The Path to After-School Success

When the school day ends many children will not be picked up or bussed home right away, and they will need something to do at school for at least one hour, and possibly two or three hours.

Enter the after-school program.

Families can sign up their children for a variety of activities to keep them busy and extend their learning at the end of the day. It’s also good for their social development.

Some activities may be taught by the school’s teachers, others by outside contractors.

If you’re a vendor trying to secure an after-school class, what does the school want? How do you keep the after-school director happy (and thus your class)?

Many years of experience tells me it’s not that complicated: run a well-attended, well-managed, drama-free class that’s popular with students and their parents.

If you do this, you’ll generate a solid enrollment and retain students semester after semester.

Keep in mind: many of these programs have Fall, Winter, and Spring sessions; each roughly 10 weeks long. Aim for at least 80-90% of your students to return next time.

If your retention rate is too low, the program won’t bring in enough money to be worth having.

Your most valuable commodity is competent, reliable, personable teachers. The instructor needs to really know their stuff, communicate it to students well, be organized, and have the people skills necessary to interact effectively with parents and school personnel.

I’ve been fortunate over the years to work with great people who run great classes. When a school finds good teachers, they tend to keep them forever.

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