Research and Policy Education Specialist, NYS-TEACHS
Advocates for Children of New York, Inc. (AFC) is a dynamic not-for-profit organization focused on high-quality education for New York students who face barriers to academic success. AFC works on behalf of children and youth who are at greatest risk of academic failure due to poverty, race, ethnicity, disability, homelessness, immigration status/limited English proficiency, or involvement in the child welfare or juvenile justice systems.
The New York State Technical and Education Assistance Center for Homeless Students (AFC’s NYS-TEACHS project) prioritizes the educational rights of students experiencing homelessness. We provide information, resources, trainings and support primarily to school staff, and also to social service providers, parents, students, and others who work with students who are homeless.
NYS-TEACHS has seven staff, including two Education Specialists and Assistant Director who work as a collaborative team, focusing on our hotline-related work, as well as outreach and trainings. The other four staff are primarily focused on school district programming, data analysis, trainings, and policy. The Education Specialists report to the Assistant Director of NYS-TEACHS.
NYS-TEACHS seeks a full-time Education Specialist who is passionate about the rights of students in temporary housing. The Education Specialist must be able to quickly analyze facts that are presented on our hotline and navigate difficult conversations with diplomacy, because the Education Specialists are often called on to facilitate dialogue between school districts, parents, and students. The Education Specialist is expected to establish trust with diverse audiences and build bridges between people with differing viewpoints to meet the needs of students in temporary housing. Education Specialists must keep detailed case-notes of their calls and follow-up with school district staff and the State Education Department. The Education Specialists also help coordinate NYS-TEACHS’ annual workshops and webinars, update our website, draft guidance documents and outreach materials, and assist with related administrative responsibilities such as occasional data entry and analysis and mailings. As a team we value growth and learning with regards to how we can better serve marginalized communities. As a result of staff efforts, we regularly engage in conversations regarding race and equity as they impact our external work as well as our internal experiences in the workplace.
Please see below for a more detailed description of the job responsibilities.
75% — Hotline
Respond to calls on the NYS-TEACHS hotline from school district staff, social service providers, parents, and students.
Provide clear and accurate information about the educational rights of students experiencing homelessness. (NYS-TEACHS will provide training for incoming Education Specialists about federal and state laws, and Education Specialists share that information with callers to the hotline.)
Speak with families and gather sensitive information regarding their housing status.
Use strong interpersonal skills to mediate disputes between school staff and families, and escalate cases to supervisors if students face persistent barriers in their access to school.
Regularly maintain clear written records from hotline calls in SalesForce.
Draft emails to school district staff, school district leaders and to the State Education Department related to concerns we learn about through hotline calls.
25% — Writing Projects, Trainings, and Administrative Tasks
Draft guidance and outreach materials for school staff and parents regarding students’ rights under federal and state law.
Manage and present 4 to 6 webinars over the course of the year using GoToWebinar.
Assist with 5 statewide workshops (3 in NYC and 2 outside of NYC), which requires overnight travel within New York State (2 times each year).
Help facilitate 2-3 trainings for school staff.
Make regular updates to the NYS-TEACHS website.
Occasionally assist with the mailing and distribution of NYS-TEACHS posters and brochures.
Demonstrated commitment to assisting underserved children and youth.
Excellent organizational, written, and verbal communication skills.
Excellent analytical skills.
B.A. or B.S.
Excellent interpersonal skills; high emotional intelligence and an ability to develop trust with diverse individuals from a variety of backgrounds.
Ability to effectively prioritize tasks and manage time efficiently.
Familiarity with Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint.
Fluency in Spanish strongly preferred.
The salary depends on experience. In addition to a competitive salary, AFC also offers generous benefits.
Expected Start Date
Ideal start date is June 1, 2018.
AFC is an affirmative action employer that actively seeks to recruit and retain a diverse staff and especially encourages applications from people of color, persons with disabilities, persons of diverse sexual orientations, gender identities or gender expressions and persons of diverse socioeconomic backgrounds.
How to ApplyPlease email a resume and cover letter to: firstname.lastname@example.org. No phone calls, please. Candidates should include information in their cover letter about why they are interested in the Education Specialist position at NYS-TEACHS and are encouraged to highlight personal or professional experience that demonstrates their connection to the populations that AFC serves.
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