Operations / Administration Education Director
HopeWell is the largest nonprofit provider of foster care in Massachusetts and Connecticut, serving approximately 1000 foster youth annually through a comprehensive, youth-centered and trauma-informed approach. Through innovative solutions such as My First Place™, an education and employment program that provides safe, stable housing, and case management support for youth who have aged out of foster care, and with collaborative partnerships among stakeholders in government, health care, philanthropy, business, and social justice, HopeWell is driving the systems change urgently needed to raise the standards of the foster care experience so that every child can reach their potential in life.
ABOUT THE JOB
HopeWell seeks an Education Director to strengthen existing partnerships and build new ones with leaders in education, child welfare, and health care to close the opportunity gap foster youth experience from preschool through high school. The Education Director will lead, launch, and grow our new program, RISE: Readiness, Inquiry, Scholarship, Education. RISE provides intensive, long-term, one-on-one tutoring and educational support for foster youth that also addresses social, emotional, and cognitive needs. Unlike traditional tutoring programs, RISE tutors are paired with students, not schools, so tutoring and support remains consistent throughout the four to eight changes of home placements and schools that most foster youth experience through age 18. With a deep commitment to education, child welfare, and social justice, the Education Director will bring an entrepreneurial mindset to the challenges of launching a new program and growing it statewide and beyond. A strategic, creative, and innovative leader and thinker, the Education Director will bring proven experience to the work of building and managing programs and teams from the ground up.
The RISE program will start as a pilot in the fall of 2021, in or near the Greater Boston area. The Education Director will be responsible for getting the program off the ground, using data to flexibly and effectively improve the program, and ultimately growing the program from the pilot phase to full implementation. In the coming years, we intend to grow to implement RISE across Massachusetts and Connecticut, and to eventually partner with affiliate organizations across the country to adapt and implement RISE in their local communities.
While High Impact Tutoring (often called High Dosage Tutoring or HDT) programs have recently demonstrated excellent outcomes data for the general population, they often don’t meet the unique needs of youth in foster care. We are currently engaging in an intensive discovery sprint to develop an evidence-informed, new program that is tailored to respond to these unique needs. As such, there will be a lot to learn once the program launches in order to most effectively close the achievement gap. The Education Director will be engaged in a continuous cycle of collecting and analyzing data, and using learnings from the program outcomes data to hone the program
This is an exciting opportunity to lead a growing team to transform what is possible for youth in foster care. We are seeking an entrepreneurial and innovative leader who is passionate about education, child welfare, and social justice and is enthusiastic about the idea of piloting, strengthening, and growing a brand new education program that delivers real results. This position requires an experienced professional whose alignment with HopeWell’s mission and this new initiative is matched with strong leadership, sound judgement in the face of complex challenges, and a proven track record of successfully managing programs and teams. The Education Director will thrive on strategic thinking and will excel at communication and collaboration with a wide range of stakeholders. This individual will have the strong ability and desire to work well BIPOC youth.
The Education Director is an essential part of HopeWell’s senior leadership team, responsible for ensuring HopeWell’s mission, vision, and values are integrated into this new RISE program. Launching the pilot will require this individual to engage in all aspects of the program, including, but not limited to:
- Providing some direct services in the early stages as the program is launching
- Developing and implementing systems to manage all program operations
- Hiring, managing, developing, and growing a team of tutors and educational support staff
- Tracking and analyzing data in real time, adapting the program to respond to learnings
- Building and growing relationships with education and child welfare agencies and staff
Future growth of the program will involve significant opportunities for professional growth in this role. As RISE moves from pilot to full implementation, the position will oversee the full scope of the program’s operation and educational services and inspire a culture of continuous improvement that values learning and a commitment to quality. The Education Director will also work closely with the Vice President, Program Impact and Strategy and Vice President, Research, Policy, and Learning to provide strategic leadership to the RISE program.
- Oversee the implementation of RISE program model. Implement high quality, youth-centered support. Apply trauma-informed, evidence-based, and best practice approaches and curriculum.
