Are You Playing Whack-a-Mole with Your Outreach?

by | Oct 6, 2023 | 0 comments

Charter school leaders often find themselves playing a high-stakes student recruitment game that closely resembles Whack-a-Mole. They’re endlessly hammering down on fleeting enrollment opportunities, hoping to hit the jackpot. But just like the classic arcade game, this approach is both exhausting and rarely effective. Let’s learn how to craft proactive, creative student recruitment strategies to make your school stand out!

Why Whack-a-Mole Doesn’t Work

The “Whack-a-Mole strategy” is purely reactive. When we react, we miss out on the chance to set the stage, tell a compelling story, or connect deeply with potential students and their families. Reactive strategies also mean that schools are always a step behind, struggling to keep up with a constantly shifting enrollment environment.

Embrace Creativity

To truly capture the attention and hearts of potential students and parents, schools must think outside the box. The market is flooded with traditional open houses and tours. While they have their place, schools should consider diversifying their outreach initiatives. Here are some fresh ideas to spark interest.

Paint and Click Event: Invite parents and kids for a fun-filled day of art. Not only do they get to see the school and learn about its curriculum and programs, but they also walk away with a beautiful painting. As they paint, they can click – on the school’s online application page, that is.

Welcome Back BBQ: A good old BBQ never fails to draw a crowd. Throw in a bookbag giveaway, and you’ve got a winning formula. It’s a relaxed atmosphere that gives parents and students a taste of the school community, literally and figuratively.

Virtual Reality Tours: In an age of technology, why limit tours to the physical realm? Offer virtual reality tours where parents and students can experience the school from the comfort of their homes.

Direct Outreach Still Matters

Even as we embrace new methods, never underestimate the power of direct communication. Personal phone calls, texts, and emails can have a profound impact on enrollment efforts. It shows families that the school genuinely cares about their child’s education. Remember, many parents are overwhelmed by the plethora of educational options available. A timely and personal touch might be just the thing to tilt the scales in your favor.

In conclusion, it’s time for charter school leaders to put away the mallet and step out of the Whack-a-Mole arcade. By adopting a more proactive and creative approach to student recruitment, they can paint a vivid picture of their school, engage parents, and foster a thriving educational community, all of which will fill classrooms over time.