Have you done an honest assessment of the families who are enrolled in your school? I’m talking about an honest assessment.
- Are they 100% mission-appropriate? Are they aligned with your mission?
- Are they misfits who, according to the definition above, are students (and their families) “who fit badly” or are “poorly adapted”?
Regardless of the type of school you are (covenant or evangelical), you have to be selective in who sits in your seats. If you are a Christian school, there are some in your community will find that word “selective” as repugnant. They will equate your existence with that of the Lord’s church where we are to be loving, accepting, and welcoming to all. But as a school, you are a not-for-profit business that must think of the “product” you are providing. If families look at your school and do not perceive the fruit as being sweet, they will pass. If current families start to feel that “one bad apple spoils the bunch” (to stay on the fruit metaphor), they will leave before they are damaged.
There is not one algorithm or list of factors that you must use to ensure you are selecting mission-fit families. But here are a few of the most common and most important:
- Do they agree with your school’s mission, vision, and core values?
- Do they agree with your school’s approach to discipline from actions in or out of the classroom?
- Do they agree with your school’s approach to monitoring and correcting behavior even at home?
- Do they not only agree with but also consider themselves ambassadors for your school’s mission?
- Do they help you market the school via word-of-mouth?
In a time when enrollments can trend downward (as the price tag increases and the value of private education is often debatable among your market), it is easily justifiable for a school to loosen the evaluation and accept anyone with interest and the bank account to afford the school. If you do not mandate mission appropriateness, you will find yourself pulling your hair out in the future.
You may have a much more detailed list of factors when determining whether a student is accepted or not (based on their academic assessment, behavioral history at other schools, letters of recommendations, etc.), but one of them has to be whether or not this student and their parent(s) are mission-fits with your school.
If you need help in ensuring your school has an effective marketing system to ensure you have the most mission-fit families, I want to help. Click the link below and let’s start a conversation.