Marketing to Schools

The savvy vendor knows calling schools to sell products is just a waste of time. It is virtually impossible to get through to principals. There is a buffer of staff who act as gatekeepers for access to principals. The call goes to the secretary in the main office first, she screens it and forwards it to the school business manager, if any, and he kills the call. It goes no further. A persistent seller might try another route of emailing the principal directly. That seldom works. On average, a principal receives 100-150 emails daily. She pays close attention to the ones from Central Office, the superintendent, and the Boro Field Support Service Center. Then she hones in on internal messages from the secretary, the custodian, business manager, assistant principals, and faculty. Next, she focuses on emails from outsiders, such as parents, students, and partnerships with outside organizations. Finally, she scans other emails and mostly ignores solicitations. One vendor I know…
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Easy Money – Special Education Funds

Some schools leave a lot of money on the table, because they don't code STARS correctly to maximize funds. On October 31st, the DOE take a hard roster count and makes budget adjustments based on the difference between the initial register projection and the actual. It is the first round of budget adjustment. The second round of adjustment occurs on December 31st.  The DOE counts the number of special education students, but it doesn't just look at the number of special education students. Instead, it is based on mandated services for each student with an Individual Educational Plan, as reported in STARS. Some schools don't correctly identify these activities and it could mean losing a lot. I remember a colleague two years ago got $95,000 in additional funding by updating STARS. At the school level, run the USPE report, to make sure the ACT (actual) matches the REC (recommended) services. More money is given to the school for ICT program, then self-contained program and…
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Easy Money – Title I Grant

As a former school business manager, I used to take an interest in the collection of lunch forms.  It has a direct impact on the amount of Title I funds the school receive the following year. This year the per capita amount is $801 given to schools that qualify for Title I.  It is a ratio of the number of families who meet the criteria for a free or reduced meal, based on lunch forms submitted. This year I know one school started out with 130 out of 500 lunch form with a meal code 5--lunch forms required, according to ATS report RMEL.  The deadline to submit those lunch forms is usually at the end of December. So far, the school collected 100 of those outstanding 130 lunch forms.  Assume 80 of those students qualify for reduced or free meals, the school will get $64,080.  It is the easiest grant money to get.
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