ISCA Members Get 50% Off ISM Workshops and Webinars*. Use Code ISCA50 at check out.
*Exclusions Apply

Our Partnership with ISCA

ISM has partnered with ISCA to provide its member schools with our reputable resources to support their governance and leadership.
Discover how ISM can help strengthen your school’s planning strategies.

ISCA member-schools receive a 50% discount on ISM webinars and workshops when they use the promo code ISCA50 at check out. Some exclusions apply.
Protect your school’s mission and long-term viability.
Lead your school with clarity to support your school’s mission and ensure long-term viability, while providing exciting futures for your students and continuous growth for yourself. 


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.

Mergers: Scandalous Nonsense or Strategic Alliance?

VOLUME 45 NO. 7 ● 6/1/2020
Just say the word “merger” in a room of School Heads and a cacophony of competing beliefs fills the room like some odious vapor. However, there is mounting, research-based evidence to suggest that mergers in the nonprofit sector create more robust, impactful, and efficient mission-driven organizations...

The Difficult Decision: Closing a Private School

VOLUME 45 NO. 9 ● 7/27/2020
Unfortunately, some schools, because of various circumstances, face a combination of weak enrollment, poor fundraising efforts, and budget overruns. Sadly, sometimes the right decision by the Board is to close the school. This article explores the steps required to close a school with integrity. ...

Mergers: Creating Excellent and Efficient Leadership Teams

VOLUME 45 NO. 10 ● 8/10/2020
Previously in I&P, we discussed the potential benefits of a merger between two or more schools. Should you take this route, as Board Chair and School Head, you will have the ultimate responsibility in selecting the leaders as the schools merge. The School Head and The Board of Trustees ...

The Most Overlooked Component of School Success

WHITE PAPER ● 9/23/2020
In ISM’s 45+ years working with private-independent schools all over the world, we have observed one other factor that has a significant impact on private school viability and success—a great leader.

How can you ensure you're a great leader for your school, delivering your mission with excellence? We explore in our latest white paper, The Most Overlooked Component of School Success.
Get Access to all Ideas & Perspectives by becoming an ISM Member. Learn more.
Better Boards, Better Schools
Serving as a Trustee is a privilege that carries a substantial responsibility. Learn how to lead your school with a mission-driven, student-centered approach based on 45 years of ISM research and experience working with private school Boards.

Professional development

Continue your quest to be an exceptional school leader with ISM’s professional development events. No matter your goals or level of experience, there’s an opportunity to elevate your knowledge and your school to the next level of excellence. 


Roadmap to Year One: ISM’s New Head Accelerator

Online Course Timeframe: Meetings on March 17, March 24, March 31 & April 7 
 Synchronous Meetings Times: 90 minutes per meeting
You’re starting a new Headship this summer or began one during one of the most unprecedented school years in education—now what?

- What are achievable personal and professional goals to set in this new school environment, and how do they align with your school’s strategic plan?
- How do you, as a new Head, work with an established Board, even with the basics such as meeting presentations and building reports?
- How do you set or execute on a budget, especially one you had little or no control over creating?
- What's your role in supporting your school's development goals?
- How do you set the tone and culture for the school?

There are many questions to ask! Luckily, we have the answers. ISM Consultant Shannan Schuster, who recently finished a headship at The Swain School, Pennsylvania, will share her experiences, along with ISM tools and strategies to ensure your first year is productive and successful.

This online workshop will set you on the right course for your headship—without dedicating endless hours of meetings or coursework to professional development. Discover the invaluable framework that provides a roadmap to succeeding as a new Head.

ISCA Member: $1007.50
General: $2,015

Use code ISCA50


How to Build and Implement an Extraordinary Major Gifts Program

Date(s): Monday, April 19, 2021 – Tuesday, April 20, 2021
Certification Credits: 20 IACP
Schools are driven by the ever-increasing demand for more funding, yet are also aware of return on investment. Therefore, many focus their fundraising efforts on major gifts.

Even in these uneasy times, it is possible to collect major gifts by using foundational approaches to build and solidify relationships with your biggest donors. Some might argue this has never been more important. This workshop explores a proven methodology for creating a fundraising program that produces generous returns, now and in the future.

