ASSIGN A COMMITTEE LEAD
A task oriented Lead must believe in the mission of the Catholic school, understand the history of the community, and positively lead community collaboration to market the school to prospective parents. Ideally the Lead is a full-time staff position. If this is not possible, the Principal should consider assigning responsibilities to an existing staff member (e.g., a Marketing Director or Development Director), sharing a position with another school, or hiring someone on a part-time basis. The least preferred option is to enlist the help of a volunteer, but in some cases this may be the only opportunity.
The Lead should report directly to the Principal and is responsible to:
- Develop, review, and enhance the annual school enrollment plan
- Manage and direct an effective volunteer committee
- Plan and coordinate admissions events and other opportunities to get new families on campus
- Recruit, motivate, and direct parent volunteers
- Integrate best practices related to marketing, recruitment, and retention into the annual activities of the school
- Act as an ambassador for the school to the broader community
- Attend relevant workshops provided by the OCS
FORM A COMMITTEE
The committee is ideally a sub-committee of the School Commission, supporting its responsibilities as outlined in the School Commission Handbook, such as “providing optimal public relations,” “developing a plan and means to finance school programs,” and “establishing a mission statement and strategic plan.” The School Commission and the Committee differ in function in that the School Commission advises school leadership on many matters, while the Committee implements the school’s plan. The illustration below provides a broad overview of the work of the committee.
The Committee is primarily responsible for overseeing the Principal components of the plan, which include:
- Analyzing the school’s enrollment data to identify areas of need and focus.
- Developing the school’s planned calendar of school enrollment activities.
- Planning, managing, and staffing events for recruitment and retention.
- Increasing enrollment through effective communication to target markets and personally following up with families that show interest in enrolling.
- Training ambassadors in the community to positively represent the Catholic school.
POTENTIAL COMMITTEE MEMBERS:
School Leaders: Lead, Principal, Pastor, outstanding teacher(s), and other staff
Responsibilities: Set committee agenda and deadlines, ensuring execution of events and preparing the school for planned and unplanned visits from potential families. Promote faculty culture of enrollment friendly practices, including the creation of a welcoming environment for all. Assess current family satisfaction in real-time.
Professionals: People with talent and experience in marketing, public relations, and general business or non-profit work; technical professionals with experience in website development, graphic design or database management, sales people and finance professionals.
Important Skills: Possess strong written and verbal communication abilities. Able to bring the perspective of parents in developing the value proposition. Able to interpret data and develop strategy.
Organizers: People with strong attention to detail, schedules, deadlines, and coordination of people and resources.
Important Skills: Bookkeeping. Budgeting. Event planning. Systems analysis.
Connectors: Natural word-of-mouth promoters, determined to get new families on campus and passionate about Catholic schools, for example: Parents, grandparents and parish staff.
Important Skills: Well-connected in the community. Able to recruit and motivate volunteers. Able to make friends easily. Possessing persuasion and advocacy skills.
THE WORK OF THE ENROLLMENT COMMITTEE
With as much detail as possible, the resources on this website are is intended to help a new Committee immediately develop and work a plan to improve enrollment at their school. Contained are best practices collected from schools in the Archdiocese of Seattle and from across the nation. By following the “how to’s” provided, a school’s Committee can develop a strategic plan for the year to recruit prospective families on campus and get them enrolled. Effective use of these resources should also create a deeper loyalty among current parents who will remain at the school and become passionate advocates to prospective families.