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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.

DEIJB Practices in Marketing Communications

Volume 48 No. 9 // November 1, 2023

Each private-independent school has a unique voice within its community and in the larger market of schools in its particular region. Each school should represent, promote, and project its mission, values, program, and achievements to build brand awareness and sustain its legacy. Part of the core me...

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Research Report: What Matters to Parents

Volume 48 No. 9 // November 1, 2023

For decades, ISM has been tracking the school characteristics that are the most important to parents when they choose among options for educating their children. The list of characteristics has been remarkably consistent over the years, with a safe, caring community and evidence of academic qua...

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Five Questions Your School’s Data Should Answer

Volume 48 No. 9 // November 1, 2023

ISM has long espoused the need for private-independent schools to collect and analyze myriad qualitative and quantitative data across all areas of school life, and to make informed decisions based on this data. However, the amount of data that is increasingly available, particularly for Admission an...

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Why Market a ‘Full’ School?

Volume 48 No. 9 // November 1, 2023

If your school has full enrollment and you have a large waiting pool, you may feel comfortable and satisfied. You may experience an overall feeling of security coupled with an aversion to marketing. Boards and Leadership Teams may question the need to continue the school’s external marketing efforts...

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Resist the Temptation to Put Money Before Mission

Volume 48 No. 8 // October 1, 2023

ISM has long insisted schools must be clear about their primary marketplace stance (price, product, process). We also have recommended schools develop supporting Purpose and Outcome Statements that align with their market position and articulate their mission, values, student outcomes, and facu...

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Maximizing Tuition Revenue: A Complex and Necessary Process

Volume 48 No. 8 // October 1, 2023

Tuition, fees, endowment, and fundraising are independent schools’ revenue and financial sustainability mainstays. Becoming less reliant on tuition revenue may be a vague budgeting goal in some places, but at the majority of schools, tuition and fees will remain the cornerstone of financial sus...

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The Delicate Dance: Strategic Work vs. Tactical Work

Volume 48 No. 8 // October 1, 2023

Boards of Trustees sometimes confuse strategic work and tactical/operational work, which can lead to inefficiencies and missed opportunities. The distinction must be clear—strategic work involves the school governance and tactical work concerns managing school operations. Trustees must understand th...

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Purpose and Outcome Statements: Articulating Your School’s Core Values

Volume 48 No. 8 // October 1, 2023

When developing your school’s central message framework, it is essential that you clearly identify and promote the qualities and programs that differentiate your school in your marketplace. ISM has long advocated schools use three Purpose and Outcome statements to define themselves: the mission stat...

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Set and Enforce Expectations for the Parent-School Partnership

Volume 48 No. 7 // September 1, 2023

Nearly four decades ago, ISM began receiving feedback from client schools that their parents were becoming increasingly demanding and challenging. Fast forward to today and the calls and concerns from School Heads, academic administrators, and teachers are almost deafening. If parents had high ex...

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