Thursday, July 25, 2013


FOCUS, a non-profit charter school support organization, is creating a paid school data intern program to recruit, train, and place students in multiple DC public charter schools for a full school year. Interns will be expected to work approximately 10 hours per week during the school year and will be held to very high standards of professionalism and responsibility.  Students who apply should be confident that they can commit to approximately 10 hours per week for the full school year.  

Each public charter school will face a unique set of challenges, meaning each data internship will also be unique.  FOCUS will be responsible for developing an approximate scope of work with each partner school, but interns should be prepared to be flexible on-site to help out as needed.  Examples of projects include:
·         Training teachers and staff in MS Excel, computer skills, and other software
·         Merging and manipulating disparate data sources and data entry
·         Running reports and performing basic data analysis

FOCUS will conduct a training program for interns in the summer/fall before interns enter schools, and on-going training as needed throughout the school year.  Training will include:
·         Assessment basics – formative vs. summative, standards based, scaled scores etc.;
·         Refreshers on technical skills (MS Excel, SQL, etc.) and school specific software;
·         Communications skills
·         General information about the public charter sector in DC.

Students from all majors and class years are eligible to apply.  There will be several different types of projects that interns can take on.  The skill sets that will allow interns to succeed in each of them are different.  We have outlined the three different project types to demonstrate the types of qualifications we are looking for. 

1. Excel and Computer Training
·         The teachers and staff who will require the most training will likely be the least comfortable using technology.  Therefore interns should feel extremely comfortable explaining basic computer and Excel skills (e.g. turning a computer on, opening programs, clicking in Excel cells, using formulas for sums and averages).
·         There will also likely be staff who have basic computer and Excel skills but are seeking additional training in data analysis (e.g. sorting and filtering, pivot tables, conditional formatting). Therefore interns should feel extremely comfortable explaining more advanced computer and Excel skills.

2. Merging and Manipulating Disparate Data Sources and Data Entry
·         Charter schools often have data stored in multiple files and formats (MS Excel, Access, Student Information Systems, and even paper files).  Typically school staff would like to analyze this data from a unified source, such as a database or Excel spreadsheet.  Interns assigned to this type of project should be comfortable importing and exporting data from different types of databases, merging data using Excel and/or statistical analysis software (SPSS, SAS, etc.), creating organized systems for entering data from paper files. This is primarily a technical position.

3. Running Reports and Basic Data Analysis
·         Since school staff often lack sufficient time and resources to analyze all of their data, interns will help address this need.  Interns assigned to this type of project should be able to formulate clear research questions and analysis plans in collaboration with their school supervisor, have strong analytical skills (ability to interpret meaning from data analysis), and communicate findings visually (e.g., using charts, tables, graphs). 

Students will be expected to travel to their public charter school site several times per week.  Students’ ability to get to the site will be considered in the matching process.

$10-15 per hour

Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis.  The matching process will begin in July and likely continue through August.  There will be an initial training in August or September, and the internship will run from September 2013 to May 2014.

Please visit the FOCUS web page at to download and fill out our online application.  The application asks you to write several prompted paragraphs, self-evaluate key technical skills, and provide contact information for two references.  Once you have completed the application, please attach it along with a current resume in an email to

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