FILLED- Common Ground Is Seeking a School Counselor: College & Guidance

About Common Ground High School 

Common Ground High School is the nation’s longest-running environmental charter high school, founded in 1997. Our 230 students form an inclusive, powerful community of learners and leaders. These students benefit from a unique learning environment: an urban farm and 20-acre site, home to state of the art school facilities, adjacent to West Rock Ridge State Park, and located in the City of New Haven. We strive to create a learning environment grounded in foundational building blocks: rigor, responsive relationships, relevance that’s rooted in the local community and environment, and real roles & rights. Common Ground’s graduation rate consistently surpasses the state average, and between 97 and 100% of our students are accepted to college each year. 

Common Ground High School is part of a community nonprofit organization that also operates an urban farm and community environmental education center. As a whole, Common Ground is a center for learning and leadership, inviting people across ages and identities to connect to their urban environment, build community, grow into their full potential, and contribute to a just and sustainable world. We work toward this mission through active, authentic learning rooted in justice and our environment: a farm, in a forest, in a city. 

About the Position

We are seeking a dynamic, passionate, effective School Counselor: College & Guidance to join our team for the 2021-2022 School Year.

Candidates should possess CT School Counselor certification (068), and/or substantial prior documented experience taking on similar roles with a similar student body.

Salary is commensurate with experience per the Common Ground High School Salary Scale.

Common Ground anticipates all students and staff to be fully in person for the 2021-2022 school year.

The School Counselor: College & Guidance is part of Common Ground’s student pathways team — working to help all students travel pathways to college success & continuous learning, meaningful life-sustaining careers, powerful leadership for a just & sustainable world, and healthy, happy, sustainable lives that reflect their personal passions. This position is supervised by the Lead Teacher – Student Pathways, and works in close partnership with other staff on the team — including the Manager, Careers & Green Jobs; and Manager, Student Engagement & Out of School Opportunities. 

The School Counselor is Responsible for:
  • Leading the college exploration and admissions process — ensuring that all students graduate with a college acceptance, and make successful transitions to post-secondary education.
    • Manage four-year progression of college exposure/exploration opportunities — helping all students see themselves as college material, and explore multiple pathways to post-high school success. 
    • Work directly with seniors and their families to support college ensure 100% have college plans, complete college applications, FAFSAs, and scholarship applications.
    • Engage other team members — including students’ guides (advisors), and junior seminar and senior capstone teachers — in supporting students in the college application process. 
    • Build and sustain strong, positive relationships with colleges in our region and beyond. 
    • Build relationships with students and families in order to identify strengths and meet their needs.
    • Lead Common Ground’s early college/dual enrollment program.
    • Oversee rollout of Naviance or Xello as a platform for college/career planning.
  • Overseeing Common Ground’s four-year guidance program — our advisory system, a key aspect of our school model.
    • Work with pathways team members to continue to strengthen the four-year guidance curriculum/sequence — including social-emotional learning, academic support/success, college and career exploration, and leadership & agency — ensuring that this curriculum supports students’ pathways progress and integrates state-required content.
    • Manage the development and implementation of guide professional development: through regular (monthly) guide meetings, longer professional development 2-4 times per year, ongoing resource sharing, and coaching. 
    • Take primary ownership of college exploration and academic success as part of the four-year guidance sequence.
    • Write weekly guidance notes that provide essential and flexible content & structure for weekly guidance meetings. 
    • Managing the structure of guidance: forming groups, overseeing scheduling and calendaring of guidance sessions, etc. 
  • Acting as a member of the team that helps to develop and realize our four-year student pathways model, and providing other support to the pathways team, Lead Teacher, and School Director as needed.  

We are looking for candidates who demonstrate the following:

  • Deep understanding of the college admissions process and the full range of post-high school options, and the ability to support students and families in pursuing those options, with a particular focus on first generation college students.
  • Expertise and experience in strong advisory models, and commitment to advisory as a core structure for guiding students.  
  • Ability to collaborate effectively with teachers, administrators and other professionals to support student needs; comfort working within a team with shared responsibilities.
  • Deep belief that every student can be a powerful leader, succeed in college, find a meaningful life-sustaining career, and lead a happy, healthy, sustainable life — and  practical experience helping students pursue these pathways.
  • Ability to help students find a meaningful path to success through both college and career.
  • Experience working directly with racially, economically, academically diverse high school aged young people and their families, and with low-income young people and people of color in particular. 
  • Understanding of the systemic barriers to success that some students face, and a track record of working relentlessly and strategically to work to remove those barriers.
  • Experience in trauma-informed work, restorative justice, social emotional learning/literacy.
  • Knowledge about and passion for working for an organization that is committed to social justice, the dismantling of systems of oppression, and creating a just, equitable, and inclusive culture.
  • A passion for our environmental mission and commitment to equitable and sustainable change
  • Experience working with Google applications, Naviance or other college/career readiness platforms, online course management platforms, and other online learning tools.

Please send cover letter and resume to: 

Please specify the job you are applying for in the subject line of your email.

Equal Opportunity Employer 

Common Ground is particularly eager for candidates who can help us to fulfill our commitment to building a racially and culturally diverse faculty and staff. Common Ground has a commitment to examining the intersection of social, environmental, and food justice issues; how systems of oppression, including white privilege, impact the organization’s work; and how resistance to those systems can offer windows into a more sustainable society. 

Common Ground is committed to the recruitment and retention of staff that is reflective of the communities we work with. We strongly encourage applicants from people of color, immigrants, women, people with disabilities, members of the LGBTQ community, people whose native language is something other than English, and other underrepresented and historically marginalized groups. 

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, intellectual disability, 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 conferences 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-7081), 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 Intellectual Disability (46a51(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. 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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