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For the goal of Financial Sustainability, below are some examples of what has been happening this year:


 

  • Website development and improvement: We have made several changes to the school website in order to provide a more enjoyable and informative virtual visit. We have added rich content, particularly within our "parent portal" area, within our "news" area, and on our event calendar. We have upgraded to a new content management system, which has enhanced the navigation interface, making information easier to find. These enhancements make for an accessible, flexible, and attractive site that more effectively serves a broad range of visitors, including current and prospective parents, as well as alumni. 




     
  • New Kimberton Star newsletter and Midweek Messenger format: This school year we launched a new monthly e-newsletter called the Kimberton Star. Its purpose is to share the news of the school with the entire school community (parents, alumni, alumni parents, friends, Board members, faculty, staff, and friends). The Midweek Messenger has been refocused to provide only "need-to-know" information for current parents.




     
  • Parent education events: Our Admissions Director, Lael Rasch, and our Director of Marketing and Outreach, Emily Shaker, manage the parent education program with the help of the Parent Education Committee. They have facilitated informative parent events on topics relating to Waldorf Education and have brought in compelling speakers and presenters, including a weekend workshop taught by Sunbridge Institute.




     
  • Outreach events (open houses, Waldorf Works tours, educational fairs, etc.): This year we are hosting three All-School Open Houses, two High School Open Houses, several Early Childhood Open Houses, and many individual visit days. We continue to host our Waldorf Works program, and we are focusing on inviting representatives of potential feeder schools in our area, as well as educational consultants, realtors, and other professionals who work directly with families looking for schools. We co-sponsored the Main Line Parent Independent School Fair, several Main Line Parent Early Childhood and Camp Fairs, and several school choice informational nights/fairs held at potential feeder schools. We continue to provide information about KWS to the public at local events, such as farmers markets, festivals, and conventions, and by having materials readily available for customers of several local dining and retail establishments. Members of our Outreach Committee spent a morning at WHYY (our local public radio station) answering phones for their annual membership drive... and getting on-air publicity for KWS.




     
  • Active outreach to feeder schools: Emily Shaker, Director of Marketing and Outreach, has been regularly visiting potential feeder schools for KWS and meeting with their administrators to build relationships. These schools include pre-schools and kindergarten programs, and schools that go up to sixth or eighth grade.




     
  • Relationship building with educational consultants: Emily Shaker, Director of Marketing and Outreach, has also been reaching out to educational consultants in our area, and has been bringing them on to campus for open houses and the Waldorf Works program.




     
  • Active social media presence: The Kimberton Waldorf School Facebook page is an excellent avenue to connect members of the school community and share information rapidly. Many students and families rely on the Facebook page as a resource to find information about what’s going on at the school. We post noteworthy happenings around the school, share articles of interest, keep families informed as to what’s going on during the school day, list upcoming events, share photos and videos, and make announcements to current and prospective parents and students. Our Facebook page provides an opportunity to showcase our unique school culture with those who can’t be in the building during the school day.




     
  • Formation of Outreach Committee: We have formed an Outreach Committee to capture the essence and value of Kimberton Waldorf School and to effectively communicate that value to the community. This committee is comprised of parents, alumni, alumni parents, high school students, and friends of KWS. One goal of the committee is to implement effective outreach and marketing tools to increase awareness of our school. A recent example of the committee’s efforts was the WHYY phonathon in early February. Members of the committee not only helped out a worthy cause by answering phones, but helped share Kimberton Waldorf School with a broader audience. Members have also been sharing positive testimonials and reviews about KWS, either in person at an event, or through their words posted on various websites.




     
  • Initiating of Parent Ambassador program: The testimony of a KWS parent is one of the most powerful tools in spreading the word about our school. Our Outreach Committee has increased our reach significantly, and the next step involves the refinement of this committee into a more specific Parent Ambassador program. Word-of-mouth between parents is the best way to promote our school. Parent ambassadors help increase retention and enrollment. Many families are at KWS because they were referred to us by another parent. Parent ambassadors also help act as mentors for new families, volunteer at our events, support the efforts to expand parent and community involvement, and participate on teams and committees. We have been promoting our referral program, which allows current families to earn rewards for referring new families who end up enrolling.




     
  • Early Childhood program expansion: Our Rosebud Garden and Kindergarten programs are full or nearly full, and are already filling for next year. Our afternoon programs in both Rosebud Garden and Kindergarten have filled. We recently expanded the afternoon program in the Kindergarten to accommodate more children. This is great news! At the same time, the school needs a larger Early Childhood program to consistently fill our first grade class each year. Our goal is to create a third Kindergarten class, and a third Rosebud Garden class. We are in the process of developing plans for an expansion.




     
  • Improvement of tuition arrears over past years: For the past several years receivables have generally decreased year to year; receivables consist of tuition fees and charitable pledges that have not been paid to the School as originally agreed upon. A few years ago the Board instituted protocol to be followed as part of a plan to improve the timeliness of payments to the School, and the percentage of families keeping current with their accounts has noticeably improved.




     
  • Development/fundraising/and alumni relations: We initiated a search this year for a full time Director of Development. In the meantime, Board member Seth Bacon is serving as the chair of this year's annual fund drive, the Community Spirit Fund. Mary Hirsch, former Development Director, is working with us this year to maintain and build relationships with our constituents. Mary and Kevin Hughes, Dean of School, are meeting with a number of these constituents, including alumni. It is a new step for the school to have someone in a position like the Dean available to participate in development efforts. We are increasing our data pool of alumni, and more of our alumni are receiving school communications. We've also hired a part-time Development Assistant, Melanie Warwick, to help coordinate some of these processes.