Ideas & Perspectives

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.

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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Meaningful Service Learning Programs: Serving, Not Saving

Volume 49 No. 3 // March 1, 2024

At many private-independent schools, community service is embedded in the mission or core values. That is one reason independent schools have long incorporated service learning programs in their cocurricular programming. Such activities give students the chance to engage in meaningful service to oth...

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Planning Holiday and Vacation Care for Your Students

Volume 49 No. 3 // March 1, 2024

Families need and value before- and after-school care for their children on regular school days. Some families may also require full-day child care for times when school is not in session—holidays, snow days, teacher in-service days, and during the summertime, outside of whatever academic sessi...

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Enhance the Effectiveness of Your Financial Aid Committee

Volume 49 No. 3 // March 1, 2024

The Financial Aid Committee plays a vital role in a school’s strategic enrollment management. ISM has recently updated some of its recommendations on the composition of this committee. The purpose of the Financial Aid Committee (which may alternately be called the Financial Assistance Committee) ...

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Student Well-Being: A Special Report

Volume 49 No. 2 // February 1, 2024

Student Well-Being: An Overview Schools are not just in the education business—they are in the child-development business. A school’s programs do not stop at core academics. Arts, athletics, advisory, assemblies, social-emotional learning, counseling, service learning, health classes, and food se...

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Cultivating Strategic Thinking: Developing a Strategic Mindset

Volume 49 No. 1 // January 1, 2024

Private-independent school Boards are made up of dedicated volunteers who bring valuable expertise from diverse backgrounds: education, finance, law, marketing, technology, and more. But some individual Trustees—and even a few entire Boards—lack experience in strategic planning and governance. These...

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Sharing Data Between Admission and Development: A Reciprocal Relationship

Volume 49 No. 1 // January 1, 2024

With responsibility for tuition, fees, annual giving, and endowment, the enrollment management and development functions account for nearly all a private-independent school’s operating revenue. However, these two departments often operate in distinctly separate and parallel lanes, with staff in each...

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DEIJB in Athletic Programs

Volume 49 No. 1 // January 1, 2024

Running a school athletic program that integrates concepts of diversity, equity, inclusion, justice, and belonging (DEIJB) involves implementing practices to ensure fairness, accessibility, and a welcoming environment—not just for student-athletes, but also for coaches, supporters, and families. Pri...

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Overcoming Barriers to Strategic Thinking

Volume 49 No. 1 // January 1, 2024

The role of the Board in a private-independent school is to provide leadership at a high level. Boards focus on setting the school’s mission and envisioning its future, developing strategies for achieving that future, and putting policies into effect that undergird and support those strategies. The ...

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Factors That Affect the Student Net Promoter Score

Volume 48 No. 10 // December 1, 2023

Factors That Affect the Student Net Promoter Score A longstanding, robust finding from ISM’s interviews with parents and students is that the students themselves have a significant role in decisions about where they enroll and whether they remain at a school. In fact, middle-school students have ...

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