The University of Iowa

West Delaware Community School District Marketing & Branding

West Delaware School District logo
Academic Year 
2020-2021
College/Department 
Business: Marketing Institute
Project Partner 
Led by 

Marketing students in the Tippie College of Business Marketing Institute developed a marketing strategy to promote the West Delaware County Community School District and to help stem recent open enrollment out of the district.

The West Delaware County Community School District (West Delaware CCSD) is based in Manchester, Iowa and serves the communities of Dundee, Greeley, Manchester, Masonville, and Ryan. The district operates three schools, all in Manchester.

The school district ranks among the top in the state of Iowa. They have award winning arts and athletics programs and offer unique programs such as Delta V coding school, apprenticeship programs to HS seniors, and a pre-school. They are the only school district that offers e-Sports (partnering with Hawkeye Community College on this endeavor).

The community is supportive of the school district. Most of the involvement comes from parents and businesses in Manchester. Despite the accolades the West Delaware CCSD has received, students are leaving during open enrollment.  Open Enrollment is the process by which parents/guardians residing in an Iowa district may enroll their children into another Iowa school district under the terms and conditions of Iowa Code section 282.18 and 281--Iowa Administrative Code 17.

When parents opt for open enrollment, the result is a loss of funding to the district. West Delaware CCSD superintendent Dr. Kristen Rickey has done some informal research to better understand the reasons why parents decide to enroll their child in a different school district. Dr. Rickey has data of where people are going in open enrollment. The data needs to be analyzed for key insights and implications as part of the research into getting at the root causes for why parents are opting for open enrollment. The district feels they need a marketing communication plan to increase the public’s awareness of all the great things the school district offers.

In order to better understand and address this issue, marketing students used existing data and additionally surveyed families within the district and those that have open enrolled out of the district.  The team used this information and other best practices to create a public relations and marketing communication plan to increase the public’s knowledge and awareness of all the things the school district offers. The marketing team also provided an implementation plan to help West Delaware CCSD manage the recommendations.