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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 16 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.

Establishing and Enhancing Partnerships With College Contacts

Volume 43 No. 12September 25, 2018

A strong college counseling program is essential for any private-independent school’s upper division. In the minds of most parents, your upper school must provide college preparation (and more). They expect help with college placement to ensure college success—and this is often a chief determinant for families looking to enroll their children in your school. Developing close ties with college contacts is an integral part of your bottom line. Because college admission staffs often have high turnover rates, this is an ongoing process.

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International Student Program Certification: Always Be Prepared for an Onsite Audit

Volume 43 No. 12September 25, 2018

An inspector from the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) and the Department of Homeland Security arrives at your school’s front desk.1 The inspector asks to speak with the Principal Designated School Official (PDSO) or Designated School Officials (DSO) about the international students attending the school. Those at the front desk may not even know what all the acronyms represent.

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Providing Support for the Summer Program Director

Volume 43 No. 11September 4, 2018

Operating an attractive, effective, and profitable summer program requires the year-round attention of the Summer Program Director. During the summer, the Director needs considerable administrative support as he or she works full-time, focusing on day-to-day administrative tasks—in short, reacting to the immediate. During the academic year, the need for administrative support becomes more intermittent as the Director works part time to plan and prepare for the coming summer’s programmatic excellence and financial success.

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ISM Loses Its Founder: Dr. W. Rodman Snelling

Volume 43 No. 11September 4, 2018

Rod Snelling made a difference in the world through his devotion to private-independent school education. His leadership at Independent School Management will be sorely missed. He pioneered innovative concepts that led to the founding of our company, the first analysis firm in the United States dealing exclusively with private-independent schools. Since ISM’s inception, thousands of administrators and schools in North America and abroad have benefited from his theory, research, and analysis.

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First Stage of the Donor Cycle: Identify

Volume 43 No. 11September 4, 2018

Fundraising would be easy if you only had to “follow the money”—acquire an online list of wealthy area residents and assign volunteers to call them. However, the heart of successful fundraising lies in building relationships. Your responsibility is not to “sell” prospects on contributing to a specific school program or project. Understand your donors’ values and interests, and then show them how their commitments connect with your school and its mission.

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Dealing With Hidden Inflation, 2018

Volume 43 No. 11September 4, 2018

As a Trustee, School Head, or Chief Financial Officer, you know that a decision to hold tuition flat for a year or more results in lost ground and places pressure on future budgets. Inflation depletes your real income and your school can lapse into insolvency.

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Student Engagement’s Impact on Stress and Well-Being—What Your School Must Know and Do

Volume 43 No. 10August 23, 2018

It is a distressing and growing issue that private-independent school students are showing increasing levels of stress, substance use, risky behavior, and anxiety. Recommended strategies for mitigating stress and managing mental health, while improving student well-being, include enactment of a healthy daily schedule and yearly calendar, and a predictable and supportive faculty culture, with effective advisory and counseling programs. Recent ISM research with nearly 13,000 students in private-independent middle and upper schools demonstrates that increased student engagement must be added to that list.

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Staffing Your Corps of Advisors: Criteria and Caveats

Volume 43 No. 10August 14, 2018

ISM has encouraged schools to recognize the benefits a robust, mission-based advisory program can yield for students, faculty, and the institution. We encourage you, as School Head or Division Head, to focus on creating and sustaining a professional guidance program contributing to a predictable and supportive experience for all middle- and upper-school students through a principled assignment of personnel to the advisor role.

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