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High School Academic Counselor at Maya Angelou Public Charter School

The Organization

Since it began operating in 1997, the See Forever Foundation's mission has been to create learning communities in lower income urban areas where all students, particularly those who have not succeeded in traditional schools, can succeed academically and socially. The Foundation operates the Maya Angelou Public Charter Schools in DC, as well as the Maya Angelou Academy at New Beginnings’ secure facility for committed youth in Laurel, MD. Our students develop the academic, social, and employment skills they need to build rewarding lives and promote positive change.

If you are interested in learning more about See Forever, please visit our website at www.seeforever.org.

The Touchstone

At the Maya Angelou Schools, the key to our success is rooted in building trusting, respectful and nurturing relationships with each other.  We strive to create safe spaces for all to be able to reach their limitless potential.  We are at our best when we work together to ensure the unique needs of our community are met.  We empower each other to grow successfully so we can see forever!  This is how we live the Maya Way, even when no one is watching.

Position Overview

Maya Angelou Public Charter High School is seeking an Academic Counselor to fill a vacancy for the 2017-2018 school year. The Academic Counselor is expected to support the school-wide goals of emphasizing literacy, help students develop their critical thinking abilities, drive all students toward mastery and understanding, and help students find their strengths and talents to use them to address weaknesses and overcome fears.  In addition, the Maya Angelou High School embraces a competency-based instructional program where students develop key skills and competencies to prepare them for postsecondary and career success. All of our students complete and receive acceptances to postsecondary institutions and receive instruction on crafting their “future focus”.

Responsibilities

The Academic Counselor will be held accountable for:

  • Serving as the point person for all academic grade level discussions about the students, including facilitating the Student Support Team (SST) process and tracking relevant interventions which will lead to productive academic outcomes. 
  • Collaborating with the College and Career Success Department to ensure that all students have a comprehensive plan for their transition from high school to college and/or career.   Specifically, some relevant tasks within this job function may include helping students complete college/work applications, FAFSA applications, and essays as part of the Achiever scholarship process via the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
  • Coordinating and planning relevant town halls to discuss the academic progress of the students.
  • Collaborating with the College and Career Success Department to ensure the future focus curriculum is delivered with fidelity.  This may include teaching a section of future focus.
  • Serving as the point person for tracking, monitoring progress and supporting growth of all students taking performance series testing.
  • Working closely with the Enrollment Specialist to spearhead the enrollment process for all new and returning students.  This may include attending recruitment fairs and presenting to DCPCSB schools about our program.
  • Collaborating with the Enrollment Specialist to ensure that all students are enrolled in the appropriate course sequence as they matriculate from year to year. This will include routinely flagging students who are overaged and under-credited to ensure they are aware of their standing and scheduled accordingly.
  • Collaborating with the Director of Socio-Emotional Learning to ensure relevant themes, essential/process questions, and objectives of social emotional learning is evident in the curricula of the core content areas.
  • Collaborating with the Special Education Department to ensure the students are scheduled in co-taught sections and receiving services as outlined in their Individualized Education Program (IEP).
  • Maintaining a small caseload of students who require clinical intervention.
  • Supporting efforts to mitigate any clinical crises which may arise within the school community.
  • Performing other duties as assigned

Additional Vocational Responsibilities

  • Collaborating with the Director of College and Career Success to support career and technical education.
  • Working closely with the College and Career Success department to ensure students interested in a vocational or trade experience after completing their high school diploma, are prepared and enrolled.
  • Working with students to identify a career pathway/academy of interest.

Knowledge and Skills

  • Demonstrates uncompromising ethics and personal integrity by adhering to the highest standards of ethical behavior.
  • Demonstrates team spirit, initiative, and a willingness to collaborate with all members of the school community.
  • Excellent communication (both oral and written) skills.
  • Understands the cognitive, physiological, and psychological growth and maturational development of adolescents.
  • Ability to work collaboratively and cooperatively as a member of a multidisciplinary team.
  • Strong problem-solving and crisis intervention skills.

Qualifications

  • Master’s degree in school counseling is strongly preferred; other related fields (education, psychology, community or mental health) will be considered.
  • Experience working in community-based mental health, family health/mental health, and or school setting.  Experience in a school setting is preferred.
  • Must have strong skills in documenting efforts and interventions.
  • Must have a commitment to working from a strength-based and/or youth development perspective.

Core Beliefs and Desired Characteristics

Candidates should possess an unyielding belief that with the appropriate supports, coupled with high expectations, all students can significantly improve their academic skills, and can develop pro-social and culturally normative behaviors that will enable them to succeed at school and beyond. Candidates should also believe that all students have strengths and talents and that good teachers help students find them and use them to address weaknesses or overcome fears. In addition, candidates should exhibit the following characteristics:

  • Honesty & Integrity: Does not cut corners ethically. Earns trust and maintains confidence. Does what is right, not just what is politically expedient. Speaks plainly and truthfully. 
  • Analytical skills: able to structure and process qualitative or quantitative data and draw insightful conclusions from it; exhibits a probing mind and achieves penetrating insights 
  • Persistence: Demonstrates tenacity and willingness to go the distance to get something done.
  • Strategic thinking/visioning: Able to see and communicate the big picture in an inspiring way; determines opportunities and threats through comprehensive analysis of current and future trends
  • Flexibility/adaptability: Adjusts quickly to changing priorities and conditions; copes effectively with complexity and change
  • Enthusiasm: Exhibits passion and excitement over work. Has can do attitude.

Salary and Benefits

Our salaries are comparable to those of other public schools in the District of Columbia area. In addition, See Forever offers a robust benefits plan, including health care coverage, a 401k retirement savings plan, and the opportunity to positively impact students with a broad range of experiences and backgrounds. 

See Forever is an equal opportunity employer. We believe a diverse staff is a better, more effective staff.  

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