Many might assume that the role of a Charter School Admissions Officer is easy. Since Charter schools are required to accept candidates solely based on space availability, there must be little work other than collecting applications , running a quick lottery, and collecting registration forms. It’s not about building relationships like a selective private school admissions team, right?
Actually, Charter schools Admissions Officers (like those at the KIPP Schools) need to do significant work to build strong relationships with families and incoming students. They do interviews, they require placement tests and recommendations. It is their responsibility to ensure that parents and students understand the goals and the mission of the school. The difference is they do this work after announcing acceptances rather than before.
With that said, it is crucial for these administrators to make the most of their limited time and invest in technology to streamline their admissions and registration process. Many have implemented online applications and registration forms, which not only save time in data entry, but they also reduce paper – they’re green. But so often, that’s where the technology stops. They don’t have effective tools to use that data in their relationship building.
That’s where CRM (customer relationship management) systems come into play. In talking to teams at Charter schools, one of the biggest challenges is that their online application and online registration data is going into their school database, which is great for the rest of the school, but not so great for managing those post selection relationships.
The KEY technology your admissions team should have:
- Online Applications and Registration forms
- Parent Portal where parents can see registration process, complete forms, and upload documents
- Data should flow into a CRM where the admissions team can:
- Log notes from interactions with families
- Set reminders for follow-up with families
- See where a family is in the registration process
- Send custom mass emails and letters (WITHOUT mail merges)