Chesterfield Innovative Academy for Girls
4836 Cascade Street
North Chesterfield VA 23234
Mission Statement

Our mission is:

  • to challenge girls to discover, learn, communicate and collaborate in a diverse innovative community.
 We nurture girls to be confident, resilient and self-aware leaders and innovators in their families and the community.
Web and Social Media

The Joy Shines Through
Multi-Media Comments
See our Facebook Page:
CEO/Executive Director Audrey D. Smith
Board Chair Janet Moran
Board Chair Company Affiliation Janet Moran, Atty at Law
Contact Information
Address 4836 Cascade Street
North Chesterfield, VA 23234
Telephone 804 774-9414
History and Background
Year of Incorporation 2014
Financial Summary
Revenue vs Expense Bar Graph - All Years
Expense Breakdown Bar Chart - All Years
Projected Revenue $194,840.00
Projected Expenses $186,150.00
Additional Documents
Fundraising Policy2015View

Our mission is:

  • to challenge girls to discover, learn, communicate and collaborate in a diverse innovative community.
 We nurture girls to be confident, resilient and self-aware leaders and innovators in their families and the community.


  • We have operated a preschool and kindergarten for girls since 2014.
  • We offer financial assistance to families who cannot afford private education as an approved scholarship foundation with the Virginia Department of Education.  
  • Volunteers from the community work with students daily, weekly, or monthly.
  • After time in our program, girls can express themselves with clarity and purpose;
  • Learn to persist with challenging concepts and activities
  • Girls make their thinking visible as they create, imagine and innovate to problem solve and collaborate on group projects;
  • Girls listen with empathy and concern;
  • Girls learn to regulate their emotions and impulses
As a result of this, girls improve their executive functions and are ready to learn and challenge themselves.
  • To increase enrollment of students to 25 students by 9/18
  • To add three to five board members for 2018.
  • To retain at least 100% of current donors and increase new donors by 20%
  • To raise $150,000 in FY 2017-18
  • To implement a strategic plan by December 2017.
  • Increase classroom space by 25%
  • Retain current staff and add more staffing as enrollment increases.

Program Needs

  • Inform families, civic and community members and businesses that our school is an educational option for young girls. We will advertise through the use of social media, print materials, open houses and community events.
  • Donors to fund the scholarship foundation so we can offer scholarships to at least 50% of our students.
Outdoor Classroom
  • Raise funds to extend learning to the natural world with a focus on science, mathematics, engineering, and art.
  • As children observe the natural world, they are prompted to ask questions that lead to discovery in science and social studies. Students grow vegetables and flowers in raised beds which helps them attune to the seasons and connect with the natural world.
Professional Development
  • Raise funds to provide training and staff development on early childhood education, Reggio Emilia approach to learning, Gesell Institute assessments, and single gender education.  Cost is $3,000.
Founders of CIA for Girls worked for more than two decades in public schools in Chesterfield and Richmond. At the beginning of our careers, we observed girls showing leadership qualities in many academic and extracurricular activities. Over the years girls took less risks in answering math questions or investigating through science experiments. Many girls refused to dress out in physical education class or get their hands dirty when working in school gardens.  We watched as girls relinquished leadership roles in a co-ed environment.
Girls struggled with academics, behavior and collaboration even with these supports. Mentoring did not affect systematic change for all students early on. We observed improved attendance, less suspensions and improvement in reading scores for girls during the second year of the program.  We wondered if  a girl-centered environment would affect positive change in academics, social and emotional habits and how girls perceive themselves.  We investigated Orchard House School, Anna Julia Cooper Episcopal School and St. Catherine's in Richmond. We learned early childhood education and its impact on lifelong learning.
Mentors started a conversation about girls in public education in December 2012. Dr. Tommye Finley, Nathanael Rudney, Audrey Smith and Betty Walker agreed to incorporate a Virginia nonprofit corporation with the goal to operate an independent school for girls.  Our initial board meeting was in September 2013 at Beulah United Methodist Church.  
We opened the preschool in September 2014 with one class for three and four year olds.  
CEO Statement
We are the first school for girls in Chesterfield County, Virginia.  Our school is open to all girls in the Greater Richmond Metropolitan area. We have an intentional mission to fund private education for girls from emerging communities.
We are able to identify each girl’s strengths and challenges and make a plan to build their strengths and develop their challenges with the cooperation of the student and the parent.
We understand the connection between social and emotional skills and self-regulation and academic success. Girls use cognitive abilities to problem solve and self-regulation to help reach personal goals and to interact with her larger community.
Our teacher and staff know how to coach girls to try tasks that can cause frustration and lack of self-confidence. However through encouragement, identification of small successes, positive feedback and self-acknowledgement of steps toward achievement, the child is able to verbalize her need for assistance and independence.
Children planting gardens, investigating worms in the garden, feeding birds, or playing in a sandbox all enhance a child’s ability to grow, learn, and investigate the world around them. 
We supports girls from various cultures, backgrounds, economic levels and families.  The Reggio Emilia approach to learning stimulates girls to plan, create and work with others and work in an outdoor classroom that is an extension of the academic space.
We allow girls to grow at a pace that is developmentally appropriate and tailor instruction to individual needs and abilities.
We share resources and guidance with parents as they work with us to educate their girls.
Board Chair Statement


