Continuous Improvement Specialist


by CI Communications



Title: Continuous Improvement Specialist

Reports to: Director of Programs

Location: Children’s Institute, downtown Portland or remote work based on office open/closed status, travel to community/partner meetings

Job Classification: Full-time/exempt

Salary: Starting at $83,000 (Children’s Institute is in the process of developing an equityfocused compensation structure)

Closing: Applications must be received by 5 pm on June 27, 2022

To Apply: Please email resume and cover letter to with “Continuous Improvement Specialist” in the subject line. Please contact Hanan Zawideh, Chief Equity and Human Resources Officer, at with accommodations requests.

Children’s Institute (CI) envisions a socially just and equitable Oregon where all children have the love, care, and education they need. To meet this goal, we advocate for strategic investments in high-quality early childhood education and healthy development, the most effective strategies to improve long-term outcomes for children, with a focus on children who experience barriers to opportunity due to race, poverty, disability, language, and geographic location.

Our advocacy and implementation efforts strive to connect research, lived experience, and community voice as we work to ensure that more children who experience barriers to opportunity succeed in kindergarten and meet third grade benchmarks.

CI prioritizes an integrated, team-based work approach; a flexible, collegial work environment; and a culture of inclusion and belonging.

The Continuous Improvement Specialist will have a demonstrated personal and professional commitment to advancing racial and economic justice. In collaboration with team members, they will engage in supportive processes and practices of inclusive work culture. The individual in this role will have the skills to support and promote the assets of those furthest from opportunity.

Position Description

The Continuous Improvement Specialist is an integral member of the Children’s Institute program team, ensuring that our work with school districts and other key partners is informed by research in child development, equity, and improvement research. The Continuous Improvement Specialist supports CI’s program implementation efforts through facilitating improvement, co-developing, and designing shared learning opportunities with our school district partners to better align preschool with the early elementary grades. This includes working collaboratively with the internal CI program team, communications team, policy and advocacy team, and external partners to ensure that our work leads toward sustainable changes beyond our pilot districts.   

The Continuous Improvement Specialist will have a demonstrated personal and professional commitment to advancing racial and economic justice. In collaboration with team members, they will engage in supportive processes and practices of an inclusive work culture. The individual in this role will have the skills to support and advance meaningful inclusion and self-determination of marginalized communities within programmatic work.   

The Continuous Improvement Specialist will participate in state-level advisory groups, committees, and teams as needed to connect statewide policy with on-the-ground learnings. This aspect of the work will be done in coordination with other CI teams including the Policy, Advocacy and Community Engagement (PACE) team.  

The Continuous Improvement Specialist will work alongside the Director of Programs, Director of Research and Strategy, and program team members with a passion for closing the educational opportunity gap, particularly in a child’s earliest years.  

Essential Job Duties

  • Co-designs, implements, and helps refine facilitation processes aligned with improvement science and human-centered design to support ESS school district partners to develop the mindsets and tools to support their continuous improvement efforts 
  • Integrates racial justice and equity principles into strategies while facilitating improvement sessions with educators and instructional leaders  
  • Provides expertise and guidance to partner school districts in instructional leadership, child development, and classroom practices that support the optimal learning environments for young children from preschool through the early elementary grades 
  • Establishes and maintains collaborative relationships with a range of educators, including administrators and teachers, to support the ongoing continuous improvement work with partner districts   
  • Establishes action steps and identifies available resources, materials, and recommendations to strengthen implementation and practice based on partners’ improvement goals and change ideas   
  • Serves as a resource in identifying appropriate, research-based instructional strategies and interventions to improve outcomes for children and families 
  • Uses empathy data and evaluation data to help inform district partner plans for Early School Success  
  • Participates in ongoing Program Team meetings, ESS team meetings, and professional development 
  • Identifies and lifts up strategies with measurable impact to inform the expansion and scale-up of our work, including informing research, policy, and practice 
  • Participates in statewide advisory groups, committees, and teams as needed

Position Qualifications

  • Experience facilitating successful educational change efforts focused on increased student achievement and engagement  
  • Classroom teaching and/or school leadership experience in birth to five settings  
  • Demonstrated content knowledge relevant to birth to age 8 and ability to discern and synthesize research into action  
  • Master’s Degree in Education or related field (Preferred)  
  • Demonstrated knowledge of and leadership in effective school change efforts centered around human-centered design improvement efforts and the alignment of preschool and K-3/5 systems and practices   
  • Excellent writing skills with the ability to quickly absorb and explain complex information and interpret ideas for a variety of audiences   
  • A passion for CI’s mission and ability to research and match state and national funder interests with CI’s work  
  • Excellent verbal communication skills with demonstrated ability to build trust and rapport with a range of stakeholders including district administrators, researchers, teachers, and CI staff  
  • Excellent organizational, analytical, and strategic thinking skills  
  • Demonstrated ability to be a thought partner with senior leadership and to work effectively as part of a team

    Any satisfactory combination of experience and education that ensures the ability of an individual to perform the duties and responsibilities of this position may substitute for the stated qualifications. 


      • Employer fully paid medical/dental coverage
      • Employer fully paid long-term disability coverage
      • Employer fully paid life insurance, accidental death, and employee assistance plan
      • 401(k) Retirement Savings Plan with qualified match and contribution
      • 125 Flexible Benefits Plan
      • Generous paid time off, sick leave, and holidays

      Equal Employment Statement

      Children’s Institute is an equal opportunity employer. It is the policy of CI to provide equal employment opportunity in accordance with applicable law to all qualified individuals without regard to race, color, creed, religion, age, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, marital status, military status, political opinion, national origin, familial status, mental and physical ability, source of income, or any other status protected by federal, state, or local law in all personnel actions. Personnel actions include recruitment, selection, promotion, compensation, training, and termination. Relations between employees shall be based on mutual respect, and regard for the effectiveness and well-being of the organization.

      Physical Demands

      The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job.

      • While performing the duties of this job, the employee must be able to remain in a stationary position 50% of the time
      • The employee is frequently required to talk or hear
      • The employee must occasionally lift and/or move up to 25 pounds
      • Specific vision abilities required by this job include close vision, distance vision, color vision, peripheral vision, depth perception, and ability to adjust focus

      Reasonable Accommodation Statement

      Consistent with applicable disability law, Children’s Institute will provide reasonable accommodations to assist qualified applicants or employees with disabilities to participate in the job application process, to perform the essential function of a job, and to enjoy the same benefits and privileges of employment applicable to similarly situated employees without disabilities, provided the accommodation would not impose an “undue hardship” on the operation of CI.

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