Student recruitment and retention are some of the most important indicators of successful schools. And of course without students, there is no school.
Finding great students and families – and keeping them from year to year – truly hinges on one overarching concept: establishing an environment of open communication where families feel they are an important part of the school community.
By focusing on these five key areas your school can quickly improve parent communication and improve recruitment and retention efforts:
- Make personal connections – One common reason parents choose private and charter schools for their children is the opportunity to be a part of a smaller community. Take advantage of this by getting to know your students and families and make personal connections. Send birthday messages or other notes that show that they are more than just a number. Keep parents informed of student progress and attendance, and be available for questions from families, either in person or online.
- Share “state of the school” – Parents and families want to have confidence in the school, both as an educational institution, and as a sustaining business. Be sure you are communicating the state of the school to your families, letting them know of any important strategic decisions, new programs or other things that might give them confidence in your school.
- Tell success stories – Your students are likely doing great work, both in the classroom and in the community. Spotlight great projects and innovative explorations your students have taken on, as well as community service and engagement. Families will take pride in being part of a community that values their students’ involvement and effort.
- Tell more success stories – As your school grows and you have groups of graduates, you’ll have a great resource at your disposal – success stories of students who have gone on to prestigious colleges, established successful careers, or done great things in your local community. Don’t be afraid to reach out to these students to help showcase the opportunities your school provided for them. Parents and families will see the great things your school can help their students accomplish.
- Create opportunities for parents to interact with each other – There’s no better, or easier, way to create a sense of community than to get families involved with each other. Involve parents in volunteer opportunities, working together on committees, supporting extracurricular programs, or even just create an online space where they can discuss important issues and connect with each other.
Thinking about ways to improve communication among parents and families? Talk with one of our experts to figure out how to best meet your school’s needs. Contact us.