VISTA Community Partnership Coordinators

Posted by PHENND on March 14, 2016

Join a cohort that works to strengthen communication, collaboration and community in local Philadelphia schools. PHENND seeks 21 full-time AmeriCorps VISTAs:

  • 16 serve as Community Partnership Coordinators at 16 different schools all across the city
  • four work in the School District of Philadelphia main offices
  • one VISTA Leader leads the group at PHENND’s office (must have one year of prior AmeriCorps experience).

About this project:

This is the fifth year of an AmeriCorps VISTA project in which VISTAs are placed in selected Philadelphia public schools and the School District of Philadelphia to help manage, develop, and track external community partners.

About the school-based positions:

The AmeriCorps VISTAs sought for this coming year will coordinate and facilitate partnerships between their school and existing and/or potential outside community partners with the goal of integrating their services into the school’s schedule and meeting major school needs, thereby ensuring that these partnerships are mutually beneficial, sustainable and serving students effectively.  The VISTAs will work directly with administrators and teachers to ensure strong communication between and among external partners and key school leadership.

Primary Goals:

The VISTA will build their school’s community partnership capacity in four major areas through specific initiatives:

The Community Partnerships Coordinator will build their school’s capacity in four major areas through specific initiatives:

1) Documentation/Needs Assessment – collect information on current partners; assess needs of the school from various school constituencies;

2) Communication/Relationship Building – assist in communication strategy for the school (monthly calendar, newsletter and/or social media, etc.), provide support for communication between school and partners as well as inter-partner relations, facilitate a once-monthly stakeholder meeting to discuss events, strategies, and collaborative efforts;

3) Strategic Planning – work to create systems within the school to further the strength of relationships in and outside of the school, support leadership in working to incorporate partners to address school needs;

4) Evaluation – track number and type of community partnerships, engage partners in evaluation of the school-community partnership landscape.

Apply for a school-based position here:

About the School District-based positions:

One AmeriCorps VISTA sought for this coming year to work with the Office of Strategic Partnerships at the School District of Philadelphia to promote and manage policies and procedures around partnership. The VISTA will also serve as a liaison between external partners and key School District Officials. The VISTA will work with the school-based VISTAs in the interest of collecting information about community partners and implementing new policies on partnership.  Apply for this position here.

One AmeriCorps VISTA sought for this coming year to work with the Office of Family and Community Engagement at the School District of Philadelphia to support the District’s parent engagement goals and initiatives, primarily supporting the establishment and implementation of School Advisory Councils in  schools. This collaborative councils are meant to foster parents’ capacity for leadership, collaboration and positive contribution to school improvement and community development. The work will provide opportunities for utilizing research, writing, and interpersonal skills and engaging internal and external partners.  Apply for this position here.

One AmeriCorps VISTA sought for this coming year to work with the Office of Enrichment and Academic Support.  The work involved in this project includes communicating and collaborating with the vast array of arts partners already providing service to schools, many of which have been identified by the new Partnership Census.  The VISTA will help the District work more strategically with arts partners as a whole at the District-level, paying particular attention the large-scale, city-wide arts organizations such as the Kimmel Center, Opera Company, and the Philadelphia Museum of Art.  Additionally, the VISTA will also help inventory existing visual and performing art resources, as well as identify new potential partners and funding sources, with the long term goal of providing more equitable access to performing and visual arts opportunities for all Philadelphia school students over the next years.  Apply for this position here.

Formal listing for the VISTA Leader position will be available shortly on the AmeriCorps website.  In the meantime, candidates can express interest by emailing

Requirements for all positions include:

•    Outstanding oral and written communication skills
•    Ability to network and build relationships with diverse constituencies
•    Comfort with a school-based work environment and interactions with teachers, students and staff on a daily basis
•    Passion for improving educational opportunities for low-income youth
•    Familiarity with the general landscape of urban schooling and the role of community partnerships  in Philadelphia
•    Ability to work both independently and collaboratively as needed
•    Facility with word processing and managing databases
•    Willingness to navigate public transit

Preferred, but not required:

•    Spanish proficiency
•    Web design skills
•    Interest in STEM and the health sciences
•    Interest in the visual and performing arts

•    Today-May 31 – Online applications accepted
•    May 25 – First round telephone interviews completed
•    May 1-May 31 – Second round interviews and school matching meeting
•    June 1 – Candidates notified
•    June 5 – Candidate commitment expected
•    July 20-23 – AmeriCorps Pre-service Orientation (PSO)
•    July 25, 2016 VISTA term begins
•    July 24, 2017 VISTA term ends

AmeriCorps VISTAs commit to a full-time year of service for a minimal living stipend of approximately $12,312 per year. VISTA members are provided health coverage and loan forbearance for any current federal student loans. Upon completion of the full year, they also receive an AmeriCorps Education Award of approximately $5770 that can be used to pay for future educational expenses and/or pay off federal student loans. SEPTA Transpass provided.

If you have any questions, please contact Eden Kainer at or Stephanie Pennypacker at

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