Step Up School Success Advocate 2023-24

Open School Inc | Portland, OR

Posted Date 5/17/2023

POSITION TITLE: Step Up School Success Advocate
REPORTS TO: Step Up Site Supervisor
FLSA STATUS: Non-exempt, Full-time (32 hours per week, M-TH)
REGULAR/TEMPORARY: 10.5 month position
BENEFITS: Details of benefits outlined below
STARTING SALARY RANGE: $20.00 per hour
START DATE: August 28, 2023

The mission of Open School Inc. is to develop connection, capability, and confidence in disconnected youth through relationship-based, quality learning experiences that result in their academic, personal, and community success. Open School Inc. is an education nonprofit in its 50th year of service. We currently operate an alternative high school in East Multnomah County and the Step Up after-school program.

Step Up is an in-school and after-school relationship-based mentoring, academic, and social-emotional support program that partners with students and their families throughout their high school journey within three Portland Public high schools: Franklin, McDaniel, and Roosevelt. Every year, Step Up enrolls and supports approximately 400 amazing students to find success in school. Our students are personally supported by a Step Up Advocate all year through comprehensive tutoring, strength-based advocacy, intentional mentoring, social/emotional support, character building, and family engagement activities. Over 85% of Step Up students are youth who identify as Black, Indigenous and other People of Color (BIPOC). Many of our students come from low income backgrounds and from marginalized communities. For more information and videos, we encourage you to explore our website at

At Open School Inc., we recognize that there is an historic and persistent achievement gap between white students and students of color; closing that achievement gap while raising the achievement of all students is a top priority of our organization. Race must cease to be a reliable predictor of students’ achievement and success. In order to achieve this goal, we are committed to creating and fostering racial diversity and inclusivity at every level of our organization including but not limited to staff, students, and leadership.

Please email a cover letter, résumé, and 3 professional references to Please reference the position title in the subject line.

Open School Inc. is an equal opportunity employer committed to creating an equitable and inclusive work environment. We highly value diversity, culture and lived experiences. We encourage applicants from diverse backgrounds and seek to hire qualified individuals who reflect the diversity of the students and communities we serve. We are an equal opportunity employer and do not discriminate in any aspect of employment on the basis of race, color, gender, sexual orientation, age, religion, marital status, national and ethnic origin, political affiliation, ability, veteran status, or any other legally protected status in accordance with the requirements of local, state, and federal law.

Open School Inc. believes that each staff member makes a significant contribution to its success. That contribution should not be limited by the assigned responsibilities outlined below. This position description is designed to outline primary duties, qualifications and job conditions, but not limit the staff person nor the organization to just the work identified. It is our expectation that each staff member will offer their services and ideas wherever and whenever necessary to ensure the success of our endeavors.

The Step Up School Success Advocate is a member of a Step Up team and works at one of three high school sites that Step Up operates within: Franklin, McDaniel, & Roosevelt High Schools. The Advocate position is multi-faceted – they advocate for students, provide academic tutoring/support and mentorship. Advocates also create family and teacher relationships. During the school day, Advocates’ duties include: support students in class, prepare activities, build teacher relationships, and other program tasks. After school, Advocates work with their group of students in a classroom setting. This position is responsible for providing academic support and intervention, and assisting in the development of social/emotional and school success skills in a safe, positive, culturally responsive, and empowering learning environment.

The School Success Advocate position has a 10.5-month schedule that will begin August 28, 2023 and ends with the final day of school (slated for June 11, 2024). Advocates work 32 hours per week within their assigned high school site. Most of these hours are from 9:30am - 6:00pm, Monday through Thursday, with some occasional evening, weekend and overnight work.

Prior to the school year, during the week of July 24-28, 2023 Advocates will attend one week of required training. All 9th grade Advocates will also participate in one 3-day overnight leadership camp in August with their 9th grade cohort of students.

Step Up is planning on incorporating some day and/or overnight retreats during the school year - these day or overnight retreats are also required for Advocates. Training and professional development will periodically take place during the 9:00am - 5:00pm work hours.


