As a school leader, you already know that students enjoy fun events at school, from fall festivities to Christmas shows; they are excited to mix up their daily routines, show what they’ve learned, and enjoy exciting experiences with their peers. But how can you use your school events to bring in new families and show what your school community has to offer?
Here are four Schola-approved tips to reach more families and boost parent engagement through school events.
1. Create Virtual Events
At this point of the semester, everyone’s schedule is pretty packed, so providing virtual opportunities for parents to participate and learn more about the school community is vital to increase participation. To help parents remember and prepare for your next virtual meetup, you should:
- Never miss a beat with effective follow up! Start sending text and email reminders to invite families at least one week ahead of time. Automated campaigns are great resources to reduce your workload and maximize your reach.
- Make it user friendly! Set up an online chat room where families can easily register by following the least amount of steps.
- 1,2,3… testing! Test out the online activity ahead of time with your staff to ensure it works and it’s easy and fun to participate in real time.
2. Get Together Through In-Person Events
We all love to create fun memories with our friends and family, so that’s why creating action-packed activities will certainly increase excitement within your community. Some activities you can try out this semester are school-themed scavenger hunts that help parents and students learn more about your school, team-building games, and even encouraging parents to propose new activities that interest them. Increase parent participation by:
- Doing it together! Try assigning roles to parents so they get to know each other, collaborate, and feel like active members of your school community even before enrolling.
- Give out prizes! Incentivize parents and students to participate by rewarding them with fun prizes that could be school branded so they can show off their school pride all year long.
One free way to highlight your fun school events for new families is through your Schola Profile. You can easily update and feature your school’s fun pictures, so families searching for a school like yours can quickly glimpse your school’s spirit and tight-knit community.
3. Embrace Reflection
Online and in-person reflectional activities are a great way to allow students and their families to think about the greater good. Make sure to create a safe place for new and returning families to discuss topics that impact the school community. Keep in mind that encouraging discussions with a respectful and even fun tone will boost participation and can help you learn about the interests, challenges, and concerns that your community members face and how you can better support them. Some reflectional activities you can try out are:
- Expressing emotions through creativity, like building a memory wall at the school
- Families collaborating to put together skits for different scenarios and potential solutions
- Work together by discussing innovative ideas and products that can solve a common problem in your school or community
Schola can help you keep tabs on all families in one centralized place, so you can easily reach out and follow up with certain families or groups of parents from your Relationship Manager Dashboard.
4. Celebrate Diversity
Allow families to showcase their culture and traditions. By highlighting your school’s cultural diversity, you will instill a sense of belonging in new families looking for a diverse school community. Top ways to emphasize your school’s diverse culture include:
- Queremos conocerte! Make non-English speaking families comfortable participating in school events by creating bilingual email and text message invitations and follow-ups.
- You are important! Teach students the importance of appreciating our unique differences by creating activities where they can embrace and showcase their cultural backgrounds. A school magazine cover contest would be a great initiative, so students feel seen and proud to show what makes them unique.
- Comment puis-je le dire? Encourage students to learn about new cultures and languages through artistic talent shows, cooking classes for students and families to try recipes from all over the world, and even online or in-person cultural dance lessons.
Remember that you can also use your free Schola Profile to invite new parents to join your upcoming cultural events by simply adding the event’s information and a quick and engaging call-to-action to the calendar available on your profile
As the semester will be ending soon, reminiscing about students’ accomplishments and creating online and in-person events are vital to strengthening your community and preparing them for the following year. Finding creative and engaging ways to nurture current families and spark the interest of potential new ones will help you build deeper connections and give both parents and students a sense of belonging. Don’t forget that building solid relationships within your community is an ongoing task that can lead to great enrollment and retention results.