What drives growth in your school community?
Can be yoursschool culture, a focus onteacher professional development, or even prioritizing useful informationteaching strategies🇧🇷 However, none can be as important as schoolmission statementsthat are essential for student development and effective learning.
School mission statements establish the priorities and goals of a school community and can have an incredible impact on student achievement.
What are school mission statements?
If your school is a car, then the mission statement is the engine.
School mission statements are documents that define where your school is going and drive decisions accordingly. You set educational goals, community priorities, and the purpose of your school.
Many different organizations have mission statements: nonprofits, government agencies, small businesses, large corporations.
Mission statements guide growth and learning in many different contexts.
Vision and mission statement of the school.
If your school is a car and your mission statement is the engine, whatSchool Vision StatementIt's the GPS system.
Vision statements are not the same as mission statements, but they are closely related. To create a mission statement, you must first have a vision of where you want your school to be in the future.
John C. Gabriel and Paul C. Farmer, authors ofHow you can help your school succeed without breaking the bank, Write:
“A vision is what your school is about, where you hope to see it in the future. The mission provides an overview of the planned steps to achieve this future. A vision is concise and easy to remember, while a mission is longer and explanatory.
The mission statement provides an idea of the ideal future for your school..
Everyone (students, faculty, and staff) at your school should be able to recite your school's mission statement.
How to write a school mission statement
1. Bring stakeholders together
To get started, reach out to students, parents, teachers, staff, and anyone else in the school community with ideas to offer.
District 100 teacher leaders met after school yesterday to help develop the district's new creed. The vision, mission and belief statements will be presented to the BOE at its January regular meeting. Thanks to all concerned for their contributions.pic.twitter.com/V9B7eWOrQb– Distrito Sur de Berwyn 100 (@BerwynSouth100)December 20, 2017
Gather a small group that reflects everyone involved and ask them to brainstorm. Where do you think the school is now? Where do you see it in the future? What part of the school's identity should be emphasized?
Working with different members of your school community has several benefits:
- Reduces fear of changeIt is natural to worry when the school culture begins to change. If you now open a dialog, you can ease the tension.
- Improve the buy-in -When teachers are consulted about changes to the school's mission statement, they are more likely to support this in the classroom and in the daily operation of their building.
- Makes your mission better -Teachers, parents, staff, and students all have unique perspectives. Use your feedback to create a comprehensive school mission statement that recognizes the diversity of opinion in the school community.
Make sure the group is representative of all stakeholders, but small enough to get meaningful work done in a reasonable amount of time. Values can vary widely within a community, so take the time to make informed decisions about all of your different options.
2. Look at your school
Each school has unique opportunities, challenges, weaknesses, and strengths. Fortunately, your school is full of data that can help you identify these areas. Information on data collection can be found at:
- Socioeconomic status of students
- Urban versus rural schools
- diversity in teaching
- ESL or multilingual students
- completion rates
- general discipline problems
- employee turnover
- Team Assessment Results
- students with special needs
- Extracurricular offers for students
- Standardized test results
- student performance
- Special Communities (Military Families, Immigrant Population, International Students)
Each piece of information is an important part of your school's unique identity. Use the data you have to identify key issues, strengths, and opportunities for growth in your school community.
3. Look to the future
A vision is what you want for the future, and a school mission statement gets you there.It is extremely important that you write your forward-thinking mission statement.
With your stakeholders, take all the data you have collected and ask:
Based on what we know now about our school, what will it be like five or ten years from now if we are completely successful?
There is your vision.
To develop your school's mission statement, ask what steps the school community must take to make the vision a reality. Questions to ask include:
- What is already underway to move us forward?
- How do we envision the growth of our school?
- What needs to be changed?
- What qualities should we highlight?
- What changes do we see in the future?
School mission statements do not have to change each year, but they are not static. They will grow and adapt to their school community.
Achieving a vision is a big task and it should seem a bit challenging. Vision and mission statements drive growth and learning in the desired direction.You will be amazed at what your school can accomplish.
