On May 18-19, 2018 we held our second admissions conference in Europe and eighth overall at International School of Hellerup. We were thrilled to welcome over 50 participants representing 35 schools from 21 countries.

See the full list of participating schools and find the conference programme here.

Day one of the conference focused on OpenApply learning and support. OpenApply Director MacKenzie Hovermale began the day by sharing the company’s mission and vision as well as product updates from the 2017-2018 academic year.

Next IS Hellerup’s Head of School, Nedzat Asanovski, Primary School Principal, Stephan Fleet, and Admissions Officer, Katrina Salinas, teamed up to share their school’s implementation and journey with OpenApply over the last 4 years.

The rest of the day was broken up into 8 workshops focusing on different aspects of OpenApply and best practices for using the system. MacKenzie Hovermale and Associates Tom Kirby and Ashley Kirk led sessions on various topics: Accepting Payments, Parent Experience, Analytics, Tracking Applicants, Managing Re-Enrolment, Forms & Checklists, Integrations, and Events.

The first day of the conference ended with a delicious dinner and networking opportunity at the trendy Madklubben Vesterbro in central Copenhagen.

Day two of the conference focused on professional development and how everyone at the school plays a role in admissions. IS Hellerup’s Head of School, Nedzat Asanovski, kicked off the day with an insightful Keynote presentation. Nedzat discussed the importance of staff-led initiatives at schools and how admissions and other departments can work together to support each others’ ideas.

Next up, Matthew Green from OurPlanet International School, Muscat shared his experiences as the Business Manager of a brand new international school. The admissions office’s performance is key to the Business Manager’s ability to run the school smoothly, so the two offices need to work closely and communicate regularly.

We then moved to the IT department where Director of Information Technology, Michelle Laudermilk, and Admission Office Manager, Danka Perreault, from Leysin American School shared strategies for data protection in admissions. With GDPR at the top of everyone’s mind, the session provided valuable tips for ensuring data security at its first entry point into the school.

Claudine Hakim, Head of Admissions, Transitions, and External Relations at International School of London UK Schools wrapped up the morning with a discussion on how transitions programmes are vital to every international school. Claudine reviewed specific initiatives they’ve put in place at ISL and also shared the work that has been done at other international schools, giving participants plenty of ideas to implement when they return to school.

After lunch, Director of Curriculum & Programme Development at George Washington Academy in Casablanca, Brian Menard, spoke on the importance of collaboration between admissions and academics. Using a Dr. Seuss inspired case study, Brian challenged participants to consider how they could incorporate strategic enrolment management to help improve students’ academic experiences at the school.

Zoe Bergeal, Head of Admissions & Marketing at Southbank International School provided numerous practical tips to participants on how they could revamp their school’s digital marketing strategy. From branding to campaign creation to Instagram strategies, attendees certainly went home with a few new ideas.

To wrap up the two-day event, Claudine Hakim led participants through reflection activities to help ensure that what was learned over the weekend would not be forgotten come Monday. Over a last glass of sparkling wine attendees shared what they had learned and wrote a postcard to themselves to remind them in a month of the knowledge they’d gained.

A big thank you from OpenApply to International School of Hellerup and all the attendees and speakers who contributed to another successful event. More photos from the conference can be found here.

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