CISC Home    "Communities In Schools of Chicago has been instrumental in helping the school provide services that have led to the improvement of the school's learning environment as well as the academic performance of students."
Zelma Woodson, Principal, Jenner Academy of the Arts

Job Openings
Working at Communities In Schools of Chicago is more than just a job. You will interact with a broad range of community-minded professionals in our schools and with our community partners, and impact Chicago public school children who need help the most. We are a close-knit team that collaborates and thrives when faced with big challenges. And we are looking for like-minded people to join us.

Current Opportunities
Communities In Schools of Chicago currently has two open positions: Senior School Partnership Specialist; and School-Based Student Supports Manager.


Senior School Partnership Specialist

Communities In Schools of Chicago (CIS of Chicago) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to working in partnership with the Chicago Public Schools (CPS) and community organizations to improve student success. During the 2015-16 school year, CIS of Chicago expects to connect 1,000 services and programs to more than 50,000 CPS students and their families. Connected services include health services and education, violence-prevention and arts and academic enrichment programs. CIS of Chicago links existing health, human and other support services to 125 Chicago public schools. CIS of Chicago partners with more than 150 community organizations across the city that provide their programming in the schools at no cost to the student or school. CIS of Chicago is an affiliate of Communities In Schools, Inc., a national nonprofit organization with offices in more than 150 different cities and communities.

  • The mission of Communities In Schools is to surround students with a community of support, empowering them to stay in school and achieve in life.
  • The vision of CIS of Chicago is to ensure that every public school student in Chicago graduates from high school prepared to succeed.

The Senior School Partnership Specialist works closely with the organization’s Director of Program and a team of colleagues to ensure that schools in the CIS of Chicago network access the programs and services students need to learn, stay in school and succeed in life. This is a hybrid position, involving program management, staff supervision as well as management of a personal portfolio of CIS of Chicago partner schools.

The Senior School Partnership Specialist works directly with a personal portfolio of 20-25 elementary and high schools throughout the city. The Senior School Partnership Specialist focuses on linking a variety of programs and services to support students at these schools. He or she is expected to maintain regular, positive communication with key adult leaders at all schools in her/his portfolio. In addition, this role includes management of a small personal portfolio of community partners. Frequent travel to the school sites is required.

In addition to managing a personal portfolio of 20-25 schools, the Senior School Partnership Specialist is responsible for driving the work of the full school partnership team by managing the organization’s work with 119 Chicago public schools. Managing the School Partnership Team requires: strategic planning and goal-setting; hiring, supervising and evaluating a small team of professional staff; supervising and mentoring interns, as needed; and regularly analyzing and monitoring the performance of the team to ensure annual goals are met. The Senior School Partnership Specialist coaches her/his direct reports/school partnership specialists to meet challenges effectively; s/he intervenes directly when needed. S/he works closely with the team to plan and execute training and networking events for school staff throughout the year. S/he works with the team to collect and analyze both qualitative and quantitative data to drive decision-making. The Senior School Partnership Specialist is also responsible for providing relevant data, program updates and descriptive content in support of grant applications and other organizational reporting. As needed, the Senior Partnership Specialist contributes to other important organizational projects and initiatives.

This position requires a person who is strategically-minded, detail-oriented, outcomes-focused, and highly-skilled in communication and relationship-building. Further, any person selected for the position must be aligned with and dedicated to promoting our organizational core values: impact; integrity, justice and relationships.


