Product Manager

  • New York, NY, USA
  • Full-time
  • Hiring Start Time: Immediate Start (Home Office)
  • HO Team: Information Technology and Data Management

Company Description

Uncommon Schools is a nonprofit network of high-performing charter public schools that are closing the academic achievement gap and preparing students from historically underserved communities for success in college and beyond. Uncommon currently manages 54 schools serving more than 20,000 students in six cities: Boston, Camden, New York City, Newark, Rochester, and Troy. Uncommon graduates persist in and graduate from college at rates far higher than their peers. We believe that every child deserves an outstanding education, and we are committed to working beyond the walls of our schools to achieve that goal through our professional development workshops, books, and district partnerships. 

Job Description

Team Overview

The Data & IT Team is a true partner with Uncommon’s schools and other Home Office teams to achieve Uncommon's mission and contribute through technology solutions and services. We strive to use clear communication, thorough planning, and consistent execution to build trust at every level (Managing Directors to school staff) to accomplish crucial technology work! The team leads PowerSchool, Illuminate, and downstream applications, and owns Uncommon-wide processes for Report Cards, Data Audits, End-of-Year PowerSchool Rollover, and all day-to-day PowerSchool work (attendance, grades, etc).

Position Overview

As a member of Uncommon’s Product Management Team, the Product Manager (PM) will own workstreams that will help ensure the team achieve its goals and objectives! Beyond technical knowledge, the PM must have strong change management, planning, and communication skills in order to lead technology and processes at Uncommon’s scale and high standard. Star team members are focused, self-motivated, fast, and hold themselves and their work to a high standard.

Specialist Administration of Products

  • Lead Use Cases: Deeply understand partners’ goals and use cases for the platforms (i.e. attendance, grading, etc)
  • Own Processes: Develop and run the implementation of all processes for day-to-day platform use (i.e. Report Card process)
  • Own Policy & User Management: Build policy resources, including user management policy around roles, access level, and responsibilities for partners and the team
  • Problem Diagnosis: Fix & work with the vendor to resolve Tier 3 issues
  • Own the Product Roadmap and Maintenance Strategy: Run system upgrades, backups, testing, connectivity with other enterprise applications
  • Build Expertise: Attend training/webinars offered by the vendor to build expertise

Work with Business Process Owner(s) to understand and champion the platform's appropriate long-term vision.

  • Process improvement: Use robust product knowledge to improve systems and process
  • Enhancements: Identify new areas/ways the product can be used (either internally and externally)
  • Project Support: Support the implementation and roll-out of new applications alongside our team's colleagues

Training and documentation

  • Knowledge Base: Own creation and management of all internal and school-facing Knowledge Base articles on support, troubleshooting, and standard methodologies for the platform
  • Training: Create and Facilitate Training
  • School facing: Develop and administer training for school leaders, which they will turnkey to their staff
  • Data & IT: Help define and coordinate vendor-offered training sessions at the right level for those handling the Service Desk and Relationship Managers.
  • Process Documentation: Work with School Leaders to document existing processes related to supported applications (e.g. documentation of methods and procedures of PowerSchool)

Vendor Management

  • Contract & Payment: Handle renewal and payment of the yearly contract
  • Be A Phenomenal Partner: Establish a relationship, act as a liaison between vendor and Uncommon on any projects, and own school-level customer concerns & difficult conversations.
  • Partner concerns: Work with Director to handle vendor issues

Organizational Relationships

  • Work closely with regionally-based Associate Chief Operating Officers, school-based Directors of Operations, and members of the Data and IT Team.


Required knowledge, skills, and abilities

  • Experience with a Student Information System (SIS); training in PowerSchool can be provided
  • Focus on the user experience and ability to prioritize and communicate effectively with non-technical users
  • Demonstrated ability to diagnose issues, identify root causes, and implement effective solutions
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills, and experience developing communication plans
  • Demonstrable ability to build and execute sophisticated, detailed project plans affecting more than fifty partners
  • Experience developing systems for a team that improve the team's work quality and/or efficiency
  • Growth mentality and interest in giving and receiving feedback with the goal of constantly improving
  • Demonstrated excellent personal effectiveness strategies (organization, time management, and follow-up skills)
  • Willingness to perform hands-on work as well as assisting in strategic projects
  • Results-oriented and committed to operational excellence
  • Self-sufficient with the ability to ask questions and request help when needed
  • Advanced skills in Excel and Google Sheets/Forms
  • Passion for learning and teaching new applications and products
  • Demonstrated solid attention to detail
  • Local or ability to travel to NYC once per month for a week at a time

Preferred Skills

  • Experience leading student information systems such as PowerSchool and Illuminate
  • Demonstrated ability and experience working with SQL database management
  • Experience managing policies and procedures to set standard methodologies and deliver high-quality support
  • Experience managing one or two direct reports
  • Solid understanding of help desk ticketing software (e.g. Zendesk).

Education Requirement

  • Bachelor’s degree required

Years of Experience

  • 3+ years in the K-12 environment
  • 1+ year using an SIS or assessment platform
  • 2+ years leading or supporting student-facing technology (preferred)
  • Familiarity with Agile principles of product management (preferred)

Additional Information

Uncommon Schools offers salaries commensurate with experience and a very generous benefits and vacation package. All staff members receive extensive professional development, and are equipped with a laptop computer and all necessary supplies.

Uncommon believes in the importance of being a diverse, equitable and inclusive organization that enables our students and staff to thrive. We are committed to building a talented team that reflects the diverse backgrounds and experiences of our students. At the same time, we work to ensure an inclusive community through creating a space for meaningful dialogue about issues of race and identity for our staff and students.  As an equal opportunity employer, we hire without consideration to race, religion, creed, color, national origin, age, gender, sexual orientation, marital status, veteran status or disability.

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