Like a doctor would do, we need to diagnose what the problem is first – this we can do by assessing the structure of the school (the different operational components of the school – Admin, academics, HR, parent relationship/Mgt, etc).

Once we have done that, we can then ascertain the root cause of the problem, and then determine the best way to address it.

One very effective approach to addressing population decrease in a school is by focusing on improving marketing efforts. This can include things like creating more awareness about your school among parents in your community (through outreach programs or advertisements in local newspapers and online), offering scholarships to students with high potential, providing additional resources and support services to families that are struggling financially, and implementing other initiatives that may make your school more attractive.

Another important factor to consider is the quality of instruction in the classroom. Ensuring that educators are well-trained, engaging in ongoing professional development, and using best practices and research-based strategies to promote student learning can also help improve enrollment and reduce overall population decline.

Lastly, it is also important to engage in regular assessments and evaluations of the school’s performance in order to identify any underlying issues that might be impacting enrollment or student achievement. This could include things like conducting surveys with current students.

This is necessary because the reason ABC School is decreasing may not be the same reason XYZ School is decreasing.

On a general note though –

1. Measure the health of the school by asking for feedback. You need to know why parents join you and why some leave. We often believe that an Exit Survey will not work but I disagree.

2. Treat your employees well and train them on best practices.

3. Deliver quality service – in academics, in customer relationship, etc.

4. Bring in the third-eye to give unbiased report/feedback/solutions (a professional in this sense. Not just anyone).

5. Re-invent – some practices will have to go while you upgrade on some.

6. Invest in marketing – retention and enrollment. We focus too much on enrollment alone. Once enrolled may not stay enrolled.

7. Recruit leaders and empower them – they need to feel a part of the school “family.”

8. Engage in meaningful surveys, workshops, discussions, etc. with parents/students to get real-time feedback on school performance..

9. Always engage with parents in your school (personalize and generalize appropriately). You need to know what parents want. Some are looking for safety, some proximity, some science proficiency, some general academic excellence, some reading, some are even looking for where to help their children overcome their academic challenges…… What are they going through – are they satisfied? Some parents won’t talk, they will only take action. Engagement will give you first hand info.

10. Lastly, leadership is key. Who is leading your school?

Importantly, prayer is key (whatever you believe in). Pray for wisdom and guidance as you navigate through this challenging time, stay positive, and be open to new ideas and solutions. With the right approach, it is possible to stop the population decline in your school and begin seeing increased enrollment and improved student achievement. Best of luck!