Best Practices At Work | Jacqueline Galloway-Blake

The ABC’s of Growing a Church School


Accentuate the positive. Every school has strong points.

Activate alumni. Contact them regularly with the school newsletter, and send thank-you cards for donations received.

Add positive messages about the school to the weekly church bulletin.

Advertise your school events succinctly using the school answering-machine message and social media.

Approach the neighbors surrounding the school. Invite them to events, and give them holiday gifts.

Arrange professional development for teachers. As teachers grow and improve, so does the school.

Ask God for direction and vision. He has both in abundance.


Beautify the grounds of the school. Well-kept lawns and flowerbeds provide effective advertising.

Become a community of kindness. Smile and treat all students with equity and parents with respect. People who feel accepted, wanted, and celebrated will spread that good word.

Begin a school vegetable garden. Give away the produce to neighbors and/or sell it. Use the money to benefit student tuition and other needs.

Bless prospective needy students by finding sponsors to help with tuition costs.

Boost your outdoor school signage so that it gives the best impression and provides adequate information.

Bridge the gap between parents and your school by conducting anonymous exit surveys. Discover why they withdrew their children, and then address those issues.

Brighten the lives of the elderly and shut-ins with visits or mailings from students. Community service promotes school visibility and benefits both students and recipients.

Broaden the school’s media presence by establishing a strong online presence with an up-to-date school website and postings on Facebook, Instagram, etc.

Build a database of former students. Keep in touch with them. Make personal calls to pray with them and ask how the school can assist their academic journey, whether they are former or returning students.


Caroling at Christmastime by teachers and students can create goodwill; use this opportunity to leave brochures about your school with neighbors.*

Celebrate the birthdays of community and church members’ school-age children, targeting those who do not attend the church school, with an annual “everybody’s birthday party” or similar event when you give away enrollment information.

Claim biblical promises for an increased enrollment, and cooperate with the One who multiplies!

Compose PowerPoint presentations and newsletters monthly for all supporting churches and constituents, and share them with conference superintendent of education and union director of education.

Confirm that the school board has a building-maintenance committee that makes arrangements to keep the school clean and in good repair. An attractive building attracts prospective students and gives a positive impression to the community.

Contact your community newspaper and cable TV station to request free or reduced-price advertising and to share exciting events happening at the school.

Conduct a kindergarten round-up in the spring and an enrollment rally in the summer.

Create partnerships with homeschooling families.

Cultivate relationships with returning students by sending thinking-of-you cards during the summer months.

Jacqueline Galloway-Blake

Jacqueline Galloway-Blake, a multicultural storyteller and educational diversity and literacy consultant, is the founder of Brown Sugar and Spice Books and Educational Services and can be reached via email at [email protected]. She writes from Romulus, Michigan.

Recommended citation:

Jacqueline Galloway-Blake, “The ABC’s of Growing a Church School,” The Journal of Adventist Education 83:3 (2021): 31.