The Chicago Public Schools Early Literacy Initiative is focused on developing a district-wide, responsive approach to literacy instruction in preK-2nd grade in order to increase equity in early literacy outcomes for African American and Latino children, English Learners, and students with disabilities. It is a joint effort involving multiple departments, including the Office of Early Childhood Education (OECE), the Department of Literacy, the Office of Network Support (ONS), the Office of Diverse Learner Supports and Services (ODLSS), the Office of Language and Cultural Education (OLCE), Human Resources and Talent Management, and the Office of Student Assessment, among others. In order to ensure that every child becomes a joyful, confident, and proficient reader and writer, the Early Literacy Initiative focuses on four strategic priorities:
- Ensuring equitable access to effective and rigorous core literacy instruction
- Increasing educator capacity through a system of tiered professional learning supports
- Providing schools with access to a comprehensive system of resources
- Establishing collective ownership among internal and external stakeholders
The Office of Early Childhood Education seeks a Program Manager to lead this work. The Early Literacy Program Manager will oversee the planning, execution, and evaluation of this multifaceted program, serve as a principal point of representation for internal and external stakeholders, and provide project management and professional guidance to program leadership and working groups as appropriate to their areas of expertise.
Primary Job Responsibilities
- Contribute to the establishment of a cross-departmental, comprehensive and connected system of supports for early literacy
- Develop a change management plan and identify the resources required to support program operation and management needs
- Develop and execute an early learning landscape assessment to gauge the current state of early literacy supports across departments and units
- Develop deep knowledge of the existing district structures that support P-2 early literacy and make recommendations on how those systems and structures can be made more effective and efficient over time
- Effectively communicate and collaborate with various stakeholder groups both internal and external to CPS to achieve the goals of the program
- Convene groups at multiple levels within the district, including the early literacy executive committee, steering committee, working groups, and larger groups of external stakeholders connected with and responsible for achieving district early literacy goals
- Establish tasks and timelines, coordinate meetings, and develop strategies to see projects through from beginning to end
- Develop systems for database management and data tracking for major projects
- Manage and monitor the progress of working groups connected to the early literacy action plan
- Implement and manage changes and interventions to ensure project goals are achieved.
- Contribute to the development of an evaluation plan to assess program strengths and identify areas for improvement.
- Oversee and/or coordinate the collection, compilation, and analysis of program activity data; develop, write, and present comprehensive, accurate, and timely program reports.
- Collaborate with program leadership and department directors to consolidate resources and enhance existing programs.
- Develop ideas for new programs to support the strategic direction of the early literacy initiative
- Partner with CPS Children First Fund to identify potential funding opportunities and assisting in the writing of program funding proposals
- Over time, this position may include the management of personnel, including the leading and mentoring of new project staff and team members
- Performs additional ad hoc and assigned duties as necessary
Type of Education Required:
- Bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university in education, business, or a related field. Masters degree preferred.
- Familiarity with Chicago Public Schools policies and procedures
Type of Experience Required:
- Minimum of five (5) years of experience managing cross-functional, complex projects preferably in education
Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities
- Strong interpersonal and communication skills, both written and verbal, and the ability to work effectively with a wide range of stakeholders internally and externally in a diverse community
- Ability to foster a cooperative work environment and to work with cross-departmental teams to organize, prioritize, and schedule work assignments
- Knowledgeable in program management methodology and change management principles
- Ability to manage multiple tasks in an environment with tight operating deadlines
- Demonstrates a sense of urgency in accomplishing goals and objectives to ensure success
- Ability to work in a fast-paced environment and drive multiple projects concurrently
- Ability to quickly analyze a problem/question and decide the level of importance
- and necessary higher level intervention
- Takes initiative to identify challenges and recommend solutions; identifies, documents, and shares best practices
- Excellent technical skills for creating and communicating through reports and presentations
- Ability to gather data, compile information, and prepare reports
- Strong analytical and organizational skills