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ThinK-12

ThinK-12 Families

for Independent Schools

Some private schools are doing a great job at marketing themselves to prospective students/families. But many are not.

Private and Faith-based K-12 schools have an excellent opportunity to tell their story because they were created to provide families with another choice. For families who feel public school is not the right fit for their child, Private and Faith-based schools could be a great fit. But this can be a harder “sell” to families because of cost and other reasons. Which means it’s more important than ever to tell your school’s story in a compelling way to future and even current families.

Even before the “COVID Era,” many private schools were already experiencing declining enrollment. Families who delayed kindergarten starts, home-schooled, or switched to virtual school meant lost revenue for schools. Not to mention declining birth rates in many parts of the U.S. In the post-COVID world, experts predict a continued and increased enrollment decline for private schools, which will create a devastating downward spiral impacting every part of education, including:

Student academic and non-academic resources

Building infrastructure

School technology investment

College and career planning

Shortage of Teachers, their quality, training and pay rates

School safety and security

Mental health services

Extra-curricular Activities/Sports

Graduation rates

College-goers

Unless we change the trend​

While there are many variables to improving education, it all starts with driving and protecting student enrollment. School revenue impacts everything, and its connection to enrollment is the only constant. Today, Independent School Leaders have the power to stabilize and even grow their enrollment, leading to greater revenue and improved services they are able to provide to their students.

At ThinK-12, we believe schools must change the way they view themselves before they can change the way students and families view them. It’s time for a world where schools market themselves the way colleges and universities have done for a hundred years. Today, educational opportunities are global, not local. More and more families are realizing they now have other- and in some cases- better options.

Your role as an Independent school leader is to acknowledge this new reality and change the way you run your business (yes, your BUSINESS).

ThinK-Delbarton is simply next level. It's the best tool of its kind that I have seen. For Delbarton, it's become a critical, mission-affirming arm of our admissions and marketing outreach strategy because it does so much of the school's heavy lifting for us (something particularly valuable to smaller admission offices).

ThinK-Delbarton is super effective in conveying who we are as a unique school community, and it does so in a way that delivers on the Big 3 communication attributes by being authentic, relevant, and engaging. When parents and prospective students visit ThinK-Delbarton, not only do they come away more excited about our school, but they grow more comfortable with seeing themselves as members of our community.

David Donovan, Ph.D
Dean of Admissions & Financial Aid
DELBARTON SCHOOL

Independent School Enrollment is at a tipping point

And that’s where the team at ThinK-12 comes in. For more than 20 years, we have worked with thousands of colleges and universities to help them create and market their brand to students and families. And now we’re bringing that experience to K-12.

For both K-12 and Higher Ed, revenue drives success and enrollment drives revenue. It’s time K-12 schools used marketing strategies and tools to attract families to their brand. Yes. Their BRAND.

At ThinK-12, we use our decades of experience in marketing and technology along with our experts in family engagement and K-12 teacher education to create strong brands and incredible user experiences for K-12 Independent schools. This drives enrollment, which drives revenue, and that affects every facet of educational success for your school.

Every school has a great story to tell. If they don’t know what it is, we uncover it. Or create it. And then create comprehensive plans to promote it with interactive tools to engage new and current families.

Ready to Increase Independent School
Enrollment?

Why now?

Because it’s more important than ever that Independent schools take control of their future by taking control of their enrollment.
ThinK-12 Families is a revolutionary approach to driving enrollment and retention for independent schools. It’s a web and mobile solution that supercharges school websites and communication with richer experiences for prospective and current families.
Attract and enroll prospective and current families with engaging, interactive features that get them excited, committed and loyal to your school.

ThinK-12 Families is a set of exciting features that work together to elevate the future (or returning) family experience. Future and returning families are your customers, and your school is the service provider. Families have options. Your school must present your story in a compelling and professional way in order to enroll (and retain) families.  Today you must work to attract, enroll and retain families, just like your competitors are doing.

