Five Steps for Smooth Summer Admission Tours

Source Newsletter for Advancement Header Image
Source Newsletter for Advancement Header Image


The summer is no time for rest in the Admission Office. Chances are there may still be open seats for the upcoming school year and you’ll be working through the summer months to fill those spots.

But tours can feel less lively in the summer. There isn’t the usual hustle and bustle that lets prospective families see classes in action and students enjoying activities and programs.

However, there is hope. Here are five steps for orchestrating admission activities during the summer to give the best experience possible to touring families.

Step #1: Share a summer admission process. Let fellow administrators and office staff know when the Admission Office is open during the summer, where to obtain recruitment materials (which should be available in every open administrative office), and how to arrange an admission appointment. Share this process with the School Head and Leadership Team as well.

Step #2: Identify your opportunities. If your school runs its own summer program, this is a perfect time to illustrate your campus in action. Work with the Summer Program Director to find out what activities are taking place and when they are scheduled so you can arrange tours accordingly. If any of the summer program involves faculty members who teach during the school year or full-time students, be sure to showcase them.

Step #3: Create “model” classrooms and spaces. Set up a sample classroom in each division to illustrate how classes look and run during the school year. Ask the Facilities Manager to ensure the selected rooms are cleaned, painted, and refurbished when the school year ends. They should also be cleaned daily during the summer and not used for any other summer activities.

Step #4: Develop visual aids. Illustrate what happens during the school year through videos, slideshows, and photos. Make them easily accessible while guests are waiting in your office or after you return from a tour. Welcome questions and inquiries about what prospective parents and students see in the materials.

Step #5: Arrange for select people to be available. Many teachers and students perform tours during the school year. Ask if they’d be willing to participate in select tours during the summer to provide a true picture of your school. Brief volunteers on specifics of giving a campus tour during the summer. For instance, they should know how to answer questions about campus construction or what a typical day looks like during the school year. Also, check with the School Head and other administrators about their availability during the summer so they can be introduced to visiting families.

Summer admission can be the difference between “making your numbers” and facing a financial shortfall. Follow these steps to help summer tours provide an effective look at your lively, active school and its programs.

Additional ISM resources:
The Source for Advancement Vol. 12 No. 5 Tour Dos and Don'ts

Additional ISM resources for Gold members:
I&P Vol. 31 No. 14 Admission Office Challenges During Campus Construction Projects


Explore ISM’s 40+ professional development events.

Develop new skills, gain confidence in your role, and lead with clarity. Be mentored by leaders who are experts in their field, many currently working in private schools today. Get hands-on experience, network with fellow school leaders, and walk away with an action plan you can use the minute you return to campus.



Upcoming Events. Lead with Clarity.

11/30/2020 — 12/4/2020


How to Design a Quality Summer Program (Even Amid a Global Pandemic)

Status: Confirmed


12/1/2020 — 12/4/2020


The New Marketing Communications Director

Status: Open


More Events

  • workshop 12/7/2020 — 12/8/2020

    Tools for Creating an Engaging Alumni Program

  • workshop 1/12/2021 — 2/2/2021

    30 Days to an Inbound Marketing Program That Fills Your Admission Funnel

  • workshop 1/14/2021 — 1/15/2021

    Instructional Leadership: Supporting Exceptional Distance Learning