A school is not only an educational institution but a lot more. It is the place where the future of a generation is built by talented educators. Here, students are mentored and guided to become responsible adults and good citizens. School is where kids learn values like compassion, a sense of sharing, and teamwork. Every school has a unique school culture and a set of core values it follows and a belief system that is reflected and shared via the school’s mission statement. It is the mission that sets a school apart from the rest. In this article, we attempt to provide a few pointers about writing a mission statement for a schoolthat shall hit the right chords with both the parents and their expectations and that will help your school prosper in the long run.
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What are school mission statements?
Mission statements for schools go a long way in defining the school’s purpose. The school’s mission statement must reflect the goals and values that your school represents and aims to nurture. It must represent the unique brand that your school is. Hence, it must be written with precision, keeping in mind the history of the school, its goals, objectives, and ideologies. It sets the academic foundation of the entire functioning of the school.
In order to embark on a mission, you must have a clear vision of what you wish to achieve. It represents the goal of the school and outlines what the school administrators intend to achieve. A mission statement paves the path that will be taken towards achieving the ultimate goal set by the vision statement. The vision is usually brief and concise. The mission, on the other hand, is lengthier.
Why are school mission statements important?
Help in the decision-making process – It is very important to have a mission statement for the school so that the school is driven by an intent to bring a positive transformation in the life of the students. The mission statement is a living document highlighting how the school will function in the day-to-day practices of the administration, teachers, and students. For example, it points out the school’s mission with respect to academic achievement, physical growth, personal development, spiritual health, educational experience, professional development, etc.
In addition, with a documented mission statement, the school is focused on incorporating the right methods and learning practices to make the learning experience even better.
School Mission Statement Objectives
Every school must have a mission statement that reflects building a strong foundation for the community of learners. The objective of having a strong and to-the-point mission means that you are highlighting the purpose of establishing the school and how it is going to work in the times to come. The key elements of the school’s mission should have:
The name of the school
Values that your school stands for and attempts to instill in its students
Long-term goals related to educational excellence, educational values, curriculum philosophy, relevant learning opportunities
The target you wish to achieve over the years
The unique factor about your school that makes it stand out among the rest
Your mission statement should reflect the authenticity of your approach and should be written in a manner that appeals to the target audience. It should highlight what the school plans for the future and how it frames its policies accordingly.
Your goal should be high but not unrealistic. People should see you as an institution that believes in achieving its goals, rather than one which only claims to have high targets and vague objectives. Your progress should be measurable. Your achievements should be quantifiable, and so should be your aim.
As mentioned earlier, your mission should be clear and specific. We, humans, tend to be very complacent and happen to love our comfort zone. Don’t let this happen with your mission. So, don’t let your students and faculty forget about the mission while being engaged only in the day-to-day activities. Hence, you should provide a specific time frame to your educators, mentors, and staff to achieve the mission outlined by the school. Otherwise, the mission will be limited to merely a statement and never turn into the passion that you had intended it to be.
How to write a school mission statement?
If you are writing the mission statement of the school, then you must consider the following points:
Detailed research and brainstorming:
The first step of every important project is the part where you brainstorm. In this phase, you should ideally conduct research, gather insights, and come up with ideas.
You may also seek help from the stakeholders at your school. This may include a select group of parents, students, teachers, staff members, and board members. The more diverse the group is, the better insights you are supposed to receive. You will be able to get everyone’s perspective before arriving at a decision.
You may ask them the following questions in the process:
Where do you think the school stands now?
Where do you see the school in the future?
What is the unique quality about the school that may be highlighted?
What values do you think the school stands for?
A mission statement outlines the path that your school will take to reach its vision. Once you have set a goal for your school, you should do a SWOT (Strength, Weakness, Opportunities, and Threats) analysis. It will help you identify the areas where your school needs to improve upon, the areas where you are better than others. You will then find it easy to chalk out a plan for overcoming your weaknesses and building upon your strengths.