ISCA Member: $704.50
General: $1,409

Use code ISCA50


30 Days to an Inbound Marketing Program That Fills Your Admission Funnel

Online Course Timeframe: April 20–May 14, 2021
Synchronous Meetings Times: Tuesdays from 1-2:30 p.m. Eastern Time
The simple fact is this: Schools need to utilize inbound marketing strategies today more than ever.

Why? Because families are doing more online research about schools than ever before (especially during the pandemic). You need a way to “pre-sell” them on your school, distinguishing your educational program from the competition and establishing its valued position in your community.

Learn how to create an inbound marketing strategy will help you accomplish these goals. Discover how to build a complete inbound marketing plan that will drive admission inquiries and enrollment.

ISCA Member: $644.50
General: $1,289

Use code ISCA50


Summer Institute 2021

Remove the guesswork and get a step-by-step guide to private school success. Our 45+ years of research, data-backed strategies, and experience delivered by world-renowned ISM Consultants will help you take your school to the next level of excellence.


This isn’t your typical online conference. Our online workshops provide small class sizes and individualized support to ensure you feel confident this year, no matter what the future holds. Completely Virtual. Absolutely Vital. 100% Satisfaction Guaranteed.

Pricing varies

Use code ISCA50


How to Remove the Stigma of Financial Aid and Attract More Families

Date(s): Monday, October 26, 2020 ● Time: 11:00am ET - Wednesday, October 28, 2020
Your school’s financial aid program is a powerful tool to help you attract new, mission-appropriate families and assess the amount of tuition they can pay.

This webinar will help your school remove the stigma from your financial aid program, using indexed tuition to encourage more applicants and fill empty seats. By reframing your financial aid message to refer to a family's ability to pay rather than the school's discount award, rather than the school’s discount award, you strengthen your school’s position and long-term viability. Read More

ISCA Member: $440
General: $880 

Use code ISCA50


Solving the Revenue and Sustainability Problem

Date(s): 3/12/2021 ● Time: 12:00pm ET
Increasing revenue and cutting costs without upsetting faculty morale or the student experience is vital to your school’s long-term viability. Luckily, there are certain steps you can take right now to maximize your resources and capitalize on “low-hanging fruit” to increase your bottom line.

Discover how to augment profits and cut expenses to protect your finances without affecting your culture. We will share with you action steps you can implement immediately. Further, we will explore what your Leadership Team must consider if these initiatives fail, including drafting new strategic plans or merger initiatives.

ISCA Member: $0
General: $0
(Free for ISM Gold Members) 

Use code ISCA50


ISM is dedicated to advancing school leadership to enrich the student experience. Rely on our 45 years of research, knowledge, and experience to move your school forward through consultations, surveys, insurance offerings, and software products. 

Let’s build creative strategies together using extensive research, proven management techniques, and personalized service.

Platinum Membership, an Exclusive Advisory Board for School Heads

Rely on ISM’s 45+ years of research to support your ongoing growth and leadership as a School Head. Your school’s success depends on it.

• Transformative Learning
• Executive Mentoring
• A Leadership Network of Peers

International Circle

Be in-the-know on everything that relates to your international student programs. This member-only portal has updates on rapidly changing regulations, actionable advice, and coaching elements to help your program thrive. Our members enjoy:

• Webinars
• School Spotlights
• Events
• Community 
• Coaching

Virtual Consultations

Lean on the experts for guidance on services such as:

• Board School Sustainability Training
• Strategic and Financial Planning
• Strategic Performance Analysis

Insurance Services

Partner with us for insurance solutions specifically designed for private-independent schools. We offer services such as, but not limited to:

​• Student Benefits
• Employee Benefits
​• Directors and Officers
​• Risk Management
​• Specialty Programs


Let data guide your decisions with confidence. Well-formulated, third-party surveys ensure a high response rate and most candid responses. Our most popular surveys include:

• Parent, Applicant, and Attrition
• Student and Alumni/ae
​• Employee and School Culture
• Inclusion Survey Bundle 

Financial Aid Services

Feel confident that your financial aid award process fills seats with deserving, mission-appropriate families while helping driving enrollment and meeting your goals. With FAST Aid, you gain access to:

• Fast Set Up and Easiness of Use
• Unlimited Training and Support
• Accurate Picture of Your Families' Needs
• Flexibility to Ensure Mission-Appropriateness of Your Candidates

About ISM

ISM began with a simple vision—strengthen private-independent schools by empowering school leaders who have dedicated their lives to helping children succeed. Founders Rod and Anne Snelling started with the creation of Ideas & Perspectives in 1975, an advisory periodical filled with best practices, insights, and resources. As new challenges arose in the community, ISM responded with options to help leaders navigate and overcome obstacles.

