From 60 Second Re-Enrollment to Continuous Enrollment: Set it and Forget It!
Last year, 94% of eligible Eastern Christian School families returned to our school for this current year. We tried to make the re-enrollment process as user-friendly as possible, introducing “60 Second Re-enrollment.” While our families universally loved this program and it worked well, we weren’t quite satisfied. We challenged ourselves to do better. We wanted to make things even easier for EC families and reward such great school loyalty. And that’s what led to this year’s launch of Continuous Enrollment.
What is Re-Enrollment?
Re-enrollment is an annual data collection process that schools use to update enrollment records of the current student body. This information is used as the school makes plans for the following school year. Basically, the simple question is: “Are you coming back to school next year?” For our leadership team at Eastern Christian School, we need to know how many students we will have on the first day of school.
Why Does Re-Enrollment Matter? And why do we go through this every year?
EC leadership does a lot of planning to ensure that we’re prepared to fulfill our mission excellently every year. Until EC families “sign on the line” that they’re coming back each year, we can’t make solid plans for staffing, programs, materials, curriculum and facility usage. We take the stewardship of tuition dollars entrusted to us every year very seriously. We want to invest these tuition dollars wisely so that we can provide the best education possible for our students.
I have no plans to change schools- and almost everybody comes back every year anyway. Can’t I just stay at EC until I notify the school otherwise?
Up until this point, re-enrollment has been an “opt-in” program. We annually ask every family, “Are you coming back?” In a sense, we’ve been penalizing the vast majority of families by forcing you all to go through this process every year. Last year, for instance, we retained 94% of our student body. So EVERYONE had to go through re-enrollment for the sake of the 6% that, for one reason or another, left our school community.
By signing your Continuous Enrollment contract, you will be flipping that script. Rather than an opt-IN annual re-enrollment process, EC’s annual re-enrollment will become an OPT-OUT process. In other words, if you’re coming back after signing your “Continuous Enrollment Contract,” you’ll never have to worry about this again.
So after this year, what will the “Re-enrollment Season” Look Like?
Once all of our families are on the “Continuous Enrollment Program,” the typical re-enrollment season (January through March) will simply be a communication reminder from the Enrollment Office informing the families that might be thinking about leaving our school to notify us prior to the end of March. If last year is any indication, this means that 90+% of EC families will have the convenience of ignoring this message and doing absolutely nothing!
What’s the penalty if I break this contract?
The same as it was last year- 1 month of tuition. EC families that are re-enrolled, but break the contract by dis-enrolling their students after the specified date will be contractually obligated to pay 1 month of tuition. While penalty may seem steep, many schools require a semester or even a year of tuition once a family is enrolled for the following year.
But what about unique circumstances? I’m planning on keeping my kids at EC until college. What if God has other plans for my family?
We’ve built flexibility into this contract. So, for major life changes/unique circumstances like moving 25+ miles away from our school, or if EC can no longer meet your child’s educational needs, if we ask your family to leave, or if there is some unforeseen circumstance that our Board of Director approves, there will be no financial penalty.
So how is “Continuous Enrollment” different from last year’s “60 Second Re-enrollment?”
60 second re-enrollment was convenient, but, under the traditional enrollment model, we would have to keep doing that every year. Continuous Enrollment is a once-and-for-all process. Once you sign your Continuous Enrollment Contract, you’ll never have to deal with re-enrollment again (unless your family plans change). Again, “Set it, and forget it!” In the event that things do change, you’ll have until the end of March every year to simply notify the Enrollment Office and face absolutely no penalty.
What will the Continuous Enrollment Contract Look Like?
- I hereby opt into continuous enrollment. This means that my EC students will keep coming back to EC every year unless I tell the school otherwise.
- I understand that I have until the end of March every year to notify the Eastern Christian School Enrollment Office of any changes in my plans of enrollment for my child/ren
- If I breach this contract by disenrolling my child/ren after June 1st, I understand that I will be contractually obligated to pay 1 month of tuition as a penalty.
- Unique Circumstances. Eastern Christian School recognizes that family plans change. For any unique circumstances (such as the following) families disenrolling after the announced deadline will be exempt from the 1 month tuition penalty:
- Moving/Relocation 25+ miles away from Eastern Christian School.
- Educational needs for the student that can no longer be met at Eastern Christian School as determined by the EC Student Services teams.
- Dis-enrollment at the request of Eastern Christian School.
- Other circumstances as approved by the Board of Directors.
When will this take place?
Continuous Enrollment will start in February 2016. Contracts are due by the end of March 2016. We look forward to serving EC families in this way and making the process even more convenient!
What do I get out of this?
Guaranteed placement. With increasing enrollment, we are either at or near waitlists in many of our grades, placement in next year’s class is an increasingly sought after spot. By opting into continuous enrollment, you’ll be locking down that coveted seat for your child until graduation.