Three-phase strategic plan to prepare for expansion
Launched longitudinal research evaluation of the program</li></li></ul><li>History & Catalyst for ExpansionHorizons National <br /><ul><li>Founded in 1964 at New Canaan Country School (NCCS) in CT to serve low income families of lower Fairfield County
Formal evaluation by Dr. Edward Zigler from Yale showedHorizons made a significant and unique contribution to the lives of the children it served. Dr. Zigler urged the expansion of Horizons.
1995 – program replication begins with a small grant for seed funding, and Horizons National was established.
2005 strategic planning efforts concluded the need to define a more cohesive and targeted approach to expansion, including strengthening the consistency of the Horizons model across affiliates.</li></li></ul><li>Planning for Expansion <br />Higher Achievement<br />Horizons<br />1995-2005: Initial expansion was organic. Reactive growth model supported by a small private grant.<br />First 10 years of expansion resulted in 13 new programs, each with a high level of autonomy.<br />2005: Horizons National strategic planning results in changes to organization and business model.<br />2007: Began uniform evaluation across network of affiliates.<br />2004: Conducted organizational assessment to determine readiness for growth<br />Spent two years building internal capacity to prepare for growth<br />Launched longitudinal research evaluation of the program<br />2006: Opened pilot expansion site in Alexandria, VA<br />
Implementation and Lessons Learned <br />Transformed structure into a national organization with local programs<br />Chose to remain a single 501(c)3<br />Developed criteria for expansion cities<br />Ranked potential cities against criteria<br />Selected Baltimore for first new affiliate<br />18 months of due diligence<br />Hired Executive Director May 2008<br />Opened two Centers June 2009<br />
Implementation and Lessons Learned <br /><ul><li>Commitment to expansion needs to be well-defined and well-planned.
Nurturing the right local school partner for long-term success takes time and resources.
New Horizons programs take 12-18 months of preparation.
Attracting national resourcesrequires strong evaluation, valid results, and participation in the national dialogue.
Organizational infrastructure, guidelines, procedures must remain flexible to allow for local identity.</li></li></ul><li>Best Practices <br />Higher Achievement <br />Be realistic about internal capacity to support growth<br />Do your homework: build advance partnerships that will support success<br />Have a strong vision of what the expanded organization looks like, and how it fulfills your mission<br />Be thoughtful and thorough about staff training; provide resources for program replication<br />Develop a clear accountability process for maintaining fidelity to the model<br />Horizons <br />“The Slow Bake” (start small, develop buy-in and establish sustainability systems as you go) <br />Commitment to long-term expansion approach (local programs must have vision to be K-8)<br />Data-driven, evidence-based programs that maintain local identity and offer balance of academics and enrichment<br />Let your stakeholders be your best marketers (children, their families, teachers and the board)<br />
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