VALLEY FORGE EDUCATIONAL SERVICES

aka The Vanguard School   |   Malvern, PA   |  www.vfes.net

Mission

VFES prepares children and adults with special needs to realize their potential as contributing members of the community.

Ruling year info

1963

Executive Director

Grace A. Fornicola Ph.D.

Main address

1777 North Valley Rd.

Malvern, PA 19355 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

23-6050757

NTEE code info

Specialized Education Institutions/Schools for Visually or Hearing Impaired, Learning Disabled (B28)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

In Pennsylvania, there’s a growing number of special education enrollments. In the 2018-2019 school year, there were 297,644 special education enrollments, and this number is increasing at an average rate of 2.5% each year. The Vanguard School is meeting the needs of the special needs community by providing individualized educational, clinical and career exploration services that prepare our students and participants to realize their potential as contributing members of the community. In addition, families often share the analogy they feel like they are driving off the proverbial cliff when their young adult with a disability turns 21 and graduates from high school or transition services. The progression into adulthood is a time of vulnerability for these young adults. Students with disabilities exit high school and leave behind the comprehensive and continuous support services provided through their educational experience.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Valley Forge Educational Services (VFES)

Valley Forge Educational Services (VFES) offers a continuum of educational, summer and employment-related programs for people with disabilities. The hallmark of our programs is our collaborative and holistic approach to each child, adolescent and adult, recognizing his or her unique abilities and needs through team efforts. Individuals of all ages come to learn, share, appreciate and respect one another while developing skills necessary for success. We are committed to helping students and participants develop a strong sense of self-worth to realize their value as contributing members of their communities.

Population(s) Served
People with disabilities
Older adults
Young adults
Children and youth

About The Vanguard School¬
The Vanguard School provides comprehensive student-focused special education and related clinical services using evidence-based curriculum and procedures. Students receive individualized behavioral, academic and vocational programming with a focus on functional, emotional and social skills development, daily living skills, community awareness and vocational education. As students transition to adolescence and adulthood, the programs emphasize the development of daily living, social, and vocational skills needed to allow students to function with the greatest possible independence as contributing members of their communities.

The Vanguard School is a Pennsylvania licensed, Approved Private School serving students, 4–21 years of age, who require a high degree of individualized attention and intervention including those with autism spectrum disorders, developmental disabilities, speech-language deficits and students who experience social-emotional, executive functioning, and behavioral difficulties.
vanguardschool-pa.org

Intensive Therapeutic Classrooms
The Vanguard School’s Intensive Therapeutic Classrooms are an alternative educational placement for students whose emotional, social or behavioral needs interfere with their ability to be successful in school. Students in this program are working at or slightly below grade level and have strong communication skills. The goal of the program is to increase the student’s self-regulation, social and academic skills while providing behavior supports to teach emotional control, model appropriate social behaviors and address challenging behaviors.
Our interdisciplinary team, comprised of a board-certified behavior analyst, clinical social worker, certified special education teacher and classroom aide focus on teaching students evidence-based behavioral and emotional regulation skills, problem-solving skills and ways to manage frustration and anger.

About The Vanguard Transition Center
As part of The Vanguard School, students, 18–21 years of age, receive continuing education, counseling, self-advocacy training as well as career exploration and community-based employment experiences.
vfes.net/vtc

Population(s) Served
People with disabilities
Children and youth

About Adult and Recreation Services
From the development of social and daily living skills to experiencing opportunities to have fun and make new friends, Adult and Recreation Services programs are designed to maximize each individual’s potential. Participants find themselves in an inviting learning environment that is inclusive, encouraging, enriching and supportive. vfes.net/ars
• VFES @ Camp Kweebec (Formerly Summer L.I.F.E.) Traditional Day and Overnight Camps offer traditional camp activities such as fishing, canoeing, zip-lining, crafts and nature study during weeklong sessions on a 200-acre wooded camp property in Schwenksville, PA.
• School-Year Retreats and Programs (Formerly Summer Matters) - We offer affordable, engaging opportunities for young people to develop independence, strengthen healthy relationships and broaden their recreational experiences in the real world while giving their families much-needed respite.
• Extended School Year (ESY) at The Vanguard School – ESY is a five-week, full-day extended school year program (ESY) that supports academic, social and emotional skills maintenance based on IEP goals and objectives. The program also includes enrichment activities and community trips to enhance learning and social opportunities.
• ESY Career Prep Academy - A part-time ESY program for eligible students, entering grades 10–13, who may not have specific academic goals or related service needs, but would benefit from social, behavioral and work-skill development over the summer months. The Academy combines small-group career preparation, financial literacy, customer service, peer interaction, career education and executive function skill building to give students the tools they need to succeed in future careers and post-secondary education.
• The Vanguard Transition Center Summer Experience is an ESY program for young adults, 18–21 years of age. This unique program offers the transition-aged population their own ESY program with an emphasis on maintaining vocational and daily living skills.
• The Vocational Immersion Program (VIP) equips young adults with developmental disabilities, including autism spectrum disorder and related social challenges, 18–24 years of age, with key social and employment-readiness skills through a four-week intensive program that includes classroom-based instruction, online learning, workplace internships with job coaches and a week-long supported living experience.

