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Our History

In the mid-1970s a few Business Managers, a School Head, and two CPAs formed ISBMA. (Independent Schools Business Managers Association.) They met on a monthly basis usually at Town School in San Francisco, with a jug of wine, some cheese and crackers and a lot of conversation. After meeting, they went to dinner and continued sharing ideas, often late into the evening.It was primarily an idea-sharing and social group. In time the name was changed, replacing the “M”  with an “O” for officer.

In the early 1980s, they thought it would be great to share statistical information about their respective schools. They created a report by requesting data on tuition, salaries, budgets, et cetera from each member school. Volunteer Business Managers came together and packaged all the information into a single report that was distributed at a general meeting of all the schools who participated in the survey. ISBOA STATS was launched…

Membership has grown to approximately 280 schools state-wide today.

Today the survey is managed by a third party to maintain confidentiality and is highly-valued resource to the independent school community in California. Cal-ISBOA now offers professional programs, holds state-wide conferences, sponsors live meetings and webinars with speakers who present to us on a wide range of topics from technology to the economy. We provide professional development in the same collegial, social spirit from our founding in the mid-1970s at Town School in San Francisco.

Cal-ISBOA is recognized by SHRM to offer Professional Development Credits (PDCs) for the SHRM-CP® or SHRM-SCP®. For more information about certification or recertification, please visit

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