Dear Friends of Valley Forge Educational Services,
Welcome to Valley Forge Educational Services’ (VFES) website. We hope you find our website easy to navigate and helpful in your search for information about educational, employment and recreational options for people with special needs. We also invite you to visit our beautiful 28-acre campus located in Malvern, PA (Chester County).
In July 2020, I started my ninth year as Executive Director of this wonderful organization. I am very proud to be connected to the most dedicated group of professionals in the fields of education, recreation and employment support for individuals with special needs. VFES is home to relevant, vital services that promote the goodness, potential and joy found in each individual we have the pleasure to serve.
Our education program, The Vanguard School, celebrated 60 years of providing special education to a unique group of talented students during the 2019 – 2020 school year. The Vanguard School is the first educational setting in Pennsylvania to be licensed as an Approved Private School. We are extremely proud of our history, but we have no plans to rest on our laurels. We constantly assess our educational strategies, always aiming for premier programming that will enhance achievement for our students. We weave related services with curriculum throughout the school day to provide our students with the most comprehensive, holistic experience all in one setting.
Our employment and recreation program, formally known as Adult and Recreation Services, is still in its infancy stages of development. Our employment services for adults with disabilities, Customized Workforce Solutions, continues to serve adults in their home communities. Our goal each day is to help our adult participants realize their full potential and to confidently seek meaningful employment. We provide assessment, support, direction and on-the-job coaching throughout the employment process. Much more needs to be done on a national stage to promote the skills of our adults with special needs in the workforce, but at Customized Workforce Solutions we are doing what we can to promote the hard-working qualities of our adult participants. Our recreation services provide the much-needed social interactions our students and adults with special needs deserve. We provide weekend respite trips, week-long trips to the beach, adult day trips, dances and a score of other opportunities for individuals with special needs to meet up with old friends and make new friends!
We are beginning to restore and upgrade our buildings on campus. Safety is priority number 1 at VFES. Our two main school buildings are undergoing front entrance renovations to enhance the safety of our students and staff. One of these buildings will also receive repair and/or replacement of the roof, doors, windows and exterior enhancements. While we have been here for 60 years, it is our intention to ensure VFES is here for another 60 years!
Our staff have demonstrated agility, determination and fortitude while we all learned to navigate a new way of living and working. Our way of socializing and conducting everyday activities may have been altered in light of a public health emergency, but that only served to remind us that we are capable of adjusting and overcoming almost any obstacle. Our intentions are sincere, our efforts heartfelt and our determination unrivaled as we develop new ways to provide the quality services you have come to expect from VFES.
VFES is a family—a community of individuals whose hearts all beat as one. We welcome your family into ours as we continue to raise up our students, promote the work ethic of our adults and most importantly, embrace our differences while championing the value of each and every individual we serve!
Grace A. Fornicola, Ph.D.