A Deep Dive into Parents’ Decision-Making Process for Choosing Schools

minute read
September 15, 2023

In today's digital age, first impressions matter more than ever. For parents who are choosing a school for their child, that first impression often begins online. With more and more people turning to the internet for information, a school's website and digital presence plays a crucial role in the decision-making process. Here at SOLVED, we've seen firsthand the difference that an exceptional online presence can make for public schools in New York.

So, what exactly are parents looking for online during the process for choosing schools?

Process For Choosing Schools

The Digital Journey of Choosing the Right School: Timmy's Story

To illustrate the parents’ journey when deciding on a school, let's walk through the journey of two parents, Tom and Lisa, as they decide where to send their son, Timmy.

The Starting Point: Exploring Options

Tom and Lisa were thrilled at the thought of Timmy starting school. But, like many modern parents, they were overwhelmed by the sheer number of choices available. Beyond the local public schools, they discovered a spectrum of options including charter schools, private institutions, and parochial establishments. Their first move? A simple Google search: "schools near me".

The Digital Dive: Narrowing it Down

Their search revealed several schools in their vicinity. Overwhelmed yet determined, they spent days going through Google reviews , online forums, and social media comments. Gradually, two schools emerged as frontrunners: School A and School B.

Final Decision: School A vs. School B

Eager to learn more, Tom and Lisa began with School A's website. To their dismay, it was reminiscent of a bygone digital era: outdated design, cluttered with text, scarce photos, and a labyrinth of links that led to even more text. The site was not only hard to navigate but failed to provide a vivid picture of the school's environment and offerings.

School B, on the other hand, was a refreshing contrast. Their website was sleek and modern, intuitively guiding Tom and Lisa through well-organized sections. Crisp photos showcased students actively engaged in class, participating in sports, and enjoying extracurricular activities. The school's mission and values were prominently featured, resonating with the aspirations Tom and Lisa held for Timmy's education.

Note: the parents in this scenario narrowed down their choices before visiting any school. This is not uncommon, and proves just how important a solid digital presence is.

The Verdict

After their digital journey, Tom and Lisa's decision was clear. School B's online presence effectively communicated not just the school's offerings, but its ethos, values, and vibrant community. Without setting foot in either establishment, School B had won their trust.

The Takeaways: What Made The Difference

Tom and Lisa's experience underlines the power of a school's digital presence . Let's unpack their decision-making process:

1. Visual Appeal Over Textual Overload

Parents are often short on time. A website filled with large blocks of text can be overwhelming and may discourage further exploration. High-quality photos not only make the site visually appealing but also provide a quick, easily digestible insight into the school's environment, culture, and offerings.

2. A Compelling Narrative and Mission Statement

In the "About Us" section , parents aren’t just looking for cold, hard facts. They want a story. They want to feel connected and understand what drives your institution. A mission statement and vision should not just be a list or a couple of sentences; they should resonate with the hopes and dreams parents have for their children's education.

3. Principal’s Message That Connects

The principal's message is more than just a welcome note. It’s an opportunity to connect with parents on a personal level. By showcasing the principal's passion, vision, and commitment, schools can foster trust and reassure parents that their child's education is in competent hands.

4. Holistic Information on Offerings

Parents want to ensure that their child receives a well-rounded education. This means they're looking for informative content on both academics and extracurriculars. Make sure your school showcases the richness of its programs, its achievements, and any unique opportunities it offers.

The Bottom Line

The decision of where to send a child to school is one of the most significant choices a parent can make. In this day and age, a school's website serves as its digital front door, and as such, it must be both welcoming and informative.

Your school might offer an exemplary curriculum, have passionate teachers, and produce outstanding results. Still, if parents can't access or understand that information easily through your online platforms, you might be missing out on attracting prospective families.

With SOLVED's expertise in creating websites, apps , photography, and videography tailored to the specific needs of public schools in New York, we understand the nuances and demands of the education sector. We're here to help your school shine online, ensuring you capture the hearts and minds of the next generation of parents and students.

Let your digital presence speak volumes. Because in today’s world, it's not just about having a website, but about making a lasting first impression.

SOLVED Shorts Logo

Mini Clips