As we begin our fourth year, here are some of our accomplishments. We have seen our students blossom, which is, after all, the greatest accomplishment of any school. We have increased our outreach to the community, including neighborhoods in close proximity, and built a solid relationship with St. Barnabas Church, where our school is located. We have developed a good working relationship with our local commissioner and planning board. We have hosted several successful fundraising events. With the help of an Eagle Scout who took us on as his project, we have created an outdoor classroom. We brought many experiences to our students by bringing in speakers who talked about and demonstrated math, science, ….


The major challenge remains funding. At our core, it is important to all of us that we serve the families of girls who desire a high quality, single-sex education with increased personal tailoring of education to the specific needs, ability and talents of each student. This requires a higher teacher/student ratio and also a high quality of continuing training for our teachers. Offering scholarships to 50 percent of our student body allows for inclusion and diversity which is also at the core of our mission. . All that takes money.


  • Begin Spanish Immersion weekly in 2017-18.

  • Raise $100,000 for scholarship foundation to award scholarships to more students in 2018-19.

  • Maintain a balance of students who pay tuition and students who receive scholarships or financial assistance.

  • Fully staff the school.

  • Increase enrollment to 16 in 2017-18; 25 in 2018-19; 32 in 2019-20

  • Rebrand the school with a new name.

  • Complete strategic plan for 2018-2021.

  • Make presentations to civic and community organizations, peer nonprofits, child day centers that do not have kindergarten, nonprofits involved in family services, such as United Methodist Family Services, and adoption agencies.

  • Increase number of monthly donors.

  • Increased focus on board governance, policies and procedures.

  • Pursue corporate donations and scholarships.

