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Open Enrollment Challenges

How One Public School District Competes for Students

by Dr. Rod Berger

As the superintendent of the Madison School District in north central Phoenix, Arizona, Dr. Quinn Kellis faces challenges that his peers in other parts of the country do not have. Arizona is known for being what he calls “ground zero for the charter-school movement,” and with that comes the challenges of attracting students from around the region through the open enrollment process.

Quinn and his team have to be aware of how they are marketing the opportunities available in the district to potential students and families. They have taken an aggressive approach, which includes retaining a marketing firm to help them get the word out. The result is more than half their students are from outside the A-plus district’s boundaries. To put that in perspective, the next highest district comes in at 14%.

The district must provide options to students to distinguish themselves from other choices that come with the public charter, private charter and private school programs. It’s not enough, says Quinn, to have high academic standards. It takes offering exciting field trips or multi-day camping trips to the mountains coupled with high academic standards to attract students.

It’s nice to see just how well Dr. Quinn Kellis and his staff are succeeding in making the Madison School District stand out from the rest.

About Dr. Quinn Kellis

Dr. Quinn Kellis is married with three children. He has worked for 27 years in public education. He was previously a high school teacher, middle school principal, director of research, and assistant supt. He is currently the Superintendent of Madison School District. Dr. Kellis is a second generation native of Arizona. He earned degrees from Brigham Young University (B.A.), Chapman University (M.A.), and Arizona State University (Ed.D.)

Follow Dr. Quinn Kellis on Twitter.

This article was originally posted on Huffington Post by Dr. Rod Berger.

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