Job Type

Full Time



Start Date


Application Deadline



815 West Van Buren Street
Suite 300
United States


Communities In Schools (CIS) of Chicago is a nonprofit organization dedicated to working in partnership with Chicago Public Schools (CPS) and community organizations to help students stay in school and be successful. During the 2018-2019 school year, CIS of Chicago will partner with more than 150 Chicago public schools and expects to connect 1,850 services and programs to more than 75,000 CPS students and their families by leveraging community partner programs and services. In addition, CIS of Chicago places full-time Student Supports Managers in 20 Chicago public schools – our Intensive School partners. Our staff in these schools provide intervention services to a caseload of 50 students per school who are at risk of dropping out, as well as connect support services to the whole school.

CIS of Chicago is an affiliate of Communities In Schools, Inc., a national nonprofit organization with offices in more than 150 different cities.

The mission of Communities In Schools of Chicago is to surround students with a community of support, empowering them to stay in school and achieve in life. The vision of CIS of Chicago is to ensure that every public school student in Chicago graduates from high school prepared to succeed. The organization’s core values are Impact, Integrity, Relationships, and Social Justice.

CIS of Chicago is seeking a full-time School Partnership Specialist. This position is an integral part of the organization’s Partnership Team, a group of eight professionals, four of whom, Community Partnership Specialists, manage the partnerships of more than 200 agencies, institutions, and individuals that provide services in the areas of the arts, college and career readiness, physical health, and behavioral and mental health; and four of whom, School Partnership Specialists, manage the partnerships of our growing network of schools. Together, members of the Partnership Team execute trainings and events, monitor the quality of community partner programming, and play supporting roles in a variety of other organizational projects as needed in addition to working to make meaningful school and community partner connections.

By focusing on connecting schools to programs, the School Partnership Specialist ensures that all CIS of Chicago partner schools have the resources they need to provide their students with meaningful, relevant, and high-quality opportunities. They are responsible for maintaining a portfolio of school partners, which includes regular communication, data collection, school visits, and most importantly, relationship management.

CIS of Chicago seeks a highly motivated and skilled professional for this role. The preferred candidate will have strong written and oral communication skills, experience working with or in urban school districts, and an understanding of quality teaching and program delivery practices.


Manage School Partners:

  • Develop and implement strategies for creating partnerships between schools, neighborhood organizations, social service agencies, and community institutions
  • Actively refer available student-focused programs and services to key liaisons at 34 Chicago public schools
  • Follow up on these referrals regularly to ensure that connections are being made or that alternative services are being referred to meet need
  • Train and provide ongoing assistance to key liaisons at approximately 38 Chicago public schools related to needs assessments, program evaluation, partner appreciation, and building awareness about CIS of Chicago
  • Research and identify potential service providers to meet key needs of all schools in the CIS of Chicago network, plus guide the initial stages of those partnerships
  • Maintain detailed records of school and agency partnerships, including significant data entry responsibility for portfolio of schools

Other Duties:

  • Help plan and facilitate trainings and networking events for school and agency partners to build and deepen capacity
  • Represent CIS of Chicago in relevant community or coalition groups
  • Observe and monitor agency/school partnerships and services connected
  • Support the work of the Partnership Team with positive and innovative solutions to challenges
  • Assist with other organizational projects, as needed


Desired skills and attributes:

  • Enthusiasm for mission-driven work
  • Ability to work collaboratively and independently
  • Ability to multi-task and meet multiple deadlines
  • Ability to cultivate meaningful partnerships while setting clear expectations
  • Persuasive, appropriately assertive, and empathic in professional communication
  • Solution-orientation and ability to problem-solve
  • Strong written and oral communication
  • Excellence in communicating with diverse audiences
  • Detail-orientation and commitment to follow-up and follow-through
  • Awareness of and sensitivity to the needs of urban public school environments



  • Bachelor’s degree
  • Minimum of two years of work experience desired
  • Experience working with urban public schools preferred
  • A criminal background check and verification of employment and degrees is required
  • Daily driving is a significant portion of this position; applicants must have a valid driver’s license, applicable insurance, and daily access to a reliable vehicle

Professional Level


Minimum Education Required

4-year degree

How To Apply

Reports to: Director of Partnerships

Start date: Immediately

Application Process:

To apply for this position, please submit: (a) a current resume; (b) a cover letter, indicating why you are interested in being a School Partnership Specialist at CIS of Chicago and what makes you a uniquely strong candidate for the position; and (c) in a document separate from the cover letter, brief responses to the pre-interview questions below (up to 300 words total). Applicants that do not submit all three elements of the requested materials will not receive consideration. Please attach all three documents in a single e-mail and include “2018 School Partnership Specialist” in the subject line. All postings should be directed to No telephone calls, please. 

Pre-Interview Questions:

  1. What attracted you to this position?
  2. How familiar are you with Chicago’s diverse neighborhoods? What experiences have you had with the city? To what areas are you most connected? (If you have not had experiences in Chicago but have had substantive experiences working or volunteering in an urban environment elsewhere, please name the city/cities and describe those experiences.)
  3. Please list five adjectives that describe your work style.
  4. Do you have reliable, daily access to a vehicle for work-related travel throughout the city, as needed?