Family Cultural Navigator - South Lake High School

Job Type

Full Time



Start Date


Application Deadline



8601 Rainier Ave S
United States


About the Organization

The mission of Communities in Schools of Seattle (CIS-Seattle) is to surround students with a community of support, empowering them to stay in school and achieve in life. CIS-Seattle works in under-resourced schools to ensure that all students have the support they need to succeed in school and life. CIS is the nation’s leading dropout prevention program, founded on the premise that students can and will achieve academically when resources to address their academic and social needs are tailored, coordinated, and accessible. CIS-Seattle is an accredited CIS affiliate operating as an independent nonprofit organization at 9 schools in South and Southwest Seattle.  

CIS-Seattle currently provides in-school and out-of-school support for close to 5,000 students at Chief Sealth and South Lake High Schools; Aki Kurose and Denny Middle Schools; and Pathfinder K-8, South Shore K-8, Highland Park, Dearborn Park and Van Asselt Elementary Schools.

South Lake High School is a small, alternative high school in SE Seattle. 85% of students are from low-income families and a significant percentage are homeless, have limited English language, have refugee and immigrant status, and identify as teen parents. With many community partners, South Lake offers a range of multi-tiered prevention and intervention programs and layered supportive services to meet the unique needs of individual students: re-entry, engagement, attendance, programs to reduce suspension(s) or expulsion(s), teen parenting and innovative educational labs for student-parents, and behavior modification for students in need of a safe environment to understand and process their feelings. 

CIS-Seattle, South Lake High School, and two other community partners were recently awarded a multi-year grant to build a new collaborative All in for Youth: Communities in Schools (CIS-Seattle) Partnership for Change has a shared vision of a safe, welcoming, and structured learning environment that promotes a positive culture and climate for South Lake High School (SLHS) students – students are engaged and thriving in school, focused on learning, and graduate from high school.

All in for Youth will facilitate school-wide healing, promote positive youth-adult relationships, and institutional, systems change that celebrates students’ cultural identities. Engaging all key stakeholders: students, parents and guardians, South Lake staff, teachers and administrators, and community supports and resources, are fundamental. Project Goals include the following:

  1. Promote/create positive school culture, climate and environment – safe, structured learning and healing environment – that results in institutional, systemic change. 
  2. Promote positive, healing relationships between youth and adults.
  3. Reduce racial/ethnic disparities, inequities and disproportionality – discipline, suspensions and expulsions.
  4. Increase youth/student’s connectedness or belonging to, or engagement in school.
  5. Increase youth/student’s opportunities for academic success, e.g., promotion to the following grade/level or graduate from high school.

About the Position

CIS-Seattle is hiring a full time Family Cultural Navigator based on-site at South Lake High School. This new position was created to strengthen the relationship between families of students attending South Lake and the school community as part of the All in for Youth partnership.

The Family Cultural Navigator is dedicated to achieving high levels of parent and family involvement at South Lake. Successful candidates will be experienced in parent and family engagement programming, have stellar interpersonal skills, be well organized, highly motivated, have experience working with diverse youth and families of color, and committed to empowering families and communities. The Family Cultural Navigator will work closely with the CIS Site Coordinator to offer a tailored approach that connects students and families to community resources while addressing basic needs, e.g., food, shelter, and housing. They will begin with a school-wide assessment in the fall to identify needs and gaps in resources, working closely with partners, students, families, and school leaders to build an action plan across the school. The Site Coordinator will provide intensive case management support to students identified most at risk of dropping out and the Family Navigator will engage families (parents and/or guardians) in establishing leadership roles to not only champion their child’s success, but also be participatory in school and community-wide decision making and activities. The foundation of this relationship is built on trust and access. The Family Cultural Navigator will help families navigate systems and personalities so that they are empowered to advocate for their children.  

Job Location & Schedule

Typical hours are 8am to 4pm Monday through Friday, reporting to South Lake High School (8601 Rainier Ave S, Seattle, WA 98118). Some travel to/from school sites and various meetings and events, as well as some evening and weekend hours may be required.