You may gather inputs about the same from your focus group. Find answers to the following questions in order to understand their perspective:
What are the values and practices at our school that are better than those of our rivals?
What are the practices that need to be changed or upgraded?
What is the way forward? Have a fresh perspective and mention the unique features of your school in a lucid manner.
Create the first draft of your mission statement:
Once you have gone through the brainstorming and the research part, it is time to create a basic draft of the mission statement. Initially, you should not worry about the length of the statement since it is only the first draft. You should then read and re-read it as many times to perfect it. You may also put up the initial draft for scrutiny of the stakeholders and invite their inputs on the same.
This will serve a dual purpose. Primarily, it will give you the necessary ideas that you may have missed out on while drafting the statement. A fresh pair of eyes proves to be very helpful in these endeavors. Secondly, if your faculty is a part of the process of creating a mission statement, then it is more likely that they will be passionate about the said mission. It will promote a feeling of ownership and teamwork that shall help your school in the long run.
Make it catchy:
While writing a school statement, it might help if you think like a business owner who intends to launch his product into the market. You should make the statement catchy so that it grabs the attention of parents as well as students.
Mission Statement Examples For Schools
Elementary schools mission statement:
Little Harbour School:Our mission is to create a respectful and compassionate learning community where all students are empowered to realize their potential in a challenging and supportive environment.
Frost Elementary School: Frost Elementary School will provide every student with an educational experience that is rigorous, relevant, and rooted in relationships. Each student will play an active role in their journey towards college and career readiness.
Marion Cross School– At the heart of our school community is our mission. Marion Cross School is a nurturing kindergarten through sixth-grade public school that:
Promotes educational excellence and fosters a lifelong love of learning;
Empowers all students to realize their intellectual, physical, emotional, creative, and social potential.
Partners with families and the community to develop responsible local and global citizens who can adapt to a changing world.
Middle Schools Mission Statement
Community Day Charter School– “The mission of CDCS is to provide a kindergarten through grade eight school that will draw upon our considerable experience in working together as a community to develop and implement a curriculum that discovers and supports the special characteristics and unique learning styles of each student.”
Stowe Middle School – “Striving for excellence, through diverse and comprehensive programs designed to inspire a lifelong love of learning, we provide a stimulating and supportive environment that challenges all students to be respectful and responsible world citizens.”
Catlin Gabel School – Catlin Gabel fosters compassionate and curious citizens of the world by inspiring every student with a love of learning and the courage to take responsible action.
High School’s Mission Statement
High Technology High School –Our mission is to prepare students to become proactive and creative problem solvers, effective communicators, and tomorrow’s leaders through a rigorous, specialized curriculum and collaborative partnerships.
School for Advanced Studies– The School’s mission is to maintain and develop the resources of its eight-member institutes, many of which have long and distinguished histories, for the benefit of national and international research communities.
Signature School– The mission of the Signature School is to meet the needs of self-motivated learners in a progressive environment driven by global concerns. We emphasize rigor and excellence in academics, the arts, integrated technologies, and community service.
After you have received the necessary feedback from your team, you should polish up the draft and make the final modifications for your future school mission statement. You should use crisp and concise phrases to write your concept. Complicated and lengthy sentences should ideally be avoided. You want a statement that is easy to understand and appeals to the masses.
Now that you have a good idea ofhow to write a mission statement for schools, go ahead, write an effective one for your school. If you already have one, you can review and evaluate it to see if it requires any amendments. It is important to mention here that a mission statement for schools should be a part of the learning process at your school. You should emphasize inclusion as a part of your curriculum so that students and teachers imbibe the idea the school aims to achieve. It shall serve its true purpose only when the faculty and the students start believing in the same. To do so, it may be helpful to introduce a mission statement as a part of the curriculum or the daily morning session at your school. Remember, words can have different perceptions to different people. Hence, it will be helpful for your organization if your educators take the effort to explain the mission statement for the school to the students and outline the steps that should be taken for achieving the goals.