Eye Level of Herndon has experienced rapid growth in the Virginia market since opening just ten months ago. Business partners Savitry Krishnamurthy, Kavitha Thiyaghu, and Priya Krishnan were exploring franchise opportunities when they were presented with the chance to purchase the Herndon, Virginia learning center. The partners were already familiar with the Eye Level program and saw this as an opportunity to serve and enrich the children and families of Herndon.
Savitry, Kavitha, and Priya were familiar with the needs of families in the area as they had been actively involved with the local school system there for years. When Herndon first opened its doors, after the transfer, the partners understood that they needed to focus their marketing activities locally. The Herndon team took the time to assess their target audience and sponsored events like Heritage India and the STEM Symposium. Through events and sponsorships of this nature, they looked to build brand awareness but were mindful that they would need to reach their audience through multiple ways to secure trust and confidence in the brand. Herndon also used multi-channel electronic methods to build brand awareness.
Process for New Customers
Once a family decides to visit the center, they are met with an abundance of information from their initial meeting with the center directors. Herndon strives to make personal connections with each parent and child and believes in the importance of being proactive with their communications. This begins with the first meeting. The staff spends an average of one hour and thirty minutes on each diagnostic test and parent consultation. This time is spent on carefully reviewing the results and how the self-directed math and English programs can enrich the child’s education. New students often enroll in two subjects, as the assessment and evaluation are given for both subjects regardless of the parents’ original interest.
The conversion rate from customers that visit the center is very high at the Herndon center. The staff believes this is due to each family’s experience and initial impression of the center. Herndon draws from other student’s experiences, uses the curriculum chart, as well as booklets related to the child’s starting point to show a projected path for the child. The content is made specific and relevant to the child with an emphasis put on how the curriculum will help the child to overcome challenges detected during the DT.
Instructors and Parent Communication
The instructors at Herndon are a critical part of the program, and it starts with the identification of quality talent. Through indeed.com and referrals, Eye Level of Herndon has been able to attract top talent in the area. The first thing Herndon looks for when hiring is the instructor’s ability to connect with each child and family. Instructors must be adaptable and have a passion for working with children. The center director plays an important role in staff development. The director must know the curriculum and be able to guide the center’s instructors to maximize their potential. The director must also be able to communicate effectively with parents and relate issues and concerns to other experiences. The Herndon team believes that regular, proactive communication with the parents and children is the biggest factor for new enrollments and retention of subjects. This action has brought many referral subjects as well.
Eye Level of Herndon makes sure that one of the center directors is readily available to meet with parents. The center has an open-door policy and speaks with parents daily about student progress. In addition to this, they send out monthly newsletters and reminders to sign up for formal conferences. Many of the review conferences with parents are done on a walk-in basis. The instructors also write feedback into each child’s Key & Note so that the center directors can see real-time information while they are still busy in the classroom. This has allowed the directors to answer parent questions about the class sessions that they may not have had direct knowledge of otherwise.
Getting rewarded and feeling success is important to every child in the center. After effective communication with parents, student motivation is the next biggest concern at Herndon. The Eye Level dollars provide the students with motivation and reward for their efforts. The Herndon staff is always looking for unique gifts for which the students will be excited to exchange their hard-earned dollars. The Level Completion certificates are given out right away along with additional dollars for completing a level.
Herndon knows that, even with multiple owners, an Eye Level center requires time and hard work. They are always looking for ways to automate systems to save time and allow for more focus on the students. It is thanks to the Herndon team’s persistence and commitment to serving the educational needs of their community that they have achieved success in the past ten months and will continue to be a leading location moving forward.
At Eye Level of Bolingbrook and Aurora South, rewarding our loyal families is a top priority. A satisfied customer will remain with you, and if you’re lucky, leave a positive review; however, extra effort and initiative are required on the part of the customer to refer their friends and coworkers to your business. To show our appreciation and recognition for this extra effort, our centers began giving out customized gift cards for referrals.
The practice of giving gift cards to our students, their families, and our staff started during the holiday season of 2014—just after our center opened its doors. At first, it was smaller denominations of $5 to $10 as an instant gratification or incentive. Later when the referrals started kicking in, we were awarding $10, $25, and $50, depending on the number of months the referred families signed up for. At this time, we were letting the families select the gift cards to the business of their choice.
