Throughout the year the PA Distance Enrollment Team, led by Ms. Brandee (Bebe) Kantrowitz and Mrs. Sarah Keeler, work diligently to answer phone calls and emails from prospective parents interested in enrolling their child.
But, to Ms. Kantrowitz and Mrs. Keeler, being an enrollment specialist is more than relaying information to families who inquire. Their job is also about empowering parents to understand that they can choose where their child receives an education.
“My favorite piece about my job is getting on the phone with families and parents and being able to answer questions personally and one-on-one,” Mrs. Keeler said.
“When parents talk about how they want a change in their children’s schooling, I’m able to talk about how we can help. As a parent, I understand where they are coming from,” Mrs. Keeler added. “I want to help people.”
As someone who has been working in enrollment for twelve years, Ms. Kantrowitz has a great deal of experience interacting with parents who are looking for the best fit for their child’s education.
“Even though we, as the enrollment team, are having conversations with parents exclusively over the phone, we still try to offer that personal touch by connecting with each family and gathering information about their personal needs,” Ms. Kantrowitz said.
“As a cyber school that’s been around since 2004, PA Distance is uniquely equipped to serve families in a virtual environment,” Ms. Kantrowitz explained. “Our team is experienced and knowledgeable in the best practices and technology to help students succeed.”
Each day, Ms. Kantrowitz and Mrs. Keeler spend their time interacting with both current and prospective families. Before the next school year, each family must resubmit updated paperwork and information that they need for their child to re-enroll at PA Distance. For new families, the Enrollment Team takes time to answer questions they have about PA Distance.
Ms. Kantrowitz and Mrs. Keeler hear from many parents searching for a safe place both physically and emotionally for their children to learn. When a parent calls and is concerned about behavioral issues within their current school, the Enrollment Team helps put their mind at ease.
“People want to be heard,” Mrs. Keeler explained. “Parents want the best for their children, and they want to know that the person at the other end of the phone cares. My job is to let them know that I’m listening, that I care, and our school cares. It’s a fulfilling job for me.”
Questions often arise about the PA Distance supplied equipment, student class schedule, options for student socialization, class offerings, and extracurriculars, and college and job placement assistance.
Another question heavily asked of the Enrollment Team is the financial responsibilities involved in enrolling at PA Distance. “Sometimes, parents don’t understand that they have a choice for their child’s K-12 education,” Mrs. Keeler explained. “And that public cyber schools exist that are funded through the taxes that they pay.”
“I will talk to a prospective parent anywhere from 15-minutes to 40-minutes,” Ms. Kantrowitz explained.
Once a family decides that PA Distance is the best choice for their child’s education, they take the necessary steps to enroll them. “If they decide to move forward with enrollment after a one-on-one phone call with either myself or Brandee, we go ahead and send out more information and direct them to the online application,” Mrs. Keeler explained.
“When an application is completed, we review it and make an official enrollment offer so that the parent can begin the registration process to get their child set for the year,” Mrs. Keeler added.
“Every day is different, and every phone call is different,” Ms. Kantrowitz said. “It’s gratifying because I have seen students that I helped enroll who have grown and succeeded over the years while at PA Distance.”
Of all the questions that Ms. Kantrowitz and Mrs. Keeler are asked, there is one that is asked the most often: why is PA Distance unique compared to other schools?
“I explain to parents that PA Distance is a community that cares about each student,” Mrs. Keeler said. “I know as a parent, it's important to know that my child is important and cared for and not a number. If I want to ask a question as an involved parent, I’m able to do that, and if my child needs support, it’s there. We have all of those things here at PA Distance, and that’s what I communicate to each parent.”
“A huge difference is that we offer live learning sessions. We are one of the only schools where we all report to one building daily together where we have collaborative interactions and are involved in each other’s success just as much as our students,” Ms. Kantrowitz said.
“We all educate kids, we just do it in different ways,” Ms. Kantrowitz added. “Parents know their child the best and know what type of learner they are. They choose us because they know that their style of learning aligns with how we teach. Online education isn’t for everyone, but it can be the perfect fit for many children.”
You can get in touch with the Enrollment Team by email or by calling 888-997-3352 and choosing option 1.
Start the enrollment process TODAY for the 2021-2022 school year here: https://learn.padistance.org/enrollment
About PA Distance Learning Charter School
Since 2004, PA Distance has been providing a welcoming virtual learning environment for students in grades K-12 across Pennsylvania. Students at PA Distance engage in a blended environment that combines “synchronous” and “asynchronous” learning. PA Distance’s mission is to blend proven classroom teaching techniques with educational technologies to promote academic growth for all students.