OCS Enrollment and Marketing Newsletter

March 2013

Enrollment Management Newsletter

We are currently in the season of Lent and preparing for Easter at the end of this month.  Lent is a time of reflection and in this newsletter we offer a way to reflect on the work that your school is doing.

Surveys are an excellent reflection tool. Take time this month to conduct a school survey, which are valuable for many reasons.  Most importantly, they allow you to gain insight into your school community. After conducting a survey, you can highlight your school's success. You can also take the opportunity to address any areas of concern before they become major problems.

We recommend conducting your school's survey online using google docs or an online provider.  If your families prefer hardcopy, that's fine too.  Our consultants are equipped to work with your school to develop an appropriate survey, help you to conduct the survey, analyze the results, and create a presentation for your school.  Consultants have worked with other schools and seen great success with surveys.  We'd be happy to help you.

Here are a few resources:
Sample survey 
Sample survey 
Sample response letter
Survey Press Release

Tracking Enrollment

Tracking enrollment throughout the Spring and Summer is one of the many strategies that will help us succeed. This year we are tracking enrollment via online reporting. Knowing that this may feel like one more thing to do, the reason we are asking for this information is that schools who actively track their registrations put themselves in a good position to reach their enrollment and budget goals. The purpose here is to help you adopt a best practice for managing your enrollment--if you are not already doing so. We are deeply grateful for all your work, and please know that we are asking for this information to help you continue strengthening your school. Growing enrollment, more often than not, speaks to the overall quality of your program. Excellent academics and vibrant Catholic identity sets the stage for successful enrollment marketing.

Where appropriate, we'll also use the data to work with you on ways to improve both your enrollment and tuition revenue forecasts. We are also able to share your data from last year so you can see how your school is trending each month.

It should take only about five minutes to complete. Here's the link to the form:

A Lenten Prayer.

Do You Have a Fever?

Don't worry-we are talking about a good kind of fever...Retention Fever. Remember our system wide goal is a 98.6 % retention rate or higher. How is your school doing with re-enrollment? At this point, you should be about 7 weeks into re-enrollment season. Now is your chance to identify those families who may be on the fence or unable to return for whatever reason. If you can work with these families in March (instead of waiting until May), there is a much better chance that they'll return. Make sure that families who are considering a transfer are treated individually and made to feel that they are an integral part of your school community. Here's a retention worksheet that might help you develop a "fever."

And last but not's the March Calendar.

Forward to Friend

MARCH 2013

Retention and Cultural Responsiveness

Our schools continue to improve their recruitment strategies and they are paying off. Chicago Catholic Schools enrollment is growing in the City of Chicago and stabilizing in suburbs. Now, how do we ensure we serve our families so that they stay with us? Here are some ideas:

  • Develop a hospitality protocol or list of responsibilities for all staff in the front office. This protocol may include items such as: make sure someone is available to speak to parents in their home language; shake the hand of every parent that enters the office; offer parents the space and assistance to complete forms at the school.
  • Provide all school materials, including application and financial aid information, in both English and their home language, as needed. Provide bilingual assistance with these forms in case questions arise as they complete registration materials.
  • Be sure that the diversity of the school is reflected in the composition of the school board and other committees. Invite parents and local community leaders to serve in leadership positions.
  • Sponsor professional development activities for faculty and staff to learn a new language, advance their practice of teaching English language learners, or more effectively incorporate the local culture into their work at the school.
  • Ask your Parent Ambassadors to serve as mentors to new families guiding them from admissions to the start of the school year and beyond, checking in with new families periodically.
  • Conduct a mid-year and/or end of year satisfaction survey for all your families and be responsive to the results of those surveys; consider a separate end-of-year survey for new families, including questions about how they were recruited, how the admissions process was, how welcome they felt, and how their needs were met.
  • Have a formal and sustainable financial aid process in place for those families seeking assistance.
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Archdiocese of Chicago
Catholic Schools

835 North Rush Street
Chicago, IL 60611
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