Director of Admission, Marin Country Day School
Head of School Elect, Marin Preparatory School
AISAP Board Member
As the hustle and bustle of the school year draws to an end it is a perfect time to stop and reflect on how your admission season fared. It is easy to follow the same path year after year and sometimes the tried and true continue to work, but at other times you might decide if a change of course is warranted. Whether you are a one person office or have others that work with you, it is often useful to review your year and decide what if anything new you might just want to institute next admission season. Think outside the box. What might you try differently next season that might warrant a better yield? Who in your school might be an untapped resource for one of your admission events that you have not asked before? Now is the perfect time to recruit that special someone to assist in your efforts before you get into the actual frenzy of the season.
More is not always better and a little reflection on your admission events might just provide you an opportunity to cut back on some events and ramp up and improve other events. Parents applying to a variety of schools will favor attending meaningful events that showcase the unique features of your program, but do not require them to attend large numbers of less than useful events. It is better to do one or two events well that demonstrate your mission clearly to help families decide that the fit between school and family is a good one.
The end of the school year typically showcases events that are the perfect opportunity to take some new photographs either for your website or other social media venues. Spend time walking around the campus watching children and teachers and watch for those special photo opportunity moments that will serve to convey the unique qualities of your school. I always find the last few weeks of school invigorating because the admission season has concluded and I can remind myself of all of the wonderful reasons my school is a special place.
Finally, spend a little time with your graduating students. Most of us were very involved in getting them into our schools, but if you are like most Admission Directors over the years your interactions are few and far between. We post the graduating student’s 8th grade portraits on one side of the auditorium and their kindergarten portrait on the other side. It serves to remind me just how special they were when they entered the school and how much they have benefited and contributed to our community. Talk to them and realize that this is why we do the work that we do. Enjoy your summer!