Achievement Academy's Strategic Plan

The Achievement Academy exists to equip and empower children to achieve their maximum potential. From our inception as United Cerebral Palsy in 1955, we have grown into a vibrant organization providing services that change the trajectory of a child’s life. We stand on a foundation of more than 65 years of dedication and service, a foundation on which we will build the organization’s goals to secure the future for generations to come.

We are committed to providing early intervention to children who are at risk for developmental delays, providing the building blocks of education for children with diagnosed challenges, and providing the therapies that will help our students thrive. Oh, the places these children will go, with the encouragement and guidance of our skilled team members.

In Fall 2021, our Board of Directors gathered to focus on the strategic vision and goals for Achievement Academy, taking into great consideration the feedback and insight provided by staff members. Those conversations led to the plan that will be put into action over the next several years in order to move forward in an intentional and thoughtful way.

This document is intended as a blueprint to outline our action steps and goals for the next several years. We will regularly review and evaluate our progress to ensure that we are on a path that both honors the achievements and successes that have been accomplished while moving towards the organization’s future.

You are invited to explore this plan and determine the ways in which you can participate in the future of the programs we provide our children. Join us as we equip and empower children to achieve their maximum potential.

Strategic Initiative: Organizational Staffing
Under the leadership of Board Member Adil Khan

As our organization grows, we have a responsibility to ensure we operate as efficiently and effectively as possible for both our team members and the families we serve. In pursuit of this goal, we have outlined the following objectives to safeguard our organization against any interruptions for which we can plan. We strive to have in place a strategy for those issues that we know will occur – staff changes, weather events, among others – so that we have a clear path forward to handle issues without it affecting program delivery.

The key objectives under this strategic initiative include the following:

● Evaluate current organizational structure
    ○ Review all tasks and responsibilities to make sure they are aligned with the appropriate staff member
● Outline a detailed succession plan for all key positions, organization wide.
    ○ Who is cross-trained and prepared to act as a backup to each position in the event of a prolonged absence?
    ○ Who is being mentored to grow into the role?
    ○ What would a division of responsibilities look like for a short or long term leave?
● Create a new position to report directly to the Principal
    ○ Establish a more balanced distribution of responsibilities
    ○ Serve in a “permanent substitute” capacity to ensure classroom coverage is available during staff absences.
● Develop recruitment and retention strategy for staff positions organization wide, with clearly identified avenues for advancement for those who aspire to do       so
● Review and evaluate Organization By-Laws
● Develop method to track outcomes to demonstrate the long-term impact of both programs

Strategic Initiative: Enhance the Birth to Three Program
Under the leadership of Board Member Jill Haladay

The Birth to Three program would benefit from a clearly defined strategic direction. Our goal is to utilize the data and metrics available to us, and align program services with community needs to have the greatest impact. The program has potential to go in two directions: (1) focus on at-risk children with a goal of minimizing or eliminating the need for further services after completing the program, or (2) focus on identifying and serving children who will then transition to the Charter School to receive additional therapies and build upon the progress they made through Early Intervention. Regardless of the direction, it is imperative to take the steps to ensure the program is sustainable from a staffing and funding standpoint.

The key objectives to achieve these goals include:
● Define and communicate strategic direction of the program
    ○ What is our defined service area, and how can we serve those children effectively?
    ○ What are the benchmarks that define success?
● Identify additional revenue sources to supplement our United Way allocation
    ○ Research and determine the ideal ratio of “at-risk” children to Part C children to maximize revenue opportunities while serving the vast number of children
       deemed at-risk that are served through UWCF funds
● In collaboration with members of the Development & Marketing committee, develop messaging to differentiate between Birth to Three and Early Steps             programs and use this language consistently across all platforms
● Cultivate partnerships both to serve as a teaching and mentoring program and to learn from other organizations, with attention to how our program fits into        the greater landscape of intervention and therapy
● Review and evaluate the schedule to create structure that best serves the children in this program
● Develop outreach efforts in collaboration with UWCF using the space available at Bonnet Springs Park

Strategic Initiative: Fundraising & Marketing
Under the leadership of Board Member Matt Hinton

Our organization has benefited from the generosity of individuals, companies, and foundations who believe in the importance of our work. To ensure the continued success of our organization, it is necessary to outline a development and marketing plan that will both accurately portray our work and connect with those individuals who are passionate about our mission and endeavor to partner with us to increase access to our services. Ultimately, we endeavor that every child who would benefit from our services can access the help they need.

The key objectives to achieve these goals include:
● Refine the mission statement to create a clear and concise message that incorporates why we exist and the importance of our work through both the               Charter School and Birth to Three.
● Identify an annual fundraising goal that exceeds the minimum amount needed to carry out our program to maximize the investment in our people,                     programs, and equipment to better serve our community.
    ○ Explore multi-year opportunities for support and partnership.
● Communicate and promote the county-wide scope of our services through both programs to gain awareness and expand partnerships throughout the               community.
● Develop a Planned Giving strategy to build long-term financial sustainability, engaging former Board members, families, grandparents, and community             members whose philanthropic interests align with our mission.
● Increase the amount invested in our endowment for long-term financial stability and sustainability for our programs.
● Explore grant opportunities for funding, balancing the amount of the grant award against the reporting requirements.
    ○ Identify a staff member with the time and the skill set to identify, research, and apply for grant funding.
    ○ Build a comprehensive calendar to include all submission and reporting deadlines.

The strategic initiatives laid out in this plan will allow us to build upon the foundation of success established by the vision of our founding parents in 1955, while safeguarding the future of the organization for decades to come. The successful completion of these objectives will take the work of many, in partnership with the community we serve. We are committed to sharing regular reports on our progress towards these goals. We are excited for all that the future holds for Achievement Academy and the children who ultimately benefit through our programs.