What makes a school great?
Great teachers? Skilled administrators? Cooperative parents? While all of these factors matter, the fact is that schools are ranked by student performance. Great students make great schools.
This is why administrators spend a great deal of time and energy deciding who gets to benefit from their institution’s resources and talent. Schools that choose their students have a powerful incentive to choose wisely. Knowing the type of academic environment you want to create is half of the problem solved. This knowledge helps justify existing competition within the educational sector, since each school is trying to find unique ways to improve the quality of the education it provides.
The particulars of your academic environment may vary. For instance:
In the UK, 80.9% of applicants for secondary schools in 2019 received offers from their first preference school, while 90.6% of applicants at primary level received offers from their first choice school. In the US, 17 of the 1,364 four-year colleges analyzed by Pew Research admitted fewer than 10% of applicants in 2017, in contrast with the rest of the schools in their studies, which resulted in a rate of 53.3% admission of their applicants.
What makes each strategy unique is its personalization: the most successful institutions personalize their processes to meet the needs of each student and parent the school serves. That’s why the best schools choose their students so carefully. An excellent admissions strategy has to go beyond simply picking the students with the highest scores. You have to pick the ones whose scores will increase the most as a result of your particular brand of education.
The better administrators can streamline this process, the more effective admissions processes will be. There are six major factors that school administrators will want to pay attention to when it comes to implementing better admission criteria.
1. Update Your Website in Real Time
There are few things more frustrating than searching for important information on an academic website and failing to find it. Parents, students, and even teachers who need timely, accurate information demand immediate, user-friendly access.
The way your school communicates online says a lot about its teaching ability. Good communication is more than a subconscious factor in many parents’ or students’ decision to apply. An up-to-date website ensures a steady flow of interaction and solid communication between staff and parents, making it vital in the preparation for admission inquiries. It doesn’t hurt to check out some of your competitor’s websites, with an eye towards what kind of improvements you can make on your own. This kind of research can help you choose imagery that goes hand in hand with the story your school tells, and with the professionalism of its staff.
2. Plan a Well-Thought Out Academic Timetable
A proactive school is one that ensures all its operations have a smooth and easy way of getting across. Using a platform like WPSchoolPress can help teachers communicate any and all updates regarding a yearly timetable, including scheduling events, exams, parent-teacher meetings, and more. Parents can access the platform even on their phones. This gives them an easy window into their childrens’ lives even during a quick five-minute break at work – no phone call required. All the information will be displayed neatly enough for them to be able to make plans and respond to contingencies as they occur.
3. Make Submissions Easy
After finalizing the academic timetable for the year, schools need to start advertising open admissions on their websites. Having a streamlined, easy-to-understand submission process is key to capturing parents’ and students’ interest.For instance, instead of forcing users to look apply via email or Google Forms, you can display a branded registration form right on the opening page of the application tab. Front end registration helps to make the submission process easy and approachable while improving your school’s image and prestige in a way that free online form builders do not.
4. Respond To Applications Right Away
All applicants appreciate fast response times. Streamlining your admissions processes so that you can respond quickly to submissions is key to keeping students and parents engaged. Make parents feel as if you are working with them in real time, and have the best interest for their child in mind during every step of their journey.
Institutions that fail to respond quickly may lose students. The school that responds the fastest has a clear advantage in choosing the best students for each incoming year. Having a platform like WPSchoolPress at hand can ensure responses on a same-day basis, even having the option to accept or reject the application, and notifying the applicant instantly about the decision.
5. Notify the Applicants About the Next Steps Through Your Platform
Once you accept a student’s application, your staff has to notify the student and their parents. Anxiety can be high, so reduce the amount of time your student families spend refreshing their email inbox hoping for an answer. But congratulating the lucky student on their success is just the first step. Once they finish congratulating themselves, parents and students are going to ask, “What next?”
This is where many colleges and universities implement pre-orientation programs to help guide new students into campus culture. This application acts as a bridge between admissions and actual school performance, improving school admissions strategies in the process.
Schools with a comprehensive digital platform may include a link where new students can login and access their user dashboard and fill the rest of their profile details. Many schools offer parents the same options in order to establish reliable channels of communication.
6. Begin Assigning Classes
Once students have their school user profiles completed, it is time to assign classes and send them on their way to academic success. This information must be on-hand and easy for teachers to access.
Parents, students, and teachers should start the school year with a shared plan, regarding information on each class, academics, timetable, attendance, events and everything in between. Minimizing surprises will boost student confidence during this delicate time.
Invest in Technology That Improves Student Outcomes
In a fast-paced, technologically-inclined world such as this, automation is key to reducing response times. There just isn’t room for slow institutional responses that cannot adjust to each new generation’s needs. Failure to accommodate can undermine an otherwise-solid academic plan.
The greatest and most successful schools do not consider technology a “necessary evil”. They leverage mobile devices to improve academic performance and parent-teacher communication in ways never before possible. Parents and students will earn the greatest comfort from a school that simplifies their relationships with teachers, school administrators, and the greater academic community – and they won’t look any further.