The City of East Palo Alto is committed to ensuring all students and families have access to equitable, comprehensive learning opportunities for K-12 and beyond. This includes rigorous and culturally responsive lessons, high-quality digital learning and literacy resources, and the supplemental opportunities that take place outside the traditional school day through schools and partner organizations. Since East Palo Alto residents access a wide variety of options that include its loca elementary school district, charter schools, private schools and high schools that are in neighboring communities, the city is committed to stepping into the role of ensuring its residents have the educational opportunities they deserve across any setting.
Research shows that students wide disparities in their access to rigorous, engaging learning opportunities—this is particularly true for students of color, English language learners, low-income students and students with disabilities. The City of East Palo Alto aims to engage stakeholders to more fully understand local students’ experiences and access to high-quality learning, ultimately producing a detailed analysis of the challenges and opportunities to ensure equitable access for all. This will include a deep look at how students have accessed learning opportunities during the recent health crisis and the barriers that exist to strong distance learning (e.g. access to technology, high speed internet, materials, etc.)
The City will leverage this analysis to engage community members in creating a vision of an excellent educational experience, and develop the infrastructure and monitoring tools to ensure it can deliver on that vision. This work is only made more challenging given the local Ravenswood City Elementary District has seen declining enrollment, with more and more families opting for a host of different options in the area. For that reason, the city must bring together its various educational providers—including districts, schools and non-profit organizations—and establish a shared commitment to improving students’ daily learning experiences that take place both within the traditional school day and during after-school and summer programming.
East Palo Alto will partner FUSE Corps to host an executive Executive Fellow for one year to conduct a comprehensive assessment of students’ access to critical educational resources and programs across multiple schools, districts and providers. From this data, the Executive Fellow will draft a report detailing the findings. Working closely alongside a diverse group of stakeholders, the Executive Fellow will help cocreate a clear vision of the learning experiences East Palo Alto’s students and families need to succeed and develop a strategy for addressing persistent access gaps and monitoring progress towards improvement. This would include identifying the resources and programs needed to address opportunity gaps and building a plan to secure the additional funding needed to provide resources more equitably. The executive Executive Fellow will be a part of a groundbreaking movement to reimagine education in East Palo Alto and bring about critical, long-term changes that will have a profound effect on the health and success of the entire community.
PROJECT SUMMARY & POTENTIAL DELIVERABLES
The following provides a general overview of the proposed Executive Fellowship project. This project summary and the potential deliverables that follow will be collaboratively revisited by the host agency, the Executive Fellow, and FUSE staff during the first few months of the Executive Fellowship, after which a revised scope of work will be developed and agreed upon by the FUSE executive Executive Fellow and the host agency.
Starting December 2020, it is proposed that the FUSE executive Executive Fellow will engage with city agencies, school leaders (district, charter and private), community organizations, and residents to understand East Palo Alto students’ access to excellent educational opportunities. The Executive Fellow will establish relationships with key stakeholders to understand their goals and concerns to help the city ensure residents have access to opportunities to meet the goals they have for themselves. The Executive Fellow will also identify what existing education data the City utilizes and collect additional data to identify the assets and opportunities for growth across educational settings.
The Executive Fellow’s analysis will ultimately result in a report that details students’ current experiences and access to critical resources, including an assessment of the barriers East Palo Alto students face when accessing digital learning and literacy resources, summer learning, and other after school programming. This report will provide an overlapping analysis of the digital divide, explore the integration of a community wifi system, and review of the City’s Measure HH program which assesses upward mobility for post-secondary programs in technology and the trades. The Executive Fellow will also research best practices being employed in other cities and schools throughout the country to identify innovative solutions that could be implemented in East Palo Alto, and make clear recommendations for what data to collect and monitor moving forward. Additionally, the report will include detailed information that illustrates how COVID-19 has affected opportunities for success and the challenges that need to be addressed to develop and implement a comprehensive strategic plan and new education policies.
The Executive Fellow will play a key role in helping stakeholders arrive at a shared vision for what constitutes excellent learning opportunities for individual students and for the community. The Executive Fellow will then begin developing a plan with both short- and long-term goals to guide the city, Ravenswood City School District and the community’s wide range of educational partners. The plan will outline priority areas, set goals to ensure equitable access for all demographic groups, identify clear roles for external partners, assess the financial resources that are needed, and determine how to measure outcomes and assess progress. The Executive Fellow will also work alongside city leaders to develop a fundraising strategy to secure support from local businesses and philanthropic organizations.
