Business Planning

School & Network Growth

Education institutions need specialized support to manage growth effectively if they are to thrive through different stages of development. Frequently, the opening of a first school requires finding ways to access many different areas of expertise on a shoestring. Once a school network has gotten to scale, it has access to financing, but continuing to grow requires sophisticated planning, entrepreneurship and project management. Arcadia’s school startup team provides hands-on, experienced support to act as a force multiplier for clients through all stages of organizational development and expansion.

Our Principal Offerings

School Startup Project Planning & Management

Over the past 27 years, members of Arcadia’s team have served in key roles launching and operating schools across the country. Through hardships and successes, these experiences have taught us there is a systematic, effective way to manage the startup of an exemplary school. Arcadia designs and assumes general project management, working closely with your leadership, to ensure that new schools launch successfully.

Financial Planning & Funding

Arcadia’s team brings a tailored approach to developing and executing a realistic financial roadmap. We collaborate with you to identify earned and contributed income streams that match key expenditure priorities. We advise on the development of budgets, cash flow tools, and pro formas that are essential to schools at every step in their growth.

Network Expansion

Arcadia’s team assesses the viability and prospects for successful network expansion, including  conducting market research, evaluating the competitive landscape, and developing realistic growth projections. We help to design and execute comprehensive plans outlining short-term and long-term goals, including interim milestones and risk mitigation.

Mergers & Acquisitions

We recognize that under the dynamic conditions surrounding education, mergers and acquisitions (M&A) are becoming more commonplace. Arcadia evaluates potential M&A candidates to ensure the institutions under consideration are not merely compatible, but deeply aligned, with complementary leadership, mission, vision, culture, and goals. The result is a partnership that is truly accretive in two ways: (1) to amplify strengths and mitigate weaknesses; and (2) multiply access to expertise and resources.

Marketing & Enrollment

In the current climate of school choice, parent preferences are evolving rapidly. To capture demand, Arcadia’s team assists with market research, competitive benchmarking, brand positioning, and targeted messaging. Through these and other means, we help clients cut through the clutter, gain visibility, and cultivate strong relations among target families.

New Market Entry & Expansion

Arcadia’s team brings unparralelled knowledge of the national education market. We understand how to help both new schools and established networks assess growth regions and states, identity barriers to entry, build the capacity to enter new markets, and expand in a systematic, sustainable fashion.

Due Diligence

Our team is well versed in how best to conduct and integrate due diligence findings into negotiating strategies to ensure winning outcomes for private and charter schools. Our due diligence is customized, not merely to caution against pitfalls, but also to reveal hidden opportunities, bringing you closer to an informed decision that resonates with both practical necessity and aspirational goals.

Charter Authorization

Charter authorizing has become incresasingly political and bureaucratic, requiring painstaking research, exacting attention, and the timely completion of complex deliverables. Arcadia’s team provides expert guidance and technical assistance in how to fulfill the expectations and meet the requirements set by charter authorizers during initial application, contract renewals, and/or periodic compliance audits.

Community Partnerships

Schools become vibrant pillars of their community through the active engagement and support of families, local organizations, and community leaders. Arcadia’s team specializes in helping your school or network conduct outreach and build strategic partnerships that will serve as the nexus between your educational mission and the broader community’s welfare.


Development Support

Through our strategic partnership with AmPhil, Arcadia’s clients have access to the very best support in building robust development practices. Arcadia’s team assists clients in navigating the public and private funding landscape to surface and capitalize on opportunities including fundraising best practices and grant writing expertise.

Facilities Planning and Management

Arcadia’s team offers comprehensive analysis of potential locations for new schools in a manner that considers demographic trends, proximity to target populations, and real estate market dynamics. From ground-up builds to adaptive re-use spaces, our approach to facilities planning and management harmonizes logistical efficiency and aesthetic appeal.