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We need preschool and kindergarteners!

16 years 11 months ago #134778 by forthekids!
Replied by forthekids! on topic RE: We need preschool and kindergarteners!
We are a small Catholic school and we had "Bring a Friend to School Day" and "Student Visitor's Day" the same day.

We held it on a day where the local public schools are out and current students can bring 1 student to school that day.

Also anyone who came to the open house during Catholic Schools Week that are looking into the school are contacted and asked to bring there child to "sit in" on the class for the morning. This includes kindergarten and pre-school.

We started that morning praying with the enire school and then parents were then given a tour of the school by the principal and current parents who have their children enrolled in the school. The current parents were parihoners with children in this school, non parishoners with children in this school, non-Catholic, Public school teachers who send their child to this school, and Catholic school teachers who send their childern here but teach at on of the other Catholic schools in town. Parents asked any questions they wanted.

We then had coffee and donuts so they could ask one on one questions.

We had a great response! We had 13 kindergadener aged come - 6 of which are not from our parish, 10 preschool aged as well. All registared by the end of the school year for 2007-2008 year.

We also had 6 older students visit and register along with several other families who were unable to attend but we offered one on one tours to.

Every parent was given a welcome pack with information on registration, tuition, financial aide, PTO, hot lunch progam, list of clubs, sports, current school paper,head shots of all teachers with credentials, a letter from the principal, a letter from the parish priest, and personal letter from a current parent on why they sent their child to our school.

This sound like a lot, but it cost us all of $100 including coffee and donuts!

We plan on doing this every fall after the public school first report card comes out as well as again in the spring.
17 years 3 weeks ago #134130 by milezero mama
We too are a Catholic School facing the dilema of low enrollment. Our Parent Support Group invited the Preschool (that rents space in our school) to a few of our events such as the Science Festival and Photo's with Santa and we have more events planned for next year that we will invite them too. Word of mouth is key and we made up new brochures that will be sent out throughout our city. Having a fun booth set up at Soccer Tournaments, Fall Fairs etc... that have friendly faces, can answer questions about your school and offer face painting, bubbles etc... is awesome for public relations. Good luck!:)
17 years 3 weeks ago #134127 by forthekids!
Replied by forthekids! on topic RE: We need preschool and kindergarteners!
I am the incoming PTO President at a public school, but my oldest son attended Catholic school when we moved to IL. St. Mary's has a preschool, and it depends year-to-year how many children make the cross over to the k-8 school. Currently, the preschool is in a separate building from the main school, but it does house the computer labs and 7th and 8th graders on a separate floor. Our principal and PTO really concentrated on marketing our school to the parish. The principal sent out letters to all parishoners with incoming preschool and kindergarten students (even the kids who attended preschool elsewhere) and invited them to an Open House/ Info session. The open house was held in the evening and was for adults only. During Catholic Schools Week, one day was set aside as an Open House where current parents as well as interested parents could come observe a normal day in the class. A lot of our preschool parents came to watch the kindergarten class. We also held a lot of our parish activities like Cookies with Santa in the school's multipurpose room and made sure that we welcomed those who were not currently at the school. It's all about planting seeds. I can't tell you how many times I was asked if we had thought about attending St. Mary's, even when I ran into people shopping at the Wal-Mart. I went to the info session so I could say that I went. Little did I expect to be blown away by what I saw. The emphasis was not just on the higher test scores, but mainly on teaching our children about our faith, going to Mass together, Father Timar coming in to talk with the children once a week, and so on. The fellowship amongst the parents was phenomenal. A lot of the parents were great at marketing the school to their friends. The principal also spoke at the welcome breakfasts for new parishoners, and each table had at least one person/family whose children attended the school.

Not a quick fix for this year's enrollment, but you have to start building the relationships with parents within your parish. You should see if anyone in your parish is a marketing consultant and ask them to help you.
17 years 1 month ago #133655 by forthekids!
Replied by forthekids! on topic RE: We need preschool and kindergarteners!
This job would fall to our school district administrators (public school).
17 years 1 month ago #133654 by WFS
Sorry, as a PTO of a public school, we don't get involved in marketing, advertising, etc. Our Board of Education would be responsible for public relations.

Making a positive difference one project at a time <img src=images/smilies/smile.gif>
17 years 1 month ago #133640 by rafgal
Hi all

I just found these boards the other day, lots of great info here!

I am with a catholic school and we are having some challenges this year bringing in enrollment for kindergarten. At the same time, we are opening a preschool this year (to feed the kindergarten from now on).

I would appreciate any ideas as to how to market to get parents to come in and check out the preschool/kindergarten.

Have any of you had these challenges, and successfully overcome them, and can share?

If you haven't had these challenges, what kind of events as a parent would get you to come check out the school and at least listen?

:) Happy Friday!
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