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The board of directors at Freeman-Brown Private School (FBPS) has hired you as part of a consulting team to review the situation and present your findings and recommendations. Write a paper (1,250-1,500 words) that discusses the case. Complete this assignment from the perspective of the hired consultants. Respond to the following questions:

  1. Review how organizations interact with their external environment (as open systems and complex adaptive systems). How effective was Freeman-Brown as an open system at the time of the closure? How effective was Freeman-Brown as a complex adaptive system at the time of the closure?
  2. Review your reading this week on the internal environment of organizations. What is your evaluation of the organizational culture andorganizational climate at the time the decision to close two campuses was made?
  3. What is your evaluation of the decision made by Dr. Murphy and Caudill? What is your evaluation of the process of going about the closure?
  4. Was FBPS demonstrating social responsibility? Discuss the closure impact on three specific stakeholders.
  5. Provide an explanation, using appropriate management theories, for how the administration could have handled the closure effectively with stakeholders? Include one theory from each of the following: the classical approach, the human relations approach, and the modern management approach.
  6. You have been asked to suggest two goals: one long-term and one short-term goal for the future direction of FBPS. Justify your decision.
  7. Present a concluding statement that integrates the 4 functions of management as a means to revamp management at FBPS and meets the recommended goals.

Prepare this assignment according to the guidelines found in the APA Style Guide, located in the Student Success Center. An abstract is not required.

This assignment uses a rubric. Please review the rubric prior to beginning the assignment to become familiar with the expectations for successful completion.

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Freeman-Brown Private School Case Study 

  1 Unsatisfactory 0.00% 2 Less than Satisfactory 65.00% 3 Satisfactory 75.00% 4 Good 85.00% 5 Excellent 100.00%
70.0 %Content  
10.0 %Freeman-Brown Private School (FBPS) as an Open System and Complex Adaptive System