ThinK-12 Families is a revolutionary product- but it’s also a team of marketing and technology experts who have delivered proven enrollment results in Higher Education for decades. Today, ThinK-12 Families drives enrollment and retention for Independent K-12 schools through rich, interactive features and functionality, including:

ThinKTanK™

Sometimes families need to be better informed about their choices and why a private school education can be the best fit for their child and their family. The team of professional content developers at ThinK-12 craft expertly-written, service-based content to engage and inform future and current families about all the things they need to know in order to make the best choice. Content is scaffolded by grade band, so families with an incoming Kindergartener can get the information they need, while families with an incoming 6th or 9th grader can best prepare to make the right choice for their child. Returning families are provided with content to keep them engaged and informed about how they can best support their child’s education collaboratively with the school. The key with service-based content is positioning YOUR SCHOOL as the source of the content. This builds trust and affinity between families and your school.
Sample topics include:

Our library of Service-based content in ThinKTanK™ is constantly growing, offering parents everything they need to make the best educational decision for their family.

Custom Content
Deepening the content experience for your school, our team of writers create CUSTOM CONTENT to tie our service-based content specifically to your school. Custom content highlights YOUR offerings, YOUR successes, and YOUR points of differentiation. And if you’re not sure what those are, we create them for you. It’s the value of outside content experts who can see the best your school has to offer, and then craft it into a compelling story.
Custom-content solidifies the connection of service-based content to YOUR school.

Increase Independent School Enrollment Today

Q&A Videos

Don’t underestimate the “wow” factor and how it can influence families. ThinK-12 Q&A Videos are an interactive, technical display of professionally produced videos of student, parent, staff and alumni ambassadors from your school. Our expert video producers collaborate with your team to capture video-based answers to your most common questions from future and current families. We’ll even work to develop answers to questions families may not even think to ask.

Videos bring stories to life. It’s the foundation for media engagement across every generation. And for parents, Q&A Videos show the character, emotion and passion for your school, something that can be difficult to convey purely through the written word.


But it’s the technical delivery of the videos that gives parents an engagement experience like no other. In an intuitive Q & A format, parents can scroll through questions they have and then see the corresponding videos that answer those questions. The connection delivered through the Q & A interface drives a deep engagement for parents that lets them control the flow of what they are viewing.


Another outstanding benefit of the Q &A Videos is the authenticity captured by our video experts. Getting at the essence of a question’s answer is an art, and how that answer is conveyed to parents can make or break their commitment to your school.


Following our Q&A Videos Success Guide™, your school will select five or more people to answer questions on video. These can be students, parents, staff, alumni, or any combination. Our experts set up, direct, and capture the video on location at your school. Then the videos get further customized by our video production team, who post-produce and load the videos into our proprietary Q&A Videos engine. The result is an outstanding, professionally produced experience for families that answers their most pressing questions and gets them excited about your school. There’s simply nothing like it.


Family Network

Some families will attend a school because they know other families there. Some families stay at a school for the very same reason. One thing is for certain; schools are for families, not just kids. And giving families the ability to connect and network with each other is a service your school should provide because connected families drive enrollment and retention. Schools already know this as a fact- they’ve been using PTAs, parent conferences, and family events for years to drive deeper family connections to their school.

Today, the family experience can be taken to the next level through technology, meeting families in the digital world. The ThinK-12 Family Network is a private community that allows your families to connect and engage, strengthening their bond to your school. Simple things like enabling parent connections can deepen confidence in and support of your school. “Customer Communities” are everywhere… except in schools. It’s time that changed.

Future families can see limited information in the ThinK-12 Family Network, while current families have full access. Families can set their preferences for how much information they want to share. Future families will see the Family Network as an incredible networking tool, enabling connections from child play dates to adult professional collaboration.

