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NWAIS Conferences, Workshops and Events

Admissions Round Table

Date: Monday - April 06, 2020
Time: 1:00 PM
Location: Zoom
This Event Is An Unconference, Offered In Place of Cancelled Workshop


Admissions During Covid-19

An Zoom Unconference For NWAIS Admissions Teams

April 6, 2020 - 1:00-3:00pm

This Event Is An Unconference, Offered In Place of Cancelled Workshop: From Gatekeepers to Strategic Leaders: Reimagining the Role of the Admissions Office: The sessions did not lend themselves well to online platforms. We will reschedule the event for next year, but for now, all registration fees will be refunded. Attendees who wish to, will re-register to attend next year.


Who Should Attend

Admissions professionals. The workshop is appropriate for all levels of experience.


Meeting Information


Zoom Link

Zoom Unconference Description

In the place of the cancelled workshop, NWAIS will hold a free admissions "unconference" via zoom. During this time admissions professionals will gather via videoconference and share what has been working well (and not so well). Workshop presenters, Dana Nelson-Isaacs, DNI Consulting and Mishel Gantz, Director of Enrollment Management at Synapse School in Menlo Park, CA have generously offered to join us, so there will be an opportunity to pick their brains.


Unconference Agenda

1:00-1:15     Welcome, Zoom Best Practices, Introductions

1:15-1:55     Unconference Session 1

1:55-2:05     Return and Report Out

2:05-2:40    Unconference Session 2

2:40-2:55    Return and Report Out

2:55-3:00    Thank you and Follow-up Resources

Sign-up for Unconference Sessions Here


Unconference Session Outlines


Round Table 1: Covid-19 and Virtual Admissions Strategy:

  • Zoom / Virtual Tours
  • Admissions Seasons Adjustments and Rolling Admissions
  • Virtual Events
  • Open houses - Are you still doing them? How are you measuring their success?
  • Communicating Value Proposition During Campus Closure
  • Completing family interviews
  • Campus Visits for the fall and what that will look like moving forward.


Round Table 2: Ongoing Admissions Issues in the Covid-19 Climate:

  • Full faculty engagement
  • Drip marketing
  • Enrollment during major economic downturns
  • FB/Instagram advertising - tips on reaching the right audience?
  • Generating inquiries
  • How to survive as a very small (approx. 100 enrollment) elementary school (Pre-K through 5th) in an extremely competitive environment with declining applications.


Round Table 3: Supporting Families Through Remote Admissions

  • Pastoral care for funnel
  • Outreach to new and potential families
  • Enrolling families who have retreated to the fence
  • Connecting to and communication with our current families and applicants
  • Meeting families online.
  • International Admissions - how COVID-19 is or might affect enrollment and retention
  • Supporting families in making financial commitments during uncertain times
  • Tuition Reimbursement Requests and Questions


Round Table 4: Decision Process Adjustments During Covid-19

  • Decision Dates and Deadlines
  • pK-12 schools - to keep the same admissions deadlines, or stagger them?
  • Evaluating applicants without tools like ISEE, etc. 
  • Rolling Admissions
  • Assessing Students Remotely
  • Managing late tuition assistance requests
  • How are schools addressing requests for tuition, or program (after care), refunds?
  • Managing elementary student visit requirements
  • How enrollment cycle went
  • Post-admission letters

Workshop Guests

Dana Nelson-Isaacs, Founder and President, DNI Consulting


Dana has twenty years of experience working within and between all levels of administration and faculty, parents, students, board members, and other community stakeholders regarding a range of topics including enrollment management, communication, marketing, and parent and student satisfaction.

In addition to on-the-ground experience working within schools in various admission and marketing roles at four different institutions, Dana is an expert in market research, enrollment feasibility studies and strategic enrollment management projects. Additionally, she has led projects as a consultant in areas including parent satisfaction, admission office efficiencies, staff coaching, curriculum planning, and exit interviewing.

Dana currently serves as the coordinator of the Bay Area Directors of Admission consortium, consisting of approximately 75 schools. Among a variety of tasks to keep the group up and running, she is responsible for professional development planning and other organizational leadership.

Dana holds a BA in Psychology from Lewis and Clark College and an MS in Counseling Psychology from Sonoma State University. She lives in Northern California with her husband and their elementary school aged daughter.


Greg Bamford

Greg Bamford is a speaker, consultant, and independent school leader. 

He is currently the Associate Head of School for Strategy and Innovation at Charles Wright Academy in Tacoma, Washington. Prior to this, he was Head of School at the innovative Watershed School in Boulder, Colorado. 

Greg is a co-founder of Leadership+Design, a nonprofit that supports educational innovation, as well as Traverse, a national conference on experiential and place-based learning. He is a member of the Board of Trustees at his alma mater, The Overlake School. 

Greg has been a featured speaker at a wide range of conferences and consults with independent schools nationally. He writes on education at www.gregbamford.education, as well as in publications like Independent School, Net Assets, and The Yield. You can find him on Twitter at @gregbamford.


Mishel Gantz

Mishel Gantz is the Director of Enrollment Management at Synapse School in Menlo Park, CA. Most recently, Mishel was the Chief Experience Officer at Watershed School, a grades 6-12 forward thinking, intentionally small, independent school in Boulder, Colorado. There, she was responsible for driving Watershed’s enrollment and bringing their student body to full capacity. She developed this through a deliberate, relational strategy with a plan to differentiate the school’s unique style and mission. She is also a seasoned teacher, having worked as a middle school teacher and a team leader at Wyatt Charter School in Denver, CO. There, she was the primary educator for their middle school math program. Mishel also taught the youngest learners (Pre-K & Kindergarten) at Children’s House, one of Boulder’s longest running and most inclusive preschools. Mishel holds a BA in Psychology from the University of South Florida and has multiple certificates and trainings in family systems, grief counseling, and enrollment. Most importantly, Mishel is a proud parent of two grown children of her own.


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