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CORE Districts Program Manager - Improvement Events and Projects

Position

CORE Districts is a nonprofit organization dedicated to raising student achievement through collaboration among eight California school districts.  Additionally, CORE operates a data collaborative service that represents close to one third of California’s students.  Our work focuses on strengthening collective efficacy in school systems and improving outcomes for students, especially those students that have been traditionally underserved. CORE is at an exciting phase of development, and we are seeking a Program Manager for Improvement Events and Projects to support our CORE-sponsored improvement communities.  CORE is currently operating an improvement community focused on closing math achievement gaps, growing improvement capabilities and will be launching a second community addressing 9th grade on-trackness.  For these communities, CORE provides a range of events from quarterly learning sessions of the full community (approximately one hundred people), to regional sessions with school and district teams (twenty to thirty people), to professional learning sessions for leads (twenty to thirty people).  To support these efforts, CORE has a number of activity initiatives (e.g., the development and rollout of a knowledge management system to support these improvement communities).

Reporting to the Deputy Chief of Improvement, the Program Manager for Improvement Events and Projects (hereafter, Program Manager) will work collaboratively with CORE Improvement Team and operational staff to organize and execute CORE’s in person improvement convenings, and key improvement team projects.  We are seeking a proactive learner who is passionate about CORE’s mission, has project and event management experience, and who will thrive in our dynamic startup environment.  The Program Manager will leverage people, processes, and technology to develop project plans that engage team members, and enable the team to identify challenges and then find solutions that result in quality program deliverables to our partner districts.  The Program Manager must effectively manage numerous responsibilities at a given time and be available for travel.  

Responsibilities

The Program Manager will be responsible for the day-to-day interaction and management of a wide range of programmatic planning activities in support of the CORE Improvement Team. Tasks include, but are not limited to:

Project Plan Development and Management

  • Facilitate the collaborative process of developing and maintaining program timelines and work plans with project directors; initiating, tracking, and coordinating multiple strands of activity to ensure that the respective projects and deliverables are progressing in a timely manner, individually and in coordination with each other.
  • Assist and guide the CORE Improvement Team through planning activities, beginning with discovery through delivery of programs designed to support partnerships.  Contribute to the development of delivery tools and resources to partners. Manage and lead resources assigned to projects that are responsible for the delivery of services to partners.
  • Become well-informed and conversant in the tasks, key milestones, and workflow issues of the multiple projects assigned. Proactively identify emergent problems and difficulties in reaching key milestones and deliverables, and initiate appropriate action to redress such problems.
  • Work closely and collaboratively with the CORE Improvement Team, and regularly follow up to ensure that program tasks and deadlines are being met.
  • Maintain project plans in CORE’s new knowledge management system (being configured within Salesforce), and facilitate the teams’ use of this software to maintain current and accurate project plans.

Coordination Support

  • Collaborate with CORE’s Program Coordinators to manage organizational planning calendars, including scheduling meetings with multiple internal and external contacts, including out-of-town meetings.  
  • Collaborate with CORE’s Program Coordinators to provide logistical and technical support for teleconferences and video conferences.
  • Collaborate with CORE’s Program Coordinators and other staff to provide logistical and technical support for in-person convenings, which includes but is not limited to:
    • securing venues that best meet programming needs identified by facilitators
    • arranging for catering, rooming and set-up needs for best facilitation and learning
    • supporting thematic planning and activities for coherence in learning and participant enjoyment
    • attending to participant, facilitator and group needs during events
    • coordinating with venue staff during events to ensure all participant, facilitator and group needs are met
    • recording steps taken during events for learning and ensuring success of future events
  • Make complex travel arrangements that may involve multiple travelers and/or multiple destinations.
  • Maintain the CORE Improvement Team’s electronic filing system, ensuring quick and easy retrieval. (Currently, we utilize google drive.  We may migrate to utilizing our knowledge management system).
  • Serve as a link between operational and program staff, ensuring clear communication.
  • Other projects or duties as assigned.

Key Skills and Dispositions

  • Ability to create new, and improve existing, processes and to motivate team members to follow processes.
  • Effective decision-making skills, including knowing when to act and when to check in with others.
  • Ability to think strategically at the process level, while keeping the big picture in mind.
  • Willingness to initiate tasks at all levels of the organization when necessary.
  • Attention to detail, ability to set, meet, and enforce deadlines, and ability to delegate appropriately.
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills and high level of comfort communicating one-on-one or in groups of both internal and external constituents.
  • Able to work collaboratively and harmoniously in a team setting, while also being able to work independently and self-manage toward goals.
  • Ability to work in a fast-paced environment and willing to cope with and embrace uncertainty and change.
  • Proficiency in using technology and the ability to learn new technologies and software quickly.
  • Willingness to travel.

Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s Degree required.  
  • Project Management certification preferred, but not required (especially if there is comparable experience).
  • Three years of progressively responsible experience in consulting and/or project management, working on complex, multi-dimensional projects in a non-profit environment.  
  • Experience using project management software.
  • Intermediate to advanced proficiency using Excel. Familiarity with Salesforce a plus, but not required.

CORE is committed to maximizing the diversity of the organization and working to recruit a team that reflects the diverse student populations it serves.  

Compensation

CORE will offer a competitive compensation package including base salary as well as health, 401(k), and vacation benefits.

Salary range:  $55,000 to $85,000

Organization

CORE Districts is a collaboration of school districts working together to improve student achievement through highly productive, meaningful partnership and learning among member school districts.  Currently, eight school districts serving more than 1 million students participate in the collaborative: Fresno, Garden Grove, Long Beach, Los Angeles, Oakland, Sacramento, San Francisco, and Santa Ana Unified.  Together, our districts share a fundamental belief that all students can achieve at high levels and are deeply committed to providing learning opportunities that will help them to do so.  Organizationally, CORE Districts is a 501c3 nonprofit serving as a hub for this collaboration and supporting partnership and shared learning at the superintendent, central office, school leader, and teacher levels.  

CORE Districts’ long-term goal is for all California students to have strong support, effective programming, and an educational community standing together by their side so that they can achieve and succeed in college and career.  We are working toward this goal by supporting and facilitating inter- and intra-district collaboration to innovate, implement, and scale successful strategies and tools that help students succeed. 

For more information, please visit coredistricts.org.

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