Areas of Service
Areas Served
Metro Richmond
Serving Greater Richmond
Board Chair
Board Chair Janet Moran
Company Affiliation Janet Moran, Atty at Law
Term Jan 2017 to June 2020
Board of Directors
Board Members
Dr. Tommye Finley Retired
Darlene Judson Community Volunteer
Janet Moran J.D.Janet Moran, Attorney at Law
Bryce Robertson J.D.Dyer Law Firm
Audrey Smith Chesterfield Innovative Academy for Girls
Elizabeth Walker Chesterfield Innovative Academy for Girls
Board Demographics - Ethnicity
African American/Black 5
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 1
Hispanic/Latino 0
Native American/American Indian 0
Board Demographics - Gender
Male 1
Female 5
Board Term Lengths 3
Board Term Limits 2
Board Meeting Attendance % 89
Written Board Selection Criteria? Yes
Written Conflict of Interest Policy? Yes
Percentage Making Monetary Contributions 100
Percentage Making In-Kind Contributions 100
Number of Full Board Meetings Annually 10
Standing Committees
Distributions/ Grant Making
Other Boards
The tables below contain information about other groups that advise this nonprofit on operations and projects.
We have an opportunity to give educational options to parents with limited resources.  The main challenge is building capacity in terms of board governance, training those board members about those roles, and hiring a development director and admissions director, at least part time.  
Executive Director
Executive Director Audrey D. Smith
The Director has three years experience in nonprofit management. 
The Director worked for 15 years as an educator in Chesterfield County Public Schools.  In addition to classroom instructor, she was Department Chair of Fine and Performing Arts (2007-2011), Secondary Lead Teacher, Teacher of the Year in 2005 and 2010 and served on various committees.  She served as Teacher Ambassador and grant coordinator for Partners in the Arts Grant, Mobile Technology Initiative and received a MCD award through the Chesterfield Public Education Foundation.  The director has a Master's of Educational Leadership (Administration and Supervision) degree.
The director was president of the Bethel Ensemble Chorale, a nonprofit community chorus, from 2001 to 2005.
Experience Executive Director with nine years of experience in the nonprofit sector. Strong leadership background in project management to establish, direct and implement policies and activities of organization to ensure operations of business, funding and implementation of programs.
Full Time Staff 1
Part Time Staff 1
Volunteers 25
Retention Rate 100
Organization has a Fundraising Plan? Yes
Organization has a Strategic Plan? No
Management Succession Plan? No
Organization Policy and Procedures Under Development
Nondiscrimination Policy Yes
Whistleblower Policy Yes
Document Destruction Policy Yes
Directors and Officers Insurance Policy No
  • Better Housing Coalition, Winchester Greens, Nina Williams, Social Worker, is working to identify young girls who can benefit from an innovative means of instruction and whose families can commit to the school.  
  • CIA for Girls will donate a little free library to the Winchester Greens community, provide books and host three family reading nights as part of the Summer Reading program for students in Chesterfield County Public Schools.
  • Master gardeners from the Virginia Extension Office, Chesterfield County, work with girls monthly. 
  • Chester YMCA, Chris Hughes, Executive Director, will provide two parenting workshops in 2015-16.  We have committed to 40 hours of volunteer service with the Chester YMCA.
  • Chester United Methodist Church provided educational supplies during 2014-15, and we have requested their in-kind support for 2015-16.
  • Chester Lions Club provided eyeglasses for needy students.
  • Ellie Morris will provide monthly dance lessons.
  • Carter Anderson, owner, Save the Trash, will donate a Little Free Library, blocks, and create art and toys from from recycled materials.
  • Communities in School, Sherri Roccaforte, is a  partner in 2015-16 for the new College and Career Academy in Chesterfield.  Students will job shadow and volunteer at our school.
  • St. Barnabas Episcopal School
Description Preschool andPrekindergarten are designed for girls three to five years old. The Reggio Emilia approach to learning is inspired by the physical environment and leads to exploration, communication and collaboration in a child-centered learning community.

Girls create their own plan for learning, and teachers observe and guide children into deeper learning that interests them. Teachers integrate letters, numbers and language comprehension skills into all areas. Girls use tools and blocks to build structures in the classroom and to develop visual and spatial reasoning skills. Girls learn to communicate needs and wants and increase verbal skills to collaborate and negotiate with others.
Population Served Children and Youth (0 - 19 years)
Budget $35,000.00
Short Term Success

By 18 weeks, girls will achieve skills 80% of the time:

  • Listen attentively to stories in a whole class setting 80% of the time
  • Follow simple one-and two-step oral directions
  • Use vocabulary to express feelings, needs and ideas
  • Identify and create simple rhymes
  • Write first name independently and correctly 80% of the time
  • Knows numbers 1-20 and counts backwards 5-1
  • Recognize and name geometric shapes
  • Describe and sort objects by color, shape, texture, feel, size
  • Describe what living things need to grow
  • Know full name, address, birthdate, age, names of parents, teachers, and school
  • Manage transitions, challenges and adapt to changes in routine
  • Recognize and respond to needs, rights, and emotions of others
  • Develop gross motor skills: jump, throw, skip, kick, hop, and run
  • Coordinate eye-hand and eye-foot movements
  • Students are able to rest and be quiet for 60 minutes daily.
Long Term Success
  • 100% of our students will graduate high school on time
  • 90-95% of students earn bachelor's degree
  • 80-85% of student  earn graduate degrees
  • 100% of students are registered voters
  • 100% of students volunteer, donate or support charitable, nonprofit  organizations
  • 100% of student mentor young girls in their community
  • 75-80% of students work in the fields of science, technology, mathematics, the arts or engineering
  • 50% or more of students are women entrepreneurs
  • 75 - 80% of students create or advocate for public policy that improves quality of life in their communities
  • 100% of students surveyed report the importance of early childhood development at CIA for Girls
  • 90% of students engage in physical activity 30-60 minutes daily
  • 100% of students recycle
  • 50-75% of students raise vegetables and/or purchase local produce from farmer's markets
  • 100% of educators have job satisfaction and career path
  • 100% of parents recommend our school
  • School partners with volunteers and community organizations
The academic focus for kindergarten is first language arts and mathematics.  Science, social science and the arts are integrated through thematic learning.
Instruction includes kindergarten standards for beginning readers and writers.   
CEO/ED/Board Comments

