We wish the story was a bit more exciting, but it's 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 to purchase a software solution and ended up running a manual lottery and pulling numbered ice cream sticks from pails.
There were 500 available seats to fill and 1,000's of applications, that now sat in pails for each grade, as ice cream sticks with a unique hand-written code by a board member. The newly hired principal pulled the sticks and called the number, and a board member looked up the number and called the students name, at a pace of 3 to 4 sticks per minute, hundreds of parents and children sat in a horribly hot auditorium for over four hours.
Having to watch and participate in this process was terrible.
Over one-hundred parents were in attendance with many of their children 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, and there are 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 and better 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