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For Healthy Christian Schools (719) 278-9600

The Parent Satisfaction & Referral Survey (PSRS) for

Christian Elementary and Secondary Schools

Over 745 Christian elementary and secondary schools have used GraceWorks’ nationally normed parent satisfaction survey in the last decade – 108,000+ Christian school constituents. GraceWorks’ survey is the crucial first step to discern your parents, teachers, donors, and congregational members overall support for your school. Order now to complete the entire process in 4-5 weeks. Because Christian schools are among the most satisfying organizations in America, homegrown surveys typically yield “false positive” results. With no comparison data, what appears to be good scores often are not – both a practical and Biblical problem (John 7:24). To avoid this significant problem, the PSRS norms data from over 110 separate questions. Your results include percentile ranks for the overall program, numerous demographics, and the effectiveness and importance of 50+ Christian school program elements.

Retain More Students with GraceWorks Parent Satisfaction and Referral Survey


Christian schools with high retention rates share one thing: High parent satisfaction scores. GraceWorks’ PSRS helps you retain more current families in three key ways: (1) Identify how parents see the effectiveness of various program aspects, (2) Identify how parents see the importance of various program aspects, (3) Asking parents directly: “Are you coming back?” (And why.) Order the PSRS Here. How do current parents perceive the overall quality of your program? A significant problem is that parents, teachers, and school leaders do not agree on which program elements are most important. Competitors can easily scoop up our current parents if we are wildly succeeding in program aspects that are secondary in importance (Luke 14:28). However, understanding what parents find most important is not intuitive. For example, you would think that parents in schools on the east and west coast would be less concerned about the Christian aspects of the program, with more concern for Christian aspect in the Midwest “Bible belt”. In fact, we typically find just the opposite. This included a major denominational study in Midwest, in the same region as the denomination’s worldwide headquarters! In other words, to retain current families, we need to major in their majors. If a major for us is a minor for them, then we need to make the case for these program elements. One of the most frustrating parts of being a Christian school leader is making significant improvements - and retention rates do not budge. Typically, that means fixing the wrong things. To really impact current parent retention, fix the right program aspects – the program aspects that matter to parents. That means understanding how parents perceive the effectiveness of various program elements and how important they are as well. Surveying the former without the latter is like a following a recipe with only a list of ingredients, with no amounts shown. Who would want a second helping of that dish?

Enroll More Students in Your Christian School with GraceWorks’ PSRS

GraceWorks has adapted the powerful challenger-selling model to help Principals enroll more families who visit even one time. Extensive research on this model has shown: (1) The highest closing rates occur when Principals help parents understand what their children really need, which is typically different from what they think they need. (2) Besides higher closing rates, helping parents have more effective ideas in the very first meeting results in far greater loyalty over the succeeding years. (3) Challenger selling empowers parents to make educational choices for their children, rather than vice versa (1 st Timothy 3:4). (4) Preparation for the challenger selling process requires understanding what ideas parents are bringing to the table. Hence the need for the survey. Order the PSRS Here. Ironically, a huge problem with the current way we do enrollment closing is simply trying to give parents what they want. Where we see nuanced differences between our school and our competition, parents only see the similarities. The biggest difference often boils down to – the competition is free. To resolve this conundrum, we have to understand the mental starting place for our parents. The challenger- selling method is a powerful way to convince parents about what is really important for their children. We have to know their mental maps first. The PSRS does this, and much more.

Generate More Christian School Leads with GraceWorks’ PSRS

Over the last decade, experienced Christian school leaders have come to two important conclusions: (1) Social media marketing has not really lived up to its hype, (2) The bulk of our leads remain closely related to offline Word of Mouth (WOM), and (3) WOM leads are the easiest to enroll – by far. Which begs the question, can we do more to increase our Word of Mouth leads? The answer is a resounding YES. Order the PSRS Here. Word of Mouth leads happen both spontaneously and intentionally. Spontaneous WOM happens when program aspects important to parents are well done. Intentional WOM happens when we identify, train, and remind individuals who are “Promoters” to our school. Spontaneous WOM starts with program excellence. We define excellence as “We all agree what’s important around here, and we’re hitting it out of the park.” Of the two, (1) Agreeing what’s important, and (2) Hitting it out of the park, (1) is typically more problematic. For example, differences in the philosophy of education between teachers year-to-year can shut down spontaneous word of mouth for entire classes. Dozens of leads lost, because teachers do not agree on teaching philosophy. GraceWorks’ Parent Satisfaction and Referral (PSRS) survey assesses both (1) and (2), which allows you to bring all constituent groups to alignment – from discordant cacophony to harmonic resonance. Without the PSRS, you are never quite sure where to start. Equally important, the PSRS helps you with intentional WOM leads by identifying your Promoters. We give you the list and a plan. We even ask these Promoters for referrals – right in the survey. The leads you receive from this simple idea will pay for the survey many times over. Finally, the PSRS identifies volunteers in 13 categories who are willing to help you with practical marketing and fundraising tasks, such as serving on a taskforce. Recruited and used properly, this can be a tremendous resource for advancing your overall program.

