Communities In Schools of Chicago - Chicago, IL

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Communities In Schools of Chicago (CISC) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to working in partnership with theChicagoPublic Schools and community organizations to improve student success. The mission of the organization is to surround students with a community of support, empowering them to stay in school and achieve in life. During the 2011-2012 school year, CISC expects to connect 1,100 services and programs to more than 63,000 students and families. Connected services include health services and education, violence-prevention and arts and academic enrichment programs. CISC links existing health, human and other support services to 160Chicago public schools. CISC also partners with more than 150 community organizations and agencies across the city that provide their programming in the schools at no cost to the student or school. CISC is an affiliate of Communities In Schools, Inc., a national nonprofit organization with offices in 200 different cities and communities. TheChicago affiliate, established in 1988, offers prospective candidates a dynamic, family-friendly work setting where both collaboration and individual initiative flourish.

The Senior Community Partnership Specialist will work closely with the organization’s Director of Program to develop strategies for maximizing CISC’s relationships with service providers in four key focus areas: arts and academic enrichment; healthcare and health education; mental health and violence prevention; and vision care. Position responsibilities include: driving the community partner team to achieve a range of organizational goals related to expanding the reach of partners and improving the quality of programs they offer; supervising and directly evaluating the work performance of three community partner specialists; continually developing tools, practices and procedures to help CISC be more innovative and responsive to the needs of its community partners; working with other members of the Community Partner team to develop and execute a series of trainings and roundtable events to support service providers; analyzing key metrics related to recruitment, maintenance and expansion of community partners; and leading or playing a support role in a variety of other organizational projects, as assigned.

In addition to these responsibilities, the Senior Community Partnership Specialist will manage a personal portfolio of service providers in one of the following two areas: arts and academic enrichment or healthcare and health education – dependent on applicants’ educational and career experiences. Portfolio management responsibilities include expanding the reach of existing partners included in the area of either health or enrichment; recruiting new partners in one of these two focus areas; and monitoring the quality of those specific partners’ programs and services.

Following are core aspects of the position.


I. Lead the Community Partner Team

With the support of the Director of Program, driving the team to achieve all relevant organizational goals related to maximizing CISC’s relationships with community partners in CISC’s focus areas of: arts and academic enrichment; health education; mental health and violence prevention; and vision care.

Supervise and evaluate the ongoing performance of two full-time community partnership specialists.

Supervise and direct a part-time project manager responsible for implementing CISC’s main vision service partnerships.

Provide supervision and guidance, as needed, to intern students who are placed at CISC to help the organization fulfill its various programmatic goals.

Conduct the hiring and training of new community partnership specialists as needed.

Lead the planning and implementation of trainings and roundtables to support CISC’s network of community partners.

Drive the plan for monitoring the quality of services provided by CISC community partners.

Analyze key metrics related to CISC’s work with community partners.

With the Director of Program and the Senior School Specialist, develop strategies for connecting more students to high-priority programs and services through CISC’s community partner network.

II. Manage Community Partners

Manage a portfolio of approximately 45 community partners in either the area of health promotion or arts/academic enrichment.

Recruit new community partners to address key needs of CISC’s entire school network.

Conduct ongoing evaluation of community partners’ programming.

III. Additional Organizational Responsibilities

Work with the Director of Program in analyzing outputs and trends within the community partner network.

Assist the Director of Strategic Development with obtaining a variety of program evaluation information to help measure the effectiveness of community partners.

Lead or assist with other organizational projects, as needed.

Desired skills and attributes:
Ability to drive self and others to organizational outcomes

Ability to work collaboratively as well as independently

Skilled at multi-tasking and able to meet multiple deadlines

Adept at cultivating meaningful partnerships while setting clear expectations

Strong problem solving ability and strategic thinking

Sound written and oral communication

Excellence in communicating with diverse audiences

Detail-oriented with a commitment to follow-up and follow-through

Skilled at thorough and organized record-keeping

Enthusiasm for mission-driven work


Bachelors Degree with at least four years of relevant work experience in one of the following areas: health promotion; academic/arts enrichment programming; or effective curriculum design.

Advanced-degree candidates in any of the above areas are welcomed to apply

Experience working with urban public schools

Daily driving is a significant portion of this position

Must have reliable daily access to a vehicle, plus a valid drivers license and proof of insurance

Reports to: Director of Program

Starting Salary: $45,000, plus competitive benefits