Overview of Boston After School & Beyond
Boston After School & Beyond (BASB) is a nonprofit intermediary founded in 2005 that connects school, after-school, and summer learning so that young people can realize their potential. A local organization with a national reputation, BASB catalyzes partnerships among the City of Boston, the Boston Public Schools (BPS), local and national funders, researchers, and over 180 programs to test new ideas and bring successful approaches to scale. BASB’s efforts reached nearly 15,000 students in 2017.
Young people need opportunities to acquire the knowledge, skills, and experiences necessary to thrive in school, college, work, and life. The time spent outside of school—particularly in after-school and summer programs—represents an opportunity for youth to develop and apply skills, expand social networks, and gain background knowledge.
BASB has a lean and productive staff focused on designing, managing, and supporting a citywide learning system that draws on the strengths of Boston’s rich and diverse array of programs, in concert with schools, in order to maximize the time spent outside of school. By working with BASB, programs pursue common goals, implement shared measures, and have a greater impact on closing opportunity and achievement gaps than they would if they worked in isolation.
BASB’s approach has taken root in the city, reaching scale and informing new innovations and research. In recent years, BASB and its partners devised an innovative, nationally recognized approach to summer learning that is proven to get results. Mayor Martin J. Walsh and Superintendent Tommy Chang declared summer the 5th Quarter of Learning, which reaches over 10,000 youth in over 130 programs.
With the United Way and BPS as part of a US Department of Education grant, BASB manages the BoSTEM initiative to create stimulating STEM learning experiences for middle school students. Similarly, through a national Wallace Foundation initiative, BASB and BPS are working to enhance social and emotional skills with elementary school students. A robust measurement and professional development system focused on the Achieve, Connect, Thrive Skills Framework underlie these initiatives.
Overview of BASB’s Summer Learning
BASB began its summer learning work in 2010 with a pilot project to explore how teachers and nonprofit providers could co-deliver full-day summer learning experiences. This approach has since been tested, proven, and scaled. A RAND study of Boston and four other cities shows that summer learning can provide students with school year advantages in math, language arts, and social-emotional skills. This proven approach to summer learning is now codified in the Boston Public Schools’ 5th Quarter, through which 31 programs served 2,300 high-need students in 2017. Additionally, over 100 summer programs participate in BASB’s measurement and improvement network all year round, sharing data, participating in measurement activities, and engaging in improvement strategies.
BASB seeks a Program Director for Summer Learning to expand and strengthen Boston’s citywide summer learning network so that it is high-performing, accessible, and focused on key academic and social-emotional skills.
The Summer Learning Director Position
The Summer Learning Director will shape a unifying agenda for summer learning to close achievement and opportunity gaps for Boston’s young people. The Director will build partnerships among a diverse set of stakeholders that connect school year and summer learning and stimulates innovation in STEM,
skills, and credentials.
The Director will drive a citywide agenda around high-quality summer learning that reaches over 11,000 students in over 130 programs. This network will collaborate around shared measures and innovate in areas such a skills badging and other credits. A key part of this work is collaborating with the Boston Public Schools Office of Expanded Learning to manage a competitive process to secure funding.
- Recruit and manage relationships with nonprofit- and school-run programs to participate in the Boston Summer Learning Community, a network focused on tracking enrollment, measuring program performance and students’ skills, and using data for continuous improvement.
- Coordinate with BASB STEM Director to ensure year-round learning, professional development, and knowledge-sharing among Boston’s network of STEM programs.
- Serve as an “on-call” expert to summer program leaders, particularly from April-August, on BASB’s suite of program measurement tools and brokering partnerships with other programs and schools.
- Launch new effort to measure student access to summer learning across the city, with a particular emphasis on the Grove Hall neighborhood, helping to identify trends in summer programming to inform program and policy efforts, including the ratio of supply of and demand for summer program seats and gaps in programs by age and neighborhood.
- Represent Boston summer learning in local, national convenings, delivering clear messages that articulate the value of summer learning and cement Boston’s leadership status on this issue.
5th Quarter Summer Learning Academies
- Execute contracts with all program partners to clarify roles and responsibilities and ensure outcomes will be met. Troubleshoot issues that arise.
- Oversee financing, in collaboration with Boston Public Schools, for the Summer Learning Academies. This will involve managing a city contract/invoice process with the Boston Public Schools; confirming teacher payroll; developing customized contracts with individual sites; and disseminating two rounds of grant payments to sites.
- Collaborate with BASB colleagues and Boston Public Schools to fundraise for entire Boston Summer Learning Community, but with a particular focus on generating funds for student seats. Help craft grant narratives and budgets and complete follow-up reports on outcomes.
- Advertise Boston Public Schools’ Request for Submissions process to citywide network, facilitating connections and brokering partnerships as needed to drive compelling, competitive submissions in alignment with funder priorities.
- Coordinate with Boston Public Schools’ Office of Expanded Learning Time to co-implement spring professional development for Summer Learning Academies sites. This professional development includes certified academic teachers and non-profit enrichment staff.
Required Skills and Attributes
To be successful, the Director will navigate detailed implementation plans with Boston Public Schools around the Summer Learning Academies, but also shape a strategic, citywide vision for summer learning to engage a diverse array of programs. BASB seeks the following skills and characteristics:
- Critical and Analytical Thinking. Develops and considers multiple options and solutions, considering their impact on the organization’s objectives. Enjoys balancing detail with vision and is able to be engage diverse stakeholders in different settings on a common goal.
- Judgement and Perspective. Understands context, is perceptive, prioritizes work against short- and long-term objectives, and anticipates the implications of actions on stakeholders. Knows when a situation calls for patience or urgency, and is politically savvy.
- Communication. Communicates in a clear, compelling, and persuasive manner, both in person and in writing. Represent the role of summer learning in education reform. Enjoys meeting with stakeholders.
- Collaboration. Develops strong relationships internally and externally, drawing on the input of others, in order to accomplish goals. Can navigate collaboration with a large, urban school district. Shares credit for accomplishments with school district, program partners, colleagues, and others.
- Initiative and Perseverance. Puts ideas into action and navigates obstacles with an orientation toward results. Willing to seek out and explore new ideas; able to initiate progress on projects independently; willing to cold call a program to discuss collaboration.
- Project Management. Devises and applies processes in order to meet objectives, balancing multiple deadlines. Tracks details to inform progress toward objectives; communicates clearly and develops artifacts to share progress with others.
- Flexibility and Adaptability. Operates effectively through uncertainty and is able to pivot on priorities when necessary.
- Bachelor’s degree
- At least 5 years of professional experience
- Experience and/or familiarity with summer learning, education, youth development
- Experience in a coalition (either as a participant or organizer) a plus
- Experience with budgeting, developing, executing, and managing contracts a plus
Commensurate with experience.
Please email a resume, cover letter, and salary requirement to firstname.lastname@example.org with Summer Learning Director in the subject line. Your letter should describe your interest, qualifications, and experience as they relate to this job.
Boston After School & Beyond is an Equal Opportunity Employer.