Today, ISM is a company of three divisions and nearly 25 departments still driven by the same mission—advance school leadership to enrich the student experience. Learn more.


Elevate the Customer Service Culture at Your School

  • ​Do you worry that the middle-income earners will not apply to your school this year?
  • ​Do you long for the day that all of your school’s employees “get” that customer service is everything in today’s competitive educational marketplace?
  • Are you constantly reminding faculty to communicate with parents spontaneously about the incremental progress their children make—but they just won’t do it?
  • Do you worry that your faculty and staff are going to see an expectation of customer service as just one more thing you want them to do?
Your school's families invest money and trust in your school because they believe the experience will provide long-term benefits for their children. Customer service must be an intentional part of your school's culture.

Creating a service-oriented culture that is embraced by all school employees begins by examining the experience your families are having today. You must determine what taking care of your families looks like and identify obstacles and roadblocks.

When you make it clear that everyone’s workplace experience improves when your culture of care with families is strong, resistance to the concept wanes. Leave this webinar with concrete, actionable strategies you can use at your school.

You will learn how to:

  • identify why customer service acumen should be considered a characteristic of professional excellence;
  • ​call your entire faculty and staff to a common customer service orientation;
  • win teachers over by speaking their language; create measurable (and realistic!) expectations for faculty and staff;
  • ​correct faculty and staff when they don’t seem to get it—or when they are outright resentful;
  • ​celebrate success and/or address failure; and
  • ​identify when you, your lack of process, or your emphasis on other tasks are the problem.

After this webinar, you'll be:

  • able to give faculty permission to identify and let go of some “low impact” expectations to free up time to communicate with today’s parents in a highly personal way;
  • ​empowered to establish a schoolwide customer service standard, recognize it, and reward it;
  • confident in supporting your customer service champions to take the lead by becoming “brand ambassadors;” and
  • ​ready to experience the schoolwide benefit of happy and satisfied parents.
School Heads, Enrollment Management leaders, Division Principals/Heads, and Deans of Faculty.


Effective Boards: A Workshop for Board Presidents and School Heads

  • Do you find yourself listening to Board conversations and wondering if you are engaging in the right discussions?
  • Do you struggle with knowing what falls under the Board’s jurisdiction and what is the most effective use of your time?
  • ​Is your school constantly trying (but often failing) to build cash reserves?
  • Do you feel overwhelmed when you think about the school’s future?
Your school’s Board is the strategic long-range guarantor of the school. Help your Board members and School Head understand ISM’s proven strategic plan and strategic financial plan approach so that you will know with certainty that your Board is acting responsibly.

Learn how to effectively organize and lead the Board to be a strategic powerhouse.

You will learn how to:

  • understand operational versus strategic roles, and how to keep the Board strategically and long-term focused;
  • ​differentiate the roles of the Board and the School Head;
  • create a strategic plan as the foundation of your Board’s operations;
  • ​determine how to conduct effective Head support and evaluation;
  • ​maintain excellence in Board recruiting;
  • ​build a flexible financial model and understand the financial cost of each decision; and
  • ​present your financial plan in a way that even non-financial Board members will clearly understand.

After this online workshop, you'll be:

  • equipped with a proven Board organizational structure and strategy;
  • confident in your ability to determine the necessary Board committees and how to charge them so each Board member can effectively perform; and
  • prepared to make the best decisions and lead your school effectively.

This online workshop is for:

Board Chairs, Board members, and School Heads. Teams are encouraged to participate.


How to Build and Implement an Extraordinary Major Gifts Program

  • Are you unsure about how to continue fundraising amid today's economic uncertainty?
  • Do you want to hone your approach to raising major gifts?
  • Are you ready to craft a new strategy for the future?
Join us to explore a methodology that produces fundraising returns, no matter the size or scope of your community. Topics include how to systematically inspire and retain donors, create an efficient fundraising team, demystify planned giving, and cultivate major donor relationships. 

