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17 Jun 2021

Research and Policy Director of Gates Foundation Partnership (Improvement Project Lead)

 Denver, Denver County, Colorado, United States

Job Description


Position: Director of Gates Foundation Partnership (Improvement Project Lead)
Reports to: Senior Director of Data and Assessment
Location: STRIVE Prep – Central Office (Denver, CO)
Salary: $60,000-$75,000

STRIVE Prep is a Denver-based community of public charter schools that challenges every student to strive for college and thrive throughout life by helping them to discover and develop the knowledge, skills, and confidence necessary to succeed in college and beyond. We encourage you to read our 2020 Impact Report and learn more about what a career at STRIVE Prep is like here.

We seek dedicated educators that live STRIVE Prep’s core values of achievement, justice, & perseverance every day and are committed to growing as anti-racist educators.


STRIVE Prep is entering its second year of a Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Grant in which two of our school sites, SMART and Federal, are working on a continuous improvement project to improve outcomes for students with disabilities. The Director of Gates Foundation Partnership will manage STRIVE Prep’s engagement with a Networked Improvement Community of 10 Charter Management Organizations focused on improving outcomes for Students with Disabilities (SWDs). This individual will oversee an ongoing improvement effort at our two pilot schools, supporting them with day-to-day oversight of the project. A successful candidate can inspire educators to identify root causes, introduce practices designed to better support SWDs, and measure the impact of these practices through regular cycles of inquiry. They will work closely with members of the Central Academic Team and school leadership to train educators, monitor and respond to data, and execute on priorities and improvement cycles focused on the needs of this population.  The Director of Gates Foundation Partnership serves as a champion and expert in this work, providing consultation and serving as a collaborative problem-solver as part of the network’s improvement team.

Our ideal candidate is:

  • Able to lead in environments of change: You consistently bring focus and prioritization to any work you do, which provides a strong foundation for moving the work forward concurrently with organizational change and growth. You are judicious yet tenacious in planning and executing, and this level of critical thinking enables you to navigate in a dynamic environment that at times may feel ambiguous.
  • Driven by a mission to disrupt barriers facing historically disadvantaged students: You do the work you do, every day, with a deep conviction to address the systemic educational barriers that many students in Denver have faced since they entered the school system. Because of this conviction, you are a tireless advocate for every student, and lead with the belief that every student can achieve.
  • A systems builder and thinker: You have experience in developing systems necessary to push work forward. You can break big picture ideas into the necessary parts and construct the systems needed to drive toward big-picture goals. You also recognize that effective systems include multiple inputs and as a result, ensure you collaborate with stakeholders who bring diverse perspectives and experiences as part of your strategic planning.


Project Management

  • A visionary with a passion for independently designing and developing project plans to meet Gates Foundation Project Goals, and engaging appropriate stakeholders to provide feedback
  • Serve as the contact person for the network with outside Technical Partners
  • Regularly collaborate with the Project Sponsor, Data Lead, Technical Providers, and Improvement Team members
  • Consistently document continuous improvement work and update different stakeholders supporting the work
  • Communicate changes and project expectations to the Improvement Team and to STRIVE Prep stakeholders whose influence and expertise is required to support the work

Targeted, Responsive Professional Development and School Support 

  • Identify trends in student and teacher performance data in order to inform continuous improvement of PD and school support.
  • Collaborate with the grant Technical Partners and Improvement Team members to design and deliver PD that addresses the primary goals and measures of the grant work.
  • Use a variety of data tools (e.g. progress monitoring, formative and summative assessments, etc.) to strategically support site improvement teams in making decisions to push the work forward.

Additional Duties

  • Perform other duties/tasks as needed or assigned by the Chief Academic Officer, Chief Executive Officer, and other senior leadership team members.
  • Support schools throughout the year on-campus (including potentially working directly with students) as needed.
  • Build deep authentic relationships with internal and external partners in the Gates work
  • Active participation in network and school-level activities and/or events.
  • Some local travel (25-50% of the workweek) is required across the network to pilot school campuses.
  • Travel twice a year to attend multi-day Gates Convening out of state in September/March (remote for fall 2021, location TBD for March)


  • Bachelor of Arts or Sciences degree
  • At least three years of  Special Education teaching experience
  • A deep belief in holding students to rigorous academic expectations within a critical pedagogy framework
  • Unwavering commitment to growing personally and professionally as an anti-racist and anti-oppressive organization.
  • Able to clearly describe thought processes behind continuous improvement cycles and potential for scalability of results to the network as a whole
  • Independent travel in the Denver metro area


  • Speaks Spanish
  • Previous experience leading grant work around continuous improvement practices.
  • Demonstrated success working with students from historically marginalized communities
  • Current Special Education License
  • Expertise in culturally responsive teaching and critical pedagogy

Physical Requirements:

  • Ability to travel by plane for Gates Convenings out of state


This is a full-time exempt position and is eligible for the following compensation and benefits:

  • *Competitive base compensation based on years of required experience and other relevant factors allowable by Colorado law and STRIVE Prep policy.
  • Health benefits (eligibility for full-time employees only)
    • 100% employer-paid premium for employee-only medical coverage
    • Dental
    • Vision
    • Company Paid Employee Life Insurance
    • Voluntary Life (Employee, Spouse, Child)
    • Voluntary Critical Illness & Accidental Coverage
    • Voluntary Short-Term Disability
    • Employee Assistance Program
  • Participation in the Colorado Public Employee Retirement Association (PERA) pension program (in lieu of Social Security tax) with an option to elect into a competitive 401(k) plan.
  • Applicable Pay for Performance increase upon successful completion of a full school year
  • Time off benefits (eligibility for full-time employees only)


STRIVE Prep works to make a college-prep education for all students in our community the norm, rather than the exception. STRIVE Prep is an equal opportunity employer and actively encourages applications from people of all backgrounds.

How to Apply

Please apply through this link. 

Bureaus: Colorado. Job Categories: Full-Time. Job Types: Research and Policy. Job Tags: Coach, director, diversity, equity, grant, instructional coach, and UDL. Salaries: 60,000 - 80,000.