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2 Oct 2017

Instructional Support Curriculum Designer

Turnaround for Children
 New York, New York, United States

Job Description

About Turnaround:

Too many students are behind in school and too many schools don’t know what to do about it. Science is key to understanding the problem and key to the solution.

By studying the impact of adversity on the developing brain, Turnaround for Children is on to something big. It is connecting the dots between poverty, stress and academic performance.

Turnaround translates the science that explains the impact of stress on learning and behavior into tools and strategies that teachers and administrators can use to cultivate a safe environment, reduce stress, increase engagement in learning and accelerate healthy student development and academic achievement.

Turnaround acts as a catalyst for change by raising awareness about and addressing the challenges that affect any school facing adversity, particularly those in high-poverty communities.

Over the past 15 years, the non-profit has grown from an idea into an organization with a $15.2 million annual operating budget and over 60 employees. Currently, Turnaround partners with 10 schools in New York City, Newark, New Jersey and Washington, D.C. serving more than 4,000 students and 450 teachers. In the coming school year, Turnaround will expand its reach via partnerships with KIPP DC and District of Columbia Public Schools by providing hands-on professional support, coaching and training sessions to leadership teams and educators.


These positions are based in New York City and will require occasional local travel to school partners and other offsite locations including but not limited to Washington D.C.

About the Team

The Program Design team is responsible for planning, writing and developing curriculum for school and district partners and other stakeholders.   This team collaborates closely with science advisors, researchers, data teams and school-based practitioners to develop resources that promote Turnaround for Children’s mission: to translate neuroscientific research into tools and strategies for schools with high concentrations of students impacted by adversity, to accelerate healthy development and academic achievement.

About the Position

We are searching for two Curriculum Designers who will be responsible for planning, writing, developing and refining the highest quality content that aligns with the organization’s current and future goals. These curriculum designers will have a passion for and depth of experience in writing, and will bring a drive and commitment to creating the necessary content, tools and practices to support Turnaround’s mission. The Curriculum Designer also needs to be an expert in project management, being able to manage all components of curriculum development and refinement. The Curriculum Designer will work collaboratively with the other members of the Design team, Program team more broadly, contract writers, members of the Science team, researchers supporting Turnaround’s work, among others. These individuals will report to the Vice President, Program Design.

Key Responsibilities (including but not limited to):

  • Produce written curriculum for various audiences including Turnaround’s school partners, district and school leaders and new potential partners;
  • Design and develop curriculum content, training materials, training modules, participant materials, and tool implementation strategies, among others, for diverse educational audiences;
  • Collect and analyze data regarding the design of curriculum to inform tool revision process;
  • Create clear learning objectives and goals for all new curriculum and refine objectives, as necessary for existing curriculum;
  • Manage all aspects of new curriculum development and production assigned to this role, including the coordination of team members’ roles and the management of multiple resources including publishers, vendors, designers, etc.
  • Conduct research to inform curriculum development and consult with key collaborators within the organization and beyond; translate science-based research methodologies into practical classroom-based strategies and approaches;
  • Identifies and adapts innovative research-based tools, strategies and practices which are aligned to Turnaround’s program theory of change and can form part of Turnaround’s programmatic tools;
  • Create, adapt and/or curate an existing research-based curriculum for school-based adult learners that promotes transfer and is informed by relevant learning theories to ensure goal-alignment;
  • Contributes to the development of a research database to inform future curriculum development and review;
  • Collaborates cross-functionally with other departments, for example to assess the quality and effectiveness tools, and addresses problems proactively, escalating when necessary
  • Create, manage and maintain appropriate documentation for compliance and copyright of all materials;
  • Ensures the curriculum design and production projects are completed with a high standard and on time

Essential Qualifications & Experience:

  • Extensive experience with curriculum development and writing (minimum of 5 years);
  • Teaching certification or demonstrated equivalency preferred;
  • Significant experience coaching school leaders and administrators highly preferred (minimum of 3 years);
  • Proactive, self-starter, who can operate with autonomy while also driving towards shared goals;
  • Delivery of large-scale adult learning and instructional design preferred; experience developing and/or implementing Train-the-Trainer model, a plus;
  • Familiarity with Improvement Science, Understanding by Design (UbD) framework, instructional design, Response to Intervention (RtI), PBIS, transformational or cognitive coaching skills preferred;
  • Strong commitment to the work and mission of Turnaround for Children and an understanding of the experience of working in urban, low-income communities and schools is essential.
  • Excellent project management and coordination skills (e.g. managing and leading projects, meetings, contract writers, vendors); ability to balance multiple priorities with proven ability to anticipate challenges, solve problems and maintain a calm demeanor in high-pressure situations;
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills and the ability to establish and maintain effective and collaborative working relationships with a wide range of people and personality types;
  • Strong research and analysis skills using various methods and sources such as databases, academic references, survey and evaluation tools, etc.
  • Ability to operate within a defined system or model, yet demonstrate appropriate problem-solving skills and creativity;
  • Experience with technology and basic software applications (e.g. Microsoft Office Suite, databases, Adobe InDesign) is essential; experience designing curriculum using online learning management systems such as Moodle is a plus;
  • Bachelor’s degree required; Master’s degree in Education or related field preferred;

Physical Demands and Work Environment:

  • Ability to push, pull or carry 30 pounds.
  • Ability to sit for prolonged periods of time.
  • Ability to use a computer and office technologies.
  • Work is performed in a professional office setting with varying noise levels; occasional partner site visits and training in boardroom or classroom may be required.

How to Apply

Turnaround for Children is committed to building a culturally diverse and pluralistic team and strongly encourages applications from females, minorities, individuals with disabilities and veteran candidates.  All applicants should visit our careers page to apply and must submit a resume together with an in-depth cover letter outlining the ways in which their skills and experience align with our specific needs. Applicants should also include the details of any location restrictions. Compensation is competitive based on background and experience and includes excellent benefits. Turnaround for Children is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, or protected veteran status. 

Bureaus: New York. Job Categories: Full-Time. Job Types: Instructional Support. Job Tags: Curriculum, design, and writing.

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