Evaluation of FBPS as an open system and as a complex adaptive system during the time of the campus closures is absent, inappropriate, or irrelevant. Evaluation of FBPS as an open system or as a complex adaptive system during the time of the campus closures is vague or incomplete. Presentation of facts to support whether FBPS was effective as an open system or as a complex adaptive system is weak or marginal with gaps in presentation. Supporting material is often confusing or inappropriate. Evaluation of the effectiveness of FBPS as an open system and as a complex adaptive system during the time of the campus closures is provided, but at a cursory level. Rudimentary evaluation of the effectiveness of FBPS as an open system and as a complex adaptive system may contain some inconsistencies. Supporting material is of baseline acceptable quality and quantity. Evaluation of the effectiveness of FBPS as an open system and as a complex adaptive system during the time of the campus closures is clear and well integrated Supporting material is of above average quality and quantity. Evaluation of the effectiveness of FBPS as an open system and as a complex adaptive system during the time of the campus closures is definitive and detailed. A thorough evaluation of FBPS as an open system and as a complex adaptive system, including examples and insights that further understanding, is provided. Supporting material is of exceptional quality and quantity.
10.0 %Organizational Culture and Climate at FBPS Evaluation of the organizational culture and organizational climate within FBPS during the time of the closures is absent, inappropriate, or irrelevant. Evaluation of either the organizational culture or the organizational climate within FBPS during the time of the closures is vague or incomplete. Evaluation of the climate or culture at FBPS is weak or marginal with gaps in presentation. Supporting material is often confusing or inappropriate. Evaluation of the organizational culture and organizational climate within FBPS during the time of the closures is provided, but at a cursory level. Rudimentary evaluation of the climate and culture at FBPS may contain some inconsistencies. Supporting material is of baseline acceptable quality and quantity. Evaluation of the organizational culture and organizational climate within FBPS during the time of the closures is clear and well integrated. Supporting material is of above average quality and quantity. Evaluation of the organizational culture and organizational climate within FBPS during the time of the closures is methodical and detailed. A comprehensive evaluation of both the organizational culture and climate at FBPS, including examples and insights to further understanding, is provided. Supporting material is of exceptional quality and quantity.
10.0 %Closure Decision and Closure Process Evaluation of the decision to close the campuses and the process of going about the closure is absent, inappropriate, or irrelevant. Evaluation of the decision to close the campuses and the process of going about the closure is vague or incomplete. Evaluation of the impact on three specific stakeholders is weak or marginal, with gaps in presentation. Supporting material is often confusing or inappropriate. Evaluation of the decision to close the campuses and the process of going about the closure is provided, but at a cursory level. The analysis of the decision and process may contain some inconsistencies. Supporting material is of baseline acceptable quality and quantity. Evaluation of the decision to close the campuses and the process of going about the closure is clear and coherent. Supporting material is of above average quality and quantity. Evaluation of the decision to close the campuses and the process of going about the closure is thorough and provides insight to further understanding. Supporting material is of exceptional quality and quantity.
10.0 %Social Responsibilities and Impact on Stakeholders Evaluation of demonstrated social responsibilities and the impact on three specific stakeholders, is absent, inappropriate, or irrelevant. Evaluation of demonstrated social responsibilities is vague or incomplete. Evaluation of the impact on three specific stakeholders is weak or marginal, with gaps in presentation. Supporting material is often confusing or inappropriate. Evaluation of demonstrated social responsibilities is provided, but at a cursory level. Rudimentary evaluation of the impact on three specific stakeholders may contain some inconsistencies. Supporting material is of baseline acceptable quality and quantity. Evaluation of demonstrated social responsibilities is clear and well integrated. A comprehensive evaluation of the impact on three specific stakeholders is provided. Supporting material is of above average quality and quantity. Evaluation of demonstrated social responsibilities is thorough and well integrated. A thorough evaluation of the impact on three specific stakeholders, including examples and personal insights to further understanding, is provided. Supporting material is of exceptional quality and quantity.
10.0 %Administration Closure Options Explanation of how the administration could have handled the closure according to organizational theories as specified in the assignment (one theory from each of the three approaches) is absent, inappropriate, or irrelevant. Explanation of how the administration could have handled the closure according to organizational theories as specified in the assignment (one theory from each of three approaches) is vague or incomplete. Supporting material is often confusing or inappropriate. An explanation of how the administration could have handled the closure according to organizational theories as specified in the assignment (one theory from each of three approaches) is provided, but at a cursory level. Supporting material is of baseline acceptable quality and quantity. Explanation of how the administration could have handled the closure according to organizational theories as specified in the assignment (one theory from each of three approaches) is clearly articulated and well integrated. Supporting material is of above average quality and quantity. Explanation of how the administration could have handled the closure according to organizational theories as specified in the assignment (one theory from each of three approaches) is thorough and well integrated. Examples and personal insights are used to further understanding. Supporting material is of exceptional quality and quantity.
10.0 %Plans for Future Direction of FBPS An identification of one long-term and one short-term plan for the future direction of FBPS is absent, inappropriate, or irrelevant. An identification of one long-term and one short-term plan for the future direction of FBPS is vague or incomplete. The justification of the plans is weak or marginal. Supporting material is often confusing or inappropriate. An identification of one long-term and one short-term plan for the future direction of FBPS is provided, but at a cursory level. The justification of the plans is satisfactory. Supporting material is of baseline acceptable quality and quantity. An identification and justification of the selection of one long-and one short-term plan for the future direction of FBPS are clearly articulated and well integrated. Supporting material is of above average quality and quantity. An identification and justification of the selection of one long-and short-term plan for the future direction of FBPS are thorough and well-integrated. Examples and personal insight are used to further understanding. Supporting material is of exceptional quality and quantity.
10.0 %Concluding Statement A statement that integrates the 4 functions of management in order to revamp management at FBPS and meet the recommended goals is absent, inappropriate, or irrelevant. A statement that integrates the 4 functions of management in order to revamp management at FBPS and meet the recommended goals is vague or incomplete. Supporting material is often confusing or inappropriate. A statement that integrates the 4 functions of management in order to revamp management at FBPS and meet the recommended goals is provided, but at a cursory level. Supporting material is of baseline acceptable quality and quantity. A statement that integrates the 4 functions of management in order to revamp management at FBPS and meet the recommended goals is clearly articulated and well integrated. Supporting material is of above average quality and quantity. A statement that integrates the 4 functions of management in order to revamp management at FBPS and meet the recommended goals is thorough and well-integrated. Examples and personal insight are used to further understanding. Supporting material is of exceptional quality and quantity.
20.0 %Organization and Effectiveness  
7.0 %Thesis Development and Purpose Paper lacks any discernible overall purpose or organizing claim. Thesis is insufficiently developed or vague. Purpose is not clear. Thesis is apparent and appropriate to purpose. Thesis is clear and forecasts the development of the paper. Thesis is descriptive and reflective of the arguments and appropriate to the purpose. Thesis is comprehensive and contains the essence of the paper. Thesis statement makes the purpose of the paper clear.
8.0 %Argument Logic and Construction Statement of purpose is not justified by the conclusion. The conclusion does not support the claim made. Argument is incoherent and uses noncredible sources. Sufficient justification of claims is lacking. Argument lacks consistent unity. There are obvious flaws in the logic. Some sources have questionable credibility. Argument is orderly, but may have a few inconsistencies. The argument presents minimal justification of claims. Argument logically, but not thoroughly, supports the purpose. Sources used are credible. Introduction and conclusion bracket the thesis. Argument shows logical progressions. Techniques of argumentation are evident. There is a smooth progression of claims from introduction to conclusion. Most sources are authoritative. Clear and convincing argument that presents a persuasive claim in a distinctive and compelling manner. All sources are authoritative.
5.0 %Mechanics of Writing (includes spelling, punctuation, grammar, language use) Surface errors are pervasive enough that they impede communication of meaning. Inappropriate word choice or sentence construction is used. Frequent and repetitive mechanical errors distract the reader. Inconsistencies in language choice (register) or word choice are present. Sentence structure is correct but not varied. Some mechanical errors or typos are present, but they are not overly distracting to the reader. Correct and varied sentence structure and audience-appropriate language are employed. Prose is largely free of mechanical errors, although a few may be present. The writer uses a variety of effective sentence structures and figures of speech. Writer is clearly in command of standard, written, academic English.
10.0 %Format  
5.0 %Paper Format (use of appropriate style for the major and assignment) Template is not used appropriately or documentation format is rarely followed correctly. Appropriate template is used, but some elements are missing or mistaken. A lack of control with formatting is apparent. Appropriate template is used. Formatting is correct, although some minor errors may be present. Appropriate template is fully used. There are virtually no errors in formatting style. All format elements are correct.
5.0 %Documentation of Sources (citations, footnotes, references, bibliography, etc., as appropriate to assignment and style) Sources are not documented. Documentation of sources is inconsistent or incorrect, as appropriate to assignment and style, with numerous formatting errors. Sources are documented, as appropriate to assignment and style, although some formatting errors may be present. Sources are documented, as appropriate to assignment and style, and format is mostly correct. Sources are completely and correctly documented, as appropriate to assignment and style, and format is free of error.
100 %Total Weightage

