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.
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See the articles from our latest issue of Ideas & Perspectives.
If you, the School Head, discover your school is in a viability-threatening rate of enrollment decline, your need to be strategic is most keen. Perhaps your front-line strategy is to take a “wait-and-see” approach and hope that your school can open the school year with the number of studen...Login to see the full article
Why do parents choose a private school? The top answers that have stood the test of time include “a safe, caring environment” and “high-quality academics.” Delivering on these two qualities comprises most of the value proposition for parents. In providing value to parents, we have benefite...Login to see the full article
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.Login to see the full article
As School Head, you know your private-independent school is situated in a market expanding with new sources of K–12 competition. Craft a strategy now, well before enrollment pressure results in a budget shortfall, to achieve your annual budgeted enrollment goals. Be aware, however, that so...Login to see the full article
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.Login to see the full article
Your Development Team has taken the first step in the Donor Cycle—identifying prospects. The next step is to engage them, bringing them into a closer relationship with the school.Login to see the full article
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.Login to see the full article
Confusion exists on the issue of a desirable level of coverage of operations expense with hard income. ISM hears frequently a reference to 85% as some sort of norm or even benchmark.Login to see the full article
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.Login to see the full article
When you, as School Head, set and announce tuitions, you fear parents will protest any increase. Reduce your concerns by planning carefully and developing a solid “case,” focusing on the student benefits garnered from the school’s financial stability. When you are confident about the strategic plan you and the Board have for the future—and when you understand the way parents think about your school—you can reinforce the value they receive for their tuition “investment.” (ISM’s research demonstrates that parents don't question the tuition for school experiences that provide value.)Login to see the full article