AVI CHAI concluded its general grant making on December 31, 2019.

It's Looking Like a Brainstorm: Our Day School Enrollment Cloud

Posted by: Deborah Fishman

May 7, 2012

We were pleased to see the lively discussion here on the AVI CHAI blog around the question of, “What would make day school a more attractive option for parents not currently considering it?” This Wednesday, The AVI CHAI Foundation in partnership with the Steinhardt Foundation will host an in-person brainstorm to consider and expand upon the ideas bubbling up from this conversation into potential program ideas and marketing strategies. Leading up to this gathering, we asked the participants to review and reflect upon the over 70 comments on this blog and other forums where this conversation occurred. One of the participants, Rabbi Andrew Davids, Executive Director of Beit Rabban, generated this Word Cloud of the brainstorm and shared the following thoughts:

In reading many of the prior posts,  I  feel that many of the posts – and even my own thinking about this issue – come from the perspective of a Jewish professional as compared to when I think about day school as the current parent of three day school children and the husband of a day school teacher. Finding ways to put families at the center of the conversation – and finding ways to bring them into the decision making process at the balcony level – may be an important strategic action item. I think it is critical for us to think about families at the center rather than schools at the center so that our value proposition responds to where people are at and not where we are at…
I also see that a reoccurring theme in many of these postings is passion. People feel very strongly about the issue, whether from the perspective of day school leader committed to mission, as community leader concerned about the collective future, or as parents worrying about their children’s preparedness for an uncertain future and/or worried that the parent’s own uncertainty about the education she or he received as a child will be good enough (or perhaps as bad) for her or his own child. We should not ignore the emotional dimension of these issues.

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