LEAven Blog


‘Tis the Season

It’s the most wonderful time of the year…  Ok, you’re probably thinking, it’s not the Christmas season, so what’s up?  It is that time of year, however, that schools are in the process of re-enrollment and enrollment for the 2024-2025 school year.   For some, this may not be considered a wonderful time as it can be very challenging and disconcerting for schools.  This would be especially true for those who are experiencing a declining enrollment and/or are struggling to maintain their current enrollment.  As a former administrator, I certainly understand the emotions that this process often holds, whether it be fear, anxiety, or possibly even satisfaction over the number of students your school might be anticipating for the coming year.  That being said, there are several things that I feel should be considered as this re-enrollment/enrollment process takes place.

Begin the whole process with prayer.   Ask our heavenly Father to bless the whole process and pray fervently that He would lead families and their children to your school.

This can and should be done both personally and corporately with fellow staff and others.

Review your school’s enrollment process and policies.  Ideally, this would have already taken place before re-enrollment.  Is it being followed?  Are all your families and prospective families fully aware of your school’s enrollment policy and process?

Do you vet your students and families?  What is meant by this?  Basically, what type of information do you expect from new students desiring to enroll?  What do you require of new families and students if anything?  Are records or documentation of students requested, especially if they are transferring in from another school?

For new enrollments, what are the expectations of new families and students and how do you communicate these to them?  Is there a probationary period placed on new students being enrolled? Are all prospective students accepted, regardless of needs?

Are prospective families aware of the primary mission of our Lutheran schools and what we as Lutherans believe?  This has become even more important as many students now come to us from outside of our Lutheran church(es) and circles.  A great resource that I used with all new families was a brochure titled “What Lutherans Believe” that was published by Lutheran Hour Ministries.  While this is no longer in print, I have included a link to a copy that you can reproduce and use if you are interested.  There is also an updated, longer version of this that is downloadable from their website.  That link is also included at the end of this blog (once on the site type What Lutherans Believe in the Search booklet titles and descriptions bar to access it).

Is there a deposit required for re-enrollment/enrollment?

What is your policy If a family/student wants to transfer in from another area Lutheran school?  Do you contact that fellow administrator to make him/her aware of this?  While it may not be a written school policy, I encourage you to make it a personal practice to do so as a matter of courtesy.  If a family expresses a concern about their Lutheran school, encourage them to work to resolve any issue thus enabling them to stay at their current school.

Additionally, are new enrollments accepted during the school year? Are there situations where you wouldn’t or shouldn’t enroll once the year has started?

Are there situations where a student or students aren’t or shouldn’t be re-enrolled?  Should we ever deny re-enrollment or even enrollment?   These can be very difficult decisions.  The concern that our school may be the only place they learn about Jesus and hear the Gospel can weigh on minds when questioning whether our school can meet the needs of students with significant behavioral, social, emotional, or academic needs. In such instances, it is also important to prayerfully take into consideration the welfare of the entire class or all the students and families involved when making such a decision.

Hopefully, by taking time to consider the above, your enrollment season will be a positive one!


What Lutherans Believe

LHM resources

After 40+ years of teaching in Lutheran schools in the Chicago area, Paul is now serving as the Technology Project Coordinator at LEA. He has four children; two are married and all are educators. He is also a grandfather. He and his wife Pam (a retired teacher) live in West Dundee, IL where Paul enjoys working on houses. He is also an avid St. Louis Cardinal fan.