Charter School Marketing Strategy
New Heights Business Academy of Sports Leadership and Development (NHBA), a start-up charter school, located in the warehouse district of Southeast section of Memphis, Tennessee, will have its first class in August 2011. NHBA will enhance the charter school movement by introducing students to the business-side of athletics. Educators, supporters, and parents became concern after noticing the poor business decisions many athletes make during their careers.
A mutual decision arrived that athletes did not know how to market themselves. On this idea alone, plans for NHBA were underway.
What are charter schools? Charter schools are independently-ran public schools created by concerned individuals who saw there was a lack of quality education in the public school system. These schools are free to select their own educational goals and curriculum, choose their own teaching staff, and set their own standards for student behavior. In addition, they have the freedom to extend the school day and year. According to the Tennessee Charter School Association (TSCA), since 2002 seventeen charter schools operating in the State of Tennessee, with applications submitted each year.
Approval for new charter school applications is through a state mandated agency, the Local Education Agency. Currently there are 24 charter schools operating in Memphis. (www. mcsk12. net) The charter school law mandates that charter school has to open it doors to all students, including physically and mentally impaired students and students of a diverse background, with first priority given to students that : * have previously attended a charter school * attend poor performing schools * scored below proficiency on the TCAP and Gateway exams * receive free or reduced lunch
The law states that charter school can only select 25% of their students qualifying on free and/or reduced lunches. The remainder will come from the above categories. Charter schools are the school of choice for many parents because of the quality of education they provide. Parents are at ease knowing their child is in a safe, learning environment; their individual needs are met; and will receive the necessary tools for success. These schools have set high standards in education and must adhere to those standards if they want to remain open.
However, public schools remain open no matter how they perform. According to the TCSA, 100 % of charter school funding is issued from the state and local governments. They are entitled to Title I and Special Education funds based on student enrollment. Unlike public schools, charter schools have to depend heavily on grants, donations, and fundraisers to cover costs, such as, start-up, renovation, construction, and other expenditures not incorporated in the funding budget. Commercialappeal. om printed an issue in July 2010, which stated last year charter schools received $10,394 in funding per child. Since Memphis City Schools is being tasked with overseeing charter schools, a fee of 3% will be charged. After the fee is placed, charter schools will receive $7,633 per child, excluding school lunches and other fees not obligated by the district. There will be fifteen charter schools affected by this fee. New Heights Business Academy of Sports Leadership and Development (NHBA), is a public charter school that will serve prospective students in 9th thru 12th grades.
NHBA will address the needs of students academically and athletically, in a business environment. As a charter school, our focus is to prepare students for college through innovation and abundance in an attractive and meticulous college-preparatory educational program, which meets the needs of today’s students. In conjunction with learning the regular subjects like Math, English and Science, NHBA focuses on Business as it prepares students for college and life, and introduces athletes to enrichment that will allow them to excel physically and psychologically.
We plan to introduce students to a setting that hinges on business and athleticism development. NHBA will open in the fall of 2011 and will be accepting applications for enrollment for 100 Ninth-grade slots. The school plans to add a grade each year and hopes ultimately to serve 500 hundred students in grades 9th through 12th. NHBA is conveniently located, in Southeast Memphis on the corner of Riverdale and Winchester at 7060 Winchester Road Memphis TN 38125, in the warehouse district.
Mission. At New Heights Business Academy of Sports Leadership and Development (NHBA), our mission is to academically develop and prepare students for the social environment of business and athletic professionalism through a core curriculum profoundly based on preparing them to be business literate and knowledgably confident in marketing themselves in whichever venue they choose. In pursuant of our mission, NHBA aspires to provide structured curriculums with a business foundation. Our focus is to educate and prepare potential students for college and ultimately life.
NHBA’s core values include exposing prospective students to rigorous educational development to prepare them for college while instilling self worth so that our athletes recognize their value. Partnerships with parent’s students and teachers to are important to our success, so it is a priority. NHBA is a college preparatory school with a small classroom setting; we offer student-teacher ratio of 1 to 13 and focus on our number one goal the children. Environmental Analysis/Competition Southeast Memphis consists of zip codes 38141, 38125, and 38115.
The combined populations for those three zip codes are 87,247. For the population for this area of the city, almost 20,000 are families with children who could be prospective students at NHBA. As a public charter school our competition are the public schools, the private schools and the optional schools in and near this area, to include other charter schools. At least eight high schools serve this vicinity, not including the private schools. Of those schools in the area, two of them are on the list for striving schools (Memphis City Schools, 2010).