Freeman-Brown Private School Case Study

The following case study is based on true events. Names and identifying details have been modified.

Freeman-Brown Private School (FBPS), based in Illinois, was founded in 1944 by the Brown and Freeman families. Over the years, the school acquired a reputation as a leading academic institution with an advanced curriculum. Parents described the school as having a highly performing academic environment that provided a rigorous curriculum while fostering a safe, family-oriented atmosphere in a place where community was valued. Not surprisingly, the student population grew and the school opened multiple campuses in the metropolitan area (Bristol, Culpeper, Richmond, Hampton, and Staunton). The Brown and Freeman families eventually sold FBPS to the for-profit, Alabama-based Caudhill International Family of Schools in 2007. The mission of the Caudhill group was to broaden the international focus of FBPS, along with the nine other schools it owned (across the United States, Switzerland, and Mexico). Even under the new ownership, the environment in the various FBPS campuses was still described as achievement-oriented and supportive.

Milestones

· 1944 – Freeman-Brown Private School was founded by the Brown and Freeman families.

· 1944 – Inaugural opening established Hampton campus.

· 1969 – Culpeper campus was established.

· 1981 – Richmond campus was established.

· 2003 – Bristol campus was created.

· 2007 – Freeman-Brown Private Schools joined the Caudhill International Family of Schools.

· 2008 – Culpeper campus relocated to Staunton campus.

· 2008 – The inaugural freshman class joined Freeman-Brown Preparatory High School.

· 2010 – Freeman-Brown Preparatory High School was designated an authorized International Baccalaureate (IB) Programme School.

· 2012 – Freeman-Brown Preparatory (High) School graduated its first class in May.

· 2012 – Freeman-Brown’s new 6th-12th grade Middle and Upper School campus opened in August in North Richmond​.

· 2013 – The Upper School Athletic Complex and Student Center opened.

Within a year of Caudhill owning the school, parents noticed a subtle name change. The school, which was previously known as “Freeman-Brown Private School,” was now “Freeman-Brown Preparatory School.” This name change in itself did not seem to affect the school’s image or functioning at an operational level, but it was an early indication of the strategic direction in which the school would be heading.

In 2008, FBPS attempted to enter the high school business at its Culpeper campus, but that initial attempt was not as successful as anticipated. This was probably a contributory factor to the relocation of the high school to a new state-of-the-art campus in Richmond, known as the North Richmond campus.

A high point for FBPS came in 2010 when it launched its International Baccalaureate Programme (IB Programme). Its first IB graduating class was May of 2012. However, that same year FBPS decided to close both the Culpeper and the Hampton campuses. At the time of the Hampton closure, families were informed that low enrollment was the reason behind the closure and that all other campuses would remain open. The economic recession in the United States between 2005 and 2011 led to many organizations going out of business, and the education sector was not exempt (U.S. Department of Labor, 2013).

