The Primary School (TPS) is a new non-profit organization dedicated to dramatically improving health and educational outcomes for children. Fueled by the belief that the current model of school is too limited to close the achievement gap for our nation’s most at risk children, TPS is designing a new model of primary education and primary care which braids together education, health, and family support services starting at birth. In doing so, the school will expand the traditional definition of “school” in order to prepare all children to succeed in college, career, and life. TPS was seeded by the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, a major national philanthropy.
TPS’s innovative new model of support has three defining characteristics:;
Provide integrated and comprehensive services: The new school will partner with an existing health care organization. Educators and health care professionals will provide integrated academic and health (physical, mental, and socio-emotional) services to students and families. Begin serving children at birth: The school will admit students at or before birth, and will provide early childhood supports alongside medical care during the critical years of child development, ensuring that students are school-ready by the time they enter the elementary school grades. Offer two-generation supports: Families will receive services, including primary care and intensive parenting education, to help them better support their children and become healthier themselves. We opened our first site in East Palo Alto in 2016 and will serve 300 children and their families (age 0 to 5) by spring of 2017.
In addition to our core focus on directly serving children and families, TPS is committed to designing a model that is replicable in other communities. We are investing in design, research, evaluation, and dissemination that will allow us to replicate our model and/or transfer our learnings to others.
ABOUT THE ROLE
We believe deeply in the importance of supporting children and their families from an early age. As such, our early childhood programs are an important part of our model and incorporate programming elements for the entire family. The Primary School is searching for knowledgeable, compassionate and dedicated individuals who are skilled at leading parent-child playgroups for children in infancy to age 3, that build the attachment relationship and parenting confidence.
This individual will be exceptionally skilled at building trusted relationships through group-based programming with parents and families of infants and toddlers. In addition, this individual will provide expertise to The Primary School’s parent coaching staff on child development milestones and parenting techniques. The role is mission critical to delivering upon The Primary School’s innovative model of supporting children from birth.
-Implement Spanish and English language playgroups focused on nurturing the parent-child attachment relationship, demonstrating evidence-based parenting techniques, and building community between families; be responsible for refining and implementing a curriculum with expectations of personalization for families or different groups
-Discern gaps in parenting skill that impact the attachment relationship and model for parents new behaviors to strengthen their bond with their child and child’s social-emotional learning
-Use authentic assessment methods to observe and document children’s developmental progress and set goals and next steps with family members
-Incorporate the findings and results of screening and observation tools to develop parent-child activities that will enhance the parent-child relationship, strengthen child development and increase participants knowledge and awareness of her child’s physical, emotional and psychological developmental needs and accomplishments
-Model for parents high impact language development strategies through songs, stories and talking with children
-Coordinate support for families with other Primary School team members and community organizations, including by maintaining well-documented and organized information and liaising with other staff that support families
-Provide formal training and ongoing consultation to Primary School parent wellness coaches with varying levels of child development expertise
-Setup and maintain a playgroup classroom environment that ensures the safety of children; take responsibility for gathering, organizing, and preparing materials for activities and playgroup experiences
-Help develop and provide feedback on technology that can support parents in understanding healthy child development
-Provide one-on-one consultation and coaching for families in need of additional, personalized supports, potentially including home visiting interventions
-Attend trainings relevant to parent education and/or playgroup curriculum and share new learnings with TPS staff
-Additional responsibilities as required by the organization and in response to the evolution of child and family needs
-You have at least three years of experience in infant and early childhood mental health or early childhood development, focusing on the relationships between young children and their adult caregivers
-You have experience leading group-based parent education or playgroups for parents with infants and toddlers
-You have community outreach experience supporting high risk families and children with socioemotional or developmental needs
-You value the importance of the parent as the child’s first teacher and are passionate about supporting clients in their growth as a parent and working to increase parent’s understanding of what they can do to promote their child’s healthy development
-You are knowledgeable of birth to three early learning standards and developmental milestones
-You have experience assessing the growth and development of infants and toddlers
-You are flexible with your schedule and recognize that from time to time this work may require hours of work that meet the availability of our families; this includes the availability and willingness to work nights and some regular Saturday mornings.
-You are a communicator with strong public speaking skills, and feel comfortable leading and facilitating playgroups with positive energy
-You speak fluent English and Spanish and feel confident in leading playgroups and coaching families in both languages
-You coach families and advocate for others in a way that is compassionate, strengths-based and non-judgmental.
-You embody empathy and embrace cultural differences; you know how to navigate groups and individuals representing a range of needs, abilities and socioeconomic backgrounds.
-You are able to balance multiple priorities - meeting with families, preparing for playgroups, entering data - gracefully and with practiced personal organization and time management.
-You are a natural problem solver, fixer and finder of resources; in moments of tension, you diffuse and resolve conflict.
-You are extremely self-aware and self motivated, and have a strong desire to learn.
-You are comfortable in ambiguity and environments that change rapidly environments.
-You want to work with and learn from all TPS team members, from pre-K to 8 education, to parent coaching, to community engagement.
-You believe in the mission of The Primary School and that all children and families are capable of extraordinary things.
A Plus If
You are an East Palo Alto or Belle Haven native and/or have experience working with the East Palo Alto and Belle Haven communities.
The Primary School (TPS) is a new integrated health and education model dedicated to serving children and families in the communities of East Palo Alto and Belle Haven.
TPS is a community partnership school dedicated to dramatically improving the health and educational outcomes for underserved children. Our approach integrates primary education and primary care, effectively braiding together... education, health, and family support services starting at birth. In doing so, TPS will expand the traditional definition of “school” in order to prepare all children to succeed in college, career, and life.
· Full-time school starting at age 3
· Partnership to offer deeply integrated health services
· Continuous model of support for parents, beginning prenatally
Over the past year, we have worked with education and health experts, community leaders, and families to design a school and service model that supports the development of the whole child. We are partnering with the Ravenswood Family Health Center, a federally qualified health center in East Palo Alto, to provide integrated health supports to children and families. We are also seeking partnerships with other community groups to provide a broader web of services to our families
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