The One Question School Heads Must Answer to Guarantee Re-enrollment

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Source Newsletter for School Heads Header Image

School Heads

As School Head, you play a crucial part in your school’s advancement goals—particularly re-enrollment. There is no one else who can speak on behalf of your school quite as comprehensively and authoritatively as the School Head, which means you personally can wield a great deal of power and persuasion when it comes to student retention.

So, while the Admission Office works on accepting new mission-appropriate students, take a moment to address one vital question that no one else can answer: “How does it benefit students to continue learning at our school?”

A broader form of this question is one that ISM Consultant Amy Riley recommends in her Quick Tip podcast The Areas of Influence that all school administrators ask themselves: "What is the benefit to students of the words I'm about to speak, the action I'm about to take, or the decision I'm about to make?" (Here’s the full podcast if you’d like to watch!)

But when it comes to the School Head's critical involvement in re-enrollment, this challenge becomes more direct: How is the student served by continuing to enroll at your school?

Only you, as School Head, are in the position to see the school community and culture as a whole, and so you are the person who is best able to answer this essential question to re-enrollment.

The answer is different for every school, and must be re-evaluated from year to year. Strategic plans, teaching strategies, and community members—administrators, teachers, and families—all change, creating new opportunities and outcomes about which community members can be excited.

As School Head, you can constantly communicate these changes in such a way that motivates and excites the community while encouraging them to stay part of the school family for as long as possible.

Monthly Head “breakfasts” with parents, weekly columns in the school’s newsletter, social media posts promoting student achievements—there are limitless opportunities for you continue to answer parents’ unasked question, “Why should we stay at your school?”

Discover the power of a 360° marketing and enrollment-management approach in Summer Institute’s Just for Heads: Marketing and Enrollment Management for the New Educational Paradigm workshop, July 6-9 in Wilmington, DE. Bring together members of your academic, admission, development, and marketing communications leadership team to craft an integrated recruitment and re-recruitment strategy that inspires families to make the long-term enrollment and philanthropic commitments you seek.

Additional ISM resources:
The Source for School Heads Vol. 9 No. 8 The Head as the Face of Your School's Advancement
The Source for School Heads Vol. 14 No. 4 Three Writing Tips for Your Head's Column
The Source for School Heads
Vol. 14 No. 4 Pick-Up Lane Gossip: The Private School's Water Cooler
The Source for School Heads Vol. 14 No. 1 Conversations With New Families: Retention Starts With You
The Source for School Heads Vol. 14 No. 2 Three Advantages to Monthly "Head Talks"
The Source for School Heads Vol. 14 No. 3 Three Monthly "Head Talk" Meeting Mishaps

Additional ISM resources for Gold Consortium members:
I&P Vol. 35 No. 10 Internal Marketing Strategies for Your Summer Program
I&P Vol. 29 No. 16 15 Administrative Actions and Approaches Compatible With the Findings of ISM's Head Leadership Study


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.

6/18/2020 — 6/19/2020


Scheduling in a Pandemic: How to Create Your School’s Fall 2020 Schedule

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6/22/2020 — 6/25/2020


Mastering Enrollment Management

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