Increase Independent School Enrollment Today

ThinK-12 Outcomes

One of the biggest questions future and current families have is about Outcomes. Even more so for Independent schools because outcomes must justify the cost. What can they expect for their child from your school? And not just immediate outcomes, but their full educational and career journey. Where do students go after your school? What colleges do they attend? What career paths do they forge? How do they positively shape the community and impact society? While no one can predict a student’s path with certainty, historical performance DOES give families confidence and DOES influence their enrollment decisions. Outcome highlights in your ThinK-12 program will showcase what’s possible at your school in an interactive, engaging way, driving your enrollment and re-enrollment rates.

Clubhub

We all know there’s so much more for students to discover and experience at a school besides academics. Schools have clubs and organizations that are designed to spark curiosity and quench students’ thirst for passions and interests. This goes far beyond organized sports or marching band.

With Clubhub, schools can showcase and promote their clubs to students and families, increasing the likelihood students will get involved. And just like in Higher Ed, student engagement in clubs and activities directly affects retention rates and social experiences at  school.

Chances are, your school has more clubs and organizations than most students (and nearly ALL parents) are aware of. Clubhub changes that by improving club visibility and appeal and calls-to-action that encourage involvement. Clubs are selling points of your school. Obscuring them limits the effect they can have on engaging your students and attracting new families.

Clubs are rarely, if ever, promoted to future or current parents. Driving club awareness to parents equips them to encourage their child to engage in and explore everything your school has to offer.

With Clubhub, your clubs and organizations are points of pride and play an important role in engaging future and current families.

Staff Directory

Staff directories at schools are boring and difficult to navigate. They also provide no information to parents about the people educating their child. That’s changed with ThinK-12 Staff Directory.

At ThinK-12, we re-imagined what a school staff directory should be, and built it. When we spoke with parents, they told us they wanted to know more about their child’s teachers and an easier way to connect and ally with them. Our approach was to ‘humanize’ the staff by sharing their interests and passions, their commitment to your child and of course, making it easier to connect with them.

Education is a three way partnership: Teacher—Child—Parent. And when communication between teachers and parents is inhibited or difficult, partnerships can break down and not achieve their full potential. Facilitating the connection between staff and parent is paramount in the partnership equation. The ThinK-12 Staff Directory not only makes this easier, it also makes it inviting by showing staff as real people and not just teachers behind concrete walls. Staff, like parents, have families, pets, passions, and dreams. Connections around any one of those between staff and parent promote compassion, empathy, and alliance. These are the factors that allow staff to provide the best education to students.

ThinK-12 Chat

Get ready to drastically improve customer service for future and current families (yes, your families are your customers). ThinK-12 Chat is an AI-based (artificial intelligence) chat interface that answers most enrollment-based questions from families. The custom-built AI information engine powers ThinK-12 Chat for your school, simplifying parent inquiries and providing them with quick answers to their most commonly asked questions. It even provides links to your enrollment forms and can output important dates for upcoming events.

ThinK-12 Chat can drastically reduce your office staff’s time spent answering commonly-asked questions, freeing them up for other tasks.

Think of it as an extension of your team, reducing the burden on your school office personnel.

The amazing thing about ThinK-12 Chat is that with artificial intelligence, the program gets smarter over time, creating even greater economic efficiencies for your office. But creating efficiency for parents can be even more impactful. It not only answers their questions faster, it gives parents confidence in your school. It demonstrates to them that you use modern tools to simplify processes and experiences, and this affects the entire customer (family) perception of your school. Even little things like AI-based Chat can give parents confidence that the overall school experience is also being smartly managed.

Chances are, you’ve experienced this first-hand in other areas of your life. Take a moment to think about how smart and efficient customer service increases your confidence in a brand. That’s precisely what you can offer parents with AI-based Chat. In fact, NOT having AI-based chat for your customers (parents) shines a spotlight on how antiquated and inefficient many schools really are. You now have the power to change that.

See How ThinK-12 Can Increase
Independent School Enrollment.

ThinK-12 Connect

One of the biggest challenges for Independent schools is managing a robust, behavioral email campaign with future and current families. The importance of this cannot be understated. Yet for most K-12 schools, there is no concerted email campaign dedicated to continued enrollment, engagement, and retention efforts.

