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.

Board Bylaws, Institutional Dissolution, and Bylaw Changes

Volume 26 No. 3March 8, 2001

One aspect of the due diligence rightly expected of you, the Board President, is a periodic review of Board bylaws. You should have them reviewed at least quadrennially, for accuracy, relevance, and technical legal compliance with appropriate statutes. If you also aspire to implement ISM’s “strategic Board” concepts, you should have the bylaws altered to reflect those aspirations.

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Search and Seizure Policies and Procedures

Volume 26 No. 3March 8, 2001

As your Safety and Security Committee establishes a mission-driven security policy to make your school a safer place, its members must develop search and seizure policies that protect all students and staff members ­– and reduce the school’s exposure to liability. The strongest defense against a claim of violation of privacy or illegal search is a clearly defined, written policy that is widely published and consis­tently enforced.

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What the Head Must Know About the Business Manager’s Work Environment

Volume 26 No. 2February 13, 2001

ISM recently surveyed Business Managers about their salaries and their work environments. We randomly selected 627 Business Managers from our I&P subscribers; 417 responded.The preceding issue of I&P focused on results from the survey concerning salaries for this position. This article discusses responsibilities, workload, and priorities – and how you, the Head of School, can best support your school’s Business Manager.

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The Business Manager Survey, 2000: Salaries

Volume 26 No. 1January 14, 2001

ISM recently surveyed Business Managers about their salaries and their working environments. We randomly selected 627 Business Managers from our I&P subscribers; 417 responded. (See “About the Respondents” last page of this article for more information on survey participants.) This article examines Business Managers’ salaries and implications for recruitment and retention; a subsequent article will focus on Business Managers’ responsibilities and work conditions.

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The School Safety and Security Committee

Volume 25 No. 16December 25, 2000

As School Head, it is ultimately your responsibility to ensure that policies and procedures are in place that focus on the crucial issues of both safety and security. In your efforts to maintain a “safe haven,” you have established a Safety Committee, designed to promote safety awareness in your school. Refocus that committee’s charge to now include school security.

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The Challenges of a Multicampus Operation

Volume 25 No. 16December 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. 15November 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. 13October 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. 12September 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. 10August 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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