Research and Policy Education Specialist — NYS-TEACHS
Advocates for Children of New York, Inc. (AFC) is a not-for-profit organization focused on highquality 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. We use a variety of strategies — including direct service, trainings, and policy advocacy — to advance systemic reform, empower families and communities, and advocate for the educational rights of individual students.
The New York State Technical and Education Assistance Center for Homeless Students (AFC’s NYS-TEACHS project) focuses on the educational rights of students experiencing homelessness, and is a project funded by the New York State Education Department. NYS-TEACHS provides information, resources, trainings, and support to school districts, parents, social service providers, and other professionals to ensure that children and youth experiencing homelessness can succeed in school.
AFC seeks a second full-time Education Specialist for the NYS-TEACHS Infoline. The two Education Specialists work collaboratively and report to the Assistant Director of NYS-TEACHS. The Education Specialists’ primary role is responding to questions that NYS-TEACHS receives over our Infoline. Education Specialists must be committed to the rights of students in temporary housing, and able to navigate challenging conversations with diplomacy. They are a central part of our seven-member team. In addition to primary Infoline responsibilities, Education Specialists help with NYS-TEACHS’ annual workshops and webinars, update the NYS-TEACHS’ website, draft guidance documents and outreach materials, and assist with occasional administrative tasks.
As a team we value growth and learning. We regularly reflect on how we can better serve marginalized communities, and we engage in thoughtful 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% — Infoline
• Respond to calls on the NYS-TEACHS Infoline from school district staff, social service providers, parents, and students. On Infoline cases, Education Specialists will:
• Speak with families and gather sensitive information regarding their housing status,
• Provide clear and accurate information about the educational rights of students experiencing homelessness (NYS-TEACHS will provide training about relevant state and federal laws)
• Mediate disagreements between school staff and students/families, over the phone and through email, and
• Escalate cases if students face persistent barriers to their access to school
• Draft follow-up correspondence to school district staff and to the State Education Department about barriers that come to our attention through the Infoline, and
• Maintain clear written records in SalesForce based on calls with school districts, families, community-based organizations, the State Education Department and others.
25% — Writing, Trainings, and Administrative Tasks
• Draft guidance memos, outreach and training tools for school staff and parents, as needed, about student rights under federal and state law
• Manage, present and/or assist with 4 to 6 webinars over the course of the year
• Assist with 5 statewide workshops (3 in NYC and 2 outside of NYC), which includes overnight travel within New York State 2 times each year
• Assist with an average of 2-3 additional trainings for school staff per year
• Make periodic updates to the NYS-TEACHS website and training materials
• Assist with reports that NYS-TEACHS prepares for NYSED
• Occasionally assist with mailing and distribution of NYS-TEACHS posters and brochures.
• Excellent verbal and written communication skills are required.
• Clear commitment to assisting underserved students a must.
• B.A. or B.S required.
• Fluency in Spanish is strongly preferred.
• The ideal candidate should be:
o Passionate about the rights of students and families in temporary housing
o Able to translate complex legal ideas into simple, clear language
o Independent, able to manage projects from start to finish
o Able to establish trust with a variety of audiences and build bridges between people with differing perspectives
o Experienced with Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint
o Familiar with, or eager to learn Salesforce, GoToWebinar and other software
o Clear and prompt in maintaining written records
o Analytical, able to interpret complex facts quickly and accurately
o Organized, efficient and adaptable.
Expected Start Date
Ideal start date: Summer 2019
Salary and Benefits
The salary depends on experience. In addition to a competitive salary, AFC also offers extremely generous benefits.
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.