Academic Intervention Duties:
Responsible for mentoring a cohort of 15-20 high school students for the entire school year and building a meaningful relationship with each student
Facilitate an after-school student group that is engaging, connecting, and rigorous
Assist students in their academic growth and partner with core teachers to establish consistent and proactive communication
Create and maintain a safe learning environment
Advocate for the success, safety, and equitable treatment of each student and empower students to do this for themselves
Tutor high school students in specific subject areas, support with the completion and understanding of homework, and help develop a love of learning
Assist Step Up students and teachers in school day classrooms 2-4 hours per week
Collaborate with Site Supervisors to maintain awareness of students’ assignments and progress; develop and implement an overall school success plan for students in partnership with teachers, parents, program staff, and students
Communicate weekly with teachers, Lead Advocate/Site Supervisor regarding each student’s academic progress and areas in need of academic support
Familiarity with all relevant academic specifications for students receiving special education or 504 services
Work and communicate with parents regarding academic progress; identify areas in need of academic support and work with parents to support specific learning plans for students
In collaboration with the Site Supervisor, plan and implement skill-based Saturday Schools on a periodic basis

Social and School Success Skill Development Duties:
Collaborate with Site Supervisor to develop plans that support the development of school success, organization, and time management skills for individual students and in a group setting
Work with students to develop specific behavior plans that support their success in the classroom.
Attend school intervention meetings and Step Up events occurring at school
Work with students to develop leadership skills, life skills, and vision goals
Lead effective 1-on-1 and group mentoring of students that meets them where they are at, helps them to get to where they say they want to go, and helps them find the relevance of school success in their lives
Facilitate mentoring opportunities for students both in solo and group settings

Family Relationships Liaison Duties:
Act as a liaison to build the relationship between school and family; advocate for the family by assisting in interventions/mediation and school-family meetings as necessary
Support families to increase participation in Step Up and school events; facilitate or participate in family interventions and conduct home visits for each student
Collaborate with Site Supervisor or the Counselor to provide information and referrals for students and/or families for needed services
Communicate (two-way communications) with families in a manner consistent with Step Up practices
Create and monitor Family Partnership Plans to support student and family success

Program & Site Team Administration Duties:
Be prepared and actively participate in professional and personal development training/activities: weekly staff meetings, monthly staff development training, and one-on-one supervision meetings
Maintain accurate and up-to-date records of student and family participation and engagement in the program; data input required to document student participation and progress
Attend day and overnight retreats as scheduled; attend staff retreats as scheduled
Must be able to work as a team and personally maintain healthy, professional relationships with Site leadership and colleagues
Must be willing to take on aspects of various site projects & events such as and not limited to Family Nights, enrollment activities, site-based and program-wide events, etc.
Other duties and responsibilities as assigned by the supervisor

Associate’s degree and one-year related experience and/or training working with under-served and multicultural youth in an educational setting; or equivalent combination of education and lived experience
Excellent interpersonal skills and ability to be collaborative and work with a diverse population to solve problems and provide high-quality service
Ability to work well with students from diverse ethnic and socio-economic backgrounds and with disengaged populations. Ability to tutor students in core subject areas up to a 10th-grade proficiency level (11th-12th grade, if serving juniors and seniors)
Strong or developing classroom management and group facilitation skills. Ability to work effectively with and support others in a team environment
Strong organizational skills, ability to organize and prioritize tasks, and communicate clearly verbally and in writing

Bilingual or multi-lingual in one of our families’ home languages is considered a preference.
Mobility is a necessity. Advocates are required to travel throughout the school year for various aspects of this position. Having access to or owning a vehicle is considered a preference.
First Aid/CPR certification preferred and can be provided by Step Up
Previous Diversity, Equity and Inclusion training

Must successfully pass the Oregon Department of Education fingerprint-based criminal history verification background check. Background checks are paid for by Step Up and provided by Portland Public Schools and the Oregon Department of Education
Must attend Open School training and professional development workshops and activities
Must be able to position yourself as a learner and be willing to work with youth from a strength-based approach
Must be willing to explore personal biases and perform necessary learning and unlearning to reduce or eliminate any personal belief systems that support these biases
Must have a valid current valid driver’s license
All Open School Inc. employees must provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination

While performing the duties of this job, the employee will be required to do the following:
Regularly talk and hear
Sitting for extended periods of time
Walking for extended periods of time, including at school sites and on field trips or special events, including up and down stairs
Lifting up to 20 pounds without assistance

Paid time off (PTO) days
Paid break time scheduled during the winter (December-Jan) and spring (March) breaks
9 paid [school] holidays
Extensive professional development and training
Technology stipend of $50/month
Eligibility for Open School’s health care plan (medical, dental, vision)
Eligibility to participate in a Flex Spending Account (FSA) plan
Eligibility for Open School’s 403(b) retirement plan
Eligibility to participate in our Short-Term Disability, Long-Term Disability, and Group Life Insurance plan, paid by Open School Inc

Listing Type
Jobs | On-Site
Education | Nonprofit
Position Type
Full Time
Experience Level
Entry Level
Employer Type
Direct Employer
Salary Type

Share this job