In addition to the economic recession, private schools in Illinois have faced intense competition from charter schools, which are independently run public schools. Between 2011 and 2013, two top-rated charter schools opened campuses within 5 miles of the Staunton campus. Some FBPS Staunton campus students transferred to those schools.

In 2013, FBPS sent an e-mail to parents in error, informing them that the Staunton campus (pre-K through middle school) would be discontinued. That e-mail was withdrawn on the same day, and shortly afterwards, the head of the school retired. Caudhill appointed Dr. Audrina Murphy as the new head of the school. Dr. Murphy, a well-educated and experienced administrator, worked with “strategic planning experts” to create a niche and a new mission for the school. Dr. Murphy embraced her new role and continuously assured parents that the Staunton campus would remain open. Parents who attended the Parent Teacher Student Association (PTSA) meeting in mid-December 2013 affirmed that she offered assurances at the meeting.

 

January 2014

Winter break started on Monday, December 23, 2013, and students were scheduled to return to school on Tuesday, January 7, 2014. On Monday, January 6, 2014, the Staunton campus principal received information that the campus would close at the end of the semester, and this news was conveyed to faculty and staff at the school. Only two campuses would remain open: the Richmond and North Richmond campuses.

Parents were outraged, students were in disarray, and faculty and administration were in shock. If parents had been informed earlier, it would have been possible for them to try to secure a spot for their children at one of the schools nearby. However, open admissions at the surrounding schools had closed earlier in December. Parents attempted to place their children on waiting lists, but most lists had already filled up, some in excess of 800 students. Additionally, many local schools had already completed their hiring for the following academic year, leaving FBPS faculty and staff limited in employment options.

As it turned out, FBPS was not the only school closing campuses. That period was a difficult time for schools in Illinois in general, with reports from the Center for Education Reform (2011) reporting that between 2010 and 2011 the major reasons schools closure were financial, mismanagement, and district-related issues.

 

Parent Meeting

Parents were invited to a meeting on January 8, 2014, to meet with the head of the school and a Caudhill official. Parents invited the media to the meeting, but the media was denied access. At the onset of the meeting, Dr. Murphy took the podium and began by praising the Staunton campus and its community. These statements bothered some of the parents, who demanded to know why the school was closing if it had all the positive attributes just attributed to it.

The meeting grew tense and heated. Parents felt betrayed because of the timing of the closure announcement. Dr. Murphy stated that buses would be provided to shuttle children ages 2-12 to the new locations. However, the closest campus would require a trip of 40-miles (minimum) twice every day. This would not be a viable option for many parents, but the announcement timing left them with few options.

Other parents tried to negotiate with the administration to run the school for one more academic year so families would have enough time to transition their children. Neither the Caudill official nor Dr. Murphy agreed to this proposed solution.

Some parents offered to pay more in terms of tuition, but administration again did not agree to this proposal. Parents asked if the closure was due to financial reasons. Dr. Murphy replied that finances were “not a factor” and the closure was for “demographic reasons.”

While Dr. Murphy stated that the reason for the closure of the two campuses was not financial in nature, Moody’s analytics reported that the parent company (Caudill) was experiencing some strain. The rating of Moody’s analytics is a representation of the analysts’ opinion of the creditworthiness of an organization. From August 2012 to 2014, the corporate family rating (CFR) went from B2 to Caa2 indicating a lack of confidence in the financial health of Caudill.

 

Moving Forward

Following the parent meeting in January, some families pulled their children out of FBPS immediately, prior to the completion of the academic year. Those families received no financial reimbursement as parents had signed a contract for the academic year. Other families decided to withdraw from the school at the end of the semester. By June 2014, student population had significantly diminished on the affected campuses.

Some of the students who remained at Staunton planned to transfer to surrounding schools. Few decided to continue at the Richmond and North Richmond campuses. Others registered at Allegiant Academy, a new nonprofit private school opened by parents previously affiliated with Staunton. Kasey Luce, daughter of one of the FBPS founders, came out of retirement to become principal of Allegiant Academy. In addition to her role as principal of the school, Luce was also the president of the nonprofit corporation that owned the school.

Allegiant Academy began with an enrollment of about 100 students (pre-K-8 grade), rising to 120 students by the end of the year. Most of these students were from the Staunton campus population. The school leased a church for its first year to house the school. Parents described Allegiant Academy in positive terms with approximately 90% of families choosing to reenroll for the 2015-2016 academic year.

 

References

Center for Education Reform. (2011). Appendix D. Closed charter schools by state. Retrieved from https://www.edreform.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/CER_FINALClosedSchools2011-1.pdf

U.S. Department of Labor. (2013). Travel expenditures during the recent recession, 2005–2011. Retrieved from http://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2013/ted_20130115.htm

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