a path toward improvement.
You have experience using data and research to help guide decision making. You are familiar with different types of data sources available to schools and districts and are comfortable reviewing data to identify areas for growth and improvement.
You have public confidence and conviction. You enjoy exploring and developing ideas extemporaneously, in collaboration with others and in public settings. You view disagreements as opportunities to explore new ideas and develop better results where success is the development and implementation of great ideas that are shared between everyone involved.
You get energized when engaged in new personal growth opportunities. You enjoy developing new skills, are not afraid of ambiguity, and are willing to demonstrate learning in a public situation. You find power in learning with others even when you are in a position of leading work.
You get stuff done. You are self-motivated and able to work both independently and as part of a close-knit team. You are able to prioritize among competing demands to manage multiple projects, identify strategic priorities, and differentiate between work that you need to take the time to get perfect versus activities that just need to get finished. When problems arise, you figure out ways to push through to solutions.
You believe teammates matter. Certainly, you can work on your own to see projects through to fruition, but you know that collective efforts and insight can create better outcomes. You are dependable with colleagues, supportive of others, and able to tackle a challenge as part of a group. You value diversity, respect different ideas, and openly address concerns with your colleagues.
An additional consideration
We are especially interested in candidates who speak multiple languages recognizing that many of the communities we work with have significant language diversity. Speaking a language in addition to English is not required but is a beneficial additional skill.
While our offices are located in Portland, Maine, senior associates work across New England and the country. Senior associates are expected to live in Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, or New York.
GSP offers a competitive salary, health insurance, four weeks of vacation, five personal days, a 403(b) retirement plan, eight weeks of paid parental leave, six sick days, and nine holidays. Salary range: $77,250-$99,310/year.
Our Commitment to Diversity
At the Great Schools Partnership, we believe our organization should reflect the communities in which we work. We believe diversity makes us stronger. Diversity of race. Of ethnicity. Of language. Of ability. Of gender. Of all the other ways we identify ourselves. We believe who you are is worth celebrating. These beliefs are foundational to all our work. We advocate for and support schools, districts, and school communities on their journeys toward educational equity. We also invest our time and money in ongoing internal equity and anti-racism efforts. Our goal is to provide a welcome, inclusive, and supportive environment for every member of our staff.
GSP is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate against candidates on the basis of race, ethnicity, religion, sex, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability status, or veteran status. Women, people of color, LGBTQIA+ individuals, and members of other minority or marginalized groups are strongly encouraged to apply.
Come join us!
To apply, send an email with the subject line “Senior Associate” to firstname.lastname@example.org. Attach your resume, a cover letter, and a list of three references. Incomplete applications will not be considered.
Review date starting July 16, 2021.
Start date: As soon as possible but not later than September 7, 2021.
2 openings. Telecommuting is allowed.
About Great Schools Partnership
The Great Schools Partnership is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit school-support organization working to redesign public education and improve learning for all students. We are a team of passionate, committed educators and school leaders who bring decades of collective service in public schools.
Working at all levels of the education system, from the classroom to the statehouse, the Great Schools Partnership provides school and district coaching, professional development, and technical assistance to educators, schools, districts, organizations, and government agencies. We also create tools and resources for educators and communities, administer public and private grant programs, and coordinate large-scale school-improvement initiatives for foundations and states.
The Great Schools Partnership is the lead coordinator of the New England Secondary School Consortium and League of Innovative Schools.
Our Core Beliefs
• Every student deserves to be held to high expectations.
• High-quality teaching and learning is every student’s right, every day.
• A collegiate education must be an accessible and attainable option for every student who has earned a high school diploma.
• Schools must ...model civic responsibility, social justice, and multicultural understanding.
Theory of Action
If we leverage proficiency-based learning, flexible learning pathways, and learner-centered accountability simultaneously with state and district policy, school and district practice, and public understanding and engagement, we will see more schools mirror the idea of Global Best Practices which will create pressure to fundamentally reshape our educational system to realize equitable and rigorous student achievement that will enable all students to be prepared for college, careers and citizenship.
One very clear understanding realized from our experience and research into the success of systemic change at scale is the need for both strategic clarity and tactical freedom. Success at scale has ultimately come when the efforts have remained nimble, able to tactically adapt to and take advantage of opportunities as they have arisen. Success has not resulted from a lock-step approach, but rather from a thoughtful approach that changes as needs and opportunities present themselves.
Our theory of action is based on the premise that systemic change requires simultaneous changes in school and district practice; state and district policy; and building public will and support. Historically, reform efforts have focused on either changing policy or practice. Few have focused on changing public perceptions. Very few—if any—efforts have actively worked on all three areas outlined in our theory of action.
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