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From the ED 2.27.14

Dear Colleagues,

As you know I like to read articles and books related to independent schools, education, technology, etc. as much as possible. The Spring 2014 Independent School Magazine (published by NAIS) arrived in the mail late last week. There are a number of articles that I would recommend each of you read when you have a chance.

1)    Rocking the Boat Without Tipping it Over by Jim Mitchell – some of you will hear me present a session with this same title in the coming months. Jim and I were colleagues at Alexander Dawson School and we developed the ideas in this article in collaboration with a number of other thought leaders in the industry. The main point of this article, and my presentation, is that we need to look at four pillars of independent school sustainability: Educational Transformation, Marketing, Governance, and Finance.  Our focus has been on finance, and rightfully so, but we believe that it is only one component that every school needs to consider when thinking about their school’s sustainability. I will be presenting versions of this at the upcoming NAIS, NBOA, SBSA, and VAIS conferences throughout the spring.

2)    Zero-Based Strategic Thinking by Grant Lichtman – Grant and I are in agreement that strategic thinking is important, and in fact essential, for our schools as opposed to the more traditional process of strategic planning that our schools have practiced (and many continue to practice) for many years. Grant is the keynote presenter for our MISBO-TAIS Conference to be held April 1-2, 2014 in Nashville, TN. For more information visit

3)    Independent School Leadership Dazzles with DASL – NEWS – page 1 – for those of you that have used Stats Online for years, I hope you will find NAIS’s update to Data and Analysis for School Leadership (DASL) a great improvement and provide schools and associations a more modern and reliable tool for benchmarking and creating dashboards for your school leadership. MISBO has been working closely with Hilary LaMonte, NAIS, VP DASL to ensure that MISBO and its schools will have full access to this new tool and the data. We are meeting this week and expect to finalize the details. One of the end results will be that MISBO schools will only need to enter their data annually into one place, not two.

4)    Caution Parents 2.0 Ahead by Marc T. Frankel and Judith L. Schechtman – I believe this is important in the discussion of our school’s sustainability and relevancy. There are significant generational differences that we are experiencing with this newer generation of parents. This article discusses some important concerns that our schools should be addressing.

As I travel around the country in the coming months, I hope to see you at one of the many national, regional, state and MISBO conferences. These are great opportunities to network with colleagues and learn from your peers and other experts and leaders in our industry. Please let me know what strategic thinking has been happening at your schools. This helps me and MISBO help all of our schools.


Marc Levinson
Executive Director, MISBO
Twitter:  @MISBOconnects    @Marcll

From → MISBO

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