Five Re-Recruitment Strategies for your Transition Grades
Most schools typically lose students during the transition grades. These grade levels are from preschool to Kindergarten, fifth to sixth and eight to ninth grades.
These transition grades should be the main focus of your re-enrollment strategy. Some of the strategies that work well for schools include:
- Grade your Families – As I mentioned in a previous blog post, grade your families on their likelihood of re-enrolling and returning for next year (F, M, S). This will provide you with a list of families that are “on the fence” to target in your re-recruitment effort.
- One Family at a Time – It is always best if you can reach out to your parents one family at a time. During a meeting or phone call you can probe their level of commitment to continuing enrollment at your school, deal with specific issues and objections, and better forecast retention earlier on in the calendar year. Ideally, the best time to do this is in the Fall. However, the next best time is January and February.
- Home Dessert Meetings – Ask parents to hold a dessert “briefing” in their home to discuss the transition to the next level at the school. All parents in a transition grade would be invited to attend an event in the home of a current parent (preferably a parent from the next level). The Head of School and appropriate leadership to that level should provide an overview of the next level and allows for questions and concerns to be expressed.
- Next Year and Beyond Meetings – Hold informational meetings for parents at your school to gain an overview of the next grade level. This time should be used to sell the parents on the next year and beyond.
- Step-Up Days – Hold “Step-up” days for students in transition grades to experience what it will be like at the next level. You will want to give students an opportunity to hear from teachers, staff, coaches and students. You should also combine this with a fun activity (special cookout, basketball game, etc.) that is specific to the next level.
These are just five strategies that you can implement during January and February to focus on re-recruiting students and parents in your transition grades back to your school next year.