“Back to school signals the end of summer and the beginning of school!”
Growing up, back to school time always brought back the reality that summer time fun was coming to an end. The summers feel much shorter from my childhood to now. We’re going back to school as early as July and teacher returning to work mid July. The way that schools handle back to school time can make or break them.
Key Areas for A Successful Back To School
Change is much smoother when communication is accurate, consistent and informative. Communication is what keeps stakeholders on board. Teachers are better prepared when they are communicated with in advance. Parents are happier when they know what to prepare for regarding uniforms, transportation, activities and academia. What we communicate to stakeholders is critically important. How we communicate about our academic offerings, transportation, discipline and student activities matters to the success of our schools.
Parents also look at how schools communicate updates on transportation, activities and how discipline will be handled along with the academic program to help determine if they choose your school. Charter schools that don’t provide transportation but provide a strong academic program and discipline will get parents two hours away to drive. Yet, if your school isn’t good with handling communication and discipline, parents who live next door to your school may go in a different direction.
Questions to Consider:
a: How does is the communication to stakeholders at your school ?
b: Are stakeholders communicated in more than two ways?
c: Is your school’s communication consistent and timely?
Enrollment of scholars helps to fund most schools. “We must fill all seats!” If your school doesn’t have a) a strong system for enrollment, b) a team of persons (not just one individual), c) differentiation between registration, confirmation, withdrawal, administration (record keeping and filing) and d) a marketing plan then you school will suffer with enrollment numbers. It’s hard for one person to handle registration, data and enrollment for over 300 scholars with working parents, many who have more than one child in various grades. Schools create a nightmare with having one person responsible for all these areas and adding communication to stakeholders is asking for low number, burnt out staff and frustrated parents.
Solutions to Consider:
a: Schools can create an Enrollment Team lead by the Registrar that consists of the Parent Liaison, Counselor, Assistant Principal and Special Education Lead/Coordinator
b: Having the parent group support with communication and marketing of the school to gain more families
c: Plan ahead and continuously improve the enrollment process