Magazine article Curriculum Review

Seven Secrets of Open-House Success

Magazine article Curriculum Review

Seven Secrets of Open-House Success

Article excerpt

To improve the image of its school in the surrounding community, the PTA at Woodrow Wilson High in Dallas instituted a open house targeted at local Realtors recently. "Realtors are the first connection with most new families moving into the area," program chair Kathy Glenn told the Dallas Independent School District newsletter, District Times. "We decided they needed to know about us."

The initiative was so successful that the school's office began receiving calls from other community groups looking for a tour. "That's when we decided we'd start having smaller open houses through the year focusing on different groups each time" Glenn said. The school's now holds Woodrow Wednesdays open houses on the first Wednesday of every month during the school year. Target groups have included local business owners, neighborhood and homeowner associations, elementary and middle-school staff and families, service organizations, and youth ministers and their organizations.

Along the way, Glenn has developed seven tips any school can employ to enjoy open-house success.

1. Hold a "beautification day" the day before every open house. Clean up trash outside and inside the school. Remove dead shrubbery, sweep and mow if needed. "Make it something you're proud of," Glenn says. "You don't want people coming in and feeling uncomfortable because it's not clean."

2. Put up a cheerful welcome sign or banner outside, or post an upbeat message or welcome on the school's marquee.

3. Create or highlight a display that shows school pride as visitors enter. Woodrow maintains a large bulletin board near the entryway that is covered with newspaper articles and photos that have been published about the school's students, teachers and programs. …

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