Program Manager, Community Learning Lab

Greater Boston, MA
Full Time

Program Manager, Community Learning Lab

Location: Greater Boston/hybrid


About WPS 

Since its inception in 2017, the WPS Institute has offered programs for teachers and students with a focus on fostering educational innovation and opportunity. As a non-profit education start-up, we seek to advance a model of education where learning thrives everywhere, not just in school; where young people and their families are empowered to shape their own educational journeys; and where entire communities contribute to the education of their young people. 

As a partner to communities, WPS provides wraparound support to launch innovative experiments in student-centered learning, including research and development; program design; professional learning; implementation support; evaluation; and seed funding. In 2022, we launched our first Community Innovation Partnership in Salem, MA, working in collaboration with local schools, families, and community partners to reimagine middle school with offerings that are relevant, experiential, and open-walled. In 2023, we opened the WPS Community Learning Lab on our campus in Newton, MA in which we partner with out-of-school organizations to develop capacity and resources to imagine greater educational possibilities and programming that is learner-centered, empowers youth voice, and fosters choice and agency. 

We collaborate with universities and community organizations to research best practices for out-of-school learning that can inform and influence what happens in schools and also to connect a network of greater-Boston area institutions that advance innovation in student-centered learning. We also offer a summer leadership institute for high school students that centers hands-on, student-led projects and real-world learning that engages students in the community and causes. 

WPS employees currently work as a hybrid team. Most team members are based in Greater Boston and divide their time between the WPS campus in Newton, MA, our pilot sites in Greater Boston and the North Shore, and home offices. The Program Manager, Community Learning Lab (Program Manager, CLL) is a hybrid position with the opportunity to work from home when programs are not in session. Some evening/weekend work will be required.


About the Role 

WPS seeks a Program Manager, CLL to join its small and growing team. The Program Manager, CLL will design and facilitate relevant and engaging out of school learning experiences for middle and high school participants, both at WPS and in collaboration with community partner organizations. They will also support the Community Learning Lab Director to develop partnerships, resources, and events that grow WPS’s impact in the region and beyond. 

Essential Responsibilities 

Student Programs Leadership

  • Coordinate operations and programming for the Summer Leadership Institute (SLI), including recruiting student participants, managing onboarding and training for counselors, and creating and leading relevant and engaging student programming.
  • Develop a network of internships and programming to prepare high school students for internships and other real-world learning experiences.
  • Cultivate opportunities for youth educational entrepreneurship, such as incubators for student ideas.
  • Foster student agency, connection, creativity, and purpose through continuous engagement in our educational programs.
  • Manage and support future student programming as our programs evolve and grow

Partner Engagement 

  • Cultivate and deepen relationships with potential and existing out-of-school partners serving middle and high school students in the greater Boston region, with a focus on Salem and Waltham.
  • Collaborate with partners on our campus in Newton, MA to provide innovative and empowering student programming.
  • Conduct listening sessions with out-of-school partners; observe and provide feedback, coach, and/or facilitate visioning. 
  • Facilitate learning experience co-design and professional development for WPS out-of-school partners.

Research, Design & Communication

  • Contribute to ongoing research on the design, delivery, and impact of 'deeper learning' experiences in informal learning settings.
  • Identify opportunities to enhance existing programs and develop new offerings that align with our mission and vision.
  • Position WPS as a thought leader in the field through program- and community-related communications development, including social media, blog posts, and newsletters

Desired Skills, Education and Experience, and Mindsets 

WPS understands that restrictive job requirements may exclude historically marginalized groups from applying to jobs for which they are qualified. We strive to take an equitable and holistic screening approach. If you feel you have demonstrated experience and expertise relevant to perform this role, please don’t hesitate to apply!

  • Exhibits commitment to educational equity and fostering diversity, equity, and inclusion in educational settings; holds belief that all students have the capacity to learn, grow, and be successful 
  • Displays interest in and commitment to educational innovation and learner-centered approaches, place- and project-based learning, and/or design pedagogy
  • Embraces the use of research and technology to strengthen teaching and learning endeavors
  • Enjoys collaboration, thought-partnership, the exchange of ideas, and working with highly committed colleagues in a professional learning community 
  • Exercises comfort, flexibility, and adaptivity in a highly fluid start-up environment that requires team members to take on a range of responsibilities
  • Has demonstrated ability to collect, analyze, and organize information and data into clear, usable formats and outputs
  • Displays strong interpersonal skills and ability to navigate individual and institutional partnership relationships 
  • Exhibits strong organizational skills and the ability to manage both short-term and long-term programmatic initiatives.
  • Has 4-7 years K-12 teaching experience; prior experience as a camp counselor and expertise in after-school programming valued.
  • Possesses interest in and has availability to work year-round, with flexibility, and regular evenings and weekends (totalling 40 hours weekly). 


The salary for this position will be between $65,000 and $80,000 per year. WPS offers a comprehensive benefits package, including generous vacation time, health, vision, and dental insurance (90% employer paid premiums), 401(K) with 5% employer match, life and disability insurance, and ancillary health benefits with access to a flexible spending account, Teladoc virtual health services, and online mental health therapy.


How to Apply 

Please submit your application here. The preferred application deadline for this position is March 4, 2024. Please note that we do not guarantee review of applications after this date.

WPS is an equal-opportunity employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion (creed), gender, gender expression, age, national origin (ancestry), disability, marital status, sexual orientation, or military status.


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