National Charter Schools Conference – We Came, We Saw, We Conquered
This SchoolMint team has just returned from the National Charter Schools Conference in Washington, D.C. and we’re pleased to say that the event was met with informative sessions, knowledgeable speakers, and invigorating networking opportunities. As sponsors of this year’s conference, we would like to thank the National Alliance of Public Charter Schools for a well-executed event that brought us together with our current partners and charter leaders from across the country to discuss transforming student enrollment and family communications in an effort to increase equity and access.
Throughout our three days in D.C., we enjoyed networking at our booth and attending an eclectic mix of keynotes and breakout sessions, with topics ranging from policy, leadership, governance, and operations. If you weren’t able to attend the conference this year or just need a refresher on what you learned at the conference, meet the conference team below and read about their experience interacting with charter school leaders at our booth and learning from them during breakout sessions.
Kellie Bennett – Customer Success Specialist
As a member of SchoolMint’s Customer Success team, there was one breakout session in particular that stood out to me: The Right Mix: The Recipe for Sustained Success in District-Charter Partnerships, presented by KIPP Courage College Prep, YES Prep Public Schools, and Spring Branch ISD. Since YES Prep and Spring Branch ISD are both SchoolMint partners, I attended their session in hopes of learning more about the SKY Partnership, designed to create more quality choice for families of Spring Branch ISD, so that I can better assist those organizations when working with them. One thing that stood out to me during IDEA Public Schools’ part of the session was how SchoolMint was such a small part of their recruitment, registration, and re-enrollment processes, yet it has made a big impact on their school operations. IDEA Public Schools is a large organization and with the many hours their staff save by having an online solution, their staff is able to focus their time on bettering students’ lives and student recruitment instead of worrying about managing registration and re-enrollment.
Matthew Coats – School Partnerships
Attending the National Charter Schools Conference was a big dose of “charter kool-aid” for me, personally. It was fascinating to see the keynote speakers so fired up to be at the conference and speaking with everyone. In addition to chatting with charter leader at the SchoolMint booth and attending sessions regarding digital marketing and district-charter partnerships, I got the opportunity to attend the Florida state meeting. I found it interesting to have one on one conversations with charter operators and statewide alliance groups to discuss policy and some of the challenges they are facing around funding not following the students.
Jessica Lam – Marketing Manager
Between the friendly faces, energizing and informative keynote and breakout sessions, and the ability to travel and explore new cities, charter school conferences are always a blast for me, but this one felt particularly special! I can’t determine if it’s because I was able to meet many of our partners in person and speak with them about the impact SchoolMint has made in their school, the great sessions I attended on charter policy and digital marketing, or I was simply buzzing from being surrounded by so much history . For argument’s sake, let’s say it was a combination of all!
The digital marketing session, Digital Marketing 101 for Charter Schools – What It Takes to Be Successful was one I was looking forward to attending weeks before the conference. Since we had just worked with Lyman Millard, former VP of Communications of Breakthrough Charter Schools in Cleveland, OH, on a webinar, Student Recruitment Strategies that Get Results, charter recruitment was still top of mind. I attended this session in hopes of learning something new and to hear what strategies charter schools are using to recruit. One of the digital marketing tactics shared was the use and importance of SEO. When I think of charter school recruitment, social media and email marketing come to mind, but SEO definitely doesn’t. It made me wonder, why not SEO? If SEO makes sense for businesses to make themselves easily discoverable, then schools should definitely be doing the same. A good point that came to mind was – if parents are new to an area and are hoping onto Google for information on charter schools nearby, every school would want to be the first one listed. This session opened up my perspective on student recruitment and will be helpful going forward as I begin to work on strategies to help charter schools utilize digital marketing in their recruitment efforts.
Michelle Neider – Customer Success Specialist
Overall, the National Charter Schools Conference was both a fun and educational experience for me. Not only was I able to represent SchoolMint and speak to charter leaders about their enrollment pain points, but I was able to speak to current customers and hear firsthand how streamlining enrollment has made a positive impact in their school. As if that weren’t enough, the icing on the cake was being able to attend a few sessions and broaden my knowledge and perspective on the education world and even put on a booth presentation around student recruitment best practices for charter leaders in the exhibit hall. If you missed the session, you can view the recording below and download the slides!
One of the most informative sessions I attended was: Trends in State Legislation for Charter Schools. This session covered trends in legislature across the country, which gave good insight into the political climate for charters, as well as their potential for growth nationwide. For example, Colorado just passed a bill that requires districts to give charters equitable access to local tax revenues, and Florida is predicted to do the same in the near future. Additionally, Kentucky just passed a law allowing for charter schools, leaving only 6 states in which charters are still prohibited. As I continue my work in education and working with charter schools nationwide, this knowledge is useful in developing partnerships.
INTERESTED IN LEARNED MORE ABOUT SCHOOLMINT’S INTEREST TRACKER? View our blog, Track School Recruitment ROI with an Applicant Lead Tracker, for a further look at how the Interest Tracker can help your school personnel see what your most efficient acquisition sources are, your most effective events, and which school are most important to recruit from.