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White Belt
White Belt

Joined: 09 Jan 2020
Posts: 6

PostPosted: Wed Mar 04, 2020 11:21 am    Post subject: running an after school program Reply with quote

Hi folks,
I'm planning to open a new branch of the karate dojo where I currently teach and train, primarily targeting kids. I'm aware that enrolling students is most difficult during the first few months, since most parents are (understandably) hesitant to sign up for program when all they see is an empty class.

As such, I've been advised to try to land a gig teaching at an elementary or middle school - either during the day as PE or as an afterschool program onsite. I'm told it's a reliable channel for enrolling new students - my sensei said in the past our dojo would reliably draw at least 5 new student enrollments per session, and their attrition rate would usually be lower. The problem is my sensei's wife, who handled the logistics of setting up the engagements, passed away a few years ago so I don't know how to do this.

If anyone with experience in this space could share any knowledge or tips on how to reach out to school, who to speak with, and when are rough timelines, that would be greatly appreciated.

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KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 23 Feb 2008
Posts: 15153
Location: Houston, TX
Styles: Shindokan Saitou-ryu [Shuri-te/Okinawa-te based]

PostPosted: Wed Mar 04, 2020 1:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's not all that easy to set up in any public school, private schools are even more difficult, the means and ways to run any program type.

I've done these type of programs at public school back around 1991-1994; I had 5 schools approved; 3 elementary and 2 junior high school. I ran a program for 2 years at my local collage before I decided to teach a program in any public school. As a matter fact, I obtained those 5 schools before day one; Monday-Friday...5 days...5 schools...1 day per week.

The difference is that I had a pool of instructors underneath me. I'd open the school programs one at a time, within a 2 week time period. There'd be my self and 3 instructors on the floor at one time. I'd spend 2 weeks at each schools, 1 day per week, and then I'd install an permanent CI of that school. After spending 2 weeks at each school, I'd return to my dojo, and then I'd pop in from time to time during these 3 weeks, and for each and every Testing Cycle. RANK WAS NEVER GIVEN EVER!!

I charged $5 per lesson...sold white Gi's of varying sizes...Shindokan gear [Hand, feet, shin, forearm, mouthpiece, and head] gear that we used in class [Shield, blockers, and focus pads].

Here's what I did...

Spoke to the ISD first. Why?? To see if they RENTED OUT the gym AFTER SCHOOL...5pm-9pm...1 day per week, of which I paid for 3 months at a time to secure the time slots and days in advanced. Worse thing is to have a basketball game/practice to STILL be in the gym, of which communication took care of that.

Now, I had to find the schools that would be interested in RENTING OUT THE GYM. The ISD administers the District, however, the Principal runs the individual schools. So, I put together a brochure package that fully explained out what we had to offer. In this package it had a complete curriculum

It did help that I was operating a very successful dojo for many, many years. I encouraged the Principal to visit my dojo as often as they felt necessary. That way they could see what it is that I was offering.

Now I had to have insurance at each of the schools. No Insurance with a hefty coverage, no program at the schools. I had to provide proof of that before the final approval was given.

The old saying says...It takes money to make money!! This might seem a costly endeavor at first, and it is, but I can teach and so can my instructors. I made a huge profit from these programs.

Once I was approved by each school, and contracts signs, I was allowed to shower each school with my flyers 3 months before the classes ever began. My weekly attendance was 200-300 students each week.

I never had a job outside of my dojo; my dojo was my full time job. I had time to devout to my dojo and outside programs, like what we're staking about.


***Speak to the ISD
****Speak to the Principal
*****Obtain adequate Insurance
**RENT the gym

You better have one great presentation to gain their trust and a Shark Tank type of presentation, center only on the kids, and what are the benefits for kids leaning the MA and all. After all, the schools teach kids!!

Perhaps that's enough to give you an idea. Good luck, and don't let the pools of 'NO' discourage you, you are going to hear them, I promise; if at first your don't succeed, try, try again!! There are after school programs all over everywhere!!

I don't run after school programs like a babysitting club, so if I've said I don't do after school programs in the past, that just means that my classes at the schools are ran just like my dojo, and I'm not a babysitter, now or ever. I know of after school programs that are run like a babysitting club, and everyone gets promoted no matter what...not me!!

These KF links might remind, and answer some of your questions/concerns...

**Proof is on the floor!!!
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