Tips, tricks, and strategies that help small schools attract and retain families!
I'm seeing schools everywhere getting ready to once again bring in parent volunteers! Knowing how much our schools need support, this is an exciting development However, the role of parents volunteers has shifted drastically - parents are extremely busy.
So when we finally welcome parents into our school doors, there are a couple of things I'd advise you to keep in mind to make the experience fulfilling and functional for all!
1.) Align the interests of the parent...
In receiving our end-of-year surveys, there is a clear reoccurring theme...Families want community. Not just new families, but everyone
The last couple of years have been hard on our communities, and because of this, we haven't been able to fully return to a place where we can invest in building solid connections over the year within our schools
So there are a couple of things I implore your to start thinking about as we set goals toward community building for...
There is one question you need to add to your new parents’ surveys!
At ESM, we work with a lot of clients on developing surveys that are tailored especially to their community and one of the many surveys we offer is for new parents. We send this new parent survey out during re-enrollment season, and ever since we added this one question, we've been seeing some very insightful feedback!
The question is simple, and is usually reframed based on the needs of each...
This topic was brought up at our latest Small School Leaders meetup, where essentially, some schools are being fully transparent about the true cost of education during the enrollment process.
So basically they're saying, "Here's how much it costs to educate your child, and here's our tuition." What this does is it puts that tuition cost into perspective
Some of these schools are giving the option to current parents to pay the actual cost or just tuition. I thought this was...
Your alumni are incredibly valuable and keeping them involved is a major benefit to your school, but how do you incentive such a thing?
One of the members of Small School Leaders brought up at our latest meetup that they noticed there were all these alumni from their school living local to the area, and strangely weren't sending their kids to their school
1. In response, another member shared that at their school they have something called a "legacy grant." ...
So you took a gamble on an applicant, now what? Perhaps last year you needed more students so you took the risk and admitted families that you thought would be a good fit, but weren't 100% positive.
A year later these families leave, maybe spreading negative feedback about the school and unnecessary drama ensues.
Words are incredibly powerful! One of our Small School Leaders brought up this very interesting topic, sharing how they're changing their terminology around "discounts" to align more with their mission and create a more positive experience for people engaging with the discounts.
Instead of using the word "discount", they said "grant" which reframed discounts offered by the school in an entirely different light
The word "discount" can have some negative...
Social proof can build that know and trust factor because people want to know the experience of others who have already experienced the school.
1. Every admissions email should include tested quotes and testimonials from parents, students, alumni, etc. Bonus if you've tailored those to meet the needs of the level that they're applying to. Even your signature block is a great place to include a testimonial - built-in social proof!
2. Showcase social proof on your admissions...
Over the last couple of years, we've experienced a lot of unprecedented change in our school systems - it's affected how we teach, how our students learn, how parents engage, how we market - everything.
In response to this, my wise friend Ken, a Small School Leaders member, shared, "Our vitality flows out of our ability to adapt." Ken suggested that, as schools, we market the stability we've provided through the pandemic and our students have continued to grow and...
Do you struggle with parents getting their enrollment contracts back to you on time? Deadlines pass and you're still left waiting?
Wait no more with these 4 tips I'm sharing with you today!
1. Continuous Enrollment
This may seem obvious, but you'd be surprised at the number of schools that are not implementing this. This way, parents aren't hassled with opting in every year - instead, they simply only have to opt-out!
2. Having a Deadline with an Incentive or...