How to keep students & staff engaged during the holidays

6 Tips for Keeping Enrollment Up During the Holidays

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Well almost.

The holidays are an exciting time to spend with friends and family, celebrating the joys that life brings from November to the New Year. But as the owner of a youth activity center, you may dread the downtime associated with the holiday season, and worry about ways to keep enrollment up during the holidays.

Between finding a new menu to present at Thanksgiving dinner and scoring the right Christmas gift for aunt Betty, you’ve got plenty of things to worry about. Keeping students and staff engaged and ready to return after the holidays should not be stressing you out.

That’s why we’ve come up with these six tips for keeping your students and staff excited about coming back to class after the hustle and bustle of the holiday season!

6 ways to keep students and staff engaged during the holidays

Offer registration incentives

Offering incentives such as early registration to families who re-enroll from Winter to Spring sessions is an easy way to make students feel appreciated and an easy way to pre-fill classes at your facility.

If students and parents know which classes and class times at your facility are in high demand, this early access opportunity will likely give them the push to claim their spot and claim it fast.

Easy sign-up for them. Easy engagement for you.

How to offer early registration to existing students using Jackrabbit Class: 

With Jackrabbit Class, you can easily offer priority enrollment to existing students first to help guarantee they get in the classes they want before opening registration to the public. Existing students have the ability to sign up for priority enrollment classes through the Parent Portal, available for one week. Then, you can open up online registration to new families in week two.

The key is to time priority enrollment so your current families are able to sign up easily, but the time-sensitive nature of the re-enrollment period also urges them to act fast to snag their spot before it’s gone! Finding that sweet spot will keep your classes full and families happy.

You could offer an exclusive, one-time early bird registration discount to those families who re-enroll for the Spring in December. But make sure your discounting strategy isn’t too generous to where your business is losing money on these families.

Create a giveaway

Create a participation contest that gives the winner a collector’s item with your company’s logo. You could give away items ranging from a t-shirt, warm-up jacket, water bottle, sticker or anything else your students and staff love.

Make sure you communicate the rules of your giveaway simply and clearly. The Parent Portal and Staff Portal are two great ways to streamline any kind of communication to families and staff throughout the year, and especially the holidays.

How to communicate with families via Jackrabbit’s Parent Portal: 

With Jackrabbit’s Parent Portal, you can customize the message that pops up when parents log in. You can also add messages to the news and announcements section of the Parent Portal. Basically, whatever you want your parents to know first, put it here.

Better yet – have a particular message you don’t need your entire student base to read? You can target specific families with a private message that will appear when they log in to their Parent Portal.

In addition to adding information directly in the Parent Portal, parents can also see copies of emails sent to them from within the portal as well, keeping the lines of communication open!

How to communicate with staff via Jackrabbit’s Staff Portal: 

The Jackrabbit Staff Portal gives you the option to target all staff or specific departments. By entering information in staff or department news, you can be sure your instructors will see the messages as soon as they log in to the Staff Portal.

Volunteer in the community

As a facility owner, you know establishing a good reputation in your community is vital to the success of your business. There’s no better time than the holidays – when everyone is filled with thanks and a giving spirit – to provide an opportunity for people to give back.

Whether you volunteer at a local soup kitchen or adopt a family to shop for this holiday season, coming together as a group in support of a larger purpose will generate a sense of community that will keep families and staff returning season after season.

Offer drop-in hours

Give parents and staff the afternoon off to decorate or do some last-minute holiday shopping by providing themed events or camps at your facility for their children to attend. Don’t limit this experience to your students. Encourage existing families to bring their friends as a way to market your facility and classes for the upcoming session!

How to set-up events in Jackrabbit:

Events are a great way to promote and offer those one-day special occasions. Creating your events in Jackrabbit allows you to set parameters (size, fee, etc) and offer online registration ahead of time.

Once the events are created, you can put your Event calendar online and include the link in all of your marketing promotions. With new and existing families having access to your events, you are sure to have busy camps and happy parents!

Communicate holiday hours

All businesses rely on effective and efficient communication. There’s nothing more annoying to a parent than lugging a child across town only to find their regularly-scheduled class isn’t being held due to holiday hours. So let’s just avoid that situation altogether!

Having a good communication strategy in place is key to keeping students and staff in the know around the holidays. Whether it’s revised studio hours or closures due to inclement weather, you need to know how you’re going to push this information to your customers.

Let me guess. You’re probably within five feet of your phone right now, right? Heck, you are probably even reading this on your phone. It’s convenient. That’s why email and text notifications are two great ways to get in touch with your students and staff.

How to email customers using Jackrabbit: 

With Jackrabbit, you can email your entire family base or a single family with the same amount of ease. Not only is there a designated area to email your families, but a lot of reports in Jackrabbit offer the option to email from the results page. No more manually adding contacts into Gmail and creating your own list – you can do this all in one place without the extra effort!

How to set-up text message alerts through Jackrabbit: 

Jackrabbit integrates with Twilio, a partner for texting. Sending text messages is as easy as emailing. In fact, they happen from the same spot!

There is no additional fee through Jackrabbit to text, however, Twilio has their own rates. The cost is minimal for an effective way to communicate important messages to your students and staff!

Host a holiday party

Did someone say “Santa Claus is coming to town?”


Invite that jolly old elf down from the North Pole to spend the afternoon at your facility. With a little marketing, you’ll have a line from here to Whoville with children ready to talk to the big man himself.

Make the event free to the public, but require a sign-in upon arrival including name and email address. You can use that information to market classes for an upcoming session.

How to reach new customers using Jackrabbit Class:

Jackrabbit has a separate ‘storage’ area that is the perfect place to store the contact information of non-students who attend events at your facility. This, funny enough, is called the lead file.

From the lead file, you can email prospective students about fun events your center will be hosting in the future. You can also invite them to trial classes during your upcoming session.

Are you ready to implement tips using the industry-leading class management software Jackrabbit Class has to offer? Sign up for a free, thirty-minute live demo with a Product Coach to see if Jackrabbit Class is the right solution for your business.

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