Spectrum Academy Charter School

Group Project

Robin Engel

Zen Benefiel

University of Phoenix

MGT 573

January 2, 2003


Spectrum Academy Charter School

Our long-term objective: To establish ongoing education programs that address the changing personal and developmental needs of our youths with a specific orientation towards establishing effective solutions to prepare the way for successful community awareness and participation. These programs will be delivered through the development and opening of a charter school in August of 2004. The objective of this project is to define and assess the requirements for the development of a charter school. The result of the project will be the opening of the school.

This school will implement the developing pedagogy, the art and science of teaching, to determine true educational validity in today's environment, while meeting all required Arizona State Standards. Educational programs, based on internal/external learning processes, will facilitate youth to maintain a balance of scientific, social, and environmental harmony. This key area is where self-awareness and critical thinking must be applied, integrating the inner and outer experiences of the participants, which helps each student achieve success. Critical thinking and socialization skills development are real-world tie-ins to our curriculum. Inclusion of ‘alternative’ curriculum facilitates diverse learner and special needs students’ success.

Diverse learning ability and cognitive skills are a primary focus of this type of environment and will be incorporated in the design and infrastructure of the facility. Many pieces of these educational processes have been developed individually in alternative, charter, or private schools to date. We shall bring these necessary tools together to facilitate a resurgence of true scientific inquiry, engaging mind, body and spirit in the process of education. It is obvious that our previous educational environments have been successful, yet with the discoveries regarding learning and interaction with the world around us, the current systems are far behind in the delivery and implementation of the most recent discoveries. This area is addressed with the care and concern of progressive parenting and leading edge learning environments.

The parent organization, Be The Dream, will function as the non-profit organization responsible for developing the charter and facilitating the organizational development. The goal of the organization is to develop educational delivery systems that meet the current and future needs of students, primarily in the K-12 arena. The creation of a charter school that demonstrates the application of this goal fits the overall goal of the organization. This project includes mandatory and alternative curricula that meet the needs of the individual student, support groups for processing through educational barriers, and the support staff necessary to administer and facilitate the educational environment. The integration of arts, science, and technology provides a balanced approach to meeting the educational goals of the school.

The completion of this project is necessary to fulfill the requirements of the business development for this charter school. Charter schools currently are business units serving the parents and students. State funding is determined by the enrollment of these students in the school. Additional funds are necessary to compliment the enrollment-based funding because charter schools do not receive the same per student as traditional public schools. The foundation of the school’s development is the most critical factor. This project will cover assessment, definition, and evaluation of the approach, risk and rewards of opening a charter school.

The Work Breakdown Schedule would be as follows:

Phase 1 – Strategic Plan


Define business vision – Who we are, what we do, who we serve

Identify available skills, information and support

Develop administrative team – define areas of expertise

Defining the Opportunity

            Research the market and competition – existing charter schools

            Interview owners of similar schools – potential collaborators

            Identify needed resources – facilities, resources, staff, students

            Identify operation cost elements – high level budget

Evaluate Business Approach

            Define new entity requirements – legal and financial

            Identify on-going business purchase potential – existing charter

            Research franchise possibilities – potential collaborators

            Summarize business approach

Evaluate Potential Risks and Rewards

            Assess market size and stability – student base/location

            Estimate the competition – research and review

            Assess needed resources available – curricula, funding, materials

            Evaluate realistic initial market – initial enrollment target

            Determine financial requirements – facility, materials, and staff

            Review personal suitability – skill set and mind set fit

            Evaluate initial profitability – student to staff ratio

Review and modify the strategic plan

Confirm decision to proceed

Phase 2 – Defining the Business Opportunity

                        Define the market

                                    Access available information – associations, databases, etc.

                                    Create market analysis plan – who, what, when, where, how

                                    Implement market analysis plan – focus groups

                                    Identify competition – best practices and market advantage

                                    Summarize the market – what is missing?

                                    Identify target market niche

                        Identify Needed Materials and Supplies

                                    Select business approach (from above)

                                    Identify management staff resources

                                    Identify staffing requirements – WBS and timeline

                                    Identify needed materials – hardware, software, supplies

                                    Identify needed utilities – facilities management

                                    Summarize operating expenses

                        Evaluate Potential Risks and Rewards

                                    Assess market size and stability – analysis of charter environment

                                    Assess needed resources availability –foundation, private, state

                                    Forecast financial returns – conservative and potential

                        Review and modify the business opportunity

                        Confirm decision to proceed

Phase 3 – Action Plan

                        Develop Detailed 5-Year Plan

                                    Describe the vision and opportunity

                                    List assumptions

                                    Describe the market

                                    Describe the new business

                                    Describe the strengths weaknesses, assets, and threats

                                    Estimate the enrollment

                                    Estimate the additional funding

                                    Forecast operating costs

                                    Establish marketing strategy

                                    Forecast revenue

                                    Summarize pro-forma financial statement

                                    Develop break-even analysis

                                    Develop cash-flow projection

                                    Identify licensing and permitting requirements

                                    Develop start up plan

                                    Develop sales and marketing strategy

                                    Describe risks and opportunities

                                    Publish the business plan

                                    Confirm decision to proceed

Phase 4 – Proceed With Start Up Plan

                        Choose a location – lease or build

                        Establish Business Structure

                                    Choose a name

                                                Identify implications

                                                Research name availability

                        Choose a Bank

                                    Establish accounts

                                    Establish line of credit

                        Choose legal representation

                        Select business tax-base category

                        Choose capital funding sources

                        Commit capital funding

                        Establish the Operating Control Base

                                    Choose and set up the accounting system

                                    Obtain required licenses and permits

Obtain needed insurance

Establish security plan

Develop Marketing Program

Establish an advertising program

Develop a logo

Order promotional materials

Provide Physical Facilities

Secure operation space

Select computer network hardware

Select computer software

Establish utilities

Provide furniture and equipment

Move in

Provide Staffing

Interview and test candidates

Hire staff

Train staff

Start up the business

Initial budget concerns include Operations Management, Facility Management, Curriculum Management, and Student Management. Rough estimates are between $600,000 and $1,400,000. This budget will be further defined and refined as work is completed on the project plan and research into its components reveal cost estimates. Enrollment estimates will determine variations within the budget projections.

In conclusion, the continued work on this plan will encompass the materials presented in the course while developing and implementing process and project planning scope and sequence. We will utilize MS Project and MindManager as resource tools to develop this project and facilitate the implementation of the best practices necessary to achieve success.