1. Don’t start too small. You will need at least two teachers to cover the basic, core areas of knowledge. With fewer than two, the school is too small, too fragile and probably won’t make it.
2. Prepare to manage money and details. Starting a school requires the ability to raise money, monitor a budget, manage a school and faculty, do public relations, work with a school council, and understand fine-print regulations of special education, finances, and building codes.
3. Rigorously assess and evaluate curriculum. Much of what is being done may be experimental, so it must be carefully evaluated. It is also important to do internal evaluations and get feedback from parents about the effectiveness of programs.
4. Don’t reinvent the wheel. There are models out there to learn from. Identify alternative models that reflect the kind of school you envision, and use their experience as a guide.
5. Share your dream. The teachers, staff and families need to believe in your philosophy. Set up shared decision-making. Schools are most effective when parents,teachers, and students work together on a council to give direction.
I'm Dr. Jeannie Gudith, Founder and CEO of JAG Consulting. We help you develop, improve, buy or sell your private school.