Ideas & Perspectives

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Image of Ideas and Perspectives Newsletter on a Laptop

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.

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 B...

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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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Estimating Next Year’s Enrollment

Volume 43 No. 13October 15, 2018

Each fall, some schools face self-created shortfalls. They overestimated enrollment when setting the budget last winter. Overeager Trustees may have hoped or believed that setting high enrollment estimates would spur the administration into finding more students than is reasonable. The resulting deficits can place significant financial pressures on an institution, requiring last-minute cuts in the areas most important for attracting and retaining families—personnel and program.

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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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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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