We wish the story was a bit more exciting, but its actually pretty simple. Our founder lived and breathed having to manage a new charter schools first lottery. He was part of a newly formed school Board and as a high-tech entrepreneur everyone looked towards him to go and "figure it out".
And, due to the reasons that effect nearly every charter school - especially newly authorized charters - mainly the timing of state funds and little to no existing budget dollars the school couldn't afford an electronic system and ended up running a manual lottery and they pulled numbered ice cream sticks from pails.
With close to 500 available seats to fill and 1,000's of applications, and at a pace of 3 to 4 sticks per minute hundred's of parent's and children sat in a horribly hot auditorium for over four hours.
Having to watch and participate in this process was terrible.
Many parents were in attendance with 2 or 3 little kids and they had to endure a painstaking process of ice cream sticks being drawn, numbers being called out, and a flurry of activity of multiple support people typing names into spreadsheets to keep the newly created lists in order...all one-by-one.
The lessons learned from this experience were several.
First was , that inviting parents to take part in a "high-anxiety", nail biting and very long meeting in a hot room with no refreshments, was not a good way to introduce ourselves to the community. It really can have an adverse effect on your enrollment.
The next lesson is that the post lottery wait-list management is critical to realizing full enrollment. It's not easy, there is a lot of moving pieces to track. Missteps will happen! and they can have dire financial and reputation consequences on a school.
Our founder knew that there had to be a better way, and that's exactly what we've done and it's also a new way.
The company name is Integrity6 and our focus is ensuring the success of charter schools.
mis-steps can have dire financial consequences
waitlist management must be beyond re-proach
parent anxiety has no place in a school lottery
you deserve a good nights sleep