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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.

Design an Interactive Open House to Drive Enrollment

Volume 43 No. 16December 17, 2018

  As Admission Director, you know much rides on the success of your annual open house event(s). While many schools experience great results at their open houses, many Admission Directors believe their results could and should be better. Some have abandoned traditional open house events, beli...

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Should You Look to Nonprofits for New Board Members?

Volume 43 No. 15November 26, 2018

  As you, Board President or Committee on Trustees Chair, research the choices available in your area, evaluate both the nonprofit organization and the individual. Always keep the Board profile in mind as you evaluate candidates. In your search for recruits, you may find an experienced power...

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Teaching Teachers About Your School: Institutional Support

Volume 43 No. 15November 26, 2018

You know you have a highly educated faculty, but are they highly informed as well? An important part of your job as School Head is to systematically inform teachers about the school. When it comes to the "institutional support" aspects, can they speak as confidently about the school's strategic plan as they do about their lesson plans? Do they understand the basics of governance, advancement, finance, and facilities? You address these topics continuously with the Board and Leadership Team, yet they may seem light-years away to a teacher immersed in second grade math or high school AP calculus.

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How Do You Know If Your School Is Ready to Plan a Campaign?

Volume 43 No. 15November 26, 2018

Private-independent schools of any enrollment size, grade configuration, or operating budget are most likely to succeed with campaigns when the following (not all-inclusive) characteristics are in place well before the public phase is launched. You, as Board Chair, Development Committee Chair, School Head, or Development Director, should consider the following as you look forward to your next (or first) campaign.

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Strategic Board Structure and Trustee Turnover

Volume 43 No. 14November 6, 2018

You, as Board President or Chair of the Committee on Trustees, may be aware that the heaviest-weighted ISM Stability Marker (Fifth Iteration) is Letter A, the “Strategic Board,” valued at 24 points out of the 147-point Stability Marker array. Those 24 possible points are derived from the Board’s self-score on the Strategic Board Assessment II, an instrument summarizing the elements which, according to ISM data and studies, correlate most strongly with institutional sustainability. (By reviewing the scoring system for the Strategic Board Assessment II, you can see the research-informed weighting of the items and infer which of the 15 items correlate most strongly to the Board-driven ISM Stability Markers.) Keep these core elements in mind when considering Trustee turnover on the Board.

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Improve Your Digital Marketing With Family Personas

Volume 43 No. 14November 6, 2018

As the Marketing Communications Director, you know that, no matter what type of school you have—day or boarding, single-sex or coed, faith-based or secular—your families are diverse. Your students and parents have different backgrounds, interests, and—most important—motivations for choosing a private-independent school.

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How to Create a Toxic Faculty Culture

Volume 43 No. 13October 15, 2018

ISM research has long demonstrated the strong correlation between a healthy faculty culture and student performance, satisfaction, and enthusiasm. We know that a healthy school culture is the result of: students receiving the appropriate balance of predictability and support from their teachers; teachers experiencing predictability and support from their school leaders; and the Head receiving these from the Board.

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