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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.

The Challenges of a Multicampus Operation

Volume 25 No. 16 // December 25, 2000

The demand for quality private-independent education has been growing over the last decade. Statistically, the current school-age population is as large as the student enrollment when the baby boomers attended school. Plus, the economy has allowed more families to afford a private-independent education.

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Defining Your School’s ‘Competitive Advantage’

Volume 25 No. 15 // November 25, 2000

All private-independent schools face the challenge of highlighting the aspects of their programs that set them apart from the competition. On the surface, all schools have similar characteristics – they provide classes, employ teachers, cover the traditional subjects, and prepare students for further education. In addition, schools provide outside-the-classroom experiences for students to participate in or observe.

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Comparative Salary Trends 2000: Faculty

Volume 25 No. 13 // October 15, 2000

Competitive salaries are an obvious component in attracting and retaining teachers. In addition, employees are increasingly looking for work environments that emphasize personal growth and professional development. Also, to keep your compensation package (salaries and benefits) comparable with other schools in your area, you need a strong faculty culture to make your school truly stand out. As you and your Board review your strategies for recruiting and retaining teachers, ask yourselves if you have both promoted your faculty culture and budgeted enough money to compete in a tough job market to attract and retain mission-appropriate teachers.

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The Edifice Complex

Volume 25 No. 12 // September 24, 2000

Private-independent schools have been on a tear of late, building grand buildings (to match the ostentation running amok in the housing sector) or remodeling old ones. All the while, they generally are growing their endowments through the use of tax-exempt bonds leveraged in a currently favorable investment climate. (Some schools do take the more conservative approach of raising money via capital campaigns before starting construction.)

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Estimating the ‘Cost’ (and Anticipating the ‘Hidden Expenses’) of a Head Search

Volume 25 No. 10 // August 10, 2000

Periodically, a private-independent school faces the challenge of launching a search for a new Head. Since a Head search is (or should be) a rare occurrence in the life of a school, as Board Chair, one of your more daunting challenges is to project the cost of the search. Fortunately, private-independent school Boards are composed of people who are capable of defining the components of a search and estimating their direct monetary costs. In addition, you must also consider the indirect expenses in personnel, time, and organizational disruption that cannot be quantified but must be acknowledged.

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The RSM International Model Schools Project: Final Outcomes

Volume 25 No. 9 // July 20, 2000

This is the first article in a series that presents an overview of the International Model Schools Project, a summary of its major findings, and a discussion of its most significant organizational implications. These implications—which focus on how faculty culture affects student performance—have been refined, through school-by-school interaction, over the five-year period (1995-2000) since the end of the study.

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Recruiting Potential Students Through Your Summer Program

Volume 25 No. 3 // March 8, 2000

As the Admission Director, you have watched your school's summer program grow over the last five years. Not only are more of your academic-year students participating, but there are more students from other schools coming as well. The latter are potential students for your school, and you would like them to consider applying. However, you are worried about your school's image. You do not want to appear to "take advantage" of this special situation where the students are daily on your campus. Here are some subtle strategies to better educate these students and their families about your school.

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Tailor Benefits for the Individual Head: Findings From the 1999-2000 Head Compensation Survey

Volume 25 No. 2 // February 13, 2000

The trend in the corporate sector is to offer executives and senior managers more options in their benefit plans. Heads, perceiving an inequity between their benefits and those of corporate managers, are asking for more choices as well. According to the results of ISM’s 1999 Head Compensation Survey, a higher salary is not necessarily the item the majority of Heads would change about their compensation. When asked what they felt was missing, if anything, most Heads named specific benefits: e.g., higher retirement contribution, dental insurance, severance pay, financial counseling.

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Corporate Sponsorships and Endorsements: At What ‘Cost’ to Your Independence?

Volume 25 No. 2 // February 13, 2000

Sponsorships and endorsements are not new in private-independent schools. Local merchants support your school by placing ads in the yearbook, the students’ newspaper, and the program book for your fund raiser. Each year, local businesses sponsor your golf tournament or charity auction. These are “innocent” endeavors with, usually, no strings attached. Funds are raised without tapping parent and alumni checkbooks.

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Attracting and Retaining a Head: An Analysis of the 1999-2000 Head Compensation Survey

Volume 25 No. 1 // January 14, 2000

ISM recently surveyed Heads about their compensation. We randomly selected 398 Heads from our I&P subscribers; 250 responded. (See the chart “About the Respondents” on page 4 for more information on the survey participants.) This article examines Heads’ salaries and implications for the Board; a subsequent article will analyze Heads’ benefits.

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