Ensuring parents enroll
An overview of the best practices for staff to use in talking with prospective parents, scheduling a visit with the principal and ensuring your school stays in touch until the family chooses a school. (The following tips are more detailed information for various steps outlined here.)
Handle leads effectively
Handle leads effectively: Get ready
Handle leads effectively: Why scheduling a parent-principal consultation should be your first goal
Handle leads effectively: Set aside weekly time for parent-principal consultations
Handle leads effectively: Use a method for tracking leads
Sample form: Inquiry checklist and tracking (pdf)
Sample form: Inquiry checklist and tracking (Word) A editable script for phone answerers and tracking each step between first contact and enrollment.
Handle leads effectively: Use the inquiry form for same day follow up
Handle leads effectively: Offer Education Success Consultations
Handle leads effectively: Talk to prospective parents in Education Success Consultation.
Tip: Don’t recruit. Connect and follow up.
Handle leads effectively: Emphasize your mission during a school tour.
Tip: Create a welcoming school culture
Handle leads effectively: Invite prospective students to spend time in the classroom
Tip: Offer a “Scholar Day”
Handle leads effectively: Call parents after their visits.
Tip: Accept only excited families
Sample form: Ten questions for interviewing students about their enthusiasm for coming to your school.
Handle leads effectively: Summary
Handle leads effectively: Summary adapted for Covid
Handle leads effectively: Learn what works for other schools
Teachers’ role in marketing — This series clarifies that teachers have only two responsibilities in marketing: Terrific teaching and primo parent communication. These messages focus on what research tells us will be most effective.
Teachers’ role: Research says the quality bar is set high — Focusing on what parents find most important
Teachers’ role: Research says character development is more important than academics — Understanding that parents evaluate character development based on how your students behave
Teachers’ role: Research says academics are still vital, even if second to character development — Understanding how parent concerns impact your school
Teachers’ role: Research says parents evaluate your teaching based on your communication with them — Prioritizing communication and designing it for parent convenience
Teachers’ role: Learning from research means communication needs to be designed around what the customer needs — Making your communication essential but also efficient for parents
Teachers’ role: Research says parents want to know how their child is progressing — Realizing what makes student progress communication easy for parents
Teachers’ role: Learning from research means sharing student progress and upcoming assignments conveniently — Using Renweb and newsletters for progress and assignments
Teachers’ role: Learning from research means listening actively to parents — Making your primo parent communication two-way
Thank someone — Process for principals (and others) to systematically create positive contacts between the school and your supporters
Referral incentives –– What to do and not do to encourage referrals
Referral incentives: Three reasons why offering large tuition discounts for recruiting can backfire
Referral incentives: How to thank referrers effectively
Exit interviews — Explains exit interviews for teachers, principal, and board members, with a suggested outline for the conversation
Form: Exit interviews for teachers and staff — One page to give to teachers and staff members who are doing exit interviews
Form: Exit interviews for board members — One page (front and back) to give to board members who are doing exit interviews
Take compelling photos with your phone — Tips for taking photos for social media or your website’s photo gallery
Newsletters — Using effective communication to parents as a way to increase parent satisfaction (Research has demonstrated that parents evaluate teaching quality based on the school’s communication to them. You are right! This is not fair to you, but it is the reality not just for schools but for other professions.)
Newsletters: Send a weekly parent newsletter — Outlines why newsletters are important and how to structure yours
Newsletters: Make your weekly newsletter essential — Ideas for consolidating communication so everyone uses the newsletter consistently
Newsletters: Who, what, where, when, why form — A sign to post over the computer of everyone writing information for your newsletter
Newsletters: Proofread & use a template — Why being consistent and word perfect is important
Newsletters: Weekly school newsletter — Features of an effective newsletter
Sample form: Weekly school newsletter template — (link for the Google Doc) An editable version which can be copied to your Google Drive for editing by your staff
Sample: Weekly classroom update — A sample classroom update (Sacramento Adventist Academy)
Sample: Weekly school email newsletter — (MailChimp) A whole school newsletter (Sacramento Adventist Academy)
Train your parents and teachers — Ideas on how to increase readership
Model good communication — Improving communication with parents
Encouraging a positive school culture — Our research is documenting that developing Christian character traits is the primary reasons parents seek and choose a Christian school for their child(ren). Seeing positive behavior in students during their interview process and experiencing it once they enroll is a critical factor in recruiting and retaining students. And besides, training the heart of each child is part of why we are an Adventist school. The following are samples you can adapt and adopt to reinforce positive behavior.
Sample form: Positive behavior form — Sample pdf form for teachers to report students doing something praise-worthy (Lodi Academy)
Sample form: Positive behavior report home to parents — Sample pdf form for sending a copy of the positive behavior form to parents when students are recognized (Lodi Academy)
Give school gift certificates at baby dedications — Increasing your school’s visibility in constituent churches