The Next Generation of ACES design plan is central to ACES creating and communicating a clear vision for the future. Key to the plan was the creation of a new platform structure that would oversee and support the work of the six bold steps.
ACES Platforms are overseen by the Executive Leadership Council. The Platforms consist of inputs - what ACES does to serve the internal needs of the agency, outputs - education, programs, services and products that ACES provides to external customers, and markets - represents ACES to external stakeholders and returns information about their needs.
ACES Platforms are as follows:
Executive Leadership Council: Executive Leadership Council integrates the whole and establishes and maintains the vision and mission.
ACES Shared Services: ACES shared Services provides internal support and operational services to the entire agency, including accounting, payroll and benefits administration, personnel management, technology, facilities and equipment, and data and information management systems.
ACES Services: ACES Services develops and delivers programs and services for external clients and customers.
ACES Schools: ACES Schools develop and deliver programs and services to ACES students.
ACES Institute: ACES Institute builds agency capacity through program and talent development, grants, and knowledge management.
ACES Marketing and Outreach: ACES Marketing ad Outreach connects ACES to clients and other external entities.
Six Bold Steps
Bold Step 1
Establish a platform structure and platform leaders that will help us to be more agile in our work.
ACES established a platform structure and new leadership council, ACES Executive Leadership Council to direct and lead the newly established platforms.
Bold Step 2
Develop new lines of revenue-generating work.
ACES Insurance Collaborative
In 2016, ACES created a coalition for health insurance among ACES member districts and communities. The combined buying power of ACES towns, school boards and non-profit agencies helped to provide high-quality health insurance at competitive rates. Insurance Collaborative participants include the Town of North Haven, the North Haven Board of Education and the Ansonia Board of Education.
Bold Step 3
Develop streamlined, consistent referral, billing, and contract processes.
The goals of Bold Step 3 are to be agile in allocating resources and providing services to clients, and to enhance and expand ACES core business of direct service fo students. A key component of this step is to have clear, consistent work processes that support ACES internal operations and external interactions.
Bold Step 4
Develop a comprehensive system for employee development, recognition, and agency voice.
Bold Step 4's focus is on recognizing how critical staff members are to the organization's success, and to provide them the resources and support to do their jobs well. The work of Bold Step 4 involves continuously developing staff knowledge and skills to meet evolving changes and opportunities.
Bold Step 5
Implement a transparent internal communication process.
In 2016-2017, ACES created a committee to address Bold Step 5: To create a plan for improved transparent, internal communications. Steps taken in this area include the development of a new intranet site as well as a new external website. The Communications Committee is working in tandem with the Employee Recognition and Voice Committee, to initiate a series of ongoing open forums with staff.
Bold Step 6
Advocate on behalf of the region for magnet school funding
This past year, ACES actively advocated for magnet school funding. ACES hosted three legislative breakfasts - one at each of its three magnet schools. Additionally, ACES magnet school parents and students wrote to their legislators and testified before the State Appropriations Committee in support of magnet school funding.