From: Ahmed Ismail <ahmed@portraitplacegpw.com>
    Date: May 20, 2016 at 12:05:29 AM EDT
    To: "'Niehaus, Gary'" <Gary.Niehaus@gpschools.org>
    Cc: "'Fenton, Christian'" <Christian.Fenton@gpschools.org>, "'Dean, Jon'" <Michael.Dean@gpschools.org>, "'Howell, Keith'" <Keith.Howell@gpschools.org>, 'Brian Summerfield' <summerb@gpschools.com>, 'Cindy Pangborn' <cindypangborn@gmail.com>, "'Cindy Pangborn - Grosse Pointe Public School System'" <pangboc@gpschools.com>, 'Dan Roeske' <roesked@gpschools.com>, "'Ismail, Ahmed (GPPSS)'" <ismaila@gpschools.com>, 'Judy Gafa' <gafaj@gpschools.com>, 'Lois Valente' <valentl@gpschools.com>, "'Margaret Weertz'" <weertzm@gpschools.com>
    Subject: My Response to the Niehaus Email to the Board re: Infant and Toddler Program Action Items
    Reply-To: <ahmed@portraitplacegpw.com>

    Gary et al, 

    My reason for continuing to express concern and now requesting a formal Board decision on the substantial losses of the Toddler and Infant Programs is that they are sapping resources that should be (in my opinion) going towards growing the Pre-K services we offer our parents.

    From a business and community service perspective, my belief is that as a school system our priority should be to price these programs so that each of the three programs we offer (Infant, Toddler and Pre-K) are self-sufficient and are not draining one another.  To the extent that the Pre-K is enjoying a positive cash flow, my opinion is that we should re-invest the surpluses to expand the program rather than using it to shore up programs that we are underpricing and/or can’t offer competitively due to our overhead costs.

    Based on the services available in the immediate proximity with the brand recognition that the GPPSS label and quality offer, the Infant Program has no competition.  The pricing that L’Anse Creuse or any other facility that one of our parents is not likely to use is of no relevance to making a sound business decision on the pricing of the Infant Program.  If we were to simply price our program at the Birmingham pricing, it would be self-sufficient and generate a positive cash flow that would allow us to expand the program to service its demand. 

    The same analysis is applicable to the Toddler Program and sound business practice yields the same answer.  

    Business 101 tells us to price each of the three programs so that it generates revenue and then check your demand.  Right now, it is my understanding that we have a waiting list for all of our programs.  This should be expected as we are selling our Infant and Toddler Program at below cost.  If we take a look at our true competition and our costs from a business perspective, it is apparent that if we price the Toddler Program for example at 20% under the GP Academy and 20% above Assumption, the program can be successful and can grow itself to better serve our community.

    If the demand isn’t there for either of these two programs once we have priced the program to reflect our costs and their value in relation to our true (rather than perceived) competition, then the message is simple.  Re-purpose the rooms to serve the age groups for which we have a demand and positive cash flow so that we can grow what we know how to and can run properly.

    I have a spreadsheet that presents the information you have requested that Keith assemble at the office.  I will email it to everyone when I get in tomorrow.  There is no reason for Keith to waste his valuable time doing work that has already been done.  I will send Keith an XLS version so that he can edit it as needed.

    Thank you in advance for taking the time to understand the above and how I feel we can expand the sub-five year old services we offer through proper marketing and data analysis to better serve our young parents.


    Ahmed Ismail, Trustee

    Grosse Pointe Public School System

    313-343-9060 (The Portrait Place, 10am – 5pm)

    313-969-1541 (Cell, 6pm – 11pm)

    Please forgive the fine print to follow.

    Our School Board Policy No. 167.5 requires that I advise you

    what I think you already know, which is:

    The above email and its attachments (if any) express the personal view(s) of the Sender.  If you would like the

    official position of the Board of Education and/or the administration of the Grosse Pointe Public School System

    on an issue, please submit your inquiry to schoolboard@gpschools.org.  Thank you.

    From: Niehaus, Gary [mailto:Gary.Niehaus@gpschools.org
    Sent: Thursday, May 19, 2016 1:00 PM
    To: ahmed@portraitplacegpw.com; Brian Summerfield; Cindy Pangborn; Cindy Pangborn - Grosse Pointe Public School System (pangboc@gpschools.com); Dan Roeske; Ismail, Ahmed (GPPSS); Judy Gafa; Lois Valente; Margaret Weertz
    Cc: Fenton, Christian; Dean, Jon; Howell, Keith
    Subject: FW: May 23 Agenda - Infant and Toddler Program Action Items

    Dear Board Members,

    The two board resolutions are being proposed.  Denise will publish the agenda with three additional agenda items today.

    The only concern about the two resolutions is that we are only considering two out of the Pre-K Tuition programs.  Is there a need to consider all Pre-K- Tuition programs like we did on November 23, 2016.  Keith Howell and Chris Fenton presented increases for all of the programs for three years that was to make the whole Pre-K Tuition program budget neutral.  Dan Roeske, Margaret Weertz and Cindy Pangborn were involved in the Pre-K Tuition committee.  They helped bring the recommendation to the Board of Education.  The Pre-K Tuition Program tuition have been set annually by the business department.   If we raise the two programs then are other programs being reduced to make all Pre-K Tuition programs budget neutral?  So is the goal to be budget neutral?  If not then we are going to be willing to make a profit.