A new year is an opportunity for a fresh start and for reflection. For Catholic schools it is also a very busy time as the retention and recruitment season picks up. Suddenly, schools are accepting new applicants as well as working to re-enroll current families. It can all be overwhelming, but it is critical to achieving enrollment growth.
Recently, we held an AMEN workshop in which we discussed recruitment best practices as well as retention strategies.
Here are a few great articles that discuss recruitment and retention.
Save the Date: The next AMEN Webinar is February 17th. More details to follow!
Highlights from AMEN
Our most recent AMEN Workshop focused on the two R's: RECRUITMENT and RETENTION.
Elise O'Brien from St. Mary of the Angels School and KK Cleland from the Office of Catholic Schools delivered a fantastic presentation about recruiting and admissions events. You can find the presentation here.
We also conducted table discussions after each session. Below are some of the highlights of those conversations.
Table Discussions Recap
Whether it's an open house at night, during the day, weekends it is critical to be a welcoming school. Your school must come across as professional with a strong brand, aspirational goals, and a warm presence
Every event is a cultivation point
Important to take data from your events so you know what is working, what to change, what to ditch
Instead of bring your child to work why not consider a “bring your parent” to school day
On CPS days off, bring a friend to school
Partner with area businesses (like a pizza shop) print a certificate at bottom of ad with incentive ( such as $75 off registration fee)
Build a relationship with local paper. Paper received good feedback on coverage and then was more willing to continue to cover the school stories.
Host Welcome Wednesday's but make sure that there is good signage around campus
Ask each teacher to identify one parent from each grade that would make great parent ambassador. Upon receiving these names, the marketing/development director follows up personally with each one of these families
If parent is willing to "apply" to be a parent ambassador, they are offered an incentive. Incentive included things like: admission renew fee waived, lock in tuition at this year’s rate, volunteer hour requirement waived etc.
Follow up extremely important from marketing director/principal
Agreed by all that the principal and other leadership positions need to be "approachable" and professional
Word of mouth….works best, current families talking best practices
Grandparents very integral part of communities, special things to celebrate this relationship and their support
The Enrollment Management Newsletter is created by Maria Ippolito, Enrollment Marketing Consultant for the Archdiocese of Chicago, Office of Catholic Schools. Please direct any comments concerns or questions to firstname.lastname@example.org Thank you!