Student retention strategies are beneficial to have in place all year round. The more students you retain, the higher the long-term gain. We wanted to share some key insights to help you raise the level of retention at your school.
Higher prices, safety concerns, and dissatisfaction with the curriculum are the most typical reasons for families to leave schools. By pro-actively creating a plan to keep families engaged with your school, you can, in turn, raise the retention rate. Here are some key strategies to build your retention plan for success!
1. Understand the importance of family relationship management (FRM)
Schools must pay attention to enrolled families’ needs. Take every opportunity to make families feel a part of the school, valued, and welcomed. Create opportunities for families to feel a part of and contribute to the school’s overall positive culture. Ensure they feel respected, heard, and valued.
2. Have a primary point of contact for families
Consider hiring a retention coordinator who can be the primary contact for families and let them know there is a dedicated staff member for helping resolve any of their concerns.
3. Update your marketing plan to include social media, search engine optimization, and other online tools
Search engine optimization (SEO), social media marketing, and other online promotion efforts spread the word about your school. With more private schooling options available, it is important to ensure parents know why they chose you over the competition. Use your social media presence to highlight the wins of your school and grow your followers over time.
4. Create or revive your parent ambassador program
Parents want to connect and have an inside perspective about your school from other parents. Seek volunteer parents who are outgoing and champion what your school is doing!
5. Form a retention committee
Put together a committee of parents, staff, and teachers to create an actionable year-to-year plan with benchmarks to achieve your goals. This committee could also provide updates to your alumni, board, donors, and school supporters on retention efforts. Highlight achievements of students with your committee updates that can be shared on social media by your committee and those supporters.
6. Gather input and insight from a parent survey
At the end of the fall semester is a good time to send out an online survey to parents to gauge their satisfaction with your school. Have your retention committee help create the survey so goals and results can align, and you can learn and adapt from the survey’s responses.
7. Offer faculty workshops that highlight tools for ongoing support of families and students
Teachers are adept when it comes to students’ feelings and communicating with parents, but we all can use new tools. Let your teachers know the goals of retention and how they can help by sharing valuable information with families. Give them tools for having positive conversations on student progress and meeting at-risk students where they are at in their learning journey.
8. Everyone loves in-person monthly coffee klatches!
Bring the coffee and donuts and hold an in-person monthly meeting. These meetings provide ways for families to connect with school administration and teachers over a cup of coffee. They also provide a valuable touchstone to parents who enjoy connecting as a community offline.
By partnering with Ravenna, you can create a positive, secure, and improved positive family experience to increase student retention. Request a demo to try it out!