As we look forward to a promising new year, schools are exploring ways to grow their community and elevate the student and family experience. It’s clear that technology will be a vital part of educational changes throughout 2024. Take a look at these five trends to learn how technology intersects with all facets of the student and family journey, shaping an exceptional educational experience.
1. Enhancing the Admission and Enrollment Experience for Families
In today’s fast-paced world, families seek efficient and user-friendly processes from schools. Modernizing admission and enrollment systems not only caters to these needs from the very first interaction families have with your school, but also expands the avenues for continued family engagement.
According to the MIP by Community Brands State of Education report, 48% of schools use cloud-based software for admissions and enrollment, compared to 74% using non-cloud-based processes. Schools can use this to their advantage. If a school already offers a cloud-based admission and enrollment process, they can market the benefits to prospective families. On the other hand, if a school has yet to make the switch, the coming months may be the perfect opportunity to digitize processes just in time for the new admissions and enrollment season.
Implementing a cloud-based admission and enrollment system in a K-12 school offers families convenience by providing easy online access to enrollment forms, documents, and school information. It simplifies the process, allowing families to complete all necessary paperwork in one place, receive real-time updates on their enrollment status, and communicate with school staff. This enhances transparency, saves time, and offers a user-friendly experience for families throughout enrollment.
2. Increased Emphasis on Data Privacy and Cloud-Based Solutions
Protecting sensitive student information and financial data is a top priority for schools transitioning to a fully digital campus. Personal information, assessment scores, and academic records are commonly at risk. A 2023 study from the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) notes an accumulated total of 1,300 cybersecurity incidents in K-12 schools between 2018 and 2021—a sharp increase from 400 in 2018.
Resources from organizations like CISA, the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS), and the Association of Technology Leaders in Independent Schools (ATLIS) provide valuable insights into school cybersecurity protocols. Additionally, many cloud-based solutions meet top security standards while offering secure storage and accessibility, ensuring data remains protected while allowing authorized access when needed.
3. Applying Data Insights to Increase Student Retention
Schools are leveraging the power of analytics and reporting to create more effective retention strategies. Analyzing student data not only aids in understanding the current numbers, it also facilitates future decision-making. For example, did you know that you can correlate fundraising data with retention? It’s true—families that donate are invested in the success of your school—a positive indication they are likely to re-enroll.
Schools that actively focus on tracking student data points and applying them to support retention strategies can successfully replicate growth initiatives, identify areas of improvement, and tailor offerings to meet the evolving demands of modern families.
4. Easy Access to School-Related Information and Communication
Today, family expectations extend beyond access to basic updates—there’s a desire for a convenient, centralized location that offers swift communication and a deeper understanding of their child’s academic progress.
Recognizing this need, schools are introducing centralized online portals for families. These user-friendly portals offer easy messaging via email or text message, academic progress reports, and timely event notifications. This not only fulfills families’ expectations but forges stronger connections between schools and home—which is linked to better academic, behavioral, and social outcomes for students.
5. Prioritizing School Websites as a Key Marketing Tool
According to a survey by Niche in 2022, 54% of respondents identified school websites as the most influential engagement tool when making their final enrollment decision. This is an opportunity for K-12 schools to prioritize creating a welcoming and informative website to support admissions and enrollment growth.
Schools can maximize their websites’ potential by ensuring they are user-friendly, regularly updated with relevant and accurate information, and visually appealing. By featuring comprehensive details about curriculum, extracurricular activities, staff profiles, upcoming events, and standard procedures for admissions, enrollment, or financial aid, schools can effectively provide prospective students and families with a glimpse into the educational environment and instill confidence in their decision-making process.
Your Guide to Choosing the Right K-12 Technology
As private K-12 schools navigate the new year, integrating technology and data-driven insights is a cornerstone for success. Ensuring your school stays attuned to growing technology trends lays the groundwork for continued innovation and adaptability. Download our resource, The Private and Independent School’s Guide to Choosing School Management Software and Services, for guidance on how your school can maximize revenue, strengthen student and family engagement, and attract a diverse school community in 2024.