Manager of Student Services (Boston)

Breakthrough Greater Boston

Posted: 7/31/2020

Position Type: Full-Time (Paid)

Function: Education/Training

Primary domain: Education

City: Boston

Postal code: 02136

State: Massachusetts

Country: United States

Organization Information:


$3M - $10M


Mission statement:

Our mission at Breakthrough Greater Boston 

is to inspire excitement for learning, create paths to college and promote careers in education.

Breakthrough Greater Boston prepares low-income students for success in college and trains the next generation of urban teachers using a unique Students Teaching Students model. Through our six-year program, students gain a passion for learning and the perseverance and tools to succeed in college and beyond. Teaching Fellows gain intensive in-classroom experience, expert training and 1:1 coaching.

Through six years of intensive, tuition-free, out of school time programming, we change students’ academic trajectories and support them along the path to college. We are building the next generation of teachers through competitive recruitment, research-based training, and coaching from master teachers.

Founded by MacArthur Genius Award winner Angela Duckworth in 1992 in Cambridge, we expanded into Boston in 2013, followed by Somerville in 2018. With the 2024 completion of our growth plan, Breakthrough will serve 900 students and 200 teachers annually.

Position Details:

Job Description:


About Us and Our Philosophy 

Breakthrough Greater Boston (BTGB) is a transformative college access and teacher training program. BTGB offers six years of academic enrichment and college preparation to middle school and high school students with high potential but limited opportunities. Simultaneously, BTGB recruits, trains, and inspires a diverse cohort of high achieving college students to become the next generation of urban teachers. Leveraging a Students Teaching Students model, BTGB provides engaging, tuition-free academic programming during the summer and after school. Our students gain the skills and motivation to succeed in rigorous high school courses and, ultimately, in college. Meanwhile, our teachers gain hands-on experience, research-based training, and coaching from professional educators. 

Over the past eight years, 97% of our graduating students have matriculated to college, and 82% of them have persisted through their undergraduate years. On average, more than 70% of our graduating teachers have gone on to pursue careers in education. After two decades of success at our original Cambridge site, BTGB embarked upon a significant program expansion and opened a second site in Boston in the summer of 2013 and a third site in Somerville in 2018. As an independent 501c3 nonprofit Breakthrough Greater Boston is part of a national educational movement called The Breakthrough Collaborative working to improve educational outcomes for youth across 25 U.S. cities.   

With a deep commitment to our mission, BTGB operates with the highest standards of integrity, and best practices, while also enjoying the ability to be innovative and flexible to meet the evolving needs of our students, families, and teachers.  Our team is diverse, high-performing, and dedicated.  We continue to build an organizational culture that emphasizes our core values for every member of our community: 

  • Spirit: We cherish and embody the youthful energy and spirit of our students and teachers
  • Continual Learning: Everyone in our community has something to learn and something to teach
  • Team Together: We all chip in to accomplish whatever is needed for our teammates and the broader organization
  • Student Centered: Our students are our first priority and our decisions center around what benefits our students
  • Equity and Opportunity: We value diversity of identity, background and thought. We treat everyone with dignity and respect
  • Excellence in Everything: We maintain high expectations for ourselves


Breakthrough Greater Boston encourages individuals of all backgrounds to apply for this position, and we do not discriminate on any basis prohibited by applicable law. We celebrate the diversity of our world and our community, and we seek to build a team that reflects that diversity in every way. We welcome and encourage all qualified applicants who share that same vision, as we wish to engage all those who can contribute to our work and this mission. 


Breakthrough Greater Boston is currently seeking a highly motivated and talented Manager of Student Services (MSS) to oversee all aspects of student and family support services as well as program management for our 7th- 8th grade school-year and summer programs at Breakthrough’s Boston Campus. The MSS will be responsible for student recruitment and admissions, student support services, management of the Academic Mentoring Program, family engagement, social emotional learning and fostering strong school partnerships. The MSS also plans and co-leads a weekly after-school program and six-week academic summer program for middle school students. The MSS works in close collaboration with the Director of Curriculum and Instruction as well as other program staff. This position reports to the Senior Program Director of Student Services.


