Executive Director, Navigate STL Schools

Navigate STL Schools

Posted: 3/6/2020

Position Type: Full-Time (Paid)

Function: CEO/ED/President

Primary domain: Education

City: St. Louis

Postal code: 63110

State: Missouri

Country: United States

Organization Information:

Budget:

$0 - $1M

Website:

https://www.navigatestlschools.org

Mission statement:

We believe that every St. Louis family has the right to local schools that serve the unique needs and interests of their children. We advocate for equitable enrollment, and share tools and transparent information about all traditional, charter, and independent schools in St. Louis. We help families make informed decisions about which is the best fit, and enroll in schools where each child will thrive. 

Position Details:

Job Description:

Navigate STL Schools seeks a founding Executive Director for a new organization focused on ensuring families in the St. Louis region have the information and support required to find the best fit school for their children.  The founding Executive Director will manage the organization in 2020 and beyond. This role requires extensive prior experience in community engagement - particularly with technology tools and/or public education issues - as well as experience in strategic planning, finance and operations and team management.  Read more about Navigate STL Schools and this role below. 

TITLE

  • Executive Director

REPORTS TO

  • Board of Directors, Navigate STL Schools 

PARTNERS WITH

  • Contract digital strategy firm
  • Contract project manager
  • Contract website design and development vendor
  • All school options in the St. Louis region
  • Community organizations supporting families in the region

MANAGES

  • Two full time employees in addition to part-time school navigators

THE CHALLENGE 


Finding the school that will help each child succeed is a daunting task. St. Louis families have to gather and sift through various bits of information, weighing the value and reliability of one piece against another. This puts a lot of onus on families to conduct an exhaustive school search and unfairly disadvantages those with limited time and resources.

In 2015, local parents built an online school guide called STLCitySchools with the aim of working collaboratively to give all parents fair access to school finding information, resources and support.

In 2019, a non-profit organization was formed to build upon these efforts. Working with parents, educators, and community organizations, we designed and launched the first-ever mobile school finder with a focus on increasing equity of access to information. The school finder is part of a larger effort to ensure all St. Louis families can find and access a school that enables each child to thrive.


Navigate STL Schools as an organization is being incubated alongside the development of the school finder application, which is scheduled to “soft launch” in March 2020.  Our vision is that very family can find and access a school that enables each child to thrive.  Our mission as an organization is our belief that every St. Louis family has the right to local schools that serve the unique needs and interests of their children. We advocate for equitable enrollment, and share tools and transparent information about all traditional, charter, and independent schools in St. Louis. We help families make informed decisions about which is the best fit, and enroll in schools where each child will thrive.


An initial set of core principles have guided the effort and design work to date.  They are:


  1. Continually build trust.  Be focused on children and parents, be transparent with intentions, be consistent, be useful, and purposely address skepticism.

  2. Report and inform.  Source and present the most useful data to compare schools and inform decisions, but leave judgements up to parents.

  3. Be clear.  Provide easy to understand, distilled, and useful information that empowers parents in their school decisions.

  4. Facilitate fair comparison.  Ensure all schools are fairly and consistently represented to allow parents to analyze against their values and their children’s needs.

  5. Build agency.  Empower parents to be advocates for their kids by supporting them comprehensively through the selection and enrollment process (with information, explanations, and resources).

  6. Be accessible.  Provide information that is valuable and easy to use for a wide variety of devices, language spoken, and education-level achieved. 

  7. Be optimistic.  Highlight opportunities for improvement in systems and organizations to help the people they serve.


ABOUT YOUR ROLE


The Executive Director is ultimately responsible for codifying and delivering on the mission of Navigate STL Schools and for the organization’s long-term health and impact.  The Executive Director will act as the main steward of the digital platform and lead the many additional supports required to help parents and families take full advantage of it.  Their main responsibilities include executing on the vision and mission of the organization, building and stewarding its board of directors, recruiting the organizational talent needed to execute on the mission, and investing the community at-large in the tool and organization.  


WHAT YOU’LL DO


The Executive Director’s primary responsibilities fall into three categories:  leadership and management; community engagement; and program and operations.


Leadership and Management

  • Recruit a full board of nine to thirteen members and transition the founding board members off or onto the full board

  • With the board of directors, codify the mission, vision, values and strategy of the organization

  • Continuously recruit a team of school navigators and other staff, as needed, according to the business plan, and create a high-performing team culture that attracts and retains a diverse and motivated group of professionals

  • Partner with The Opportunity Trust to create a sustainable financial model for the organization and develop a fundraising plan

  • Ensure compliance with all applicable state and federal laws


Community Engagement

  • Recruit, as determined, a parent and/or community advisory board to ensure effective collaboration with families, schools and education agencies across St. Louis

  • Design and facilitate community engagement and marketing events to promote Navigate STL Schools across the region in alignment with the marketing and communications plan

  • Represent STL School Navigator to schools, organizations, the media and the public at-large


Program and Operations

  • Lead the development of content for Navigate STL Schools, possibly conducting school visits for parents, a citywide school open house and enrollment calendars, and workshops/events for parents and families to learn about school options, drawing upon team members and contractors as needed

  • Effectively manage contractors supporting the annual updating and ongoing marketing of the Navigate STL Schools website 

  • Design the back-office systems required to support Navigate STL Schools, including parent customer service

  • Develop sound financial management practices and ensure it operates within budget

WHAT WE OFFER

  • Competitive salary and benefits

  • Flexible work environment

  • Passionate, mission-driven colleagues

Qualifications:

YOUR BACKGROUND


Visioning

  • Engages and displays fluency in conversations about public education, parent engagement, and social justice in St. Louis and/or the United States

  • Narrates compelling stories to both large and small audiences in both spoken and written word

  • Formulates strategy that clearly illustrates key levers and paths to change

  • Builds strong relationships with stakeholders at all levels, including funders, parents and other community stakeholders


Entrepreneurship

  • Passionate about equitable access to information and resources in the context of school choice

  • Displays a track record of starting new initiatives requiring a willingness to do whatever it takes, fail forward, and continuously improve

  • Anticipates and mitigates organizational risks and develops contingency plans


Operations

  • Builds high-performing teams and processes required to deliver success

  • Contributes to marketing and/or fundraising campaigns to tell the story of their organization

  • Understands and analyzes financial budgets and models

Benefits:


Salary:

$100k - 120k

Posting Expiration Date:

5/5/2020

How to Apply:

If you’re interested in applying, please send an email to [email protected] with the following:

  • Subject line “ED, Navigate STL Schools”

  • A written description describing why you are specifically interested in this role and why we need you on the team

  • A copy of your current resume attached


 

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