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 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.

Build an Inspiring Case for Giving for Your Annual Fund

Volume 47 No. 3 // March 1, 2022

As Director of Development, you know your case for giving is a core element of any fundraising campaign, whether it is for annual, capital, or major gifts. The case for giving articulates your values and mission in a form that allows donors and prospects to make a direct, emotional connection with your school.

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Getting Buy-In and Engagement for Advisory Programs

Volume 47 No. 3 // March 1, 2022

Building an effective advisory program is an important aspect of fulfilling your school’s mission and delivering on your Purpose and Outcome Statements. However, teachers often describe advisory as an “add-on” duty, placing it akin to duties like “carpool” and “lunch supervision.” So, while from a “mission” perspective, advisory programs serve a critical role, there are factors that make it feel to faculty as if it is of secondary importance.

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Assessing the Quality and Impact of an Employee Growth Goal

Volume 47 No. 2 // February 1, 2022

ISM’s growth and evaluation framework for School Heads, administrators, and nonteaching staff clarifies that growth itself is not to be evaluated, so employees are free to try new things and take risks without fear of failure. However, not all growth goals are created equal. ISM designed the following rubric to help you and your employees assess and strengthen your own growth goals, and to help your trained growth plan coaches have productive, objective conversations with the employees they’re coaching.

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Management and Retention Guidelines for Student Records

Volume 47 No. 2 // February 1, 2022

Any school can face a court situation where its records can be perused and questioned. All student records are crucial assets and proper maintenance of them is essential. As the School Head and the Board Chair, ensure that your school has a policy on records management and retention. Without one, you cannot assure that important documents and materials are in proper order and readily available—for administrative, fiscal, historic, and legal purposes. 

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Make Deliberate Choices When Fundraising With Special Events

Volume 47 No. 1 // January 1, 2022

As Development Director, you frequently coordinate special events that raise money for your school. Such events include auctions, trivia or casino nights, book fairs, “fund-a-need” giving days, carnivals, and other community-building experiences. Determining your event’s fundraising purpose can be particularly challenging if there is a lack of clarity about the school’s strategic needs or special interest groups on campus dominate the discussion.

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