Why 5?  Simply because 3 leads to 4 leads to 5 – and it’s the fifth element that’s necessary to complete the system.  Since I’m sure you have lots to do during these last few days of Advent to prepare for Christmas, plan on tackling this when you come back to school after the Christmas break.  It’s when you’ll begin budget planning for the 21-22 school year (if you haven’t started already), taking into consideration factors like delinquent tuition from this year, projected enrollment, next year’s tuition, teacher salaries and benefits, and how all these things will impact your marketing, not to mention how you’re going to retain those families that have enrolled their children due to COVID, or how you’ll grow your enrollment if you’ve lost a significant number of students due to the pandemic and families being out of work and not being able to afford tuition.  Here are the 5 questions:

  1. Are you capturing all your tuition revenue?
  2. Is your enrollment increasing?
  3. Are you effectively engaging individuals outside your school community, evidenced by increasing gifts and contributions to your school (Note:  NOT fundraiser income)?
  4. Are you willing to commit resources to an engaging and interactive Web presence?
  5. Are you creating a community of learners consisting of both parents and students, offering each a positive and life-changing experience?

And here’s a bonus question 5.5: Do you believe that all these items impact each other?

If you’ve answered “No” to any of questions 1 through 5, your school isn’t advancing – it could be either stagnant or regressing.  In nature, stagnation breed all kinds of strange things.  In the Dead Sea, salt levels rise, and nothing can live there; stagnant water attracts mosquitoes which carry diseases; and stagnant moisture and airflow create situations where mold grows.  We won’t even discuss regression.

In 2021, answering “yes” to all these questions will create “The SchoolAdvancement Creed”

Let’s all continue to pray for one another, our schools, our children and our school’s parents, as well as our nation’s leaders, those who protect our freedoms, and those who God is calling to leadership.  May the Holy Spirit also overshadow us as Mary was overshadowed, lead us through the unknown, and inspire us so that all we do continues to build the Kingdom of God.

May your Christmas be blessed, joyful, and safe!

© Michael V. Ziemski, SchoolAdvancement, 2010-2020 (Original Publication Date: 20101220)