A successful Manager of Student Services will:

  • Manage recruitment and admissions efforts across Breakthrough’s partner schools to enroll a cohort of 45-50 students annually
  • Oversee family engagement initiatives including maintaining frequent positive communication and facilitating fall and spring family check-ins for all 7th and 8th grade families
  • Maintain accurate, up-to-date student records to inform appropriate social emotional support services and/or academic interventions
  • Collaborate with the Director of Curriculum and Instruction to plan and implement high quality school year and summer programming 



In this role you will be responsible for a combination of direct service and program oversight responsibilities including:

Program Management

  • Work with the Director of Curriculum and Instruction to:
    • Plan and implement the school-year and summer programming
    • Oversee the day-to-day operations of year-round academic programs
    • Lead regular community meetings for a group of 150 middle school students during the 6-week summer program aimed at fostering positive community and culture
    • Train and provide ongoing support to summer teaching fellows
  • Ensure accurate and effective data collection to inform programmatic decision making and student success

Student Recruitment and Admissions

  • Develop and maintain student recruitment pipeline relationships with teachers, administrators and parent liaisons at partner schools as well as representatives from other youth-serving organizations
  • Plan and conduct a comprehensive student recruitment effort, including recruitment presentations and workshops in all sixth grade classrooms at partner schools
  • Oversee student admissions, selecting the most qualified students from a pool of applicants from 6th grade classes across our partner schools  

Student Support

  • Support students’ social emotional health and well-being, including supervising BTGB’s school-year and summer counselors
  • Manage the Academic Mentoring Program to ensure that all students are connected to appropriate academic support resources, including recruiting, hiring and training Academic Mentors
  • Oversee the creation and implementation of Tier I, Tier II and Tier III interventions to support students, including daily mindfulness practice (Tier I), restorative circles (Tier II) and SEL Skill Building groups (Tier III)
  • Provide students with connections to supplemental and enrichment opportunities and maintain important organizational partnerships
  • Collect relevant data (report cards and progress reports) to track student academic progress

Family Involvement

  • Maintain positive, frequent communication with students’ families, nurturing healthy, trusting relationships and collaboratively ensuring students’ success
  • Conduct family check-ins each semester with all families to assess academic progress, address areas of concern and discuss extra-curricular enrichment opportunities
  • Work with the Board of Directors family representative to support the Family Advisory Board and encourage broad family participation in student recruitment, family communications, special events, and more

School Partnership Management

  • Maintain positive, frequent communication with teachers, administrators and parent liaisons at partner schools as well as representatives from other youth-serving organizations to work collaboratively to ensure our students’ success
  • Conduct teacher check-ins each semester with all BTGB students’ teachers to assess academic progress, address areas of concern and identify enrichment opportunities
  • Oversee collection of student academic records, including report cards, progress reports and Individualized Education Plans



As the incoming Manager of Student Services, you will possess many, though perhaps not all, of the following characteristics and qualifications:

  • At least three years of experience with underserved students, preferably in grades 6-9
  • Outstanding interpersonal and communication skills with students, families and educators, including a great sense of humor
  • Superior organizational and project management skills
  • Ability to work on multiple projects, adjust quickly to shifting priorities, meet deadlines, exercise good judgment and handle high-pressure situations
  • Team player who demonstrates a positive attitude, energy, entrepreneurial spirit and dedication to collaboration
  • Prior experience with the Breakthrough model highly desirable; familiarity with Boston Public Schools, a plus
  • Flexible schedule that allows for periodic work on Saturdays and evenings
  • Candidates of color and those from low-income backgrounds are strongly encouraged to apply as are those with fluency in Spanish,Haitian Creole or Portuguese 
  • Bachelor’s degree required; education or social work degree preferred


Not Specified


Commensurate with Experience

Posting Expiration Date:


How to Apply:


If you are interested in learning more about how your passion and experience can help Breakthrough meet its mission and grow its impact, please email a resume with a thoughtful and targeted cover letter, outlining how your skills and experience meet the qualifications of the position and stating how you heard about this opportunity and addressed to Jennie McDonald-Brown, Senior Program Director, at [email protected].

Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis. Learn more about Breakthrough Greater Boston at


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