October event offers schools support and encouragement
This fall’s Ontario Alliance of Christian Schools (OACS) advancement conference focuses on the important role partnerships play in Christian education and explores how to tackle advancement and recruitment challenges.
The conference, held in Woodstock Oct. 14 and in Trenton Oct. 15, is geared towards board members, administrators, communication directors, advancement directors, development directors and committee members.
“I’m excited about some of the very practical things that people could walk away from the day with,” says OACS director of advancement Ray Hendriks, noting he hopes the event sparks an enthusiasm for the advancement of OACS schools and assurance that there are many good ideas that effectively work in schools.
The day consists of devotions, a keynote presentation and three breakout sessions.
Dr. Adrian Guldemond, OACS executive director, will present the keynote on how Christian schooling fits with the secular workplace, illustrating principles of marketing and exploring examples of Christian school promotion strategies.
Following the keynote participants can choose to attend a round-table session further digging into this topic.
“In a time period where recruitment is increasingly a challenge for schools there is a real requirement to be clear on mission and vision,” says Hendriks, adding the keynote challenges schools as to whether they continue to implement their vision in marketing programs.
Other session topics include:
- Working Together With the Local Church: A Church Ambassador Program — this workshop identifies and examines barriers to building relationships with church leaders and congregations and considers the role of staff, parents and students to develop positive relationships between church and school
- Working With a Changing Culture: How Well Is Your School Responding to the Current Educational Marketplace — this session looks at the challenges schools face and provides a template for how schools can identify its current situation and set direction for future development
- Working With CSS — Christian Stewardship Services (CSS) will present on the importance of schools having ongoing financial support
- Working With the Internet: Using Your Website More Effectively — OACS director of technologies Chris van Donkelaar will share how free and easy-to-use software can help schools effectively discover website feedback
- Working With Local Business Ideas: A Business Approach to Marketing — Allan Hill, owner of two Domino Pizza franchises in the Peterborough area, will lead a session on how small business marketing plans can be adopted by schools to market themselves and the importance of branding, reputation and integration in the local community.
Hendriks says he hopes through the conference topics schools will learn about some of the good partnerships that have always existed and that schools will realize the more they partner with their local communities — whether through the church ambassador program, business ideas or other networks — the easier the task of school advancement.