It’s Flu Season – Update #44 on DRP – Feb 7
The good news – This week, Andrew provided Nesda with the first set of lessons to add to the shell. To this point, there are no obstacles. Next week Andrew will deliver the rest of the initial 10 lesson block. That set of six lessons includes the measurement component and the practice materials for the 1st ten lessons. These 10 lessons will test the entire system within the shell for the first time. Neither we nor Nesda are anticipating any problems.
The not-so-good news – Less than expected was accomplished by Nesda this week because three programmers shared a flu bug and each missed several days of work this week. They are expected to be back on Monday. This will not affect our costs, but may push the deadline ahead one week to March 16.
We have a complete marketing plan for the 70+ charter schools of New Orleans. We stiil have not determined the role of Rotary in this pilot program. Wilf is expecting some comminication from Rotary leaders in the next week or so. Time is not yet critical for this pilot, because we cannot move forward with this marketing campaign until we have a thoroughly tested product.
Given that we can do no more with our Rotary initiatve, I have begun to create a marketing campaign to reach the 1.2 million homeschooling families across North America. It is proving difficult because homeschoolers are a moving target. Schools stay put: homeschoolers are more fluid. They also do not provide a lot of contact information. Half of the sites that I have visited so far are no longer operational. There are 76 homeschool support groups listed for South Carolina, So far I have only been able to validate six groups which serve a total of fewer than 1000 families.
We expect to roll out marketing of the product to the homeschool segment of our market in May, so I have much to accomplish in the coming 12 weeks. The homeschool buying and conference season runs from May through September so the push is on.
I also expect that we will launch a pilot marketing campaign to 1000 public schools, probably in Texas or California. The cost will be approximately $4.00 per school to get e-mail addresses of opted-in principals. I need to do a lot more planning for this project between now and the lasr week of April. Schools south of the Mason-Dixon line tend to close at the end of May. More northern schools cease nearer the end of June. We could do a southern state pilot with a replication a week later in a northen state such as Illinois. More on this option later.
I am now engaged in a slow methodical process to make contact with homeschoolers. It is grinding, monotonous work, but it has to be done to get the contacts. I am buoyed by the knowledge that I have great support and I will try not to let you down.