Healthy Community Initiative

Thriving Youth. Thriving Community.



Family Engagement Navigator

August 27, 2021


Growing Up Healthy, a program of the Healthy Community Initiative (HCI), is seeking a bilingual individual to work with families of students at Bridgewater Elementary School in Northfield to foster healthy school attendance and engagement. The Family Engagement Navigator will help to identify places within the school and local systems where children and families experience challenges or barriers impacting attendance and engagement. The Navigator will raise these up for decision-makers and leaders in order to advocate for system-level change.

Up to 20 hours per week, year-round position (can potentially be combined with other opportunities if full-time work is desired)


  • Work with Bridgewater Elementary School staff and district leadership to identify students who are chronically absent or struggling to engage in school (cohort size will depend on staff hours and student need)
  • Work directly with a cohort of students and their families to understand obstacles impacting school attendance and engagement, and implement strategies to overcome these challenges
  • Implement best-practice attendance and school connectedness efforts from the Attendance Works framework (, including home visits and individual meetings with students and families
  • Alongside school building staff, track cohort students’ attendance using Skyward, Cityspan, and Salesforce data systems; monitor data to assess effectiveness of outreach and inform action steps
  • Attend building attendance team meetings and work with school staff to determine support and interventions, including connecting students to engaging enrichment or out-of-school time activities
  • Connect families with community resources and services, including assisting with required paperwork (as needed) for services and communicating on behalf of families with local agencies such as the Community Action Center and HealthFinders Collaborative
  • Work with school leadership to help foster additional connections between families and the school
  • Recognize and celebrate successes of students and families
  • When a child needs to miss school due to illness or other circumstances, help facilitate continued connection between students/families in the cohort and school activities
  • Identify barriers within local systems and regularly share this feedback with heads of these systems through participation in staff meetings alongside school leadership and teachers; advocate for systems-level change
  • Build effective relationships with individuals and organizations central to the work
  • Use data to continually evaluate the effectiveness of the Family Engagement Navigator role

Required qualities

  • Must possess and maintain a valid Minnesota driver’s license and auto insurance and be able to travel throughout Northfield
  • Previous experience in community organizing, education, and/or family engagement
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills
  • Excellent interpersonal skills
  • Highly organized with superior attention to detail
  • Excellent ability to multi-task and troubleshoot issues
  • Ability to work with minimal supervision and as a member of a team
  • Capable of completing work on time in a fast-paced environment while maintaining a positive attitude
  • Ability to understand and work with different cultures and backgrounds
  • Ability to work select evening and weekend hours
  • Passion for equity and social justice
  • Willingness to maintain the standards, carry out the purpose, and adhere to the policies of the Healthy Community Initiative
  • Maintenance of a cell phone is an expectation of employment

Preferred qualities

  • Bilingual in English and Spanish
  • Familiarity with Rice County organizations and resources


Hourly wage will depend on qualifications and will range from $17–$19/hour.

To apply

Email your resume, cover letter (or letter of interest), and the name, title, and contact information for three professional references to Sandy Malecha,

Application review will begin immediately and will continue until the position is filled.