Customized Workforce Solutions (CWS) - Customized Workforce Solutions (CWS) provides employment-related services to adults with disabilities. Our process helps adults define their goals, understand their skills and discover their vocational interests and work preferences. Additionally, CWS develops and maintains mutually beneficial employment relationships between employees and employers.
Services Include:
• Career assessment
• Career discovery
• Skills development and training
• Customized employment
• Supported employment
• Job coaching and job retention services


The Vocational Immersion Program - The Vocational Immersion Program (VIP) is a four-week intensive pre-employment transition program with a strong focus on work readiness, community-based vocational experiences, career exploration and discovery.
Partnering with local businesses, VIP evaluates each participant’s personal interests and strengths to place the young adult within a valuable work environment.
VIP requires participants to be willing and able to self-reflect on work progress and self-advocate in an appropriate manner with staff, peers and employers. Participation decisions are made on an individual basis based on the suitability of the referral. vfes.net/cws

Population(s) Served
Older adults
Young adults
People with intellectual disabilities
People with learning disabilities
Children and youth

Where we work

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

Valley Forge Educational Services (VFES) offers a continuum of educational, summer and employment-related programs for people with disabilities. The hallmark of our programs is our collaborative and holistic approach to each child, adolescent and adult, recognizing their unique abilities and needs through team efforts. Individuals of all ages come to learn, share, appreciate and respect one another while developing skills necessary for success. We are committed to helping students and participants develop a strong sense of self-worth to realize their value as contributing members of the community.

Mission Statement
VFES prepares children and adults with special needs to realize their potential as contributing members of the community.

Vision Statement
VFES, in partnership with the community, will develop and implement comprehensive clinical, educational and social programs for people with special needs, so each is offered an equal opportunity for an independent and meaningful life.

The Vanguard School provides comprehensive student-focused special education and related clinical services using evidence-based curriculum and procedures. Students receive individualized behavioral, academic and vocational programming with a focus on functional, emotional and social skills development, daily living skills, community awareness and vocational education. As students transition to adolescence and adulthood, the programs emphasize the development of daily living, social, and vocational skills needed to allow students to function with the greatest possible independence as contributing members of their communities.

The Vanguard School’s Intensive Therapeutic Classrooms are an alternative educational placement for students whose emotional, social or behavioral needs interfere with their ability to be successful in school. Students in this program are working at or slightly below grade level and have strong communication skills. The goal of the program is to increase the student’s self-regulation, social and academic skills while providing behavior supports to teach emotional control, model appropriate social behaviors and address challenging behaviors.
Our interdisciplinary team, comprised of a board-certified behavior analyst, clinical social worker, certified special education teacher and classroom aide focus on teaching students evidence-based behavioral and emotional regulation skills, problem-solving skills and ways to manage frustration and anger.

As part of The Vanguard School, students, 18–21 years of age, receive continuing education, counseling, self-advocacy training as well as career exploration and community-based employment experiences.

About Adult and Recreation Services
From the development of social and daily living skills to experiencing opportunities to have fun and make new friends, Adult and Recreation Services programs are designed to maximize each individual’s potential. Participants find themselves in an inviting learning environment that is inclusive, encouraging, enriching and supportive. This includes traditional day and overnight camps offer traditional camp activities, school-year retreats and programs, extended school year, and Vocational Immersion Program.

Finally, Customized Workforce Solutions (CWS) provides employment-related services to adults with disabilities. Our process helps adults define their goals, understand their skills and discover their vocational interests and work preferences. Additionally, CWS develops and maintains mutually beneficial employment relationships between employees and employers.

Services Include:
• Career assessment
• Career discovery
• Skills development and training
• Customized employment
• Supported employment
• Job coaching and job retention services

VFES is a registered 501(c)3 offering a continuum of programs and services for children, youth and adults with special needs. Located on a scenic 28-acre campus in Malvern, Pennsylvania, VFES is a regional leader in special education programs and clinical services. In 1963, The Vanguard School, an educational program of Valley Forge Educational Services (VFES), became the first school in the State to be approved under Enactment of Act 318, which provided partial tuition assistance for children whose educational needs could not be served in their local public schools. Since opening its first program over 60 years ago, VFES has grown to include three complementary programs that now serve more than 300 children and young adults from more than 56 school districts, 8 counties, and the state of Delaware.

In addition, VFES, in partnership with the community, now offers recreational and employment programs for adults with special needs, so they may lead an independent and meaningful life. As a regional leader in special education programs and clinical services with complementary employment and recreational programs, VFES currently serves close to 400 children and 100 adults with special needs from Southeastern PA and DE.

For over 60 years VFES has served thousands of students with special needs providing them highly individualized academic supports, as well as a full offering of social and emotional developmental opportunities. As a result students are prepared to conquer the next stages in their lives.

Our Customized Workforce Solutions program has helped bridge the gap to adulthood and employment for hundreds of individuals with special needs. CWS has helped hundreds by providing career exploration, job finding and job coaching in the communities where individuals with special needs reside. Valley Forge Educational Services has and will continue to prepare children and adults with special needs to realize their potential as contributing members of the community.

VFES has worked hard to operate from a standpoint of real strength. Indeed, the pristine campus, sound financial standing, and talented staff are key to remaining competitive and ensuring VFES is on a path to long-term sustainability.




O

Financials

VALLEY FORGE EDUCATIONAL SERVICES
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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VALLEY FORGE EDUCATIONAL SERVICES

Board of directors
as of 1/28/2021
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board co-chair

Robert Weaverling

Director of Internal Audits, Genesis Healthcare

Term: 2019 - 2021


Board co-chair

Mike Kelly

Executive Director - CCRES

Term: 2019 - 2021

William Hennessey

Stream TV Networks

Jerome Kline

Esquire- Obermayer Rebmann, Maxwell & Hippel

Amy Laursen

Tha Vanguard Group

Paul Mitchell

Commerical Banker

Victoria Moschella

TE Connectivity

Jeffrey Rohrbeck

General Systems & Software

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? No
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? No
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? No
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? No
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? No

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 12/16/2020,

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

No data

Race & ethnicity

No data

Gender identity

No data

 

No data

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data