9 Ways To Get Your Colleagues' Buy-in In Growing Your School

1. Start by sharing your own struggles with the issue. Talk from the heart.

2. Demonstrate the impact of enrollment and/or attrition in numbers: use a whiteboard or graphs to walk them through graduating numbers, attrition rates, new student numbers, and how these impact revenue and costs.📊

3. Research and explain what the competition is doing; it helps ground the team. They’ll realize that your neighboring schools are fighting just as hard to come up on top of parents’ choices.

4. Select a parent with whom you have good chemistry👨‍💼. Prepare a short talk on how (s)he decided on his/her child’s education.

What was the thought process? What were the decision-making priorities? How much rational thinking did it involve and how much instinct? What tipped the balance?

Help him/her structure his/her thoughts and have them present to your staff.

5. Fun visualization exercise: A day in the life of a parent. Your school might be unique, but you have to find smart ways to get in front of busy parents.

Map their daily and weekly routines using post-its on a wall (early morning, late morning, noon, afternoon and dinnertime for each day of the week) and discuss what would be the ideal timing to email them, reach out via text or phone and post on Facebook.

6. Fun speaking exercise: Teachers are your school’s main value offering👩🏽‍🏫. Parents often choose schools based on evidence of great teachers and excellent teaching.

If each teacher had to present three ways in which their instruction is better than average what would those be? How would they convince a parent about their teaching methods? Have them prepare a 3-minute presentation.

Grab your phone, record it, and post it on your school's FB page (with their permission of course).

7. Team PD: the enrollment manager as the conductor of an orchestra, and the players (teachers & admin staff) having different needs, strengths, weaknesses etc. Use post-its to define the strengths and weaknesses of each team member. What could each bring to the table?

8. Choose a great book on enrollment marketing or student retention and launch a 30min/week group book study. Divide the chapters and let your teachers present/lead the discussions.

Great books include: BrandED - Tell Your Story, Build Relationships, and Empower Learning; Selling School - The Marketing of Public Education; What Great Principals Do Differently; The Story of American Public Education; Cutting School: Privatization, Segregation, and the End of Public Education.

9. Teachers are professionals. Don’t try to incentivize them with childish prizes, welcome back gifts, etc. But how about setting a common enrollment 'stretch' goal? Each team member contributes two action steps and they award a team prize if you collectively achieve your objectives.