Job:

Project Manager

Posted on: July 25, 2019 |

INCS seeks a Project Manager to develop and manage marquee and smaller INCS events, to facilitate learning and resource sharing among our member schools, and to cultivate and leverage partnerships with other related organizations. The Project Manager, reporting to the Director of School Support, will manage the team’s database of schools and partners and as well act as intake manager for new charter school developers.

THE ORGANIZATION

Twenty-eight years ago, when educators and community members started the charter school movement, people questioned whether students in low income communities could succeed at the highest levels. That debate is now over. They can, and they do, as evidenced by the high school graduation rates and post-secondary success of thousands of Illinois charter school students. The only remaining question is whether we have the will to make this happen for more families. That is the work to which we are committed.

The Illinois Network of Charter Schools (INCS) advocates for the improvement of public education by creating the conditions that allow high-quality charter public schools to grow, thrive, and serve students and families well. We work toward creating positive conditions for charter schools by informing community members of the value of charter schools, supporting elected officials who enact laws providing equitable funding and accountability, and partnering with authorizers complying to ensure fair and transparent charter school policies and practices for school oversight. As a membership organization, school services are a critical feature of a charter school’s membership to INCS.

The Project Manager will be a key asset in this effort, planning, coordinating and managing key projects, including the Teacher Job Fair, the INCS Special Education Co-op, Charter Excellence Awards, board member convenings, a school enrollment fair, and school database management. The School Support Team has the most direct interaction with member schools and frequently provides support to schools on pressing issues.

KEY RESPONSIBILITIES

  • Develop, manage, and conduct outreach for INCS marquee programs and smaller events
  • Manage the annual INCS Teacher Job Fair. In this role, the Project Manager will:
    • Assess member schools’ needs and priorities to inform design of and increase attendance at the Job Fair
    • Develop innovative programming to attract high-quality teachers to the Job Fair and other related events
    • Recruit STEM candidates to the Job Fair
    • Build relationships with career service counselors at local universities, other teacher training programs, and related organizations to promote the Job Fair among their teacher candidates and constituents
    • Manage the INCS Online Resume Bank to recruit high quality applicants for charter schools throughout the year
  • Support program development and outreach for INCS Special Education Co-op, a support group for charter public school special education directors and teachers. The Co-op has over 100 members and generally convenes between 10 and 20 educators six times a year. The Project Manager will work directly with the two INCS SPED Co-op Fellows.
  • Manage the annual charter excellence awards process
  • Represent INCS at regional education job fairs and other education events
  • Manage smaller “lunch and learns” and other events where INCS can bring experts in a variety of fields to meet with charter leaders and teachers
  • Plan and execute student enrollment fairs and other efforts to aid charter schools in recruiting students
  • Facilitate learning and resource sharing among member schools
    • Partner with the Data Analyst to ensure the correct contact information for key staff at all member schools is in INCS’ customer relationship management (CRM) database, thus ensuring that INCS communications reach the right audiences
    • Respond to high priority information and issue requests from member schools; drive issues from initial inquiry to resolution
    • Plan member school convenings that provide networking, information sharing, and issue resolution on high priority topics for member schools, including development, enrollment and other topic areas
    • Support strong visibility and networking opportunities for INCS staff to interact with schools
  • Cultivate and leverage partnerships with related organizations
    • Act as a point person for INCS with other education non-profit organizations, higher education institutions, and government agencies for the purposes of joint marketing of offerings, sharing best practices, and increasing awareness of resources available to charter schools
    • Support INCS’ and charter schools’ participation in education-related events
    • Identify and share opportunities for charter school leadership and staff to participate in trainings, fellowships and other initiatives that will build their skills and increase their visibility
  • Manage and track INCS’ school-facing work and encourage INCS’ staff participation, attendance and awareness of different charter school opportunities
    • Conduct and synthesize information from school visits to inform INCS programming
    • Plan and support Sweeps Day where INCS staff visit schools around the region
    • Develop evaluation protocols for INCS Marquee events and create recommendations based on evaluation feedback
    • Manage the budget for INCS staff to attend charter school fundraisers

EXPERIENCE AND QUALIFICATIONS
First and foremost, candidates must believe that every child, regardless of socioeconomic factors or their academic starting point has the potential to succeed in school, career, and life. In addition, candidates should have an awareness of how public education systems have historically and disproportionately disadvantaged certain communities and must believe that charter schools have the power to transform public education and the lives of students. Ideal candidates will possess the following characteristics:

  • Orientation toward customer service and problem solving
  • Two to five years of project management experience preferred; open to recent college graduates
  • Highly organized with excellent attention to detail and ability to independently manage multiple projects at once
  • Confident, mature outlook and presence, sense of humor, relentless optimism, a spirit of problem-solving, and calm under pressure
  • A commitment to embracing diversity and fostering an environment of inclusion and cultural competency (see our definition below)
  • Strong ability to build relationships and effectively work with a wide range of people and in a variety of environments
  • An affinity for feedback and open conversations
  • Comfort with Microsoft Office tools to create written documents and presentations; additional media experience a strong plus
  • Experience in education not required but education and charter school experience a plus
  • Spanish language proficiency preferred
  • Undergraduate degree required

CULTURAL COMPETENCY AT INCS

Cultural competency is a lifelong process of building the knowledge, mindset, and skills necessary to engage fully and effectively with students, colleagues, and stakeholders of different backgrounds. This process requires us to deeply understand our nation’s history of injustice and its link to the persistent opportunity gaps that INCS and its member schools are focused on closing. It also requires us to strengthen our cultural competency by better understanding our own implicit and explicit biases and by reflecting on our words and actions through open dialogue.

INCS invests in building greater cultural competence and responsiveness across our team by supporting ongoing reflection, learning, skill-building, and positive actions. We know that culturally competent teams, especially when inclusive of individuals who share the racial, socioeconomic, and/or academic backgrounds (e.g., first generation college goers) of member schools’ student populations, are best equipped to take action to ensure fairness inside and outside of INCS. To that end, we believe in building a richly diverse and inclusive organization, including a mission-critical imperative for all staff to both model and contribute to the vision we hope to achieve.

EQUAL OPPORTUNITY

We believe it is critical for leaders to reflect the communities that they serve and that diversity across multiple dimensions enables us to achieve our mission of transforming lives and communities through public education. We don’t just accept difference – we celebrate it, support it, and thrive on it for the benefit of our staff, member schools, and the broader community. INCS is proud to be an equal opportunity workplace and is an affirmative action employer. We seek and welcome a diverse pool of candidates in this search. 

COMPENSATION

Salary is competitive and commensurate with experience.  INCS provides a suite of competitive benefits. 

APPLICATION PROCEDURE

INCS will review candidates and their qualifications until the position is filled. To apply, submit a current resume to Allison Jack at ajack@incschools.org. The start date is as soon as possible.