In an earlier Marketing Matter, “Experience” was listed as one of the four elements (marks, if you will) of the Catholic school, Christian school, or, for any faith-based school – Faith, Academics, Community and Experience (creating the FACE acronym).  For a private school that has no “faith” component to it, you can replace the “F” with “Founder’s Heritage.” (Come to think of it, isn’t that what a faith-based school is all about too?)

What kind of “experience” are the students in your school having in the classroom?  Are they engaged learners, interacting with one another to accomplish small group projects, or does the teacher make them sit in neat rows, keeping their eyes on their own papers, lecturing incessantly day after day?  Here’s the litmus test – are the children generally enthused about coming to and being a part of the school, or do they sit at their desks, elbow on the desktop, chin and cheek resting on their hand, staring up at the ceiling, or looking for something to “DO” rather than being forced to sit and listen for 40 minutes at a clip?

Not only the children, but their parents’ engagement also needs to be evaluated.  What is their “experience” of your school?  Do they feel they are part of the educational process, that they are partners with the teacher and the school…or are they viewed as “helicopter” parents, always hovering over their children, and, in the teacher’s mind, hindering their children’s education, or, are they now “snowplow” parents, wanting to clear the way for their children so that they don’t run into obstacles or hurdles?  If a teacher says, “I wish these parents would just leave me alone,” that’s an indication to watch – no, analyze – the retention figures of your school.  In this case, retention isn’t used as it’s been historically understood in the K12 space, which is not permitting a child to advance to the next grade level.  Retention is understood as it is at the higher education level – keeping students and families as part of the school community while they matriculate to the next grade level.

Read the article on “The Experience” here

© Michael V. Ziemski, SchoolAdvancement, 2007-2022 (Original publication date: 20071210)