The Independent Learning and Partnerships Manager role involves creating and managing systems and relationships that will give Summit students access to expeditionary learning opportunities in real-world settings.
There are two main components of this role. The first is leading Summit’s Independent Learning program, which is Summit’s most significant real-world learning opportunity and requires strong management to ensure its continued success. The second component is developing Expeditions’ future community engagement initiatives.
Part manager and part strategist, the Independent Learning and Partnership Manager is a creative thinker with strong project-management skills, who proactively balances the necessary tasks to manage a thriving program and can develop the vision required to expand and strengthen the program.
The Independent Learning Program
Leadership of the Independent Learning Program is the most critical aspect of this role. In the 2017-2018 school year, we project that 250+ high school students in Summit’s seven Bay Area high schools will use their Expeditions time to elect an independent, off campus learning opportunity-- either an internship or independent study. From introducing this option to students to coaching them through brainstorming, researching organizations and “making the ask” to a supervisor-- the Independent Learning and Partnerships Manager will have full ownership of this program and will be responsible for ensuring that each student has a meaningful experience. As part of the Independent Learning Program, the Manager will also oversee the work of an Operations Assistant responsible for the compliance documentation for the program. This body of work also involves some partnership management with leading non-profits related specifically to Independent Learning opportunities. We anticipate that this work would take 100% of the Manager’s time during the August-October months, and then approximately 40% between October to March, expanding to full time again the next March when placement for the following year begins.
The creative and visionary aspect of this role is developing and executing on a partnership strategy for Expeditions courses. This strategic work and relationship creation would be done during Independent Learning “low season.” We currently have many hopes and dreams for partnerships but no explicit strategy to bring our students into contact with service projects relevant to their Human Rights classes, for example, or design challenges in which they can practice their design thinking skills. Yet we know that many of the organizations with whom our students intern or study could also be great hosts for a field trip or service learning opportunity. The Bay Area is also rife with organizations that exist to create perspective-changing learning opportunities for students. As a school network with an explicit commitment to giving students access to real-world experiences, we must do more to connect our students with the plethora of opportunities available. The Independent Learning and Partnerships Manager will create a strategy and execute on it to increase the real-world experiences in each course that Summit offers.
Who We Are:
Summit Public Schools is a leading charter management organization serving diverse communities in the San Francisco Bay Area and Washington State with currently 11 schools serving over 3,000 students. Summit’s mission is to ensure that every student has the opportunity to not only attend, but succeed in, a four-year college or university. Driven by our unwavering commitment to our core values, Summit works every day to ensure our students are receiving a world-class education. We seek phenomenal individuals with the talents needed to transform children's lives, as well as those who are interested in working on the cutting edge of education.
Summit’s Expeditions Program:
The Summit approach to elective courses in the form of Expeditions is unique. Over the course of their time at Summit, students have the opportunity to explore passions in their Expeditions courses, including opportunities for Internship and Independent Study experiences, or have the opportunity to craft an Independent Study course of their interest. Expeditions occurs at each school site four times throughout the year in two-week intervals. The Expeditions faculty is a team of teachers who rotate through four school sites for the year, leading students at each school through this immersive experience for two weeks and returning to that group four times each year. A key part of the Expeditions experience is the the Internship and Independent Study program, which is a part of our Expeditions program at each Summit High School, and will be a major focus of this role. This option as an Expeditions experience is open to all students as the opportunity to explore potential career paths before going to college.
Summary of Responsibilities:
- Continually improve the independent learning roll-out process, including identifying areas for process improvement in sharing information, prompting student action, and responding to student misunderstandings and missed deadlines
- Manage student application and approval process for internships, including answering procedural questions from parents and students and directing applicants to additional resources where appropriate
- Develop materials and provide training on Internship & Independent Study compliance and expectations with students, parents, external supervisors and school-based mentors
- Deeply internalize the what, why and how of independent learning reporting, including deadlines, audit processes, and funding formulas in order to manage the Operations Assistant
- Plan and execute school and internship site visits to evaluate the quality and potential of future partnerships
- Manage and oversee all compliance work (done by the Expeditions Operations Assistant) to ensure high quality organization, documentation, and accuracy
- Maintain strong partnerships with host organizations, including communicating about attendance and student performance and informing the Directors of any issues
- Create and manage a graduated discipline plan for students in independent learning placements
Real-World Learning Opportunities
- Support the Expeditions Team in planning Field Trip logistics
- Assist with the planning and execution of periodic out-of-school events such as the Celebrations of Learning
- Support in coordination and logistics for off campus courses, including coordinating parent drivers, creating a system for collecting and filing electronic permission slips, etc.
Existing Partnership Management
- Monitor electronic submission of grades by Summit teachers and external partners
- Support with and attend the partner teacher orientations at the beginning of the year
- Ensure that all partner teachers have the information and materials needed to succeed
- Make site visits to ascertain the quality of classes offered off campus by existing partner teachers
- Manage an up-to-date database of our potential and existing partnerships across all school sites
- Deepen Summit’s network of internship connections by getting to know parents and families
- Stay up to date with best practices in real-world, service and expeditionary learning
- Develop business and community connections through internal and external networks, media networks, web research and involvement in the local community
- Create and maintain relationships with peer schools serving similar populations or working towards a similar mission
- Create and maintain relationships with non-profit organizations whose missions align with a type of expeditionary learning which we offer
- Identify best practices to implement and potential synergies to tap into, ranging from bringing in guests from other organizations as speakers at PD, co-planning a field trip with another school, identifying a summer program kids could apply for, to hosting an intern.
Key Qualities and Skills:
- Commitment to mission. Shares belief that all students are capable of being college ready and willing to go above and beyond to serve children and their communities
- Fit with values and culture. Displays core characteristics of compassion, courage, curiosity, respect, responsibility, and integrity; demonstrates a growth mindset; able to give and receive honest, actionable and timely feedback
- Evidence of strong execution. Does not let any balls drop; is self-directed and takes initiative; operates with a “roll up the sleeves” attitude
- Strong organizational skills and obsession with detail. Is systems and process-oriented; sweats the small stuff
- Strong time and project management skills. Has ability to manage multiple tasks at the same time and prioritize based on importance and urgency; demonstrates flexibility and adaptability
- Effective Strategic Thinking: Demonstrates an ability to analyze qualitative and quantitative data, draw insightful conclusions, and create action plans for continuous improvement
- Strong relationship building skills. Effectively communicates verbally and in writing with diverse stakeholders including teachers, families, and students; shows empathy, manages others effectively
- Ability to travel to the East Bay, Daly City, Redwood City, Sunnyvale and San Jose campuses as needed
- Fluency in Spanish preferred
- Knowledge of Google Apps
- Experience working in an educational environment
- Meet health clearance, and pass the reference, background/criminal checks, per education code
- Strong local network in educational, business and professional communities preferred
At Summit Public Schools, you are joining a community committed to excellence and continual growth. We prioritize developing leaders from within and have invested in multiple career pathway programs for our teachers and school leaders. If you are looking for the opportunity to drive transformative change in a diverse community of learners and contribute to reimagining what schools should be, we encourage you to apply.