  • Management of a personal portfolio of 20-25 school partners
    • Actively refer available student-focused programs and services to key liaisons at 20-25 Chicago public schools.
    • Follow up on these referrals regularly to ensure that connections are being made or that alternative services are being referred to meet student needs.
    • Train and provide ongoing assistance to key liaisons within her/his personal portfolio of 20-25 Chicago public schools. This assistance typically relates to: needs assessments, program evaluation, partner appreciation, and building awareness about CIS of Chicago.
    • Maintain detailed records of school and agency partnerships, including entering significant amounts of data for a personal portfolio of schools of 20-25 schools.
  • Lead a team responsible for connecting more than 50,000 students at 119 Chicago Public Schools to prioritized support programs and services
    • Work with the Director of Program, the Senior Community Partnership Specialist and the school partnership team to develop goals for each year.
    • With the Director of Program and the Senior Community Partnership Specialist, develop and implement strategies for creating partnerships that connect more students to high-priority programs and services.
    • With the support of the Director of Program, drive the School Partnership Team to achieve its outlined goals for the year in support of the organization’s mission and vision.
    • Operationalize large goals effectively for team and direct reports by breaking annual outcomes into manageable weekly/monthly goals, monitoring team and individual progress and adjusting strategies as necessary.
  • Monitor, analyze and improve the operation and impact of the School Partnership Team’s work.
    • Analyze key metrics related to CIS of Chicago’s work, especially as related to the school partnership team.
    • Identify trends in schools’ priority needs, program dosages and characteristics of services accessed through CIS of Chicago community partners.
    • Analyze feedback from principals and other school leaders via annual surveys.
  • Develop capabilities of team members/direct reports
    • Supervise and evaluate the ongoing performance of three full-time school partnership specialists.
    • Coach school partnership specialists to work through challenging situations effectively to achieve outcomes and intervene directly when necessary.
    • Hire and train new School Partnership Specialists/direct reports as needed.
    • Assist direct reports, as feasible, in developing professional skills to assist them in carrying out their work of CIS of Chicago.
    • Recruit, supervise and coach interns for the school partnership team, as needed.
  • Collaborate with other teams within the organization to improve the impact of CIS of Chicago on students; schools and community partners
    • Observe and monitor agency/school partnerships and services connected, offering constructive feedback to improve program quality.
    • Manage a small portfolio of community partners, and recruit new partners to the network, as needed.
    • Assist the Development team, as needed, by analyzing data, collecting qualitative and quantitative feedback and providing
    • Collaborate with other members of the organization’s Operations Team to ensure effective cross-team collaboration, communication, professional development and promotion of the organization’s mission, vision and core values.
    • Assist with other organizational projects, as needed.

Desired skills and attributes:

  • Enthusiasm for mission-driven work
  • Ability to work collaboratively and independently
  • Ability to multi-task and meet multiple deadlines
  • Ability to cultivate meaningful partnerships while setting clear expectations
  • Persuasive, appropriately assertive and empathic professional communication
  • Solution-orientation and ability to problem-solve
  • Strong written and oral communication
  • Excellence in communicating with diverse audiences
  • Detail-orientation and commitment to follow-up and follow-through
  • Strong strategic thinking and planning abilities
  • Strong management abilities and professional coaching skills
  • Skilled at thorough and organized record-keeping
  • Strong analytical skills working with both quantitative and qualitative data
  • Awareness of, and sensitivity to, the needs of urban public school environments.


  • Bachelor’s degree with at least four years of relevant work experience;
  • Experience working with urban public schools;
  • Previous supervisory experience within a professional setting; and
  • Daily driving is a significant portion of this position. Applicants must have a valid driver’s license and reliable daily access to a vehicle.

Reports to: Director of Program

Start date: September 2015

Starting Salary: $45,000 - $48,000, plus competitive benefits, depending on experience. 


To apply for this position, please submit: (a) a current resume; (b) a cover letter, indicating why you are interested in being the Senior School Partnership Specialist at CIS of Chicago and what makes you a uniquely strong candidate for the position; and (c) in a document separate from the cover letter, brief responses to the pre-interview questions below (up to 300 words total). Applicants that do not submit all three elements of the requested materials will not receive consideration. Please attach all three documents in a single e-mail and put “2015 Senior School Partnership Specialist” in the subject line. All postings should be directed
Pre-Interview Questions:

  • What attracted you to the position?
  • Please list and briefly describe your work/volunteer experiences in education and/or related fields.
  • How familiar are you with Chicago’s diverse neighborhoods? What experiences have you had with the city? To what areas are you most connected? (If you have not had experiences in Chicago but have had substantive experiences working or volunteering in an urban environment elsewhere, please name the city/cities and describe those experiences.)
  • Please list five adjectives that describe your work style.
  • Please summarize your supervisory experience at past places of employment.
  • Do you have reliable, daily access to a vehicle for work-related travel throughout the city, as needed?
  • The salary for this position ranges from $45,000 to $48,000, plus a robust benefits package, based on experience. Is this acceptable to you?
  • If we have follow up questions, or would like to schedule an interview, how and when can we best reach you?


