6 Steps To A Successful School Tour

Written by Kayla Smith

August 10, 2021

Now that many schools can safely welcome students back in person this 2021-2022 school year, the option to conduct in-person school tours also returns. Experiencing a school in person can seal the deal for a family deciding where to enroll their children. Since school tours were on hold for an extended time and virtual tours became the go-to, school leaders may be a little out of practice conducting a seamless school tour. These six steps to a successful school tour will help ensure families don’t walk away from your school without wanting to sign those enrollment forms!

#1: Continue to Offer Virtual Tours

First and foremost, whether your school is returning to in-person learning, online, or hybrid, don’t stop offering virtual tours! There are still several parents who feel safer utilizing a virtual option to tour your school, and it is crucial to respect these parents’ preferences. You can choose to do pre-recorded tours, live streams, or implement both to give parents various options. Your online school tours should receive the same attention you would give to your in-person ones, and make sure they are updated as protocols change. Additionally, offering both in-person and virtual tours to meet the needs of all families demonstrates a level of inclusivity at your school—a differentiating factor for many prospective families. 

#2: Anticipate Parents’ Questions

Following the unprecedented year of distance learning, school leaders can anticipate more questions than ever from parents. What actions are in place to ensure student health and safety? How did your school handle distance learning last year? How did you ensure student success? How is technology incorporated in the classroom? These questions skim the surface of what might be running through parents’ heads as they prepare to enroll their child in a new school. They will likely have other questions regarding the education, student support, the community, and facilities. Before conducting school tours, generate a list of the most pressing questions parents may have when entering your school. Anticipating what questions they may have prevents you from being caught off guard during the tour, ensuring you answer the most pertinent ones. It brings parents greater peace of mind.

#3: Tailor Your Tour

Each school tour should be slightly different because each student is unique. Whether or not the student is joining the parents, learn more about the student’s interests, needs, personality, and hesitations. By doing so, you can tailor the tour to showcase what is most important to the student. For example, if they are interested in drama, you don’t need to spend 10 minutes talking about and touring your state-of-the-art STEM lab. Instead, spend your time talking about the clubs and classes you have for the arts and showcase the theater where your school performs annual shows. You can still visit all the facilities, but it is wise to plan where you’ll spend your time. There are impactful moments for the student and their family and will create a lasting impression of your school.

#4: Inform and Align Faculty

To ensure a seamless tour, inform all staff of ongoing and upcoming school tours. When faculty is well aligned, it positively reflects the school community to prospective families. Families should be welcomed by the front office to feel prioritized and embraced from the start. Teachers must also be aware of when school tours are going on, especially when there are intentions of shadowing a classroom during certain activities. You don’t want to throw teachers off their game by introducing a prospective family in their class without warning. If families feel comfortable doing so and there is allotted time, introduce the family to a potential teacher for their child’s grade or some other students. Help the family start making connections within the school to immediately establish a sense of community.

#5: Be Confident and Friendly

This might seem to go without saying, but showing confidence is key! Lacking confidence when showing your school to a prospective family sends off the wrong message. If you don’t seem comfortable giving the school tour, why would prospective families assume their child would be comfortable there? Demonstrating friendliness and confidence without sounding arrogant shows parents that your school is a welcoming and enjoyable environment to be a part of. You are in charge of setting the tone for the entire tour, so it is crucial to make sure that tone exudes hospitality.

#6: Leave No Room for Ambiguity

Before you end a tour, make sure the family knows exactly what the next steps are in the enrollment process. Leave no room for ambiguity. This is also the time to create a sense of urgency, so parents have a reason to be called to action. Make sure to follow up the tour with an email or text thanking them and inviting them to complete the next steps. After the tours have gone off without a hitch, the follow-up is pivotal in helping you convert those prospective families into fully enrolled students!

Whether your school is conducting classes in-person, online, or blended learning this year, a seamless school tour can seal the deal for prospective families. Struggling to get families to come in for a tour? That’s where Schola comes in. Schola helps schools source, engage, and enroll students that match with your school. You can claim your school profile at Schola.com to start attracting student leads, connecting with families interested in your school, and getting those families to tour your school!

 

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