For some, another school year has already come and gone. For others, the school year is almost at an end. July starts the beginning of many fiscal years, and tuition collection for the coming school year starts, so this is a good time to take stock of where your enrollment stands for the coming year, and, perhaps, try a new tactic to bring new students to your school. While it might be too late for the coming year, anytime is a good time to plant seeds.
First, take a look at the number of parents that have indicated their students are returning. I’m sure you have their mailing addresses. Then, log on to a mapping application, like Zeemaps (https://www.zeemaps.com/) or BatchGeo (https://batchgeo.com/). Enter all the addresses in the space provided, one address per line. Only enter the street address, the city, state and zip code, like this: 123 Anywhere Street, Streetville, NJ 08212, or upload a spreadsheet of your addresses. A pin map will be generated, allowing you to see where your enrollment comes from! Since neighbors talk to neighbors over the summer, the most populated areas of students from your school might be good places to do several things:
1) Plan a weekend campaign to hang door hangers on the doors of the neighbors’ homes. Your school name, your Web site, a phone number. Then something like, “Visit us to see where your child might like to be.” Of course, your Web site needs to be an inviting one, the phone needs to be answered at your school, and your school needs to be open during the summer for tours. Now you know why I said you may not be able to do this for the coming school year. If your school shuts its doors in July to give teachers a well-deserved break, consider reading “Stay Open,” last week’s Advancementality article again.
2) Then, if zoning laws permit, ask parents in these densely populated areas of your school’s enrollment to place yard signs in their yard with the same information, colors and font, as well as your school logo, that are on the door hangers. Redundant? Hardly. In marketing, there is no such thing as redundancy – it’s called “reinforcement.” It’s why advertisers repeat the phone number so many times at the end of a commercial. Think about it – we provide “reinforcement” for our students in the classroom, and then give them additional reinforcement exercises in the form of homework. Today’s parents are no different.
3) Lastly, those families that are in a high concentrated area could get together and have some type of gathering in the neighborhood. While it would be a gathering of families that attend your school, it might attract interest from families that are interested in your school. Think of it as an “offsite” information day. The positive message about your school needs to be reinforced as much as it can be during the summer to keep your school community intact.
© Michael V. Ziemski, SchoolAdvancement, 2006-2021 (Original Publication Date: 20060426)