Responsibilities Include:

School-based Services: 75% of time

  • Demonstrates acceptance of all types of family groupings and use materials that reflect nontraditional families
  • Foster relationships with school leadership, administrators and teaching staff
  • Develop parent engagement strategies to increase and foster parent involvement at South Lake
  • Plan and facilitate parent engagement workshops (English Language Learning, Job readiness, navigating Seattle Public Schools, to name a few)
  • Provide parent engagement activities during the school day and/or existing school events
  • Attend all parent-focused meetings at South Lake
  • Develops positive and goal-directed relationships with all South Lake families and especially with the 20+ families of students receiving intensive case management from CIS Site Coordinator
  • Coaches families toward self-sufficiency
  • Identify, hire and train family leaders to serve on the Building Leadership Team and other decision making committees
  • Develops strategies for parent involvement through volunteer opportunities, family nights and other activities
  • Increases the family’s knowledge of parenting, school participation and leadership
  • Connects families to community and basic needs resources
  • Cultivates community partnerships
  • Communicates effectively with staff, parents, school personnel, and community agencies
  • Attends professional development training
  • Performs other job-related duties as assigned

Evaluation and Documentation: 10% of time

  • Document progress and track family outcomes in areas targeted by Student Learning Plans
  • Ensure accurate documentation.
  • Track outputs and outcomes to meet the Best Starts for Kids and other CIS grant reporting requirements.
  • Contribute outcomes from South Lake toward CIS quarterly and annual reports.
  • Provide program information and overview of accomplishments to the Executive Director, CIS board, Grant writing consultant and District personnel as appropriate.

General Administrative Tasks: 15% of time

  • Consult with school administrators, parents and staff as requested or appropriate to work with families.
  • Participate in interdisciplinary meetings with school staff, the CIS team, and other resource agencies involved in collaborative services.
  • Conduct outreach and develop partnerships with other agency service providers.
  • Participate in CIS planning and program evaluation.
  • Represent CIS at events and meetings, as necessary.
  • Work collaboratively with all CIS staff to maintain a positive CIS image; understand and demonstrate the CIS mission, goals and initiatives within the community.


The salary range for this position is $42,000 - $46,000 annually, dependent upon qualifications and experience. CIS-Seattle also offers an excellent benefits package including 20 Paid Time Off (PTO) days each year on top of summer and winter Seattle Public School breaks off (equivalent to 8 weeks off a year), as well as 100% employer paid medical and dental, individual professional development funds, and more.

Required Qualifications:

  • AA degree with five plus years’ experience working with teens or young adults, Bachelor's degree with three years’ experience working with teens or young adults, or Master's degree with one year of experience, or equivalent.
  • Strong youth engagement and relationship-building skills, particularly with at-risk youth.
  • Commitment to social justice.
  • Ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships with schools, students, parents, community representatives and the general public.
  • Excellent facilitation skills.
  • Strong verbal and written communication skills.
  • Strong organizational skills.
  • Flexibility, collaborative spirit.
  • Ability to work both independently and as part of a team.
  • Strong computer skills and working knowledge of Microsoft Office.
  • Valid Washington state driver’s license, access to reliable transportation and proof of adequate vehicle insurance coverage.
  • Ability to lift 25 lbs on an occasional basis.
  • Commitment to helping young people stay in school and prepare for life.

Desired Qualifications:

  • Experience in education, social services, counseling, juvenile justice, or anti-poverty.
  • Knowledge of, and previous experience with, diverse populations (language, economic status, culture, race, physical ability, sexual orientation, etc.).
  • Comfort and competency in a multicultural environment.
  • Training in grief counseling with adolescents.
  • Ability to speak in a language in addition to English, especially Spanish and/or Somali.
  • Advanced CPR/First Aid Training.

Professional Level

None specified

Minimum Education Required

2-year degree

How To Apply

Applicants of all backgrounds are encouraged to apply. CIS-Seattle is an equal opportunity employer. To apply, send a cover letter and resume by 5pm, Friday, August 17, 2018 to: