School Garden Specialist

Chicago, IL, US
Mar 09, 2018
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.

Principal Accountabilities:

  1. Provide oversight for internal/external process of establishing and maintaining school gardens.
  2. Implement CPS district-wide professional development related to general garden programming, Farm to School nutrition education, and Eat What You Grow implementation guidelines.
  3. Collaborate with external organizations to conduct trainings and technical assistance sessions regarding school garden efforts.
  4. Promote and conduct outreach to stakeholders, community members, parents and other interested groups.
  5. Collect, analyze and report data related to Farm to School programs.
  6. Assist with development and implementation of internal and external communications strategy related to farm to school programs.
  7. Provide support for the work of relevant and ongoing advisory committees, councils, and task forces.
  8. Maintain a working knowledge of all policies and standards related to school meal programs, including USDA Farm to School, National School Lunch Program, HACCP, hygiene, sanitation, QCS (quality customer service), uniform policy, safety, and the environment.
  9. Conduct outreach, and provide expert guidance and support to schools in achieving the goals of OSHW.
  10. Collaborate with relevant CPS departments and facilitate relationships to ensure internal alignment of efforts to achieve OSHW goals.
  11. Other duties as assigned.

Qualifications for Job:

  • 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.
  • 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.

Type of Education Required:

  • Bachelor's degree (B.A. or B.S.) required.

Type of Experience and Number of Years:

  • 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 Microsoft Excel, Word, Power Point, Outlook and Access.
  • Spanish speaking a plus.
  • Working knowledge of federal nutrition programs a plus.
  • Working knowledge of STEM and/or Next Generation Science Standards a plus.

Additional Notes:

  • CPS employees are required to be actual residence of the City of Chicago within six months of beginning employment, and are required to maintain Chicago residency throughout employment.
  • Chicago Public Schools is not currently hiring individuals for this position who now or in the future require sponsorship for employment based non-immigrant and immigrant visas.
  • Chicago Public Schools is an EEO/AA Employer. All qualified individuals, including minorities, females, veterans, and individuals with disabilities, are encouraged to apply.

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