School Network Staff Director of Strategic Collaboration
Position Title: Director of Strategic Collaboration
Location: Lake County School District in Leadville, CO
Reports to: Superintendent
The Lake County School District (LCSD) believes that every student deserves equitable access to a high-quality, well-rounded education that prepares them for a successful future.
LCSD is located in Leadville, Colorado, the highest incorporated city in North America. Recreation opportunities abound in nearby mountains, and the urban advantages Denver has to offer are only 2 hours away. Leadville has a long history as a mining community, but mining has decreased drastically. Now many members of the community travel over mountain passes to work in the service and construction industries in neighboring resort communities. Many of our parents work long hours and have time-consuming commutes to work. They leave their children in our care and entrust us to provide a valuable academic experience in a nurturing, safe environment.
There are four schools in LCSD. The Center houses our preschool program where three and four-year olds are supported by Head Start, the Colorado Preschool Program and tuition-based programming. West Park Elementary houses our kindergarten through 2nd grades. Third through 6th grade students attend Lake County Intermediate School and, right across the street, Lake County High School houses our 7th-12th grade students.
Just less than seventy percent of the roughly 1,000 LCSD students qualify for free or reduced lunch. One out of three students speaks English as a second language. Approximately seventy percent of our families self-identify as Hispanic and most of the remaining families identify as white.
Five years ago LCSD was a turnaround district. At that time, we collaborated with our community to understand their hopes and dreams for the schools and embarked upon a number of strategic initiatives. We are proud of the successes we have accomplished to date. In August 2017 the Colorado Department of Education released preliminary school and district performance frameworks. As a result of the strong academic growth we are seeing, Lake County Intermediate School and Lake County High School both earned ratings of “Performance,” which is the highest rating a school can receive. The district received a rating of “Accredited,” the second highest rating a district can receive (one level below Accredited with Distinction). Despite these ratings, district and school leadership recognize that our work is not complete. Our focus remains and has intensified on increasing the number of students who are meeting or exceeding the expectations set by the standards.
As we step back and reflect on where we have been and where we have yet to go, we have learned that our successes are not consistent from school to school or even from year to year in part because the successes are often transactional in nature. That is, they rely heavily on the initiative of individuals and have not yet been institutionalized. The LCSD Partnership Collaborative is designed to maximize our return on investment in partnerships. We aim to achieve this by focusing on the following strategies:
- Refine and codify student-centered K-12 instructional systems that promote equity;
- Align multiple organizations, schools and leaders to support instructional systems and vision;
- Monitor school progress throughout the year to inform the effectiveness of our practices;
- Review interim assessment and school visit data to facilitate mid-course corrections when needed; and
- Create a system for identifying and disseminating best practices
We believe that this initiative will leverage our ongoing school turnaround efforts and better position LCSD to dramatically increase student achievement across our Pre-K-12 network for the next three years.
Director of Strategic Collaboration Job Description
This is a grant-funded position (Winter 2017-Spring 2020) providing research, writing, organization and analysis support for systems- and capacity-building in LCSD. The position will support the LCSD District Partnership Collaborative, an initiative funded by the James Walton Fund and the Gates Family Foundation to (1) continue the turnaround of schools in the Lake County School District and (2) create and share a model pathway for rural school turnaround.
Compensation: $70-80K annually, depending on experience
Workstream 1: Manage a network of partners
- Work closely with the Superintendent to develop a system to manage the district’s external partnerships. Primary partners include Expeditionary Learning, the Achievement Network, CDE’s Turnaround Network and Blueprint Schools Network. The management system should include and/or account for:
- Setting expectations and goals for external partnerships
- Managing to these goals
- Evidence-based analysis of how partners can accelerate the district’s work
- A sustainability plan for each partnership relationship
- Convene, schedule, organize and facilitate quarterly meetings of the Partnership Collaborative Working Group, which will include LCSD staff and leadership, Blueprint Schools Network, Expeditionary Learning and the Achievement Network.
- Convene, schedule, organize and facilitate meetings and work of the Partnership Collaborative Design Advisory Team, which will include LCSD leadership and Blueprint Schools Network
- Maintain regular communication and contact logs with each partner
- Become familiar with the work and evidence-based strategies used by each partner
- Research and understand the type of school reform and impact that each partner has made possible in other schools and districts
Workstream 2: Create systems for turnaround
- Work closely with the Superintendent, CFO and LCSD school leaders to refine and codify the district’s work to turn schools around.
- Leveraging partners such as Blueprint Schools Network and the Turnaround Network, track and manage the work of the Superintendent and Principals of LCSD schools to identify and implement key levers for school improvement.
- Leveraging partners such as Blueprint Schools Network and the Turnaround Network, track and manage the work of the Superintendent and Principals of LCSD schools to identify and implement a framework for school improvement.
- Review the literature on school turnaround, particularly in a rural context. Produce a literature review for district leaders.
- Identify high-performing schools using similar models and arrange school visits for LCSD staff.
- Identify relevant professional development opportunities and arrange attendance for LCSD leadership staff.
- Leveraging partners such as Blueprint Schools Network, develop a data and progress monitoring system focused on school improvement
- Identify, collate, create and refine policies, procedures and practices in the areas of academics/instruction and operations, with an emphasis on outcomes desired. In some areas, the district has documented its practices and the Director will simply organize and collate the documentation; in other areas, the Director will need to work with staff to create the documentation. Examples include:
- Academics/instruction: Common classroom expectations; data meetings; curriculum; intervention; MTSS; GT services; SPED; ELL services.
- Operations: Hiring; employee handbook/policies; district administrative policy review; technology and data privacy.
- Document progress that has been made toward turnaround efforts up to this point and over the course of the project.
Workstream 3: Develop & share the model
- Collect and organize artifacts of the district’s reform and improvement efforts
- Complete a learning narrative each year
- Work closely with the Superintendent and CFO in preparing for the writing of an evaluative case study beginning in 2019
Grant Management Activities:
- Complete all grant reporting requirements
- Maintain regular contact with funders
- Manage and expend the grant budget within the funding guidelines and district fiscal policies
- Track grant activities and progress
- Implement evaluation tools and strategies
Job Requirements and Qualifications
- Master’s degree or higher in a relevant field, or Bachelor’s degree with five or more years relevant public education experience, required
- Experience working at the district or system-level of a school district or educational organization
- Demonstrated commitment to equity in public education
- Familiarity with the public education landscape in Colorado, or ability to obtain it quickly
- Experience working in or with high-poverty, high-ELL and/or high-minority schools
- Experience being a part of successful school improvement, reform and/or turnaround efforts
- Knowledge and working understanding of current practices and research in field of school reform and turnaround
- Outstanding research, analysis and writing skills (writing samples required as part of application)
- Outstanding verbal, written and electronic communication skills
- Experience working with large data sets and performing data analysis
- Experience facilitating diverse groups
- Grant management experience
- Fiscal management experience
- Tolerance for ambiguity and ability to shift expectations as the project evolves
How to Apply
To apply for the Director of Strategic Collaboration position, please visit www.blueprintschools.org/careers to submit your application. The application deadline is December 13, 2017; however, applications will be reviewed upon receipt on a rolling basis. Therefore, interested applicants are encouraged to apply for immediate consideration.
Blueprint Schools Network and all applicable school districts are Equal Opportunity Employers and do not discriminate on the basis of sex, race, color, religion, sexual orientation, national origin, cultural heritage, ancestry, political belief, age, marital status, pregnancy, physical or mental disability or veteran status.
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