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Maximizing Student Engagement After Enrollment: Essential Strategies for Schools

3 min read
Jun 11, 2024 8:00:00 AM

If you’ve ever worked in student recruitment, you know that amazing feeling of finally getting your lottery results! All your hard work has paid off, you know which families chose your school, and you can finally take a deep breath. You did it! 

...but before you start counting those prospective students as a sure thing, you need to have a plan for maintaining the excitement and connection those families feel for your school until the first day of school!

So how can you do it? We’ve got a few ideas for you!

By the way, if you want to receive more enrollment-focused insights like this, sign up for the SchoolMint Insider newsletter! Almost every two weeks, you’ll receive enrollment, marketing, and communications–focused content.

1. Host a Celebration and Welcome for New Students

The journey of engagement begins the moment a student gets a spot at your school! So make it special.

Schools can take inspiration from universities by creating a sense of excitement and belonging:

  • Organizing visits to feeder schools with balloons and swag
  • Sending home personalized welcome packets
  • Holding virtual celebrations to make new students feel truly chosen and valued

Such gestures help in transforming the routine administrative process into a celebratory welcome that families are unlikely to forget.

2. Build Connections Between Families

Data suggests that 77% of elementary school children enjoy going to school primarily because it allows them to see their friends. Schools can leverage this by organizing events that encourage forming friendships:

  • Hosting meet-and-greet BBQs
  • Hosting school-specific events
  • Hosting preview days

These are all great ways for students to start building these vital connections.

Additionally, creating online platforms like school Facebook groups can continue the engagement virtually, making it easier for students and parents to interact in a less formal setting.

3. Be Consistent in Your Communications

Ongoing communication plays a pivotal role in maintaining engagement. Schools should regularly update families through newsletters, social media posts, and reminder emails about important dates.

Personal touches — like phone calls from staff or parents to address any questions — can significantly enhance the sense of community and belonging.

To make your communications easier, we have some great social media resources in our free SchoolMint Enrollment Academy — such as our training video on how to use ChatGPT to create a month’s worth of social media posts along with supporting visuals...in only two minutes!

social media plan and calendar for schools

How’s that for efficiency?

4. Engage Parents/Guardians Through Community Events

Schools can also integrate themselves more deeply into the local community to engage families.

Participating in community events, like movies in the park, where schools can set up booths and offer snacks or activities, helps maintain visibility and engagement.

Simple yet effective initiatives like “Playdate in the Park” or “Popsicles with Pals” can facilitate casual and enjoyable interactions among students and parents alike.

5. Initiate a Buddy System

Another effective strategy is the implementation of a buddy system, where new students are paired with upper-grade buddies. This not only helps new students feel welcomed and supported but also fosters a mentorship culture within the school.

6. Get Creative

Finally, schools must not shy away from being creative (and maybe even a little bit cheesy) in their efforts to show school spirit. Rolling out the red carpet for new families, literally or figuratively, can make a significant impact.

Schools should aim for a memorable first impression that speaks to their unique community spirit.

You want families to be glad they chose you — so make their first days of school special! 

Engagement does not end at enrollment.

Engagement is a continuous process that requires creativity, commitment, and community involvement.

By implementing these strategies, schools can ensure their students are not just attending but are also actively enjoying and engaging in their educational experience.

Stable enrollment comes from engaged students — and engaged students are the product of connected, communicative, and creative school communities.

Interested in more advice on engaging families before the first day of school?

Then check out SchoolMint Enrollment Academy, where you can access a 30-minute webinar on this exact topic — as well as many, many more resources aimed to help you improve communications with new and returning families this summer. free marketing resources in schoolmint enrollment academy

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