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Marketing and advertising drive planned as competition stiffens; finances are in balance

With charter schools competing more and more vigorously for students,  the Edgar P. Harney Spirit of Excellence Academy is moving forward with a marketing and advertising effort, the school’s board learned at its monthly meeting, Jan. 10.

Accountant Sean Berner said funds of an undisclosed amount have been set aside for the enrollment drive. Now is the time to move forward with a plan, he said.

“From a finance standpoint, our students are our clients, and we need to reach them,” he said, noting that the market for charter school students is increasingly competitive.

CAO Missy Forcier, filling in for CEO Eileen Williams who was called for jury duty, said the school plans to set up a booth as part of National School Choice Week, at the UNO Lakefront Arena, Saturday, Jan. 21, from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

She said the school might also start giving away some sort of “knickknack” bearing Harney’s new logo, which was created by Faux Pas printing.

Board member Ashton Ryan Jr. raised concern about recruiting non-local students at a time when Recovery School District admissions procedures are in flux. Ryan requested statistics on where Harney’s current students live.

“Knowing our demographics will go a long way on deciding how to proceed,” Berner said, adding that it’s unclear how or whether RSD administrative changes will affect Harney.

As anticipated, RSD head John White on Wednesday was promoted to be the state’s superintendent of education. His successor is Patrick Dobard, who served under White as deputy RSD superintendent.

Harney needs to be prepared for any changes, Berner said.

Any policy changes are not going to have an impact this year, but they could next year, Ryan said.

A financial report showed the school with revenues of $1,746,709.57 and expenses of $1,725,524.93, for a net income of $21,184.64.

The school will administer Target 2 tests this week, according to the CEO’s report.

In addition to Ryan, board members present for the half-hour meeting included Norma Dixon Monroe, Jessie Hills Jr., Clinton Smith, Dr. Charles Southall III, and Arthur Williams Jr. The board meets in the Harney cafeteria.

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