Last Updated on December 14, 2021 by Peter Townsend
Beginning the process of starting a privately-run education is a long and difficult procedure. There are many who have been through it before you and you can find lots of practical and inspirational advice from their experiences.
In actuality, looking through the history section of an accredited private school’s site can be very beneficial. Some of the stories on this page will encourage you. Other stories will make you aware that the process of starting an educational institution is a time-consuming process that requires time as well as money and assistance. Here is a timetable for the steps involved in starting your privately-owned school.
Today’s Private School Climate
Before embarking on the process of creating your private school, you need to be aware of the current economic situation within the private school industry.
A report from 2019 by Bellwether Education Partners, a national nonprofit for education, revealed that in the past there were thousands of Catholic schools shut down, and a lot of other private schools were less popular. They said that this was caused by tuition costs that were rising that most middle- and lower-income families couldn’t pay for.
In reality, The Association of Boarding Schools (TABS) issued its 2013-2017 strategic plan In, the organization promised to intensify the efforts to “help schools identify and recruit qualified families in North America.” This commitment led to the formation of the North American Boarding Initiative to tackle the declining enrollment of privately-owned boarding schools. This quote is directly from the website of their organization:
We are facing an extremely difficult enrollment problem. Boarding enrollment in the US has been declining in a gradual, but steady, manner for over twelve years. This is a trend that has no signs of slowing down. Additionally, several studies have revealed that the majority of the school’s leaders who are boarding consider domestic boarding as the most important strategic concern. As a school community we are now the time to make a stand.
In 2019, the statistics presented from the Independent School Facts report for TABS show that the actual number of students who have enrolled in the last five years was either constant or have been growing slowly. In addition, numerous new school options for private students have also been set up and are likely to be the reason for this increase.
In the same way at the same time, the National Association of Independent Schoolsremarks that despite the fact that around 40 percent of private schools lost enrollment from 2006 to 2014 schools in regions with economic growth, such as New York City or the Western states, grew.
In the present day, the need for thoughtful consideration and planning to decide if establishing a private school within today’s market might be a good idea. This evaluation will differ greatly depending on several factors, such as the strength of local schools, the amount and quality of competitors’ geographical location, as well as the requirements of the community and many more.
A small town in the midwest that isn’t awash with public schools might have the advantage of an independent school or depend on the area and the surrounding area, a private school may not be able to attract enough interest. In a region such as New England, which is already home to over 150 independent schools, starting a new school might not be as successful.
1. Identify Your Niche
36-24 Months Before Opening
Decide what kind of school your market requires: K-8, 9-12, day or boarding, Montessori, and so on. Ask local parents and teachers for their opinion and, if you are able to afford it, engage an agency for marketing to conduct an online survey. This will allow you to focus your efforts, and help ensure that you’re making the right business choice.
After you’ve decided what type of school you’ll be opening, you must decide the number of grades you’ll begin. The long-term plans might include a K-12 institution however it makes more sense to start with a smaller number of students and build up steadily. Typically, you’ll set up the primary division and then add the higher grades when your resources allow.
2. Form a Committee
24 Months Before Opening
Create a small group of well-educated supporters to start the initial work. Include parents and other prominent members of your community with managerial, legal, financial, and building knowledge. Request and receive the commitment of time and financial assistance from every member.
You’re undertaking crucial project planning that requires lots of time and effort, and the people who do this could be the heart of your first Board of Directors. Collect additional talent paid for If you are able to pay for it to help you through the many issues that will be faced by you.
3. Find a Home
20 Months Before Opening
Find a place to host the school or design plans for building if you’ll build your own building completely from the ground up. Be aware that the building of your school is significantly more costly and lengthy than working with an existing building. Your contractor committee and architect members should be in charge of this task.
However, take your time before you jump at the chance to buy that gorgeous old mansion or office space that is vacant. Schools need good facilities for a variety of reasons, not the most important of which is security. The older buildings can be financial squatters. Instead, consider modular buildings that are green and also more sustainable.
18 Months Before Opening
Incorporate your documents with the Secretary of State. Your lawyer will be able to do this on your behalf. There are expenses for filing the paperwork however if you are on the panel, the lawyer will prefer to donate their legal services to the charity.
This is an essential aspect of your long-term fundraising. The public will contribute money more easily to a legal organization or institution than to an individual. If you’ve already made the decision to start your own exclusive school, you’ll be entirely on your own when it is about raising funds.
5. Develop a Business Plan
18 Months Before Opening
Create a Business plan. It is a plan of how the institution is planning to run its initial five years. Be cautious in your plans and don’t attempt to tackle everything during these first few years unless you’ve had the luck of finding an individual donor who will provide the program with all its aspects. Make sure your strategy is sound since this will draw more supporters to your organization.
6. Develop a Budget
18 Months Before Opening
Make a budget plan for 5 years. It is a comprehensive analysis of expenses and income. The financial member on your committee is the one to develop this crucial document. As always, make your assumptions with caution and factor in some flexibility should something go wrong?
It is necessary to create two budgets: one for operating and the capital budget. For example, a pool spa or arts center could be a capital expense as would making plans for social security expenses is an expense in the operating budget. Seek expert advice.