There are many reasons for this…

ThinK-12 Connect is not only a robust email campaign for your future and current families, it’s also a team of experts who build, deploy, and optimize the campaign for you. And then tie campaign performance to enrollment and retention outcomes to demonstrate a return on your investment.

ThinK-12 Connect was purposefully built to engage K-12 families with the goal of driving enrollment, engagement, and retention. It uses the incredible program features in ThinK-12 Families to leverage increased parent engagement. It’s also the only program of its kind created and supported by education market experts.

ThinK-12 Connect is your custom communication engine. Today, families expect a professional stream of communication from every place they visit. They should expect the same from your school. With behavioral triggers that modify messaging based on family engagement (or lack of engagement), you can be sure that messaging to future and current families is relevant and service-oriented to help them make the best choices and to be your school’s ally.

Sponsorships

Not only will ThinK-12 Families drive your enrollment and retention, it can even generate sponsorship revenue for your school. Local service providers are already on your sport field fences; today they can reach your future and current families through ThinK-12 Families, giving them more reach and deeper connections. We even provide your school with a ThinK-12 Sponsorship Guide filled with ideas and strategies to attract sponsors to your program. To learn more about how to bring sponsors to your ThinK-12 program, click here.

Have Questions About Increasing
Independent School Enrollment?

Private Schools: Frequently Asked Questions

Parents choose independent schools over public or charter schools for the high-quality education from experienced teachers, smaller student-to-teacher ratios, increased access to additional support for their children, and for their children to be academically challenged. 

In order to continue to grow your school’s enrollment, it’s important for your school to sell itself to families by telling its story as a brand, including supports designed to help interested students attend your school. 

If a family feels connected to your school when they visit the website, they will be much more inclined to contact you and find out more about what your school offers. By having various private school marketing features in place such as the ThinK-12 Chat, Family Ambassadors, Q&A videos, and more, you increase the chance of each family wanting to connect further. 

When independent schools have compelling stories that foster engagement, families will be able to envision their child in the school achieving their goals and succeeding.

Family engagement involves traditional ways to include families at school, such as open houses and parent-teacher conferences. It also includes greater opportunities for collaboration and support, like volunteers, parent leaders, and family education initiatives.

Family engagement is a way to increase student enrollment at your independent school. The variety of innovative tools offered by ThinK-12 makes it easier than ever for prospective parents (and current parents) to connect with the staff and your school and other families. This results in long-term commitment and is an excellent way to increase school enrollment. 

Our family engagement marketing features include:

  • ThinK-12 Chat
  • Family Ambassadors
  • Q&A Videos
  • Staff Directory
  • ClubHub
  • Custom Content
  • Sponsorship Guide
  • And much more

The most effective way to promote a private school and drive enrollment is to treat your school like a brand, recognizing that you are competing with nearby school districts and charter schools. At ThinK-12, we create strong brands through our expertise in marketing, technology, and user experiences. Even if you aren’t sure what exactly your school’s brand or story is, we help you identify and create it. The result is increased enrollment which ultimately drives revenue.

Word of mouth can potentially help increase private school enrollment, but these days there are significantly more powerful tools available to you for use – specifically through technology and marketing that uses interactive tools to engage and connect with families. This gives your private school, including Catholic schools and other faith-based schools, a much higher chance of increasing student enrollment. Plus, when utilized correctly, parents who are impressed with your school’s offerings will then share their experience with other potential families.

Yes, your school’s website is extremely important for increasing private school enrollment. When a prospective parent is researching schools, the internet is typically the very first place they will go. If your school’s website is lacking and filled with generic content, parents will not be interested in sending their child to your school. 

In order to stand out above the competition, your private school’s site needs custom content that tells a compelling story about your school, clearly states its values and offerings, and can easily connect prospective families to current ones. The features we offer at ThinK-12 will take your website to the next level.

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Drive Enrollment with ThinK-12

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