‘Professionalism’ In Faith-Based Schools: A Brief Primer

When I stepped away from running schools in 2006, the iPhone was still a top secret project called “Purple.” My Blackberry stored my contacts, displayed a calendar, and could send text messages and email. That was it, other than to make phone calls (though it also performed well as a sturdy doorstop). Children did not have cell phones, generally until they learned to drive-and then mostly for emergencies.

Rope Burn in the Tech Tug-of-War

When I stepped away from running schools in 2006, the iPhone was still a top secret project called “Purple.” My Blackberry stored my contacts, displayed a calendar, and could send text messages and email. That was it, other than to make phone calls (though it also performed well as a sturdy doorstop). Children did not have cell phones, generally until they learned to drive-and then mostly for emergencies.

Security Theater

In 2006, keeping exterior doors locked and wearing visitor badges was the extent of our security protocol. Security personnel, uniformed officers with weapons, were for public schools trying to keep the lid from blowing off. Before the horrible tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary, the idea of another Columbine-type shooting seemed far-fetched. We didn’t really consider ourselves vulnerable to an intentional attack.

The Private School Board: Competency Squared

“For a board to really do its job, referencing best practice, concentrating on strategy, planning for the future, you have to have competency on both sides of the balance sheet.”

That’s how Covenant’s Board Chair J.J. Barto put it recently. Meaning that, if only the head or only the board are capably working at any given time, good governance becomes all but impossible.

BetterBlog

Five Fundraising “Ah-Ha” Moments

Few things are more frustrating than to make a major investment that doesn’t pay off. In the case of hiring professional fundraisers, not only is it upsetting, but strategic initiatives and growth suffer.  In today’s high-pressure philanthropic environment, getting the right fundraiser on your team and supporting his or her success is more crucial than ever before.
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A Campaign Feasibility Study: Your Strategic Next Step

In the last eighteen months, BetterSchools has conducted several capital campaign feasibility studies for our clients, using our exclusive “3-C Analysis”. For each client we facilitated a process that included upwards of forty interviews with individuals identified as those who would be important in the success of the campaign. While our methodology remains consistent to ensure a quality outcome, our recommendations are as unique as the school communities we are partnered with.
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Banishing Words: It’s not a PC rant, I promise!

Someone, at Lake Superior State University (Lake State Lakers) has blessed us again with an annual list of words and phrases that need banishment from common use. Not because they are offensive or vulgar, but because they are useless:  vague, imprecise, overused.
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What Fundraising Job Descriptions Say About Your School

Organizations rarely consider how much their job descriptions reveal about them. For a savvy fundraising professional, job descriptions are a looking glass into the opportunities and barriers they might encounter in the role. The fundraiser understands that his or her job description reflects a culture and a philosophy, an approach to planning and hiring, and insight into how fundraising performance will be evaluated.
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What the Heads of Exceptional Schools Think About: The Introduction

Around 2008, two colleagues, Tim Wiens and John Seel, and I launched an exploration into the feasibility of a new independent school association. For a number of years, we had been occasionally discussing our sense that too many schools with Christian identities, whether parochial, non-denominational, or otherwise, trailed non-sectarian and more elite historically Christian schools in terms of both reputation and educational quality.
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Doing the Student Retention Math

I spoke earlier this week with a head of school who has spent many hours in the past month meeting one on one with the parents of middle schoolers who are making noise about transferring to other schools-mostly public schools. “I started out with a list of 34 kids,” he told me, “and we have worked the list down to about 15 who still might leave.”
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Working to Keep the Students We Have: How great private schools are doing it

Increased competition within the schooling marketplace, combined with the shifting priorities of a new generation of parents, has rendered the fortunes of independent and parochial schools more uncertain than ever before. As we have noted here previously, as of just two years ago, private schools enrolled more than 10% fewer students than in 2000. And within that overall enrollment decline is the even more ominous statistic that enrollment in grades K-8 is down nearly 17%.
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512.289.1010
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Contact Information

BetterSchools LLC
512.289.1010
Contact BetterSchools