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Image of Ideas and Perspectives Newsletter on a Laptop

Learn practical strategies to handle emerging trends and leadership challenges in private schools.

No matter if you’re a School Head, Admission Director, Development Director, Board member, or any other private school administrator—Ideas & Perspectives, ISM’s premier private school publication, has strategic solutions for the pervasive problems you face.

  • Tuition not keeping pace with your expenses? In I&P, explore how to use strategic financial planning to create your budget and appropriately adjust your tuition.
  • Enrollment dropping off? Discover how to implement the right admission and enrollment management strategies that engage your community—and fill your classrooms.
  • Trouble retaining teachers? Learn how you can best support your teachers using ISM’s Comprehensive Faculty Development framework. Your faculty members will become more enthusiastic about their roles—which ultimately improves student outcomes.
  • Fundraising campaigns not as successful as you’d hoped? Implement ISM’s practical advice and guidance to build a thriving annual fund, construct an effective capital campaign, and secure major donors—no matter your community size or location.
  • Not sure how to provide professional development—for you and your staff? Learn ways to develop and fund a successful professional development strategy. You can improve teacher-centered satisfaction and growth, which in turn strengthens student-centered learning.
  • Problematic schedule? You can master the challenges of scheduling with the help of ISM’s practical advice, based on our experience with hundreds of schools and our time-tested theories.
  • And so much more.

I&P has shared targeted research, up-to-date insight, and sound theory with school leaders since 1975. More than 8,500 private school decision-makers find the answers to their schools’ administrative and governance matters in our advisory letter. We give you the strategic answers you need.

As an ISM Silver or Gold member, you not only receive issues online and in print 10 times a year, but you have access to more than 600 articles in our web archive. Need help? It’s at your fingertips! Learn more and sign up for ISM's membership here. 

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See the articles from our latest issue of Ideas & Perspectives.

Want a Great Board? Start With Strong Committee Chairs

Volume 47 No. 1 // January 1, 2022

As Board President, you are aware that committees are the linchpins for your Board of Trustees. The Board operates effectively when there is a foundation of effective, well-led committees. When Board meetings are well-attended, purposeful, and gratifying, that, too, usually grows out of understanding and implementing the principles of establishing committees the best way.

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Developing a Pre-Employment Screening Process

Volume 47 No. 1 // January 1, 2022

Exempli Gratia Academy, ISM’s fictional coed K–12 school, needed to fill a bus driver position. The Business Manager ran an advertisement, conducted interviews, checked previous employment and references, and hired a candidate. A month later, the new driver crashed into a telephone pole and several students on the bus suffered injuries.

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Make Deliberate Choices When Fundraising With Special Events

Volume 47 No. 1 // January 1, 2022

As Development Director, you frequently coordinate special events that raise money for your school. Such events include auctions, trivia or casino nights, book fairs, “fund-a-need” giving days, carnivals, and other community-building experiences. Determining your event’s fundraising purpose can be particularly challenging if there is a lack of clarity about the school’s strategic needs or special interest groups on campus dominate the discussion.

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Make the Most of the Accreditation Process

Volume 46 No. 10 // December 1, 2021

Before, during, and after your next accreditation team visit, bear in mind there are two significant areas that you, as School Head, are in a position to influence strongly. The first deals with the institutional “tone” of the self-study and of the accreditation team’s visit itself. The second deals with the effects of the accreditation team's recommendations on the long-term financial health of your school.

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Coaching Your Leadership Team

Volume 46 No. 10 // December 1, 2021

As School Head, you have been asking questions your entire professional career, but have you ever considered why targeted, insightful questions are so important? Well-developed questions play a crucial role in enabling people to innovate, solve problems, and achieve goals. This is especially true in the coaching role School Heads fill for their Leadership Team.

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Curriculum-, Adult-, or Student-Centered: Through Which Lens Does Your School Make Decisions?

Volume 46 No. 10 // December 1, 2021

The lens by which a school determines and organizes the day and year often affects the school environment. Ultimately, that lens impacts the school experience and influences important student and school outcomes, such as student satisfaction, enthusiasm, performance, well-being, and ultimately enrollment demand. Through ISM’s many years of working with schools, we have encountered three types of lenses dominating school environments: curriculum-centered, adult-centered, and learner-centered. Which environment exists in your school?

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Elevate Your Culture of Giving and Getting Involved With Your Annual Report

Volume 46 No. 10 // December 1, 2021

As Development Director, you want to be sure your donors and volunteers feel appreciated for the commitments they have made to your school through their philanthropic and volunteer support. You also want them to know their commitments have made a significant difference to your students and faculty. Your school’s annual report is an essential tool as you seek to recognize and steward your donors and volunteers effectively and for you to keep them engaged with your school’s mission, programs, and people.

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