Job Opening: Manager of Strategic Planning
- Organizational Overview
Founded in 2006, Rocketship Education (www.rsed.org) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation whose mission is to eliminate the achievement gap in public education by operating a network of high-performing, urban, college preparatory, K‐5 elementary charter schools in high‐need neighborhoods. Rocketship's growth plans are aggressive and underway; we intend to expand our network to ten cities over the next five years and to 50 major cities in the United States over the next fifteen years. Each Rocketship school has a clear and simple goal: that students achieve grade‐level proficiency by the time they graduate from elementary school and have the skills and focus they need to put them on a path towards college.
Rocketship operates five schools in San Jose, California, serving 2,500 students and plans to open two additional schools in San Jose in 2012. Among 2,000 low-income elementary schools in California, these first three Rocketship schools are all in the top 5% statewide and are the top performing low-income elementary schools in San Jose and Santa Clara County. Rocketship schools have results rivaling wealthy school districts (such as Palo Alto) while serving 80%+ low-income students and 70%+ English Language Learners. In 2013, Rocketship will open its first school outside of California in a city to be announced in March, 2012.
The Rocketship Hybrid School Model
The Rocketship Hybrid School Model combines outstanding classroom teaching with individualized instruction in our Learning Lab and uses tutors and technology to meet the specific needs of each and every student. Specifically, the Rocketship model comprises four key pillars:
First, Rocketship empowers parents to help their children through a culture of high expectations and deep parent engagement, including annual home visits, monthly community meetings, and frequent family activities. Rocketship also provides parents with the organization and training to advocate for change for all schools.
Second, Rocketship develops talent recruiting and training excellent teachers and developing our teachers into outstanding school leaders. Rocketship has a deep relationship with Teach for America to bring both talented corps members and alumni to Rocketship. We attract the best talent by paying teacher salaries that are 20% higher than those in surrounding districts. Our Academic Deans on each campus work full-time to develop teachers into outstanding professionals. Our Leadership Development team operates a three-year program to develop our teachers into capable school leaders.
Third, the innovative Rocketship Hybrid model delivers outstanding academic results for students through individualized learning and excellent classroom teaching. In Rocketship's Learning Lab, every student receives two hours of daily instruction individualized to them, focused on exactly their developmental level through tutors and online instruction. This focus on students' individual strengths and areas for improvement accelerates learning for all students by quickly adapting to their needs and providing instruction where each student needs it most. As Learning Lab delivers more of a student's basic skills learning, our teachers are able to focus on what they do best in the classroom and maximize that time for teaching critical thinking skills, social-emotional learning and project-based learning. The emphasis on individualized learning and extension of knowledge in the classroom ensures that every child succeeds and that Rocketship students emerge with the skills and characteristics necessary to succeed in college and life and to actively compete nationally and globally.
Finally, in addition to the academic and teacher quality benefits described above, the Rocketship Hybrid School Model scales. Our approach delivers significant advantages in terms of each school's quality but also allows us to grow. Learning Lab is staffed with non-certified paraprofessionals instead of certificated teachers, saving $500,000 per school per year. Rocketship reinvests these savings to improve school quality by increasing teacher pay, teacher support and development, leadership development, and providing enrichment programs such as art, music and physical education. The model's efficiency also allows Rocketship to open new schools in new facilities without philanthropy. This, combined with a human capital approach to develop school leaders from among the ranks of teachers, allows Rocketship to not only scale, but to improve the quality of each new school as leader selection draws from a larger and larger pool of teachers. Philanthropy is applied only toward national efforts to develop the infrastructure necessary to open and support more schools and not toward day-to-day school operations. This makes Rocketship the first scalable charter school network
The Position and Responsibilities
The Rocketship Education Manager of Strategic Planning is a full-time, exempt position that reports to the Chief Schools Officer. The Manager of Strategic Planning owns and drives the strategic planning process around key organizational initiatives including systems building, expansion, and performance management. As one of the only leaders at Rocketship with cross functional responsibility, the Manager of Strategic Planning drives critical processes including:
Collaborate with executive team and other department leads to design and implement network health dashboards
Develop cross-functional accountability system for national priorities and initiatives
Support other departments in analyzing and synthesizing data and trends to make effective strategic decisions
Drive the strategic planning process, including annual strategic planning and ongoing performance management toward strategic plans.
Partner with executive staff to facilitate goal-setting, priority-setting, and resource allocation
Design and manage the work of defining the Rocketship school and regional models in order to enable Rocketship to achieve high quality expansion.
Create a structure for this long-term, cross-functional project; work with all stakeholders to drive to completion.
Oversee the architecture of back office systems (built within teams) to ensure integration and full support of school and regional staff
Green-lighting new schools and regions
Refine and drive the greenlighting process for new regions and schools including oversight of criteria for new school and region green-lighting (e.g., charters, facilities, leadership pipeline) by Rocketship board
Collaborate with Operations staff to refine school opening milestones (charter people, facility, ops, finance)
Project manage all new region openings across departments for all cities within the planning window
The successful candidate will have the following skills and experience:
Possess the core characteristics required of every Rocketeer mission-driven, innovative, disciplined thinker, collaborative, and personally responsible
Deep commitment to Rocketship's mission to eliminating the achievement gap in our lifetimes
Demonstrated proficiency in strategic and project planning, incorporating the perspective and participation of multiple stakeholders
Strong communication, influencing, and negotiation skills
Ability to manage multiple critical deadlines and adapt quickly and confidently in a fast-paced environment
Strong analytical and problem-solving skills
Ability to collaborate effectively with representatives from all levels of organization, from board members and external funders to school leaders and teachers
Ability to create, monitor and maintain systems that enhance organizational efficiency
Proficiency in Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Project, and the ability to quickly learn new applications
BA / BS Degree Required (MBA, MA preferred)
5+ years of professional experience as a consultant or other position involved with strategy and/or complex projects
Management experience preferred
Experience with strategic planning and project planning strongly preferred
Compensation Commensurate with experience