National Director of Mentoring and Youth Development

About Great Oaks Charter Schools 

The Great Oaks (GO) Foundation is a non-profit organization that brings its model of high dosage tutoring to schools from Maryland to Connecticut with the mission of preparing students for college success.  The tutoring is provided by the Great Oaks AmeriCorps Fellows, which is a selective cadre of recent college graduates who deliver at least two hours of individualized instruction to every student every day. This is a crucial strategy in Great Oaks schools to improve achievement and prepare teachers to work in our schools.  The Great Oaks Foundation has successfully replicated this program in Newark, NJ; Bridgeport, CT; New York, NY and Wilmington, DE.  

As Great Oaks prepares for expansion, we have continued to refine both our school and high-dosage tutoring model for greater impact. Key components of this process include designing the Great Oaks High school, refining the Fellowship model, and integrating our approach to mentoring and youth development more explicitly throughout. Over the past two years, we have significantly transformed our method, with a strengths-based approach to youth development and using the principles of restorative justice to address community challenges.  The new National Director will play a crucial role in accelerating this effort in our schools and our model for mentoring in the Fellows program.

National Director of Mentoring and Youth Development 

Great Oaks is seeking an experienced professional to lead the network efforts to build warm and caring school cultures built on strengths-based youth development principles and restorative justice. There are two core aspects to the role. First, the National Director will support our two CMO schools to sustain and strengthen their school culture towards ensuring that the students internalize the school’s values and goals for academic excellence. Second, the director will lead the implementation of a high quality mentoring program across our Fellow sites.  The National Director of Mentoring and Youth Development also serves as a resource to leaders, teachers and Fellows on issues of school culture, classroom management, and relationships with students and coaches, teachers, tutors and staff in holding all students to high and consistent behavioral expectations. The key responsibilities differ based on our work with schools where we provide Fellows and schools where we provide CMO services.

Mentor Program Development:

  • Refine, train, support and monitor the implementation of a high quality mentoring program by Great Oaks Fellows across the schools with whom we work.  This includes continuing to research effective practices in school-based mentoring and integrate into the Great Oaks Model.
  • In partnership with our CMO schools, continue to refine and focus our model for school culture based on impact in the schools.
  • Ensure effective implementation of data monitoring systems and, with support from our data team, monitor school data to ensure equity, fidelity to the model and improvement of practices over time.
  • Support the integration of our work on diversity, equity and inclusion into our school culture and mentoring practices.

Program Implementation:

  • Develop a cohesive and supportive model that works for students, educators, families and communities.
  • Support our sites on the implementation of programs that recognize and celebrate positive behaviors and mindsets, including training for leadership, teachers and culture team members, particularly those who work most closely with Fellows.
  • Work in partnership with the Foundation staff to ensure the mentoring program is seamlessly integrated with the other components of the Great Oaks Fellows program across multiple sites.
  • Support CMO sites on Implementing positive and restorative behavior management tools including overseeing staff training in behavior management policies, techniques, and strategies and ensuring consistent deployment of such tools school-wide.
  • In collaboration with site and Foundation staff, develop network-wide practice that support site-based leads to promote culture, sustain school values and create a school-wide identity among students and staff alike. Establish an across network learning community of the school-based leaders of culture.
  • Support the implementation of the My Brothers/Sisters Keepers Initiative at CMO sites.

Cross-Functional Collaboration

  • Work closely with other members of the Foundation to ensure that the work on mentoring and youth development, school culture and student voice is integrated into the practices across the national organization.
  • Serve as a voice to ensure 
  • Coordinate and collaborate with members of the Academics team on projects in service of the broader Great Oaks Model and vision. This includes, but is not limited to the following key domains:
    • Building Great Oaks as an anti-racist organization with specific training and support for staff, Fellows, teachers and leaders on these issues.
    • Establishing a culture of adult learning.
    • Strengthening our connections between the schools, Fellows and the communities we serve.
    • Onboarding and Training of all Fellows to ensure quality implementation of the Fellow program.
    • Establishing an in-service “bridge to teaching” program for interested Fellows that serves potential pipeline for the residency program
    • Facilitate school-based and network wide professional development.

This position reports to the Chief Program Officer.

Qualifications and Competencies

The successful candidate will have proven success in elevating student culture in an urban school, district, CMO or have deep experience in implementing a specific tutoring model. The candidate will possess exceptional relationship building skills and the ability to communicate clearly to multiple stakeholders. The successful candidate will also have: 

  • A strong academic record with a Bachelor’s degree from a competitive college or university required; advanced degree is preferred.
  • 3-5 years of demonstrated experience in an urban school setting; experience as a teacher a plus.
  • Experience leading adults - through professional development, director supervision or coordination of key efforts.
  • A strong understanding of - and experience with - strengths-based, culturally responsive youth development models such as restorative justice, trauma-informed strategies, and an understanding of how to implement that to ensure quality learning environments for all students.
  • Passion about academic learning and an insistence on academic excellence for all students. 
  • Excellent communication skills both oral and written; ability to provide constructive feedback to staff members. 
  • Superb organizational and self-management skills and an ability to handle multiple responsibilities effectively and thoughtfully. 
  • Self confidence, flexibility and the ability to respond well to feedback. 
  • The ability to thrive in a fast paced environment where the ability to multitask and prioritize work is essential.
  • A do-whatever-it takes attitude doing whatever is necessary to help all students achieve academic success including a willingness to work occasionally on the weekend or in the evening.
  • A strong belief that all students can succeed.

Compensation

Great Oaks provides a competitive compensation and benefits package; exact compensation will vary based on experience and education.

Location: The ideal candidate for this role lives in the Northeast Corridor, as this role requires frequent travel to schools located in Baltimore, Wilmington, Newark, New York and Bridgeport. 

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