Better Christian School Tuition and Financial Aid through GraceWorks’ PSRS

The conundrum faced by most Christian schools is that many parents can clearly pay more than they are currently paying. However, they fear raising rates will cause other parents to leave. Sadly, these dynamics exist even if the tuition rate does not cover the cost to educate a child. With no resolution in sight. The entire situation has profound theological implications as well. GraceWorks’ PSRS has been asking parents their household income since 2010. For the vast majority of Christian schools, 40% or more of parents will be able to pay the entire cost to educate their child. Order the PSRS Here. The critical missing variable in these discussions is price elasticity. Price elasticity is the willingness or ability of parents to pay more tuition if you raise your rates (or eliminate automatic discounts.) GraceWorks’ PSRS answers the two most important questions for any tuition increase: (1) Will they? And (2) Can they? Will they pay the higher rate? That is a function of overall satisfaction – the PSRS has nationally normed data for every income level, from highest to lowest. Can they pay the higher rate? That depends on the actual income of the parents, which the PSRS reports to you. Many schools have attempted a “full cost / needs based” financial model without assessing “Will they? / Can they?” This is very dangerous for your school’s financial health. If there ever was a place for the Lord’s admonition to “count the cost first” (Luke 14:28), this is the place. The cost of the PSRS is cheap insurance against the cost of failing a major tuition / financial aid change.

Brand and Differentiate Effectively with GraceWorks’ PSRS

How do you effectively compete against more-of-everything schools – more money, more students, and bigger and better buildings? Thinking deeply about this problem, there is only one reasonable conclusion: You have to compete on a narrow front. GraceWorks PSRS provides a definitive answer on what that narrow front should be. Order the PSRS Here. What that means is you pick what program aspects will be excellent, and focus on these. Usually these are the Christian aspects of your program. Unfortunately, many Christian schools have drawn the wrong conclusion about secularization in America. They wrongly assume that they need to “tone down” the Christian content of their website. What is wrong with this assumption? Secularization is really clarification – families that used to go to church sporadically are comfortable eschewing the church altogether. Moreover, faithful Christian families are even more committed to their Lord. Actually, these are the families you want – they stay longer, participate more, and tell others about your school. What is not in question is that Christian schools such as yours will always – ALWAYS – do better with Christian character than any public school (or charter, or magnet.) In addition, it turns out that the one question on our PSRS that most predicts parental satisfaction relates directly to Christian character. (Ironically, one of the least predictive questions relates to the use of technology in instruction!)] Which leads to two very important questions for the future of your school. Question #1: What do your parents care about more than anything else? Question #2: What are your natural program strengths upon which to build? GraceWorks’ nationally normed survey provides you definitive answers to both questions. The PSRS is the bedrock foundation for determining the narrow front to compete with your more-of-everything competitors.

GraceWorks’ PSRS is the Foundation for Effective Program Quality Improvement

If one of the toughest problems you as a Principal or Administrator will face is trying to determine which program elements to spend time and money improving. The situation is complex for many good reasons: (1) Not all program elements are equally important to parents, (2) What parents see as important is not necessarily what’s best for their child, (3) Some program aspects are highly impactful on satisfaction, others not, (4) “Squeaky wheel” parents or even focus groups often result in wrong conclusions. Over 750 Christian schools have trusted GraceWorks to navigate these treacherous waters. With our data, you will know: (1) The real strengths and weaknesses of your program, (2) Which program elements are worthy of your time and money – and which are not, and (3) Which program elements need to be “sold” to parents for the sake of their children. Order the PSRS Here. In addition to understanding the issues, GraceWorks’ President Dan Krause personally reviews the survey results with your leadership team – often in several sessions. He will share with you what other schools have done to solve the problems you face. All in a marketing-friendly way. Conclusion 10 years strong, GraceWorks’ Parent Satisfaction and Referral Survey has become the premiere tool for elementary and secondary Christian schools to: (1) Generate more leads, (2) Close more leads, (3) Retain more students, (4) Make wiser tuition and financial aid choices, (5) Effectively brand and differentiate, and (6) Improve program quality. Order the PSRS Here. You can request the free resource, Parent Satisfaction Survey Rationale and Benefits, Simply request it by emailing us. Or, for a free, no-obligation consultation, please call (719) 278-9600, ext.200.
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