The reason we awarded a gift card as opposed to gifts was to allow the family the ability to choose their own gift at their convenience. It is also more of a burden on the center director to select gifts, which is a time-consuming process.
While the response to the gift cards was positive, we felt that there was a connection missing. We wanted there to be a connection that our learning center was the one that gave them a gift card—that them referring a new family to us was a big deal.
We decided to take it up a notch by personalizing the gift cards that we were giving out! We wanted to make sure that, when they made a purchase with their reward, they would be reminded that it came from our learning center. Gift cards are popular at the moment, and personalized gift cards are even better because you can include a message on the card.
Personalized gift cards do have an added expense, but it is well worth it. We use www.giftcards.com/giftcards-for-business to personalize ours. Amazon also has an inexpensive option for personalized gift cards.
All our parents love the idea of personalized gift cards and appreciate the additional effort we put into personalizing it. They have been excited to share it with their friends and families, which proved to be an excellent marketing tool for us.
Level H enables students to study the construction of various sentences to form complex sentence structures. They continue with grammar concepts from the previous level such as articles and commas. Level H also teaches vocabulary and comprehension strategies by reviewing previous topics in greater detail and introducing others.
Level H provides opportunities for students to break down words and sentences to identify the meaning. Throughout this level, you may find that some students are not comfortable with a pace of two booklets per week. At this point, it is not uncommon to reduce the workload to one main reading booklet per week—particularly, if the student struggles with the comprehension sections. However, if students can progress at the normal pace of two booklets for the week, let them keep at this pace. For the booklets focusing on comprehension, have the students mark up the passage when needed as they answer the questions.
In terms of repetition, instructors should focus on booklets 1-5, which deal with standard and online research sources. Students need to understand the difference between reliable and unreliable sources. Additionally, these booklets focus on Text Features—a topic first touched on in Level E. These text features become more complex in Level H and span across the different subject genres. The image below contains text features that many students may not be exposed to at school until middle school or later. Ensure students can pronounce each word and identify each feature by its label on the graphic.
Booklets 19-24 focus on grammar conventions, which are a vital part of student writing. The topics in these booklets will help students to understand and utilize conventions such as dialogue and detail. Incorporating these new skills into their writing assignments will bring new depth and variety. Remember, it is not only important that students write and answer questions correctly within their main booklets, but that they transfer these skills to their writing booklets. Have them practice in class or in the Key & Note ways to bring these new topics into their writing. If you notice a student is struggling to take what he has learned in the main booklet and put it into practice in the writing booklet, consider using some of the coaching time to look at a past writing assignment. Discuss and practice adding one of the new conventions into the previously written assignment. Alternatively, assign a short writing assignment in class (shouldn’t need more than 5 minutes or so) and require that two or three of the new skills are attempted.
As with previous writing booklets, the four writing focuses are covered here, along with one response to text, through five writing booklets. One noteworthy change in this level is that the students will be writing longer responses. The pre-writing sections have been expanded, allowing students to generate more ideas. The first and second draft sections now have two pages each for extended writing. The pre-writing can be done in class; this allows for the instructor to verify the student is on the right track before they continue with the first draft at home.
Some students may take longer to complete the writing booklets than in Level F and G, but it is good practice to keep the completion of one booklet limited to three to four class visits. If the final draft of one writing booklet is not yet graded, it is fine to begin the prewriting for the next booklet in class.
Coach pages: 3 & 4
Find the number of possible coin combinations for a payment when at least one of each type of given coin must be used.
- Check if the student knows that each type of coin must be used at least once.
- Write the value of each coin in the table for easier calculation.
- Note that in pages 5 and 6, the questions’ directions change to finding a particular value with a fixed number of coins.
Coach Pages: 9 & 10
Determine the number of possible scores based on the given conditions.
- This topic is related to Booklet 24 of Levels 12 and 15.
- Make sure students follow the directions carefully, understanding that a fixed number of arrows all hit the target.
- In the example below:
- All four arrows hit on either the 9-point or 7-point sections of the target.
- Start with assuming that three arrows hit the 9-point section and one arrow hit the 7-point section. This would give a total of 34 points.
- Move on to assume two arrows hit the 9-point and two hit the 7-point section, and so on to complete the chart.