Imagine that you are on your way to a formal dinner at an acquaintance’s house. Since you don’t know most of the other guests, you're a little nervous. As you approach the house, the host is waiting for you in the driveway to welcome you and direct you to a parking spot reserved just for you. Your anxiety immediately turns to happiness, the result of your host’s welcoming efforts. You relax. You're glad you came.
As most of our admissions candidates come to us from public schools, they sometimes have little or no understanding of independent schools. Naturally, they feel uncertain and, for many, it’s taken some courage to get to this point. What happens next can make a real difference in the process. It’s up to the admissions office to define what we mean by “community” and what better place to start than a personalized, reserved parking space?
I’ve established admissions parking signs at two schools, and it's amazing how much this small touch means to first-time visitors. Parents often comment on it, and several have even asked for a photo of the child and me in front of the sign at the end of the visit! We should never miss a chance to make our families feel like we know who they are. Our welcome should begin in the parking lot!
Mr. Lawrence Jensen Director of Admissions, Saint Stephen's Episcopal School