OCS Marketing and Enrollment Newsletter 
Ongoing Projects:
-Press releases 
-Host pre-k and kindergarten morning “open houses”
-Announcements in church bulletin
-Email current and prospective families with any news
-Update website

New Family Sales
-Track potential families and follow up appropriately
-Email current families with any news
-Send home copies of important press releases

Print Calendar

August 2011

Marketing and Enrollment Newsletter

Welcome to the first installment of the OCS Marketing and Enrollment Newsletter. Each month we will bring you some ideas, resources, projects, and tools! Every topic will correlate to an aspect of the Enrollment Management Framework or the Enrollment Management Planning Template. In this edition, you'll find some specific projects to work on in August, as well as a monthly "to-do" list. Take some time to read through everything and pick a few projects to tackle before the school year starts. Our goal is still…MORE KIDS IN GREAT CATHOLIC SCHOOLS! Thank you for all that you do to help us achieve this goal.

School will be in session in a few weeks! As of right now, there are 75 schools that are stable or growing their enrollment and we anticipate that number increasing over the next few weeks. Is your school one of the 75? Take advantage of the remaining  weeks and incorporate some of our August projects into your routine. Don’t be afraid to ask teachers and parents for help. If you need additional support, a member of the OCS marketing team would be happy to visit and discuss some “last minute” strategies.

We appreciate all of the hard work that you are doing and want to continue to support you as much as possible. Please contact us if we can be of any assistance.  
You can find  more information  on the portal.

If you are working on a creative project or have an idea, please email us at .  You may be our featured school next month!

Collecting Information and Following Up

For many schools, August is a key month to enroll new families. Hopefully your summer marketing efforts will pay off and your office will be flooded with inquiries from prospective families.  Start the year off on the right foot by establishing a set routine for collecting prospective student information and developing a consistent follow up plan. This  New Family Sales strategy has the potential to create an immediate impact on enrollment and will allow you to build a relationship with prospective families.

Many schools take pride in the fact that their community is a “family” and everyone is treated with care and respect. It is especially important to reflect this value in interactions with new families.  First impressions can make a huge difference- from the first phone call or visit, prospective families should feel welcomed! Not only is it essential to make a great first impression, but also to examine what your school is doing after the initial phone call or school tour. 

The first step in the process is to collect as much relevant data from the prospective family as possible (sample prospect form).  Eventually this information should be entered into an Excel document (sample excel form). If you are not using Excel, it is important that you are collecting information and keeping it in one place.  Without this crucial first step, you will not be able to follow up. How can you call a family to thank them for visiting if you don’t have their phone number?

Once you've collected the key data from your prospective families, the next step is to develop a follow up procedure.  When it comes to creating your basic follow up plan, include the principal, teachers, and parents in the communication process.  A letter from the principal should be sent immediately after the initial phone call or visit.  You may also want to include additional school information in this letter.  The next step  should be some form of communication from the teacher who will instruct the prospective student. For example, if the prospecitve student will be entering first grade, the parents should receive an introductory letter from the first grade teacher (sample letter). Before the school year starts, ask teachers to compose this letter so that you are ready to send it when a prospective family shows interest.  Another key element of the follow up procedure is a phone call from a current satisfied parent (hint: use your Parent Ambassadors).  Parent to parent communication is important because prospective parents can have candid discussions with current school parents and your parents are often the best communicators of your school’s message. Remember- the more personalized the message, the better! These first three communications (principal, teacher, parent) should occur within one month of the initial interest.

Other follow up ideas include: a note from a current student to the prospective students (kids love getting mail and the prospective parents will be impressed), a copy of a recent press release about the school, a Christmas card, an invitation to spend a “shadow” day at the school, reminder to register etc.  The most important thing to remember throughout the process is that you are building a relationship with the prospective parents and welcoming them into your school family.  Even if they do not choose your school, they will talk to their friends about the personal attention they received.

Sample follow up letters
Sample teacher letter

John Cooper from the Institute of School and Parish development has more to say on this topic.

The Catholic School Advantage: The Campaign to Improve Educational Opportunities for Latino Children
In 2009, the University of Notre Dame launched a campaign to double the percentage of Latino children enrolled in Catholic schools – from 3% to 6% – in the next 10 years, raising the number of Latino children enrolled in Catholic schools from 290,000 to 1 Million by 2020.  Some facts:
  • Latinos who attend Catholic schools are 42% more likely to graduate from high school
  • Latinos who attend Catholic schools are two-and-a-half times more likely to graduate from college
  • Nearly 70% of practicing Catholics under 35 in the U.S. are Latino

Juana María Sánchez, Field Consultant for the Catholic School Advantage Campaign in Chicago provides strategic guidance to selected schools with: 

  • developing a culturally responsive school climate and marketing and outreach recruitment tactics;
  • positioning schools with successfully serving Latino students; and 
  • developing strategic alliances among Latino community organizations to advance recruitment efforts.
Please contact or (312) 402-5905 for more information. 
August Projects
-Speak at Mass and/or local Churches
-Canvass neighborhood
-Form Enrollment Team

New Family Sales
-Create procedure for tracking prospective students (Sample)
-Develop/Refine Follow Up Plan

-Call families who have not yet re-registered (form)


Archdiocese of Chicago
Catholic Schools

835 North Rush Street
Chicago, IL 60611