APPLICATION CLOSED: Common Ground seeks Part-Time Schoolyards Program Coordinator


Program Overview

The Schoolyards Program of Common Ground supports the creation and effective use of school gardens, schoolyard habitats, and outdoor classrooms in schools. We believe that by using our knowledge and resources to provide professional and technical support, we can help schools realize the full potential of teaching outside in deepening the academic and emotional  learning of their students. We currently partner closely with 18 New Haven Public Schools and lead professional development for educators from around the state. We also maintain the CT School Garden Resource Center website and will be expanding that to support our work with outdoor learning spaces beyond gardens across the state. We will be launching the first ever CT School Gardens Award program during the 2017-2018 school year.

Job Description

The Schoolyards Program Coordinator primarily supports the professional development, outreach and evaluation components of the Schoolyards Program at Common Ground. The Schoolyards Program Coordinator plans and leads workshops and training sessions with adults and co-teaching sessions with students onsite and in schools related to school gardens and outdoor classrooms. The Program Coordinator manages the website and communications for the program. The Schoolyards Program Coordinator reports to the Schoolyards Program Manager and works with the Schoolyards Program Manager on long term strategic planning and visioning for the program.

  • Work with the Schoolyards Program Manager to support new and continuing CT SGRC Partner schools by developing and delivering PD for faculty, staff and community members around outdoor teaching and garden usage, including model teaching opportunities in schools and an ongoing coordinator series throughout the school year.
  • Support tailored contracts between the Schoolyards Program and schools, districts and organizations, including implementing professional development for teachers and providing remote and hands-on guidance on design, installation, maintenance and use of school gardens and outdoor classrooms.
  • The Program Coordinator has primary responsibility for reaching out to the SGRC network with upcoming events and opportunities and also manages regular general SY communication such as Constant Contact newsletters, FB page as well as Active workshop registration.
  • Support the Schoolyards Program Manager in launching the CT School Garden Awards program.
  • Work with the Schoolyards Program Manager on an implementation and outreach strategy with a focus on generating revenue to subsidize other Schoolyards work. This could include on-site workshops and conferences, customized professional development, a train the trainer program and intensive site-specific support. The process of development will include researching existing models, reaching out to other School Garden Support Organizations  in CT and creating a menu of opportunities to present to interested schools and organizations.
  • Work with the Program Manager to develop training modules (including a pricing structure) that will be publicized and then customized for interested schools and organizations interested in building capacity around schoolyards work.
  • Lead the development and implementation of a strategic action plan to increase use and function  of the SGRC website as a statewide resource and networking tool.  This is part of a greater action plan that will developed in collaboration with the Schoolyards Program Manager and team to increase visibility of all Schoolyards Programs.
  • Work with the Program Manager on evaluation of professional development programs including compiling data and reports and using data to improve program quality.
  • Work with Schoolyards Program Manager and Director of Impact and Engagement on recruiting and convening a Teacher Advisory Committee comprised of a team of teachers from partner schools that will come together to  guide the work of Schoolyards and other public school partner programs. Members of the TAC may also develop curriculum and blog posts to be featured on the website and shared in workshops.

Primarily 9am-5pm, 3 days per week (Mon – Fri) September-May, 10 hours/wk June-August. Occasional Saturday workshops. Specific schedules to be made based on a staff availability and program need.

Position requirements:
  • Experience with planning and leading professional development for adults.
  • Experience with garden-based education.
  • Demonstrated understanding of website and social media management.
  • Willingness to work with high school students to install and maintain garden and outdoor classroom spaces.
  • Strong understanding of outdoor teaching pedagogy.
  • A passion for Common Ground’s mission and commitment to equity, diversity and sustainable change.
  • Significant experience teaching students outside.
  • Strong critical thinking and problem solving skills and ability to work independently.
  • Demonstrated prior experience with projects that require attention to detail and being highly organized and efficient.
  • Experience and commitment to working closely with a racially and economically diverse urban school community.
  • Strong communication skills, including speaking with children and adults, as well as written communications.
  • Bachelor degree or higher in education, environmental education, or related field.
To Apply:

Complete the online form HERE and also email a cover letter and resume to Suzannah Holsenbeck at



It has been the policy and will continue to be the strong commitment of the Common Ground and all contractors and subcontractors who do business with Common Ground to provide equal opportunities in employment to all qualified persons solely on the basis of job-related skills, ability and merit.  Common Ground will continue to take Affirmative Action to ensure that applicants are employed and that employees are treated during employment without regard to their race, color, religion, sex, national origin, ancestry, mental disorder (present or past history thereof) age, physical disability (but not limited to blindness), marital status, mental retardation, criminal record, sexual orientation, gender identity and criminal record.  Such action includes, but is not limited to, employment, promotion, demotion or transfer; recruitment or recruitment advertising; layoff or termination; rates of pay or other forms of compensation, and selection for training, professional development, attendance at conference or other opportunities for advancement.  Common Ground, its contractors and subcontractors will continue to make good faith efforts to comply with all federal and state laws and policies which speak to equal employment opportunity.

The principles of Affirmative Action are addressed in the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments of the United States Constitution, Civil Rights Act of 1866, 1870, 1871, Equal Pay Act of 1963, Title VI and VII of the 1964 United States Civil Rights Act, Presidential Executive Order 11246, amended by 11375, (Non-discrimination under federal contracts)< Act 1, Section 1 and 20 of the Connecticut Constitution, Governor Grasso’s Executive Order Number 11, Governor O’Neill’s Executive Order 9, the Connecticut Fair Employment Practices Law (Sec. 46a-60-69) of the Connecticut General Statutes, Connecticut Code of Fair Practices (46a-70-81), Deprivation of Civil Rights (46a-58(a)(d)), Public Accommodations Law (46a-63-64), Discrimination against Criminal Offenders (46a-80), definition of Blind (46a-51(1)), definition of Physically Disabled (46a-51(15)), definition of Mentally Retarded (46a-51(13)), cooperation with the Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities (46a-77), Sexual Harassment (46a-60(a)-8), Connecticut Credit Discrimination Law (360436 through 439), Title I of the State and Local Fiscal Assistance Act of 1972.0

This Affirmative Action Policy Statement re-affirms Common Ground’s commitment to equity in the workplace and the principles of Equal Employment Opportunity.


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