NHBA will focus its target first on middle schools in the Eastern section of the City of Memphis, such as Ridgeway, Kirby, Southwind, Germantown, and any other schools in the area. Our main competition will be established and upcoming charter high schools, such as Memphis Academy of Science and Engineering, Memphis Academy of Health Sciences, and KIPP Academy. Then we will expand out target market to other areas of the city. The southeastern part of the city was selected for the reason that there are no charter schools in this area.
A charter school in this area will serve as a convenience to working parents who want to enroll their children in charter schools. Trends Affecting the Outcome Our school structure is in desperate need of transformation. Only 54 percent of African American high school students and 56 percent of Latino high school students graduate. Even students who receive high school diplomas often lack fundamental academic skills; nearly a third of first-year college students require remediation in math or English. In many major cities, the education crisis is confounding.
In Detroit, for example, only 3 percent of economically disadvantaged eighth-graders are proficient in math (Tennessee Charter Schools Association, 2010). July 2010 Memphis school board approved fees from charter schools, over time Memphis City Schools will charge a three percent fee for overseeing the charter schools. The school board’s decision to charge the fee will mean less money for students of some charter schools (Roberts, 2010). Possible legal or regulatory issues Through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, a significant amount of funding has been targeted to improve state and local education systems.
Tennessee was chosen as one of the two states out of sixteen to receive grants. Over the next four years, Tennessee will receive $500 million to implement their comprehensive school reform plans (Learning Point, 2010). For NHBA’s survival, recruiting will be an important factor in retaining students. If we retain students, we receive funding. If we receive funding, we can offer an attractive program that will entice parents to enroll their students at NHBA. As with any business, the first year is the most difficult.
To overcome these obstacles, NHBA and its supporters must ensure that our school offered an attractive package. We needed to know: * Did we have a clear and concise mission and vision statement? * Were we being honest and realistic about what NHBA has to offer? * Did we have a live point-of-contact and follow-up information for questions? * Is there a demand for the type of school you are marketing? * Did we know our target market? NHBA is aware that our best recruiters are out parents and students. With the aid of our supporters, we will be able to reach our target market.
Other methods of advertisements will include: * Live broadcasting media – radio, television, newspapers, word of mouth * Internet – webpage; free social networks (Facebook, Twitter, MySpace) * Open houses and school workshops * Join the local chamber of commerce and/or local business associations * Mass mailing, posters, flyers, brochures At NHBA, your child will encounter a challenging, exciting, and rewarding experience that will assist them in gaining the skills and habits for college. Our faculty will go that extra mile to ensure students grasp the fundamentals in order to be successful.
Due to the new trends in technology, we want to make sure our students are prepared for college. With the small learning environment, NHBA has to offer along with the student-to-teacher ratio of 13:1, students will develop close-knit relationships with their teachers and learn from individualized learning plans. In addition to this, students will benefit from added programs and student activities such as: * Advanced Placement Courses These courses are college-level courses set up where students can receive college credit after successfully passing an exam. E-courses E-school is geared to provide NHBA students with an online class experience as they would in college. * Athlete-to-Student Mentor Programs This program will afford the students to be paired with an athlete for guidance and to promote academic success. Our athletic volunteers will come from our local professional sports teams, arena sports teams, and local colleges and universities * Mandatory Parental Involvement NHBA believes that parental involvement adds to the success of students. * Summer Sports Camps
To promote academic and athletic leadership, NHBA will be able to participate in sports camps hosted by our professional sports teams, arena sports teams, and local colleges and universities. * Volunteer Opportunities NHBA is passionate about community service. Community involvement is one of the main reasons we will be successful. * World-wide Awareness Programs * A sport is a worldwide activity, and hopefully some of our students will play for an international team. NHBA feels that it is important for our students to be aware of what is going on in the world.
In conclusion, New Heights Business Academy of Sports Leadership and Development is geared to enhance the charter school movement. Most schools promote athletic leadership, but NHBA will promote athletic development by introducing its students to the athletic business preparations. Upon graduation, NHBA students will have a clear knowledge of the athletic business goals and strategies. Our program will produce business-literate students that will be knowledgeable in marketing themselves and becoming productive citizens in the community and in any endeavors, they chose to seek.
Learning Point . (2010, June ). Retrieved 2010, from Learningpt: http://www.learningpt.org/pdfs/RttT_State_Legislation.pdf Memphis City Schools. (2010). Retrieved September 8, 2010, from www.mcsk12.net: http://www.mcsk12.net/ Roberts, J. (2010, July 20). Commercial Appeal. Retrieved September 9, 2010, from Commercial Appeal website: http://www.commercialappeal.com/news/2010/jul/20/mcs-board-approves-fee-from-charter-schools/ Tennessee Charter Schools Association. (2010). Retrieved September 09, 2010, from tncharterschools: http://www.tncharterschools.org/