 Board Governance:

We are working to find members who can commit time and energy required at the start-up phase. We need board members to be personally engaged in fundraising and policy development for board governance.


Our school is currently located in the Dale District in Chesterfield County, Virginia. The residents and families in this area are familiar with free public education. Our job is to educate families about the long term benefits of small class sizes, individualized attention, and in-depth instruction .Our challenge is to create a diverse innovative learning community in a location that is accessible and open to all.


School transportation is a challenge. Our parents transport students to school. We do not want transportation to be a deterrent to a quality education. Four year olds in prekindergarten in Chesterfield ride the regular school bus that does not have seat belts.
NonProfit Management
Nonprofit management is vital to the health and growth of our corporation. Our Director has been accepted into the Nonprofit Studies program at University of Richmond and needs funds to attend. In the meantime, she will take specific courses through either Nonprofit Learning Point or Cameron F

Early Childhood Education

The research is overwhelming about the importance of quality child care and schools for early childhood education. Researchers at The Curry School of Education, University of Virginia, documented that many students are not ready for kindergarten in the area of self-regulation and social skills. Chesterfield County has a population of 4,000 four year olds and provides 500 slots for four year olds in kindergarten.


Poverty is a female issue according to 2010 census data. The quickest way to eradicate poverty is to educate a girl according to Girls Risings, a movement to improve girls education. 
Fiscal Year
Projected Revenue $194,840.00
Projected Expenses $186,150.00
Spending Policy Income Only
Form 990s
IRS Letter of Exemption
Detailed Financials
Expense Allocation
Fiscal Year201620152014
Program Expense$73,978$74,966$24,437
Administration Expense$9,346$10,802$13,918
Fundraising Expense$1,017--$1,763
Payments to Affiliates------
Total Revenue/Total Expenses1.150.981.07
Program Expense/Total Expenses88%87%61%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue2%0%5%
Assets and Liabilities
Fiscal Year201620152014
Total Assets$12,718$1,466$4,177
Current Assets$12,718$1,466$4,077
Long-Term Liabilities$0$0--
Current Liabilities$2,046$3,546$1,220
Total Net Assets$10,672($2,080)$2,957
Short Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201620152014
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities6.220.413.34
Long Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201620152014
Long-Term Liabilities/Total Assets0%0%0%
Capital Campaign
Currently in a Capital Campaign? No
Capital Campaign Anticipated in Next 5 Years? Yes
State Charitable Solicitaions Permit
Solicitations Permit
Solicitations Permit 11/2016View
SCC PermitView
Organization Comments
The challenge facing our organization is valuing our services with an eye to the market price for the service.
Our staff devotes numerous hours to one-on-one interactions with children in a learning environment where children have ample opportunity to direct their own learning, and the teacher is a guide.
Our current parents value  this individualized attention and development, however, they have difficulty affording this quality of education in a private school.
 We have had great success in personal and academic develompment with roughly 20 young girls during the past three years.  Our opportunity now is to use the knowledge we've drawn and build capacity to offer our services to more students, many of whom will need full scholarships to attend.
Foundation Comments
  • Received tax-exempt status in 2014.
  • Financial analysis performed with financial statements prepared internally by the organization.