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Program Description

Common Ground’s Schoolyards Program is made up of two programs. The Schoolyards Manager manages both in collaboration with the Schoolyards Team.

The School Garden Resource Center’s mission is to foster and support the development of vibrant school garden programs by providing information, expertise, guidance, professional development, training, community-building, and garden maintenance support to school gardens with the goal of ensuring that school gardens thrive and that every school garden is effectively used as an extension of the classroom and a community resource.

The Schoolyard Habitat program seeks to help schools develop, install, and maintain wildlife habitats on their school grounds while also providing professional development that allows teachers to utilize their schoolyards as teaching spaces that are full of learning opportunities. This work is done in partnership with Audubon CT and US Fish & Wildlife.

Schedule

Full Time, Mon-Fri 9-5 with occasional evening and weekend events.

Job Description

Manage all aspects of Common Ground’s School Garden Resource Center and Schoolyard Habitat programs. This includes:

  • Manage the Mini-Grant Program, including developing and overseeing the application process and visiting all applicant schools. Number and amount of the grants vary each year depending on funding.
  • Manage the Partner Program. SGRC has worked with 15 partner schools since 2012. In 2016-17, we will temporarily suspend taking on any new schools in order to provide additional support to existing partners. The Schoolyards Manager will work closely with existing partner schools who need additional support in sustaining their garden program. Support may include garden committee meetings, teaching lessons and curriculum support and garden maintenance/ infrastructure help.
  • Lead the SGRC Crew in fall and spring seasons. The crew is made up of 3-4 Common Ground High School student workers. The Schoolyards Manager will also coordinate with partners on the crew schedule.
  • Coordinate with Schoolyard Habitat and Urban Refuge partners on all program logistics of the SYH program, including managing budgets, coordinating crew schedules and attending school and partner meetings and events.
  • Administer regular program evaluation. The Schoolyards Manager will work closely with the Schoolyards Team, the Director of Community Programs and others on developing sound program evaluation tools and strategies.
  • Develop and solicit content for the SGRC website including blog posts, lessons, resources and garden profiles from all partner schools.
  • Participate in statewide school garden network building
  • Manage additional school contracts in collaboration with the Director of Community Programs, as needed. The nature/scope of these partnerships varies with the staff time, funds, and community interest each year.
  • Be a member of the Community Programs Team. The Community Programs Team works together to plan and coordinate programs, strategize on publicity, manage facility use, problem solve, and communicate with each other about program needs and challenges. The team also staffs 4-5 seasonal fundraisers for Common Ground. The Schoolyards Manager may also occasionally teach school field trips, especially in programs for SGRC/ SYH partner schools.
Qualifications and Compensation

We are seeking candidates who have:

  • A passion for Common Ground’s mission and commitment to equitable and sustainable change
  • Experience managing education or community programs and working collaboratively in a non-profit or public setting
  • Experience working in a public school or partnering directly with public schools
  • Experience managing program budgets and thinking creatively and strategically about funding effective school programs
  • Strong critical thinking and problem solving skills and ability to work independently on big projects
  • Strong communication skills and ability to develop and maintain community partnerships
  • Skills in facilitating school teams and working with schools in a professional, supportive manner
  • Experience and an interest in developing effective program evaluation tools and strategies
  • Experience with vegetable gardening and an understanding of native perennial plants
  • Experience with and commitment to working closely with racially and economically diverse urban school communities
  • Bachelor degree, Masters preferred

Compensation: salary commensurate with experience, benefits

To Apply

Application deadline: Open until filled, interviews will be conducted in May and June

Position will begin Sept 1, 2016

Complete this quick questionnaire AND send a resume and a cover letter describing your relevant experience to: schoolgardens@commongroundct.org.