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Enrollment Management Newsletter


March 2015
Parent Ambassadors


In the fall of 2010, the Archdiocese of Chicago launched the first Parent Ambassador program. Four and a half years later, the program has undergone changes, but the importance of empowering parents to help with recruitment and retention remains at the heart of the program. Ultimately, it is about harnessing the power of word of mouth marketing and utilizing your parents in your enrollment management efforts. Since 2010, we have hosted countless trainings, workshops and webinars and are proud of the results. This month we feature successful initiatives that Parent Ambassadors have launched within their schools. We hope that you'll join us on March 17th to learn more about starting a program in your school.

Save the Date: AMEN Webinar focusing on Parent Ambassadors is March 17th.   REGISTER HERE
                                                                                                         

Parent Ambassadors


In February, we conducted a survey that asked about successful initiatives introduced by Parent Ambassadors. Here are some responses.
 
Parent Ambassadors get together the first Wednesday of every month to plan different fundraising events for the school. They planned our Halloween Dance, Breakfast With Santa and most recently organized the all school field-trip to see Disney on Ice presents: Frozen for Catholic Schools Week. They are always willing to help out with Open Houses and recruitment events.

Our Parent Ambassadors are very active on campus.  We have a Parent Association group who coordinates social events and fundraisers. They meet monthly. We have an Ambassador family who is present for information events who talks with prospective families on why they transferred their children from public school. Testimonials are our biggest marketing tool.  We have a list of Ambassador families available upon request.  We work as a team.  Forming community and friendships is key to our growth.  Parent Ambassadors help roll out marketing initiatives.

Our biggest success has been the formation of our Parent Ambassador team this past November.  Almost every single Parent Ambassador volunteered to help at our Open House and was a huge part of its success.

Attendance at all neighborhood functions, such as activities at the park district, Halloween parade, movie nights at which all of our school  info was passed out to all who attended these events.   We sent a survey to all religious ed families and Parent Ambassadors made personal phone calls to all families who showed an interest in the school.  They have been available for all of our open houses to assist with giving tours, also giving tours on "Welcome Wednesdays" when needed.

We have play dates at the park in the summer for all the new preschoolers. We have an Open House in May.  We serve food and have babysitting so our Parent Ambassador's are available to meet with the new families and answer many of their questions.

After recognizing the need for more social events for parents, our Parent Ambassadors have initiated parent events each year, one for new families, then three more for all who are interested.

Our Parent Ambassadors speak Spanish and Polish and work with prospective families who do not speak English and help with translations. While I cannot attribute enrollment growth directly to my Parent Ambassadors, I can say that the new family welcome and mentoring in the fall definitely contribute to the retention of new families.

One parent gives a short presentation about her experience, and then all of our ambassadors take small groups of parents on school tours. Again, it would be easy for a staff person to take care of this, but it is so refreshing for our potential parents to be taken around the school by current school families who know the school well and have great things to say about it! 
Did you miss our Catholic Schools Week Video Series?

Part I: Catholic Schools are about teaching values…not just test scores. Video
Part II: Catholic Schools are about giving thanks…and giving back. Video
Part III: Catholic schools are about nurturing leaders to have compassion. Video
Part IV: Academic Excellence Video
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The Enrollment Management Newsletter is created by Maria Ippolito, Director of School Marketing and Communications for the Archdiocese of Chicago, Office of Catholic Schools. Please direct any comments concerns or questions to mippolito@archchicago.org Thank you!
Copyright © *2014-2015 OCS, All rights reserved.

Archdiocese of Chicago
Catholic Schools

835 North Rush Street
Chicago, IL 60611

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