How would a visionary design a school if starting today? Clean slate. No limits from tradition or the past.
What attracts students to your school is shifting from curriculum and safety to connection and relevance. Schools have used viewbooks, brochures, websites, and social media pages to market their "Excellence in Education," but what people seem to be emphasizing in their search for a school is the experience.
The various features (e.g., sports, arts, academics, buildings, etc.) of your school now are far less impactful than the story or narrative that captures your mission and value. Why trumps What. Your compelling story supported by well-planned basic features will grow your school enrollment faster than traditional school marketing methods.
Simplify the Decision
People naturally try to avoid making decisions, and the more choices your require, the harder it becomes and the more energy is required. It's called Decision Fatigue. When you ask parents to make decisions they will seek shortcuts or avoidance. Knowing that they are tired from making decisions in other parts of life, become the oasis where the choice is easy because they trust you so much. Then, structure your relationship to minimize decision points--especially regarding reenrollment--and build loyalty.
Sell the Experience not the Technology
Technology companies are innovating too rapidly to make that the feature of your marketing messages. Parents and students don't want or care about your technology. In 24 months all of the technology you're using today will be obsolete and forgotten. Far more motivating is the design and delivery of the inspiring experience you create on a daily basis, the relationships built with teachers, coaches, and peers, and the discovery of purpose and self-awareness.
The Future Belongs to Innovators
Your students not only need to demonstrate mastery of your curricular objectives, they also have to learn to connect the dots to solve new problems and create better solutions. They need to do more than just apply for a job and instead create a life! How can you model innovation in your school design? Innovators continously and rapidly learn, measure, listen, and adjust. School leaders are beginning to appreciate the importance of disrupting their own classrooms before someone else does. This means accelerating the school improvement cycle to accomplish multiple momentum-building adjustments each year and growing school enrollment.