The Executive Fellow will maintain ongoing dialogue with a coalition of stakeholders throughout the development process to ensure their buy-in around a single unifying vision and ensure all are working toward achieving that vision. Ultimately, the roadmap of innovative solutions should help East Palo Alto build momentum in attracting outside investors for support of their education system.
· Oversee development and completion of education system analysis: Conduct a comprehensive review of the current educational landscape in East Palo Alto, identifying issues that need to be solved. Engage city officials, school leaders, educators and community members. Collaborate closely with all stakeholders to collect and analyze data. Research programs that will address gaps in the city’s education system, including coaching for parents of infants, universal pre-school, comprehensive K-12 wraparound services (basic needs, mental and physical health, extracurricular activities, etc.), and college counseling centers in middle schools and high schools. Compile data and findings into a comprehensive report and dashboard that can be understood and accessible to all in the community. The report’s data should include quantifiable, measurable predictors of student educational outcomes and achievements.
· Communicate and engage with stakeholders: Set up lines of communication with all stakeholders and establish regular meeting times. Understand what goals are most important to all stakeholders and build consensus. Identify opportunities to strengthen partnerships between entities that have not historically worked well together. Seek opportunities to forge new partnerships, including with private companies, that have expressed interest in working with the local district; including, but not limited to, Stanford University, Street Code, Job Train, and EPA Can Do.
· Participate in the City’s efforts connected with Measure HH: Work collaboratively with City staff and the future consultants selected by the City Council to establish the City’s employment programs funded by Measure HH revenues.
· Develop strategy and begin to implement education system transformation: Provide a comprehensive set of recommendations to advise city officials on how to accomplish East Palo Alto’s overarching goal of providing equitable educational opportunities for youth from cradle to career. Implement a subset of recommendations and new programs based on the projected positive impact of that program and community priorities. Form a long-term implementation plan complete with timelines, anticipated sources of funding and appropriate staff responsibilities. Implementation plan should have a specific tilt towards data collection and tracking of implemented policies, programs, and the predictors of student educational achievement.
· Develop a compelling fundraising strategy targeted for local businesses and philanthropic organizations: Use the data and transformation strategy to develop a compelling value proposition that inspires commitments from both national and local entities to offer financial resources that address gaps in programming, technology, materials, and overall per pupil spending.
· Jaime Fontes, City Manager, Office of the City Manager
· Patrick Heisinger, Assistant City Manager, Office of the City Manager
· Amy Chamberlain, Management Analyst, Community and Economic Development Department
· Gina Sudaria, Superintendent, Ravenswood City School District
· At least 15 years of professional experience in the education space, with particular focus on education policy development.
· Strong background in data analysis, with deep understanding of digital learning technology and integration.
· The Executive Fellow should have experience working through an ‘equity’ lens, having integrated and navigated diversity, equity, and inclusion principles and practices
· Exceptional analytical research and writing skills, especially in the education policy realm
· Ability to synthesize complex data into clear and concise actionable recommendations
· Comprehensive experience utilizing data visualization tools (e.g. Excel, Tableau) and presenting complex data clearly
· Understanding of education funding and finance highly desired, understanding or experience with Excess ERAF funding preferred
· Passionate about stakeholder engagement and an excellent ability to use facilitative leadership techniques to traverse difficult, and charge conversations with in diverse communities and stakeholders, to ultimately coordinate stakeholder activities.
· Able to maintain a deep focus on equity and inclusion throughout all aspects of the project.
· Can demonstrate cross-cultural agility, showing an ability to relate to a wide variety of diverse audiences with strong emotional intelligence and empathy.
· Strong verbal communication skills with an ease in public presentations.
· Self-motivated, goal-oriented, entrepreneurial leader who can also be an independent worker.
· Persistent in obtaining information and creatively resourceful in identifying solutions to complex problems.
· Ability to create direction and movement within potentially ambiguous environments.
FUSE Corps is an equal opportunity employer with a core value of incorporating diverse perspectives into our work at every level. We encourage candidates from all backgrounds to apply for this position
Valid through: 12/16/2020