Student retention is an important metric for K-12 independent schools. When students return to your school year after year, it shows that your school is fulfilling its institutional mission and creating an environment where students feel welcomed, valued, and challenged. It’s also essential for meeting your revenue and financial goals.
There are many factors that contribute to your school’s retention rate, including technology. Keep reading to learn how your school’s technology infrastructure can help you provide a positive student experience and ultimately improve revenue through retention.
Make Academics More Accessible
Independent schools are known for their rigorous academic programs. One way technology can positively impact student retention is by making education more accessible and tailored to individual students’ needs.
A learning management system (LMS), for example, offers a centralized hub for student assignments, assessments, grading, and other educational resources. This creates a transparent educational experience for everyone. Teachers can share feedback quicker, students can stay on top of their work, and parents can see how their child is doing.
Additionally, a digital platform like an LMS is accessible 24/7. This gives students flexibility to learn at their own pace and access resources whenever they need to. For students who have unique learning requirements or busy extracurricular schedules, this accommodation is revolutionary.
Other educational technology platforms like virtual labs, online discussion boards, or interactive resources help create a more engaging and supportive learning environment. This, in turn, has a positive impact on student satisfaction.
Enhance Reporting and Analysis
“If a tree falls in the forest and no one is around to hear it, does it still make a sound?” This philosophical question ties in nicely to the student retention conversation. If a student leaves your school with no “obvious” warning signs, was there ever really an issue?
The answer is yes — there is always a contributing factor. By analyzing your school data, you can identify trends and spot students who may be at risk. A student information system (SIS) can provide real-time data and insight into student performance, attendance, and behavior. This helps schools observe patterns and recognize when a student is struggling. You can then take proactive measures to support those students and combat attrition before it’s too late.
Improve Parent Experience
Parent involvement is crucial to student success and retention. Studies show that when parents are engaged in their child’s education, the student is more likely to stay enrolled. Technology can bridge the gap between your school and your parents, creating a more engaged and informed community.
As we highlighted earlier, an LMS is a helpful tool for academic information. Parents can view their child’s upcoming assignments, test scores, and academic schedules. Some schools also use a parent portal to share information with parents and guardians. This empowers them to access all relevant information in one location — from academics to attendance, school calendars, tuition payments, and more.
Data-driven communication tools are also helpful for sharing information in a targeted way. Mass communications (like an email to every single parent at your school) are inefficient for school staff and irritating for parents. Instead of sending every parent at your school an email about the 8th grade field trip, a tool like Veracross Composer allows you to drill down and tailor your message to a specific group of people. This will improve both your engagement rate and your parent experience!
Streamline School Operations
Technology can also aid student retention by streamlining school operations and administrative processes. There are three primary areas of friction: enrollment, tuition payments, and course scheduling.
When it comes time for enrollment, you want to make the process as smooth as possible for parents. A solution like Veracross Admission can help! This platform empowers parents to complete every step of the enrollment process in one location, leaving a positive impression on new families. And, when it’s time to re-enroll the following year, parents simply need to update their information in the same platform. No need to start from scratch and fill out redundant information.
Tuition payments are another tricky area to navigate. You’re asking parents to pay a considerable amount of money to your school; make it easy for them! Tuition management software can simplify the payment process through automated reminders, payment plans, and a user-friendly interface. This flexibility helps ease the financial burden and enhance the overall parent experience.
Veracross Tuition Management has improved our overall parent experience by giving them total control of the tuition process. The ability to access and edit payments and pay invoices in the same portal they use for academic information and school news has been a game changer.
Bonus: it’s also a game changer for your business office. Schools that use Veracross Tuition Management save more than 100 hours of administrative work each year!
Lastly, technology can improve your course registration process. Tools like the Veracross SIS can make this process more efficient and personalized. Students can create schedules that align with their academic goals and extracurricular activities, reducing stress and helping them feel confident in their educational journey.
Help Students Thrive
In today’s competitive educational landscape, student retention is more important than ever. Take a proactive approach with technology! By making academics more accessible, analyzing student data, improving the parent experience, and streamlining operations, you’re creating an environment where students can thrive. This will (hopefully) keep them coming back year after year — fostering your community and safeguarding your revenue.