You will learn how to:

  • build a major gift funnel and how to calculate the total value of a major gift;
  • create an efficient fundraising team;
  • train your staff and volunteers to become effective and dynamic solicitors;
  • ​master and implement the “Five Rules of Engagement;” and
  • ​magnify prospects’ potential for making major gifts.

After this online workshop, you'll be:

  • confident in your approach with prospects and donors;
  • prepared to refine your fundraising strategy for the year; and 
  • ready to immediately maximize opportunities and increase fundraising potential.

This online workshop is for:

School Heads, Development Directors, Major Gift Officers, Board Chairs, and Development Committee members, along with other interested Trustees


Enrollment Management Mastery for School Heads

  • Was soft, flat, or declining enrollment keeping you up at night before COVID-19?
  • Do you know what changes you must make to meet the needs of today’s families?
  • Are you concerned about your financial planning strategies and how they intersect with your enrollment management approach?
  • ​Have you anticipated the new enrollment management challenges that might take hold in the wake of COVID-19?
Get the “big picture” view of the factors most impacting your hard-income bottom line: the clarity of your market position, the health (or not) of your school culture, and the way you take care of your primary constituents—students and their families.

Join other Heads as we walk through a root-cause analysis framework developed for private-independent schools. Pinpoint specific strategies, based on your own data analysis, to address each factor affecting your enrollment.

Collaborate with other Heads to craft strategies to “fix” whatever is keeping you from achieving your school’s enrollment goals. Learn what constitutes stable enrollment, and how to achieve and sustain it at your school. This virtual workshop provides the opportunity to learn from (and commiserate with) a group of fellow Heads—and to turn that conversation into actionable strategies for your school.

You will learn how to:

  • master ISM’s enrollment management framework to understand the factors most affecting your recruitment outcomes;
  • collect and analyze a range of data types to determine what experiences key constituents—students, parents, and faculty—are having at your school on a day-to-day basis;
  • identify your school’s primary competitive edge and position yourself as an educational influencer despite COVID-19; and
  • meld your understanding of enrollment management and strategic financial planning to craft a corrective action plan that will prevent your financial aid awards from exceeding your school's discount capacity.

After this online workshop, you'll be:

  • able to identify your school’s primary competitive edge in the private-independent school marketplace (before and after COVID)—and position yourself as an educational influencer;
  • ready to ensure a consistent experience for students and families by getting all faculty and staff “on the same page,” serving a common mission narrative;
  • creating intentional strategies to increase perceptions of predictability and support among faculty and students to enhance their enthusiasm, satisfaction, and performance;
  • ​prepared to leverage your financial aid program in a way that serves your school’s community and mission, instead of giving away money you may not have to people who may not need it;
  • ​able to meet emergent new financial aid needs as a result of COVID-19 with “rainy day,” temporary aid amendments without crashing your school’s financial viability;
  • ​confident in your ability to lead your Board and Finance Committee in strategically predicting and funding optimal enrollment to sustain your school—no more “divining rod” predictions of what enrollment will be—or what families will pay; and
  • ​ready to implement an enrollment management plan that focuses on your school’s unique needs, including three goals to pursue this year with specific tactics/strategies designed to help you achieve them.

This online workshop is for:

School Heads


Financial Aid Mastery

  • Are you stressed about financial aid even under normal circumstances?
  • Does the added stress of the COVID-19 pandemic leave you feeling unsure about how to move forward?
  • Do you know how to choose the best financial aid approach for your school and mission?
Learn how to develop a mission-appropriate financial aid program that will serve as a tool to help you award appropriately, boost revenue, achieve your enrollment goals, and advance your mission.

You will learn how to:

  • determine which discount program is best for your school;
  • gauge what your school can afford to contribute to your financial aid program;
  • explore strong policies to make discount decisions easier; and
  • develop a family model so that you can quickly access each family’s tuition capacity.

After this online workshop, you'll be:

  • prepared to develop a mission-appropriate financial aid program that will serve as a tool to help you award families appropriately, boost revenue, and achieve your enrollment goals;
  • confident in your financial aid approach; and
  • ready to make immediate changes to your current program.

This online workshop is for:

Business Managers, CFOs, School Heads, Admission Directors, Financial Aid Directors, and Board Members.
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P: (302) 656-4944 
F: (302) 656-0647