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.
ISM has encouraged schools to recognize the benefits a robust, mission-based advisory program can yield for students, faculty, and the institution. We encourage you, as School Head or Division Head, to focus on creating and sustaining a professional guidance program contributing to a predictable and supportive experience for all middle- and upper-school students through a principled assignment of personnel to the advisor role.Login to see the full article
As the School Head or Business Manager, you know how much the school spends to provide employee benefits. It’s frustrating when faculty, staff, and administrators do not take advantage of these programs to the fullest, don’t value them, or, worse yet, don’t even know they exist. This tends to be a reality in most organizations—not just schools. In our fast-paced society, unless people perceive that the information directly pertains to them, it may sometimes be hard to gain their attention.Login to see the full article
Capital campaigns are simultaneously exciting and anxiety-producing, especially for those in leadership positions. You, as Board President, Chair of the Committee on Trustees, or Chair of the Development Committee, must keep certain essentials in mind, before and during the capital campaign. This article focuses on two critical “early actions,” followed by a list of four essentials that every Trustee needs to embrace for ideal campaign outcomes when the campaign commences.Login to see the full article
Private-independent school leaders realize the value of professionally staffing their marketing communications function. And, while Boards and School Heads should be applauded for investing in a Marketing Communications Director or similar position,* many cannot dedicate the financial resources necessary to expand the operation beyond one full-time employee.Login to see the full article
Your next accreditation visit is 12–18 months away. You, as Board President and/or Chair of the Committee on Trustees (COT), assisted by your School Head, should consider the steps needed to prepare your Board for that visit. For most schools and with most accreditation agencies, the following should comprise key ingredients in that preparation process.Login to see the full article
Whole-faculty meetings—the phrase alone makes eyes glaze over. Administrators often view these sessions as a necessary evil. Teachers routinely consider them one of the least productive uses of their time.Login to see the full article
Predictable and supportive environments are the bedrock on which all great schools are built. We have observed schools suffering from poor leadership and precarious finances—but the culture often keeps a school going steady. Schools that once had strong financial stability began to erode when the predictable and supportive culture was overtaken by toxic elements.Login to see the full article
Many school leaders view tuition remission as a teacher and staff recruitment and retention tool, and a means of keeping competitive with other private-independent schools. However, tuition remission often turns the employee-school relationship into a business transaction. School Heads and Boards often claim that they have to offer this perk—otherwise good candidates will be lured to other schools. And it’s not just teachers and staff. This benefit is often an intrinsic part of the contract for the Head and other administrators as well.Login to see the full article
Your current students’ brothers and sisters can make ideal additions to your student body. Their families are mission-appropriate and already committed to your school. When parents enroll another child, they are making an obvious and powerful endorsement of your school.Login to see the full article
You, as newly elected Board of Trustees President, may assume that leadership of private-independent-school Trustees is similar to leadership in other organizational settings. There are indeed similarities with some other kinds of leadership roles, including these. A President brings her or his own “management style” to the post. This tone-setting role is present to some degree in any organization, depending on its exact purpose(s) and structure. A President selects and appoints those who will exercise second-level management and leadership within the Board. Any organization larger than, say, a half-dozen individuals, needs this kind of action from the designated leader. A private-independent school Board of Trustees President can sometimes strongly influence the direction of the larger organization—the school itself—from a strategic perspective. This is analogous to other governing body leadership contexts, both in for-profit and nonprofit settings.Login to see the full article