Chicago Public Schools (CPS) is the third-largest school district in the United States, serving over 350,000 students in 600 schools and employing nearly 36,000 people, most of them teachers. CPS has set ambitious goals to ensure that every student, in every school and every neighborhood, has access to a world-class learning experience that prepares each for success in college, career, and civic life. In order to fulfill this mission, we make three commitments to our students, their families, and all Chicagoans: academic progress, financial stability, and integrity. Six core values are embedded within these commitments - student-centered, whole child, equity, academic excellence, community partnership, and continuous learning.
The Office of Student Health and Wellness aims to eliminate health related barriers to learning and advance health equity in Chicago. The School Garden Specialist will support district-wide initiatives to increase the number of edible school gardens operating in Chicago Public Schools (CPS), provide ongoing training to schools on garden programming, and oversee educational opportunities through the CPS Farm to School program. The School Garden Coordinator will provide additional insight and support to the district's sustainability efforts including composting and renewable energy. Finally this role will provide general support to all schools as part of the Healthy CPS initiative.
The School Garden Specialist will be held accountable for the following responsibilities:
Provide oversight for the internal and external process of establishing and maintaining school gardens.
Implement CPS district-wide professional development related to general garden programming, Farm to School nutrition education, and Eat What You Grow implementation guidelines.
Collaborate with external organizations to conduct trainings and technical assistance sessions regarding school garden efforts.
Promote and conduct outreach to stakeholders, community members, parents and other interested groups.
Collect, analyze and report data related to Farm to School programs.
Provide content expertise related to gardening, composting, recycling, and other relevant sustainability initiatives.
Conduct outreach, and provide expert guidance and support to schools in achieving the goals of OSHW.
Serve as a member of the Health and Wellness Materials Review Committee and provide guidance on school garden curricula.
Provide schools with technical assistance on policy implementation.
Collaborate with relevant CPS departments and facilitate relationships to ensure internal alignment of efforts to achieve OSHW goals.
Supervise and provide mentorship to various miscellaneous staff on completing assigned tasks and activities.
Other duties as assigned.
In order to be successful and achieve the above responsibilities, the School Garden Specialist must possess the following qualifications:
Type of Education Required:
Bachelor's degree (B.A. or B.S.) urban agriculture, nutrition, education, or related field preferred.
Applicants with commensurate experience encouraged to apply.
Type of Experience Required:
Three-five years of experience in staff training development and program implementation.
Experience in project management concepts, practices and procedures.
Experience in staff training and manual development.
Must be proficient with the use of computers and software including but not limited to Google Suite, Microsoft Excel, Word, and PowerPoint.
Spanish speaking a plus.
Working knowledge of federal nutrition programs a plus.
Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:
Experience with and working knowledge of Farm to School and school garden initiatives.
Experience developing and implementing nutrition and/or farming education programs.
Working knowledge of gardening best practices.
Working knowledge of composting, recycling, and other sustainability initiatives.
Experience forging productive collaborations.
Exceptional writing, verbal and interpersonal skills, including public speaking.
Keen analytical skills and attention to detail.
Ability to think "big picture" as well as to translate ideas into realistic, actionable plans.
Ability to handle and respond to competing priorities.
Ability to synthesize and apply information for different audiences.
Ability to collaborate with other departments, with a high level of personal investment in contributing to the priorities of the Chicago Public Schools as a whole.
Experience and adeptness in meeting facilitation.
Willingness to work evenings and weekends when needed.
Ability to thrive in a fast-paced environment, be highly organized and flexible.
Ability to work independently and as a part of a project team.
Ability to work with minimum supervision.
As a condition of employment with the Chicago Public Schools (CPS), employees are required to live within the geographic boundaries of the City of Chicago within six months of their CPS hire date and must maintain residency throughout their employment with the district.
Chicago Public Schools