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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.

Midyear Enrollment of International Students

Volume 46 No. 4April 1, 2021

You, as School Head or Admission Director, may find new enrollment interest from international families at any point in the school year. Those families’ interest in your school may or may not conform to the early fall enrollment tradition. Your response to this kind of interest should be well-planned and addressed not only in your written and published enrollment policies but also in your strategic financial planning documents.

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Preparing for the Unforeseeable

Volume 46 No. 4April 1, 2021

Economic downturns, natural disasters, and worldwide pandemics—events not only unforeseeable but sometimes interrelated and feeding off one another—will not be going away. As Board President or School Head, seize the opportunity in times of relative normality to keep these facts of institutional life in mind when your Board assembles for its regularly scheduled strategic planning sessions.

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Why Is Enrollment Really Softening? (And How Some Schools Might Respond)

Volume 46 No. 3March 1, 2021

COVID-19 did not take the private-independent school market by complete surprise. Beginning in the early 2000s, there were conversations in various private school think tanks concerning how our industry would handle a pandemic and the closing of physical buildings. Private schools entered pre-planning and, while we were not completely ready to handle the myriad changes the pandemic caused, we were at least prepared tactically. 

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Evaluation and Growth for Heads, Administrators, and Nonteaching Staff: Part Two—Growth

Volume 46 No. 3March 1, 2021

A previous I&P article described the evaluation component of ISM’s Growth and Evaluation Framework for Heads, administrators, and nonteaching staff members. Evaluation provides a stable, consistent environment through clear expectations and a process for accountability throughout your school. This gives your employees the security to take on ambitious growth goals, which requires taking risks. 

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Flying Solo as School Head: Risks and Solutions

Volume 46 No. 2February 1, 2021

You came into (or will come into) your first School Head position having been successful in roles other than that of Chief Executive. In most of those roles—teacher, grade-level coordinator, Academic Department Chair, advancement professional, finance professional, even (possibly) as a Division Head...

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Minimum Wage Changes: Prepare Now

Volume 46 No. 2February 1, 2021

Public support for increasing the minimum wage has risen steadily since 2014. There is now significant federal pressure to consider a $15 per hour national minimum wage. As School Head or Board President, prepare now and update your strategic financial plan accordingly. The Impact on Budget An...

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Evaluation and Growth for Heads, Administrators, and Nonteaching Staff: Part One—Evaluation

Volume 46 No. 2February 1, 2021

ISM’s Comprehensive Faculty Development growth and evaluation framework for teachers was designed to ensure accountability and predictability while emphasizing support for growth. In many schools ISM has worked with, there is far more emphasis on evaluation and development for faculty than for administrators and nonteaching staff. A growth and evaluation framework for all employees that aligns with your process for teachers serves to bring everyone together as a stable, growth-focused community. 

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The School Culture Team

Volume 46 No. 1January 11, 2021

ISM has long advised School Heads to survey their faculty and students in grades 5 and up annually to measure and monitor the extent to which both groups are experiencing adequate levels of predictability and support. Predictability and support are consistently, positively correlated with enthusiasm...

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