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How Does Your Waitlist Look?

Ryan Eldridge

April 20, 2021

How Does Your Waitlist Look?
According to new state projections, California traditional public schools are suffering a record enrollment drop of more than 155,000 students. That drop-off is about five times greater than California’s annual rate of enrollment decline in recent years, which boasts the largest student enrollment in the country.

As reported by California charter school leaders, the common theme driving this decline is the swell of parents who are frustrated with the way district schools are handling in-person learning. Meanwhile, agile and innovative charter schools have quickly pivoted and serve all aspects of student success during this trying time.

Parents are seemingly waiting longer to decide on educational options for their students, as they’re uncertain of what the needs will be. This is pushing back the traditional enrollment calendar we’ve seen in years past and creating a critical opportunity for charter schools on the student enrollment horizon.

Knowing charter schools can quickly and effectively pivot as needed to meet student needs (and the lift of California’s “Hold Harmless” provision stifling growth funding), California charter schools are now in an exciting position to acquire new students if they’re ready for it.

But there are three things charter schools need to communicate early and often to bring in those families:

  1. Safety precautions in place to ensure kids and teachers are safe
  2. Your intentions around holding in-person learning
  3. The fact that your school has space!

If you can broadcast these components for parents now, there’s an ample opportunity for schools to grow enrollment for this year and ongoing retention in years to come. With California funding models going back to the normal cycle this year, schools will be paid for this incremental enrollment and can resume their school growth strategy.

While parents are procrastinating the decision this year to Spring or even Summer, there’s a short window here for schools to take advantage of this opportunity to introduce their charter school model to the community and support those students with an alternative education model.

Now is the perfect time to make sure you’re casting as wide a net as possible.

You can download the Digital Marketing for Charter Schools Manual here.

If you are unsure how to address this unconventional enrollment cycle, Charter School Capital has you covered. Every year we take on a small group of charter schools to support through a pay-for-performance Enrollment Marketing program.

Charter leaders can choose a program that focuses on generating awareness primarily through digital marketing or “ground game” marketing to convert applicants into enrolled students. Our enrollment marketing efforts will be customized for the school’s unique needs.

To learn more, visit the information page or contact

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