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    Connect with your peers, learn the latest techniques, and apply theory during hands-on exercises at ISM’s Summer Institute. Gain the skills you need to succeed next year—and every year after!

  • In this issue of Ideas & Perspectives,

    you’ll find a checklist for Trustees to use in determining the effectiveness of your strategic financial planning (SFP), understand why line 6 of the SFP is the most important place to focus, and learn how to address parent concerns about new teachers.

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Recent Articles

Classroom Apps, Technology, and Privacy Concerns

As classroom technology becomes more prevalent, especially with teachers using computer apps to track student performance, student privacy issues also become a concern. Teachers are now integrating interactive whiteboards, tablets or electronic readers, and even handheld devices like smart phones in their lesson plans. This does not come without risks, however. Providers of online educational services and apps can “harvest” personal student information (email addresses, phone numbers, and numerous other data points) that can be used for marketing and analysis, or even shared and used inappropriately.

Acquiring Enough Land, Part One

To maintain the trust, your Board must ensure the school can fulfill its mission and meet its goals without having land values and the lack of space limit program or planning decisions—not just now, but 100 years in the future! If your school does not have a land-acquisition plan. Now is the time to develop one. Acquiring land now that you may need in the future is of strategic importance to your school.

With this in mind, you must (1) determine your school’s needs, and (2) take action if necessary. In this article, we will discuss how to ascertain your school’s needs. In the next issue, we will discuss how to move forward if you decide more land is required.

Standing Desks Combat Student Obesity, Inactivity

2014 was a landmark year for American couch potatoes, according to the Physical Activity Council’s 2015 Participation Report. Researchers saw the highest level of inactivity out of the last six years. While school-aged children seemed to be the most active of any age group surveyed, about 20% of students indicated a lack of substantial, committed physical activity.

One proposed solution to student inactivity—at least in part—is a radical new classroom arrangement featuring “standing desks.”

Ask ISM's Health Care Reform Specialist

Q: How should we be tracking the hours for coaches? Do we have to include substitute teachers as part time employees? We are thinking of hiring an intern and paying a stipend. Do we have to offer the intern health insurance? Do we count Summer Camp employees? How do we keep track of Part-time employee hours?

New Research: Toxic Coworkers Can "De-energize" Your Workforce

We've long said that bad attitudes on your faculty and staff can poison a school community. Toxic teachers can lead to resignations of your best staff, flagging enthusiasm, and a lack of innovation within your classrooms. Despite the best hiring protocols, many administrators believe that "Negative Nellies" and others of their ilk inevitably creep into any large community of professionals. People, the philosophy dictates, must learn to work around such roadblocks.

However, recent research out of the University of Michigan has revealed that negative coworkers can bring the entire community down, rendering efforts to "work around" the toxicity as useless.

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