The “One Family at a Time” Retention Strategy

Retention is an issue at most schools.

With the mark of a great school being at a 90% retention rate or higher, it is important to consider strategies that will make a difference at your school.

A practical and simple approach is to focus on one family at a time. I call this the “One Family at a Time” strategy. I know, it’s very original!

The goal is to meet with your families in one-on-one, personal, individual meetings. Your administrative staff, board and other key members of your marketing and enrollment team should participate in this effort in order to distribute the meetings.

The following is a list of how you should prioritize your meetings:

  • Begin with families in your transition grades (Pre-K moving to K; 5th moving to 6th; and 8th moving to 9th). These grades are where you will most likely lose students.
  • Focus on other families that your staff has identified as being on the fence.

During the meetings, you should seek to discuss the following issues:

  • Overall satisfaction level at the school
  • Strengths and weaknesses of the school
  • Plans for continuing next year
  • Issues that might affect their continued enrollment

This approach is really that simple. It will take time and personnel but it will be well worth it in the end as you reach out one family at a time to make a difference in your school’s retention effort.

One more thing–the best time to conduct these meeting is NOW. Don’t wait until it is too late. By meeting now, you will have more time to work on some of the issues raised and re-recruit these families back for another year.