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Strategic Plan

Where does the next step take us?

At Ivy Street, we know that the next step begins now. This is true in the work we do with our students to prepare for life after school. On day one, we start thinking about what each student will need for a successful future.

Similarly, as a community, we have an unwavering eye on the future of Ivy Street. Our work has demonstrated that our models of teaching and treatment drive outcomes and help our students find success. How do we continue to improve our model, and how can we allow even more young people to benefit?

These are the questions that have informed our Strategic Plan. The Ivy Street School Strategic Plan 2021-2024 defines our priorities for improving our educational, residential, and therapeutic services. Developed with input from a variety of groups within the Ivy Street community, the Strategic Plan is based upon collective goals for program growth that draw upon a pool of varied experiences and expertise. These goals inform our priorities in current and future work and have allowed us to lay a roadmap for growth within the Ivy Street School and over the next three years.

The Strategic Plan is comprised of objectives in ten areas for program growth and development. The objectives, outlined below, will be completed over the three-year period of May 2021 to May 2024.

Our Strategic Plan objectives:

Establishing clarity and coherence around our services.

  • Analyze what we do, why we do it, and how we know if we are successful
  • Develop departmental themes and goals with accountability structures

Increasing the supports available to parents and caregivers.

  • Strengthen communication with families, with differentiating frequency based on students’ needs
  • Help each family develop skills for supporting their student
  • Provide systems and structures to assist families in supporting their students’ work within the home
  • Enhance the Ivy Street community supports for families
  • Reduce family isolation by building support structures and connection opportunities

Supporting our students in building healthy relationships with their bodies and food.

  • Enhance student supports around food and nutrition via culinary team collaboration, consult with nutritionist, and increased education around nutrition and health
  • Sharpen system for managing student education around medications and independence in their medication management
  • Strengthen system for developing student medical planning skills
  • Systematically increase learning for students around safe adults and self-advocacy

Refining our systems and processes.

  • Improve coherence around how we provide treatment within the day and evening programs
  • Provide consistency in staffing by focusing on proactive and anticipatory hiring 
  • Increase organization around communication practices

Developing a clear vision around how students learn best at our school.

  • Hold supportive professional development for teachers, including a structure of feedback, formal and informal observations, and a New Teacher Support and Mentorship program
  • Tighten an instructional vision and implement project-based learning
  • Hire a Learning Design Coordinator to help realize global vision
  • Develop a program model for each classroom that delivers on our pedagogical approach and embeds transition and vocational skills
  • Deepen enrichment opportunities for students during the day and after school
  • Create a scope and sequence for instruction, including an academic calendar with marking periods and a vacation schedule, and an enhanced summer program

Strengthening how our professionals learn.

  • Move away from supervision and into coaching
  • Enhance supervision/coaching for all staff by providing structure for individual, group, and department meetings, embedding learning in all meetings, and communicating adult peer feedback as a parallel process for students
  • Create structured adult learning by performing a full analysis of current learning methods and developing differentiated learning

Communicating our work to the world.

  • Create coherent vision, strategy and expectations around social media and marketing
  • Establish clear and unified messaging for all communications

Reviewing the process for how students get to Ivy Street.

  • Create a rubric to standardize the admissions process
  • Provide structured processes and resources to support students and families in a positive transition into the school
  • Establish clear communication around our school’s scope and model for prospective families
  • Collect data to help inform the process moving forward

Building a stronger HR function.

  • Develop advanced recruitment strategy and 21st century hiring process
  • Implement a cohort-style support structure for new staff in their first months
  • Use data to understand staffing patterns and develop staffing solutions
  • Launch an orientation that matches our values and mission for excellence

Expanding our reach to extend beyond the school.

  • Promote and elevate Skills For Life and examine how the program’s services can be better incorporated into the school
  • Reorganize organizational structure to help realize our bigger goals
  • Create community programming to engage additional youth and expand peer-to-peer interactions
  • Provide training on our areas of expertise to families, both within our community and externally
  • Establish ourselves as thought leaders in the special education and disability community
  • Cultivate new opportunities to expand our residential program
  • Deepen our expertise and supports for supporting transgender, gender non-conforming and gender diverse youth