From shifts in school choice to student assessments to online learning, the educational landscape is constantly evolving. This coming year, districts will continue to face many challenges and opportunities that will impact students, staff, and school systems as a whole.
Below, experts from various areas of the education industry share trends that will help shape K-12 education in 2018.
1. Strategic enrollment management
Jinal Jhaveri, Founder and CEO of SchoolMint
One of the more prominent shifts in Pre-K12 public education is the policies and attitudes around student enrollment in a landscape of growing school options. The era of students defaulting to one assigned neighborhood school is on the decline as parents are granted the empowerment and responsibility to choose a school for their child from multiple options. An increasing number of districts allow students to attend any public school that has space available, regardless of where they live.
As a result of this paradigm shift, communities around the country are demanding a more transparent, equitable, and accessible enrollment process for all families. The high stakes associated with the enrollment experience are rising and districts are responding by taking a more expansive, strategic approach to enrollment management, similar to what their higher education counterparts have done.
In the coming year and beyond, district leaders will offer parents a more holistic, inclusive experience for enrollment and school selection that extends way beyond student applications and registrations. They will augment their marketing and outreach efforts before the enrollment window even opens and they will simplify and transform their application and registration systems to improve the equity and access in school selection. They will also nurture and cultivate family relationships beyond the registration process to increase engagement and retention throughout the entire time a student is attending school in the district.
While moving to strategic enrollment management can be challenging, the stakes are too high for school systems to delay or ignore taking action.