• In this issue of Ideas & Perspectives,

    we write about our recent update of ISM's Success Predictors, parent relations, divisional mission statements, and multiple uses of landscaping.

  • The most forward-thinking advisory letter for private-independent school leaders.

    More than 8,500 private school decision-makers find the answers to their schools’ administrative and governance matters in Ideas & Perspectives, our flagship advisory publication.

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ISM’s Success Predictors: Update and Revision, Part One

Vol. 42 No. 1

ISM periodically issues revised and updated versions of its Stability Markers, a list of evidence-based variables that, according to ISM data, comprise the critical elements in underwriting a private-independent school’s long-term viability. The ISM Stability Markers have been in widespread use by Boards of Trustees and senior administrators, both as a lens through which to self-evaluate and as a vector on which to move to strengthen a school’s longest-term financial and organizational stability and excellence.

ISM here offers its first update and revision of the ISM Success Predictors—not to be confused with the Stability Markers—which represent ISM’s deliberately considered speculation on what will be needed in private-independent schools as they adjust to the always-changing technological, educational, and cultural milieu in which they move. The ISM Success Predicators, unlike the ISM Stability Markers, are not evidence-driven in the same way, i.e., not as outcomes of data analysis. Since evidence of efficacy is impossible to gather before widespread use, readers should understand the ISM Success Predictors are forecasts—not conclusions-from-data—of what ISM expects to be needed to achieve long-term success in the private-independent school marketplace.

For Parents to Trust You With the Big Things, First Take Care of the Little Things

Vol. 42 No. 1

Schools frequently wish they enjoyed more positive interactions with parents. Teachers often lament the “good old days,” when parents trusted teachers and school administrators almost implicitly—and would not question, let alone protest, the advice or approach of educational professionals.

Parents still evaluate what happens at school through the lens of their own educational experiences, or the experiences of their older children. They may also bring expert information to bear—even the findings of educational research—on their ongoing conversation with school community members about their children’s progress and learning experiences.

Creating Divisional and Departmental Mission Statements

Vol. 42 No. 1

The Board of Trustees and the School Head are entrusted with creation of the school’s mission statement; that is amplified through development of the Portrait of the Graduate and the Characteristics of Professional Excellence. Collectively, these documents are called Purpose and Outcome Statements. What do they mean, however, for the life of each division and department?

Multiple Uses of Landscaping

Vol. 42 No. 1

A modest investment in landscaping can make a significant difference in a school’s appearance. Attractive, well-kept grounds build pride in your school—among your staff, students and their families, and in the community. Consider these guidelines to make the most of your grounds.

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