PPOS: Social Emotional Learning Advisor

Program Overview: Led by the United Way of SWCO (UWSWC), Team UP AmeriCorps places AmeriCorps members at organizations throughout Southwest Colorado to focus on improving the lives of community members, from cradle to career. Team UP has been utilizing collective impact initiatives since 2015 to collaborate across sectors and promote communication towards common goals within rural Southwest Colorado communities. Team UP AmeriCorps members provide direct service to improve outcomes in Education, Economic Opportunity & Healthy Futures. AmeriCorps is a part of the Corporation for National & Community Service, often referred to as the “domestic Peace Corps.” AmeriCorps provides opportunities to improve lives and foster civic engagement all across the country.

Pagosa Peak Open School (PPOS) is a K-7 project-based public charter school authorized by the Archuleta School District.  (www.pagosapeakopenschool.org) There are 112 students enrolled in its year-round, multi-age learning community that has a focus on project-based learning, field studies, and garden/farm/food security initiatives. With more than half of students eligible for Free and Reduced Lunch and limited early childhood development programs in the community, PPOS provides a small school learning experience with comprehensive literacy development in a positive culture.

Service Position Summary: The Social Emotional Learning Advisor (SEL Advisor) will develop an in-house social emotional learning curriculum based on the research of CASEL, a national organization that has researched the impacts of SEL curriculum in schools.  The SEL Advisor will develop and implement this customized curriculum over the year. The member will collaborate with classroom teachers, small groups of students, our school counselor and outside resources to develop this curriculum and pilot the program with our students.

Essential Functions (Primary Responsibilities):Team UP AmeriCorps members engage with their Host Site organizations to develop, implement, and enhance programs, projects, and activities that will create progress toward Team UP’s and PPOS’s  goals. These duties include:

  • Build working knowledge around CASEL’s social emotional learning competencies
  • Research a variety of Social Emotional Curriculums and identify characteristics that could be used in a schoolwide SEL curriculum
  • Create, alongside staff, a comprehensive SEL curriculum to be piloted in all classes K-7
  • Work with student groups, teachers and the counselor on SEL lessons based on this research
  • Provide direct service to Pagosa Peak Open School students K-7 through small and large group experiences
  • Track progress and collect data for Performance Measures and other evaluation tools
  • Communicate with the regional Team UP AmeriCorps team and represent Team UP and Serve Colorado in the community and on social media
  • Attend trainings and participatie in Days of Service

Marginal Functions (Secondary Responsibilities): Additional tasks include:

  • Support the teams of the UWSWC, Team UP AmeriCorps, and PPOS as appropriate and necessary
  • Incorporate restorative practices in unstructured time (recess and lunch) and during small group times or small classroom conflict
  • Be available to support students during off-campus field work, including ski days
  • Coordinate field work experiences with teachers that include an SEL element
  • Support the teams of the UWSWC, Team UP AmeriCorps, and PPOS as appropriate and necessary

Marginal Functions (Secondary Responsibilities): Additional tasks include:

  • Support the teams of the UWSWC, Team UP AmeriCorps, and PPOS as appropriate and necessary
  • Incorporate restorative practices in unstructured time (recess and lunch) and during small group times or small classroom conflict
  • Be available to support students during off-campus field work in order to build relationships and support the host site’s mission to involve students in field studies

Physical, Emotional, and intellectual Demands:

  • Typical intellectual demands require demonstration of cultural competency, and dedication for working with youth.  
  • Must be able to take initiative and problem solve. Must be a creative thinker.
  • Must be consistent and fair with decisions and actions 
  • Patience, and empathy for working with young children.
  • Typical physical demands require full body movement, physical strength. 
  • Ability to withstand various weather conditions for being outside. 
  • Must have a growth mindset and willingness to adapt.
  • Must be open to living in a small, rural mountain town

Desired Qualifications:

  • Ethic of national and community service and a strong desire to create positive change
  • Ability to communicate effectively both verbally and in writing; computer literate
  • High School Graduate required (GED accepted,) college graduate preferred
  • Ability to pass criminal history check
  • Reliable transportation & proof of auto insurance
  • U.S. Citizenship or lawful permanent resident status required  
  • Background working in elementary school programs and/or with FRL student populations are encouraged to apply

Term of Service – Time Commitment: This is a Full-Time national and community service position requiring, at a minimum, a total of 1700 hours during the year (approximately 40 hours/week.) The position begins September 1, 2020 and ends August 31, 2021. Flexible hours are required, including occasional evening and weekend commitments. Service on the following dates is required (note that Days of Service dates are subject to change): 

  • Sept. 3-4: Team UP AmeriCorps Member Orientation
  • Sept. 8-10: Host Site Orientation
  • Sept. 11th: Day of Service Event
  • October TBD: State-wide AmeriCorps Member Retreat
  • Jan. 18: MLK Jr. Day of Service Event
  • March 31st: Cesar Chavez Day of Service Event
  • Team UP AmeriCorps Quarterly Trainings in Nov, Feb, April, and June

Trainings and Support Provided: Team UP AmeriCorps members receive significant training and experience in community engagement, project implementation, leadership, diverse populations, and more. Up to 20% of total hours served may be spent in applicable, approved trainings. Members will be supervised and supported by Emily Murphy (emurphy@ppos.org), PPOS’s Instructional Coach, as well as by Al Huckins (alh@unitedway-swco.org), the Team UP Program Director. The PY 20-21 cohort of Team UP AmeriCorps members serving throughout the region will act as additional resources and support for each other.

Location and Service Conditions: This position is based at Pagosa Peak Open School.  The school has a facility in the heart of Pagosa Springs, and frequent field time implementing programs on the school farm (one mile away) and in the community will be part of this position. 

Benefits: Full-Time Team UP AmeriCorps members receive:

  • A living allowance of $17,000/year. Taxes are deducted and the living allowance is distributed twice per month by direct deposit to the member’s bank account.
  • Health insurance
  • Child care assistance for full-time members, if eligible
  • An education award of $6,195.00 upon successful completion of term of service. It is possible to defer student loans while serving as an AmeriCorps member.
  • Mileage reimbursement for travel to required trainings and days of service
  • Non-tangible benefits including extensive training, valuable experience, networking, and the opportunity to serve the local community in a crucial area of need.

Diversity and Equal Opportunity: United Way values the diversity of our community.  In principle and in practice the diverse nature of our board, staff, and volunteers is recognized as one of our best assets.  We respect each individual’s unique gifts and prohibit unfair or discriminatory practices against anyone because of age, race, color, religion, national origin, disability, gender, sexual orientation, and any other protected category.