Director of School-Based Initiatives


by CI Communications



Title: Director of School-Based Initiatives

Reports to: CEO

Location: Children’s Institute offices in downtown Portland

Job Classification: Exempt, 1 FTE (40 hours per week)

Salary: $122,500 – $153,000

Closing: Applications must be received by 5 pm on June 5, 2023

To Apply: Please email resume and cover letter to with “Director of School-Based Initiatives” in the subject line. Please contact Hanan Zawideh, Chief Equity and Human Resources Officer, at with accommodations requests.

At Children’s Institute (CI), our mission is to shift systems toward justice for families so that all children in Oregon, prenatal to grade five, have access to opportunity. We advocate for and secure public investments in early childhood programs and services, and work directly with school communities to improve the learning experience for children.  

We are keenly focused on children who experience barriers to opportunity due to race, poverty, disability, language, and geographic location. And we strive to connect research, lived experience, and community voice as we work to ensure that more children succeed in kindergarten, meet third grade benchmarks, and thrive in their early childhood experiences. 

CI prioritizes an integrated, team-based work approach and a flexible, collegial work environment grounded in our values of honor, equity, learning, connectedness, and innovation 

The Director of School-Based Initiatives 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 Director of School-Based Initiatives is a dynamic and forward-thinking leader with experience across early learning and elementary education who will manage Children’s Institute’s place-based program work. They will be responsible for leading the team who oversees implementation of Children Institute’s innovative initiatives that are embedded in districts and K-12 schools. They will also partner with the Policy/Advocacy team and bring what they have learned in schools to drive policy change.

Children’s Institute currently operates two strategies in partnership with public school districts: Early School Success (ESS) and Early Learning Academy (ELA). It has also historically partnered with communities to lift up place-based initiatives, including Early Works at Earl Boyles and Yoncalla Elementary Schools. 

Early School Success is designed to provide a blueprint for educators to better align and embed developmentally appropriate instructional practices from preschool through fifth grade. The initiative seeks to create proof points of high-quality preschool implementation with effective strategies to ensure gains are sustained through the elementary grades. The Director of School-Based Initiatives will work closely with the team to successfully implement and scale this project with school districts and partners across Oregon, including managing the ongoing district improvement process, hiring, and supervising improvement coaches, consultants, and managing the development of site-based facilitation processes.  

Children’s Institute offers a cohort-based Early Learning Academy experience for educators and administrators working to strengthen early learning in their district or region. The Director of School-Based Initiatives will be responsible for supporting the successful implementation of the ELA, including supervising key staff, managing external contract consultants, supporting outreach and recruitment, managing the budget, and monitoring overall quality. Additionally, they will need to provide strategic oversight of ELA, including ongoing improvement, sustaining, and scaling over time.

The Director of School-Based Initiatives will need to understand and support the organization’s mission, vision, and values, serve on the leadership team, and collaborate closely with the Director of Policy and Advocacy, the Director of Communications, and the Director of Research and Strategy. They will think outside the box and bring innovation to how we transform systems to work better for children from birth through grade 5.  They will have strong people skills and collaboration experience. This role will also help strengthen Children’s Institute’s focus on equity, diversity, and inclusion. 

The ideal candidate will have a substantive background in children’s learning and development from birth through elementary school, applicable classroom and administrative experience, and experience with complex program implementation. 


Essential Functions and Responsibilities 


  1. Leadership of School-Based Initiatives. Serves as a key leader of Children’s Institute initiatives focused on the implementation of education through the elementary years. Leads the implementation of Early School Success, including overseeing district planning, and implementation; launching statewide learning collaboratives; including equity, diversity, and inclusion outcomes; and hiring and managing our internal project team and external consultants. Manages the implementation of the Early Learning Academy and potential future programs by Children’s Institute and partners with the Director of Research and Strategy on the development and implementation of the on-going program evaluations. 
  2. Policy Development. Works in partnership with Children’s Institute policy and communications teams on policy development related to building high-quality early learning programs and systems. Works in conjunction with other key stakeholder groups, including state entities and higher education, and provides strategic advice on policies influencing birth to elementary alignment and professional learning. 
  3. Organizational Leadership. Works in partnership with other members of the leadership team in creating, communicating, and implementing the organization’s vision, mission, strategic goals, and objectives. Maintains continuous lines of communication, keeping the CEO informed of all critical issues and contributing to the overall management of the organization. Provides a strong day-to-day leadership presence, helps lead cross-team communication and cohesiveness, and sustains culture while addressing issues of equity, diversity, and inclusion. 
  4. Communications. Collaborates with communications team to highlight lessons learned, challenges, and valuable resources for our community outside of program sites using a multimedia approach to content development. Co-develops a strategic approach to communicating about program impacts for policy development, including the translation of program evaluation findings to target a broad range of audiences. 
  5. Partners with future initiative design teams on identifying new revenue opportunities that support organizational mission and strategic plans.
  6. Supervision of Staff. Provides guidance and supervision to Early School Success and Early Learning Academy internal program team staff, and a cadre of coaches and facilitators in the field. 
  7. Other duties as defined by Children’s Institute’s CEO include representing the organization as needed. 


Position Qualifications

  • Seven to ten years of experience managing and implementing, scaling, and sustaining initiatives in and across preschool and elementary education 
  • Previous supervisory experience of classrooms (e.g. principal, center director, instructional leader) in early childhood education and/or K–12 
  • Experience implementing successful strategies with Dual Language Learners/English Language Learners and children with learning differences 
  • Experience providing technical assistance or coaching in school-based settings 
  • Experience navigating early learning and K–12 systems and the ability to partner effectively across systems to bring these two worlds together, including the ability to communicate effectively with Superintendents and District Leaders 
  • Ability to work with a wide range of diverse constituents, including families and community members, and communicate effectively and respectfully within each group 
  • Excellent project management skills and the ability to develop and implement multiple project plans 
  • Strategic thinker with strong interpersonal skills, analytical ability, and good judgment 
  • Ability to track program expenses and oversee budgets 
  • Exceptional written and oral communication skills 
  • Excellent leadership and teamwork skills 
  • Ability to facilitate groups with diverse stakeholders and the internal team leading through strategy, process, and professional development with a focus on equitable practices.  
  • Ability to enact values of diversity, equity, and inclusion into program and organizational outcomes 
  • Lead team through content development and continuous improvement 
  • 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  
  • Commuter stipend  
  • Cell phone stipend  
  • Professional Development Stipend  
  • Annual office closure between December 26th and January 1st 
  • Three weeks paid time off  
  • Two weeks sick leave  
  • Eleven paid holidays, plus two floating holidays  
  • Paid time off to celebrate your birthday  
  • Paid time off to volunteer in CI’s community 



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.   



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 functions 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.   



CI Mandatory COVID-19 Policy

Per Children’s Institute Mandatory COVID-19 Vaccination Policy, it is a condition of employment for all employees to be fully vaccinated for COVID-19, unless they are granted a reasonable accommodation under applicable law.  

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