Ideas & Perspectives
Ideas & Perspectives

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 10 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.

How to Comply With Employee Military Service Leave

Volume 49 No. 6 // June 1, 2024

In 1994, it became the obligation of all U.S. employers to provide for military service leave when Congress enacted the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA). School Heads or Business Managers should review employee handbooks to be sure school policies comply with these ...

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Powerful Leadership and Your School’s Culture

Volume 49 No. 6 // June 1, 2024

The late educator Zig Engelmann (1931–2019) had a motto that he promoted tirelessly: “If the learner hasn’t learned, the teacher hasn’t taught.” According to Engelmann, this “operating principle” offended many because it placed all the responsibility for education on teachers. Of course, the stateme...

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Do Language Classes Need to Meet Every Day? It’s Time to Dispel the Myth

Volume 49 No. 5 // May 1, 2024

ISM advocates student-centered schedules. As we define it, a student-centered schedule is grounded in (1) an understanding of how students learn and (2) a commitment to actions that support student well-being. In practice, student-centered schedules are marked by several characteristics: Fe...

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Understand Your School’s Economic Engine

Volume 49 No. 5 // May 1, 2024

“The buck stops here!” was popularized by President Harry S. Truman, who kept a sign with this phrase on his desk as a brazen reminder of his authority as chief executive. Truman believed that he was the head of an administrative bureaucracy, to be sure. But as President, he shouldered everything as...

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“Delivery of Mission” Is the Most Important Metric

Volume 49 No. 5 // May 1, 2024

Understanding how your current parents feel about your school is essential—it is so vital that you should never let a year go by without some systematic collection of parent opinions. But even more important than frequency is your ability to understand what you are hearing from constituents and to i...

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Starting a Major Gifts Program

Volume 49 No. 4 // April 1, 2024

Private-independent schools increasingly rely on the generosity of donors who give at high levels. A perusal of multimillion-dollar gifts to education in the Chronicle of Philanthropy reveals how donors and schools have partnered to create transformative opportunities for their students. Yet ma...

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Do’s and Don’ts for Your Marketing Communications Budget

Volume 49 No. 4 // April 1, 2024

A frequent question posed by Marketing Communications Directors, CFOs, and Business Managers from schools of all types, sizes, and locales is this: “How big should our marketing communications budget be?” In other words, how much should a school spend annually on marketing communications activities ...

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Accommodating Students Who Are Neurodivergent Inside and Beyond the Classroom

Volume 49 No. 4 // April 1, 2024

As an admission officer, you receive this email: “Do you accept students with dyslexia?” Or this: “My child has ADHD. Can you help?” Or: “What services can you provide our child, who (according to a former teacher) is probably ‘on the spectrum’?” Your answers depend not only on your school’s mission...

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Creating a Scheduling Task Force

Volume 49 No. 3 // March 1, 2024

Implementing a new school schedule that aligns with institutional priorities requires careful planning and collaboration. A scheduling task force composed of thoughtful, invested faculty and administrators can help drive this complex process. A scheduling task force is a team responsible for rese...

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