Coronavirus (COVID-19) Resource Centre for Private Schools

PRZECZYTAJ PO POLSKU

Our team is actively working to collect and share resources, best practices, and examples to help private and independent schools effectively manage marketing, communications and admissions during the COVID-19 outbreak. If you have a resource or example you’d like to share, please email [email protected]




Featured resources:

ARTICLE [Our Kids]

How Polish non-public schools are dealing with COVID-19

How have schools pivoted to distance learning? We interviewed 20+ schools from throughout Poland on how they’re managing. Here’s what each of them is doing.

ARTICLE [Our Kids]

How Canadian schools are teaching during COVID-19

A snapshot of what schools from across Canada are currently doing to continue their programming in this time of physical distancing.

WEBINAR [Our Kids]

Moving your classroom online

Watch our webinar recording for insights and ideas on how to transition to online learning quickly, efficiently, and effectively.

WEBINAR [Our Kids]

School Marketing trends for 2021

When parents choose a non-public school, they’re looking for more than just curriculum and rankings. Watch this short 30 minute webinar and learn how to plan promotional activities that will shape a coherent and lasting image of your school, and how schools have seen success during uncertain times.

Marketing & Admissions

The common phrase “if I can get the family to visit my school, I can get them to enroll” no longer works during the COVID-19 pandemic. So what happens now, when they can’t get to campus?

Prospective families are going to be turning to online sources, such as your website and any other information they can find online, particularly OurKids.net, to determine what they should do next. For prospective families, your approach to how you handle this crisis can have a significant impact on how a family perceives your school.


4 Tips for Successful Virtual Admissions

Tip 1 - Website homepage:

Add a message on your homepage letting families know your ‘virtual’ admissions office is open and how to contact you.

In this example, De Smet Jesuit updated its admissions landing page with a fun video and a "Virtual A Day" schedule using photos. The school also included a homepage pop-up to direct visitors to two key pages: Virtual Visit for prospective parents or the News Hub for current parents.


homepage message

In this example, Lauder Morasha Schools further share they are open for admission through their social media channels.


Tip 2 - Virtual admission page:

Update the admissions section of your website or direct to a new ‘virtual admissions’ hub. Although you’re creating this as a result of the current situation, it definitely makes sense to consider a "virtual visit" page not just a short-term solution, but a long-term strategy to reach more families.

What to include:

  • Make it clear your admission office is open ‘virtually’
  • Remove focus on in-person visits and direct families to any virtual events you have. Otherwise, encourage families to schedule a video call with you
  • Add a virtual tour video or photo gallery tour
  • Create a frequently asked questions section for parents, either on your website or through a Librus-type communication platform

Akademia High School lets families know their recruitment weekend is moving forward virtually, complete with interviews and tests.

homepage message

Tip 3 - Technology:

Make use of available free technology. Allow families to easily schedule a virtual meeting with you through calendar tools such as calendly or picktime and allow them to choose which form of communication they are most comfortable with: Skype, Zoom, WebEx, Google Hangouts or Gruveo.

Prepare a list of topics you’d like to cover on the call (or share your screen and walk them through a presentation or your website): history, key features, a short bio of the classroom teacher, information about the head of school.


Tip 4 - Testimonials:

Now more than ever, the authentic perspectives of your current community will play a key role in enrollment and re-enrollment. Add testimonials to your Our Kids school profile which ranks #1 in Google for Reviews of private schools in Poland, or create a testimonial wall with Padlet a free tool which allows you to crowdsource content easily without much work from your team.


Communicating with current and prospect families

Now more than ever, It’s important to keep the channels of communication with both current and potential parents open. The parents need to feel that the school is ‘in control ‘ and knows what it’s doing, as well as who to turn to for answers or help.

Here are some best practices for marketing and communications during the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic.

Current Parents

1. Be transparent

Send currently enrolled families mailing about the current situation & how the school is reacting and organizing its work, information about your distance learning plan, along with how & where they can reach the school or get help with virtual learning when needed.

In this example, The British International School of Washington added a header to their website directing all visitors to their Virtual School Experience Hub which they launched with Google Sites. This sends a transparent message to both current and prospective parents and provides an easy way to direct families to the most recent and important updates.

2. Continue with schedules where possible

Continue with your regular communications schedules where possible, or add to them to stay in close contact with families. Some schools are sending an abridged form of their weekly newsletter/bulletin to families via email and post it online with a link.

The International American School of Warsaw chose to release their weekly bulletin in the form of a video message which is emailed to parents, posted online to their news hub and also featured on their OurKids.net school profile and news feed.



Prospective Parents

1. Showcase your remote learning activities

For prospective families, your approach to how you handle this crisis can have a significant impact on how a family perceives your school. If you’re offering remote learning, share highlights of the best with prospective parents via email, social media and your third-party partners.

In this example, Polish British Academy of Warsaw shares what their physical education lesson looks like and provides prospective parents with an opportunity to ‘meet’ the teacher and student body.



