The new school year has started and you have approximately 6-8 weeks before the next enrollment cycle begins. You barely have time to take a deep breath before you start the process all over again. Now is when the owner of the school or the board directors are starting to put pressure on you to grow, knowing all too well that it can’t be immediate. What you do now as a Head of School, Principal, or Admissions Director will impact the 2017-18 school year.
The period between the first day of school and your first open house is the perfect time to reflect on ways to grow enrollment and revenue. While the science of enrollment management is vital to your growth (and you should surely use this 6-8 weeks to review your marketing, open houses, follow up procedures, re-enrollment plans, etc), I believe examining your programming is the surest way to grow your school fast. Some examples include:
- Develop an international student program. I started an international student program at my former school at the height of the recession. During the past 5 years, this program grew to over 40 high school students (most of these students stayed at the school for 3-4 years). Development of this program added approximately $1,000,000 to our revenue per year.
- If you are a K-8 school, now might be the time to start a high school. Sounds daunting doesn’t it, but I’m sure your 8th graders want to stay with you. Rather than building a 20,000+ square foot high school building, you might want to consider adding a micro-high school. You can do this in 4,000-5,000 square feet in either existing space (convert a library or cafeteria), or you might just lease some modular space.
- Add a program for children with learning differences. We all have toured a family who have multiple children. Inevitably, one of the children might have a learning challenge, and you might not be able to meet that child’s needs. My team and I started a program for children with average to above average IQ’s, a documented learning issue, and no emotional handicaps. Establishing this program over a decade ago enabled us to grow our school by approximately 50 students per year, and most importantly enabled us to make more of a difference in the lives of children and their families.
I have experience developing all three of the programs described above. Feel free to contact me directly (954-444-2128 or firstname.lastname@example.org) if you want consultation on developing programming such as international student programs, starting a small high school, or establishing a program for children with learning differences. Adding any of these three programs will rapidly grow the private school that you lead.