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7/1/2018 1:06:00 AM
Mishawaka and South Bend schools spending money on adds to attract students

Margaret Fosmoe, South Bend Tribune Staff Writer

MISHAWAKA — School City of Mishawaka will spend about $40,000 this year on a marketing campaign to draw more out-of-district students to attend the Mishawaka schools.

With each new student comes tuition dollars from the state.

It’s an annual effort that has produced results in past years, said Jennifer Smith, project manager for “vision initiatives and corporate analytics.” 

When it comes to school choice, Indiana families have many options: public schools in district, schools in another public district, private schools, charter schools and home schooling.

Mishawaka’s marketing campaign relies on six main approaches: digital outdoor advertising, radio ads, ads on Pandora streaming music service, direct mail, social media ads and yard signs. The district works with a marketing agency, the Big Idea Co., on the campaign.

“We get the same message out on several platforms,” Smith said.

For 2018-2019, the Mishawaka schools have 388 openings in kindergarten through grade 11 for out-of-district students, Smith said. Last year the number was 457 openings, and the district attracted 251 out-of-district students. The school district sets a limit on the number of out-of-district openings at each grade level.

More than 45 percent of out-of-district students arrive in kindergarten, Smith said.

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