School-Based Student Supports Manager

Communities In Schools of Chicago (CIS of Chicago) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to working in partnership with the Chicago Public Schools (CPS) and community organizations to improve student success. CIS of Chicago links existing health, human and other support services to 125 Chicago public schools. CIS of Chicago partners with more than 150 community organizations and agencies across the city that provide their programming in the schools at no cost to the student or school. Connected services include health services and education, violence-prevention, and arts and academic enrichment programs. CIS of Chicago is an affiliate of Communities In Schools, Inc., a national nonprofit organization with a presence in more than 150 cities and communities across 26 states.

CIS of Chicago places Student Supports Managers in CPS school sites to provide integrated student services addressing both school-wide prevention, education and enrichment priorities as well as targeted and sustained support and interventions for individual students with high need. Each school-based SSM will work in one school in Chicago to establish and maintain this school-based program. CIS of Chicago is seeking a Student Supports Manager (SSM) to implement our integrated student services program.


  • Lead and coordinate the delivery of evidence-based services based on best practice and risk-factor research.
    • Widely-accessible, school-wide services will be provided to help address identified needs or to build and reinforce student assets.
    • Targeted and sustained services will be coordinated and provided at the school site for specific students who are identified as having the greatest risk of eventually dropping out of school. This includes ongoing case management and direct supports for students, including goal setting and individual/group skill-building and support sessions.
  • Lead annual assessment process of needs for student and school community.
  • Lead the development and implementation of the site plan, including defining measurable objectives and procedures for delivering services.
  • Work closely with school administrators, staff, teachers and other school partners in the planning and implementation of CIS of Chicago’s integrated student supports model in coordination with broader school improvement strategies underway.
  • Research and cultivate potential service providers to meet identified needs at the school, guide the initial stages of those partnerships, and expand the relationship to other faculty.
  • Manage the consent/enrollment process and create individualized student plans for participating students.
  • Maintain detailed records of school and agency partnerships and student needs, interventions, and progress through the use of tailored database systems.
  • Regularly monitor and adjust services as needed, to maximize effectiveness and impact.
  • Evaluate the effectiveness of services as measured by achievement of school benchmarks and student individualized goals.
  • Generate reports for CIS of Chicago, school and agency partners.
  • Assist with other organizational and project activities, as needed.

Desired skills and abilities:

  • Apply basic child and adolescent development principles utilizing a trauma-informed lens;
  • Experience with restorative practices, school-level attendance and behavior improvement strategies and student-centered supports;
  • Solution-oriented ability to navigate complex school environments;
  • Work both collaboratively and independently;
  • Innovate and take initiative;
  • Effectively manage multiple tasks and remain focused across a variety of priorities;
  • Think strategically and work toward practical goals and outcomes;
  • Flexibility to accommodate evolving and unanticipated needs of a start-up project;
  • Cultivate meaningful partnerships while setting clear expectations;
  • Strong written and oral communication skills;
  • Excellence in communicating with diverse audiences;
  • Detail-orientation and commitment to follow-up and follow-through; and
  • Solid computer skills including Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint as well as database experience.


  • Master’s Degree in Social Work preferred, Education, Counseling, or other youth development field may be also considered.
  • At least three years of experience working with adolescents, their families, and urban public schools is highly desired.
  • Bilingual candidates encouraged to apply.
  • Minority candidates strongly encouraged to apply.
  • Must have a valid driver’s license, car, and insurance.
  • A criminal background check and verification of employment and degrees is required.

Reports to:

Director of Strategy and Planning, CIS of Chicago – primary
Principal, assigned school site – secondary

Work Environment: The position will be primarily located in Chicago public school site. Training, weekly organizational and team meetings and supervision will occur primarily at the CIS of Chicago office.

To apply or for further information, please write or email (no faxes or phone calls please):

Director of Strategy and Planning
Communities In Schools of Chicago
815 West Van Buren Street, Suite 300
Chicago, IL 60607 – please write “Student Supports” in the subject line to ensure that your materials get directed appropriately


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