We’ve created a few feature articles to highlight how schools across Poland and Canada are managing the crisis and have quickly turned to effective online distance learning.

our kids articles

The agility demonstrated by the quick, multi-layered response of non-public schools is emblematic of other, more fundamental characteristics of what you offer: committed, motivated staff; freedom to innovate on the fly; and an unwavering sense of accountability to key stakeholders such as your students and their parents.


2. Be seen where parents are

Leverage trusted third-party outlets you know parents turn to to further share your school brand and messaging. Update (or create) your school profile on OurKids.net/pl - the first and only non-public school platform in Poland used by all families researching and considering a non-public school. It also allows for parents to easily compare different schools due to the way that all school information is organized in consistent categories.

During this uncertain and financially difficult time, families will be looking for school information outside of just your own website, and OurKids.net is consistently returns as a #1 source of information in Google searches.

In this example, Monnet International School invites families to their Virtual Open House event with run using ClickMeeting.

our kids articles

3. Review your messaging

Double-check your messaging, visuals and tone. It’s a difficult time for everyone. Speak with more empathy and sincerity, and avoid the extremes of being too light-hearted or too scarcity-driven.

Also look at the images you’re using. Professional videos and images of crowds seem out of place and almost offensive in a world where most people are physically distancing. Sharing ‘memories’ is one way to showcase ‘regular’ school through photos or videos.


4. Focus on target audience expansion

Not all families are interested in non-public school, or have the means to afford it. Focus your marketing on audience expansion within your target. Now is an ideal time to grow your list. People are in information harvesting mode right now, because when uncertainty blends with spare time, what else are we left to do? So, now is not the time to slow your marketing efforts. Now is the time to tweak those marketing efforts to be even more visible than you might have been before.

For Akademickie Liceum Ogólnokształcące przy PJATK, they know people won’t be able to visit now, so their digital presence with OurKids.net plays an even more important role in their for marketing and admissions.

Example of school messaging

It’s important to continue communicating with both prospective and current families. Keep up your daily facebook and instagram posts and send information through email. Use video where possible to make your message more personable.

Hashtags are a great way to aggregate content during the normal school year — and now that students and faculty are remote, it can be a great way to provide a sense of community. Schools around the world are coming up with unique hashtags to keep their community in the loop and connected during this time. Examples: The British School Warsaw: #virtualschoolexperience or American School in Paris: #RebelsGoRemote

Gain some inspiration from this gallery of examples:

Keep families up to date with closures and schedules

Positive messages to keep spirits high

Provide tips for at-home learning

Showcase the e-learning experiences of other students, families, and faculty

Use video to showcase what fun things students do at home



A student learning to play an instrument at home


Mother and son sing alongs

Showcase students work



Students working from home, and their work


Competitions/Games to encourage the community to get involved



Competitions, e.g. reading in unusual places competition

Uplifting messages/showing gratitude from teachers, staff or parents



Teachers waving, working at their laptops, or even wearing school colours


A video message from teachers, parents to students

Testimonials and alumni stories

Family and School Learning Resources


1. Lessons, courses and lectures for beginners, mostly in Polish:

  • Khan Academy
  • Oppia.org - Content for children and youth of all ages in English
  • CK-12 Foundation
  • Mathematics is everywhere.
  • AMU Film Archive
  • Matemax
  • SciFun (YouTube)
  • Attention Scientific Babble (YouTube)
  • Science. I like it (YouTube)
  • Buzzmath.com
  • Journal of Visualized Experiments (JoVE)
  • Pi-station math
  • Crazy Numbers

2. Lessons, courses and online studies in foreign languages and for more advanced students:

  • edX
  • Coursera
  • Degreed.com
  • Skillshare
  • Canvas.net
  • Study.com

3. Language learning:

  • Memrise
  • Busuu
  • Fleex
  • Olive Green - learning English in the form of a crime series using intelligent word replays
  • engVid
  • Duolingo
  • Mango Languages

4. Online resources:

  • Project Gutenberg (www.gutenberg.org) - an initiative of placing electronic versions of books on the internet
  • Habitify, HabitBull - may prove to be good support in building habits related to functioning at home in the hours when we should normally be at school.
  • Brainly.pl
  • Physics.fuw.edu.pl
  • Forest application - allows you to focus and not use the phone
  • Wszechnica.org.pl
  • naharvard.pl
  • law.uj.edu.pl
  • OpenAGH
  • Free Reading
  • Polona
  • BoardGameArena.com (online board games)

Programming, computer science:

  • CodeCombat - a game where children can start their coding adventure
  • Kinetise
  • Khan Academy - here you will find a special module called "Coding time", which is intended for children

Museums, Zoo’s and art galleries:

  • artsandculaure.google.com
  • naturalhistory.si.edu
  • louvre.fr
  • e-muzeum.eu
  • nationalgallery.org.uk
  • gry.wawel.krakow.pl
  • 360stories.com

Preferred Partners: