Saint Andrew's Episcopal School

Saratoga, CA
Round
Fall-Winter 2015
Project Location
Saratoga, CA
Project Type
Full team
Project Focus
Market Analysis,
Marketing & Communications
Organization Type
Education

Organization

Saint Andrew’s Episcopal School is an independent school in Saratoga offering an enriched curriculum within the tradition and values of the Episcopal Church. The school has nearly 400 students enrolled in grades pre-kindergarten through eight. Its annual budget is $9.4mm, and the staff is comprised of sixty full time employees. The school was founded in 1961 and enjoys a reputation for providing a solid academic foundation enabling placement into selective high schools.

Situation

Saint Andrew’s is experiencing a decline in enrollment, particularly in the feeder grades of pre-kindergarten and kindergarten. The school is not currently receiving the number of inquiries it would historically expect; these inquiries are a crucial first step in the enrollment cycle.

Project Objectives

Saint Andrew’s Episcopal School asked the ACT team to look into possible causes for the decline in enrollment and give recommendations for ways in which the school could address this challenge.

Project Overview

In an effort to fill a research gap and determine the reasons for declining enrollment, the ACT team conducted primary research of parents, faculty, administration, and “non-inquiry” parents. The ACT team also created a written survey for parents, analyzed all data points, and provided recommendations to this client.

Key Recommendations

  • Use prominent parents, alumni, and other constituencies to promote the school through networking and social media
  • Host catered events at parents’ residences in targeted geographies
  • Target employers through corporate relocation departments
  • Update the school’s website
  • Conduct a branding study as Saint Andrew’s Episcopal School transitions from a regional school into one with a broader reputation

Key Conclusions

The ACT team found that within the past two years, local public schools began offering free preschool, and that as a result, similar private schools also suffered declining enrollment. A high-profile competitor also represented stiff competition, as it offers a high school and an international reputation. Additionally, the client’s name and brand are not widely known outside its geographic area, and therefore opportunities for corporate transplant inquiries are being missed.

Final Report Outline

  • Review of project plan
  • Methodology
  • Findings/analysis
  • Recommendations
  • Q&A/discussion