OCS Enrollment Management Newsletter
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Enrollment Management Newsletter

February 2015

Does it feels as if we are constantly discussing retention in our newsletters, workshops and webinars? We are! Retention is critical to your enrollment success- it is constantly on our minds and it should be on yours too. It is important to pay attention to the pretty brochures, great websites, and fancy postcards, but retention is the continual work that you do to validate a parent's decision to enroll in your school. The work you do in retention will pay dividends in recruiting new families because happy families want to share their experience with others. Recently, the OCS marketing team participated in a webinar hosted by ISM (Independent School Management) that focused on retention. Below you will find some highlights from the presentation.

Here's an article we shared last month about retention: Retention: 4 Reasons Why You are Chasing Re-enrollments


Save the Date: AMEN Webinar focusing on Retention is February 17th. 



Nationwide, classrooms are seeing a rapidly growing number of Latino students. The educational attainment rates, as well as a broad range of advantageous holistic outcomes connected to Catholic schools, is what we refer to as the Catholic school advantage. The webinar will be Thursday, February 19 from noon to 1 p.m. CST Register:

Parent Ambassador Survey

Parent Ambassador programs have proven to help schools with their recruitment and retention efforts. Is this true for you? We would like to know. Your feedback will be helpful in preparing for upcoming Parent Ambassador sessions. Please take just a few minutes to share your experience in this short survey by Friday, February 13. Thank you!


Retention in Our Schools

Highlights from the ISM (Independent School Management) webinar. Here are some key concepts that area worth repeating.

Why do parents wait to re-enroll?

- You haven't told them what they need to do
Are you clear in explaining the process and timetable for re-enrollment?

- You haven't told them why
Are you articulating the importance of re-enrolling early so that you can hire the appropriate number of teachers, set budget and provide the best possible education experience for their child?

- You have enabled them
Do you make excuses for the reasons that parents wait to re-enroll?

- You may not be meeting the needs of your families
Ultimately, retention is a validation of the quality of your program. When you see a decline in retention, are you evaluating your program in the context of the needs of your families?

Other important concepts and ideas:
  • Track the percentage of families that re-enroll within the first week. They are highly satisfied and probably your best candidates for parent ambassadors. Tracking this percentage and comparing it from year to year are key in determining overall satisfaction.
  •  Speaking of satisfaction... surveys on a regular basis are a way to stay in tune with parent and student happiness. Remember happy families not only stay in the school, but also share their happiness with prospective families.
  • Start small- set attainable goals and hold yourself accountable. Track your progress.
  • Establish a well-articulated time-line for admissions and share it on website, application, and re-enrollment forms.
  • Be patient! Culture changes take 3-4 enrollment cycles. Don't expect change right away and don't give up.
  • Retention is a continual process of keeping your parents happy and validating their decision. You must communicate regularly.
  • Do you currently offer discounts for families who re-enroll early? Consider having a late fee as an alternative- this accomplishes the same things but re-frames 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
2014-2015 Enrollment Management Calendar
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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 Thank you!
Copyright © *2014-2015 OCS, All rights reserved.

Archdiocese of Chicago
Catholic Schools

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Chicago, IL 60611

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