Case Study: Nido + Renaissance Montessori

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How RMS Used Nido’s Second Plane Membership to Increase Enrollment

 

About Renaissance Montessori School

RMS was founded in 2002 with the goal of bringing authentic Catholic Montessori environments to the greater Manassas, Virginia area. We began this work with one Primary of just seven children in a converted garage. We have since expanded to serving children ages 18 months to 15 years in our Toddler, Primary, Elementary and Middle School programs.

Why RMS Joined the Nido Community

In 2016, RMS purchased a decommissioned public school on 10 acres outside of Manassas. While the new space was wonderful to have, it brought with it the major challenge of having to grow to stay solvent in our new campus. This pressure contributed to an admissions policy focused on numbers.

However, these admissions practices hurt the normalization process, put stress on all the staff, and ultimately, backfired. By the end of the 18-19 academic year, interest in all our programs had declined, attrition had skyrocketed, we had shrunk by half.

Our problem: how to grow our environments in a normalized way AND retain the families we have.

How Nido Empowered RMS

I knew we needed to focus on enrolling only children that were four and under from families that would stay for a three-year cycle. But with only a few families in the admissions pipeline, this seemed impossible. I felt overwhelmed! 

Upon joining Nido, I began by watching courses and listening to coaching calls and saw that I did not need to come up with a plan on my own! Nido’s Second Plane provided me with both the knowledge and the resources I needed to reach my target audience and expand my pipeline.

 

Here’s what we did with the help of Nido.

Identified Our Target Audience

The Nido Courses walked us through how to define our target audience and then focus our efforts on reaching these people. We realized that our audience was young families with small children, most of whom were not even thinking of school as a need until their children were five. They were also unsure of how to parent in this new and changing world and afraid of making mistakes that would hurt their children.

Revamped Our Social Media Plan

Using the Social Post Monthly Content, we began to regularly post on our Facebook page. This not only gave us content, but also got us in the habit of thinking of social media as a priority so the staff began to recognize moments and pictures that would make good posts. Success here, and the Nido Course on Instagram, gave us confidence to start an Instagram page for our school.

This new plan allows us to reach our young family audience where they are at, with lots of pictures of happy children under four joyfully working at our school and lots of posts with parenting tips and resources.

Changed Our Messaging

Using the content available on Nido, particularly the website content, marketing checklist, referral email and testimonial request, we started to slowly make updates to our website and other marketing material. Having language available that we could adapt to our needs removed what had been a big blocker for us.

Automation, SEO, and Beyond

“Work begets work” and success has gotten us excited to introduce things like nurture automation and dive into SEO optimization. We are also working on retention by applying all these principles to educating and nurturing our already enrolled families.

 

The Results

By the beginning of the school year, we had increased enrollment by 31%, ALL of which were either children under four or elementary children coming from other Montessori Primaries. Data indicated that all of these families came to us either from a referral from another family or by finding us online.

 

What contributed to this increase?

  1. Facebook Page Likes up 12.5%.
  2. Unique Visits on our website are up 244% since the beginning of the year.
  3. Tours scheduled increased by 100%
  4. A financial projection that breaks even!

 

These are just the “measurable” results. The intangible benefits of our new approach are less measurable but still very real: parent education, stronger relationships between parents and guides and among the parent community, as well as a stronger reputation in the wider community.

 

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