Jul
07
2013
GROWING YOUR ENROLLMENT THROUGH ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS
Written by Lori Shecter

Although it's summer, it's never too soon to start thinking about the fall.  In fact, fall registration is just a month away for the majority of studios.  But the one question that every studio asks me is how to continue to get new students. 

One area that seems to be gaining traction is providing elementary schools with a "taste" of what your studio is like.  There are several ways this can be accomplished.

  1. Offer your elementary schools 1 or 2 "free trial" lessons after school for students to sample your classes.  This makes it really easy for mom and kids to see what your studio is all about.
  2. Several studios that I work with actually offer an after school dance program in the school itself.  The class runs 1-2 hours after school and is geared toward younger children (5-8).  Usually the class meets once per week at a charge of $15-$25 per week, but this pricing can range depending on the area that you live in.  
  3. Offer to do a LIVE PERFORMANCE during recess, lunch or, better yet, at an assembly.  If you already have students from that particular school, all the better!
  4. Find out if you can teach a dance class DURING the day for a 4 weeks period.  Many schools can no longer afford GYM PROGRAMS and welcome any faculty that can help kids get off their rumps and start shaking their booty. 

How to get started:

  1. Contact the PTA of the elementary school and talk to them about your program.  Many PTA's already have after school programs in place and are always looking for new opportunities to have in their program.
  2. Contact the prinicpal or vice principal of the school to find out who the appropriate contact would be, or if they'd be interested in a performance.
  3. Contact your local Board of Ed.

Next, get the word out

  1. Many schools allow flyers to go home with children, which are distributed in the teacher's mail box.
  2. Find out if you can have a poster on the school bulletin board.
  3. Have your students tell their friends!  Nothing like word of mouth.  Insititute a $10 coupon for any student who gets a friend to come to the after school program.
  4. Poster houses of worship, pediatrician bulletin boards, local super markets.
  5. Create a Facebook Ad.
  6. Talk about it on your website!  Find out if the school will allow enrollment right on your site.  Be aware that schools take a percentage of the class to help fund PTA events.

Let us know how this works for you! Good luck.