- Manage program to provide excellent support to youth in ways that are aligned with all applicable agency, affiliate partnership compliance, and state regulatory standards, as well as legal and ethical principles that govern practice, in regards to services provided, record keeping, and data collection and management.
- In collaboration with VP, Program Impact and Strategy and VP, Research, Policy and Learning, provide strategic and programmatic direction to RISE programming, focusing on sustaining, improving, and growing services.
- Establish close and productive working relationships with schools, child welfare, and other public and private agency partners. Perform regular outreach to promote referrals, education about services, and utilization of programming and services as intended and represent the agency at all relevant meetings.
- Develop strategic alliances with other service providers to ensure that all youth have excellent access to all needed services.
- Remain apprised of current trends, legislation, and practices in education services through networking and publications
- Interview, hire, evaluate, and supervise a multi-disciplinary team of program staff. Provide on-going coaching and recognize good work performance through commendations and other staff appreciation programs
- Ensure staff are trained on and have tools they need to follow regulations, procedures and changes in protocol as well as agency policies.
- Collaborate with VP, Program Impact and Strategy and VP, Finance to develop budget. Monitor and ensure execution of approved budgets and staffing allocations. Ensure that financial paperwork is completed accurately and promptly. If relevant, ensure that accurate and prompt billing and payment for services rendered is achieved through monitoring and communication with referring agencies.
- Collaborate with VP, Program Impact and Strategy and VP, Advancement to support fundraising activities.
This is an exciting opportunity to lead a growing and engaged team to transform educational outcomes for youth in foster care. This position requires an experienced professional whose passion for HopeWell’s mission and this new initiative is matched with strong leadership, an entrepreneurial spirit, sound judgement in the face of complex challenges, and a proven track record of successfully managing programs and teams.
This is a comprehensive list of qualifications that we believe will lead to success in the role. We understand that any one candidate may not have every qualification on this list. We strongly encourage candidates with lived experience with the foster care system to apply.
- Ed. or equivalent degree.
- 10 years of experience in educational and / or child welfare services, including at least 2 years as a teacher, educational advocate, tutor, instructional coach, or school leader.
- 3 years of experience managing programs and teams
- Experience in Massachusetts public education system; demonstrated understanding of Individualized Education Plan process and school suspension / disciplinary policies
- Experience serving youth who have experienced trauma and implementing support strategies that use student-centered and trauma-informed approaches
- Knowledge of best practices in tutoring, curriculum, and special education a plus
- Successful experience in strategic program development and growth
- Advanced analytical and problem-solving skills and judgement; ability to gather and use information and data to monitor program outcomes and manage workloads.
- Demonstrated understanding of and competence in serving BIPOC youth
- Demonstrated flexibility and entrepreneurial spirit; thoughtful, curious, and open-minded approach to learning, growth, and change; exceptional change management thinking and implementation skills
- Demonstrated ability to organize, plan, and prioritize activities with specific attention to higher level strategies while ensuring that details and daily program operations are also effectively addressed
- Decisive, effective leadership and management skills; strong interpersonal skills, with the ability to drive high levels of performance, engagement, and accountability
- A high degree of effective oral and written communications skills
- Must be comfortable working in community settings and supporting a team who is consistently in the field
- Computer skills sufficient to perform essential functions
- Daily access to an automobile is required
- A valid MA State Driver’s License
- Clearing of background checks as required by state and federal law.
WORKPLACE CULTURE AND BENEFITS
HopeWell has an unparalleled work culture, with an emphasis on diversity, belonging, inclusion, equity, and holistic wellness. At HopeWell, each team member is called to uphold and live daily the values of empathy, strength, learning, and integrity. HopeWell is an environment where we laugh and smile while handling serious, life-changing work.
HopeWell offers a comprehensive total rewards package that values employee wellness, work-life balance, and continuous learning. Benefits include student loan pay-down assistance, tuition reimbursement, funding for professional development, as well as a full suite of healthcare benefits, and generous paid-time-off.