4. Write your first draft
They answered the questions and collected the data. Now it's time for the hardest part: putting it all into words.
Developing an articulate, comprehensive, and inspiring plan for the future of your school can seem like a daunting task. Just start with a rough draft, it doesn't have to be perfect. You will have many opportunities to check this in the next steps.
Ask potential writers for help if you want, but limit the group to two or three people.
Some best practices for writing are:
- avoid clichés— Global citizenship, 21st century skills and a supportive environment are important aspects of an effective school, but have been overused to the point of insignificance.
- If necessary“Take these stereotypes and adapt them to your school, not the other way around. At your school, global citizenship could be a focus on second language skills or learning about other cultures through the lens of different subject areas.
- Be authentic— Every time you write, keep your school and community in mind and talk about the real needs they see.
Consider including the ages and characteristics of your students, the instructional strategies or curricular philosophies used in your school, and one or two other resources that you feel are important in communicating your school's mission.
When you have a draft you're happy with, bring it to the larger group of stakeholders you originally brainstormed with. Make sure of that:
- You are satisfied with the priorities you have set.
- You have no major concerns about the characteristics of the school you have highlighted.
- The school's mission statement is a true representation of how the school is intended to grow.
This can be difficult and requires some compromise as all groups will have members with conflicting beliefs and priorities. There's no right way to solve it, but try to reach consensus on the big issues and focus less on the smaller issues, like specific words.
At the end there should be a mission statement that reflects the values and priorities of as many stakeholders as possible.
5. Provide the school's mission statement to the community
Present your school's mission statement to the entire community. This can be through a meeting with district leaders, a meeting with parents, or through school reports.
Invite community members to raise serious objections. If you missed an important topic, you have the opportunity to contribute ideas here.
Gather feedback from the community and ensure the following:
- The concerns of most stakeholders have been addressed.
- The mission statement complements the vision of the school, as well as any other messaging material.
- Stakeholders agree that the school's mission statement is an accurate representation of current and future school growth
Take this opportunity to explain why your school's mission and vision are important to future growth and how you believe it reflects the needs of the community.
6. Put your school's mission statement into action
Congratulations! She has written the school's mission statement for him.
Now comes the hard part: using it!
All the hard work you put into your school's mission statement is worthless if you put it on your website and forget about it.
Put the vision and mission statement anywhere: on the wall, in your office, in your weekly newsletter, on your website. Make sure it is visible to the whole community.
This is also a great opportunity to conduct a professional development session on how to use the school's mission statements effectively in the classroom. Examine why it is important, how it reflects the priorities of the school, and how it should be used to guide decisions in the classroom.
Schools are not defined by the mission statement on the wall; they are defined by what actually happens in the classroom.– Danny Steele (@SteeleThoughts)12. November 2017
Make sure parents and students know what the mission statement means, and explain to prospective students why it is important to your school. It's also a good idea to review the mission statement at the beginning and end of each year. Is it still relevant? Has something important changed? Are you still actively working on your vision? When things change, it's time to realign your goals and priorities.
Common problems with school mission statements
It can be difficult to write school mission statements well. Common problems are:
- very vague
- very spacious
- very small
- Insincere and generic language.
- No team or community membership
Writing an effective mission statement requires self-reflection as a community and a lot of consultation with various stakeholders.It is a process that should not be rushed.
Why school mission statements are important
Promotes community growth
Your community should be able to easily access the mission statement. If they don't already know it, it should make sense to them when they hear it.
School mission statements are a tool used to fuel growth within the school community and guide them toward the desired outcome.(the realization of the school's mission statement).
Use the school's vision and mission statements to guide staff development and create a school improvement plan. Focus on areas of growth, not just in the classroom but also for your team. When school mission statements guide teacher learning, teachers are better equipped to serve students in a way that is consistent with the school's vision and mission.
Guide decisions and priorities
afterfor studyby educators who have reviewed the mission statements of K-12 schools in Texas,
“Once written, the mission statement must become a living document that informs all the daily practices of administration, faculty, and students. Too often, mission statements are only on paper and are not a living philosophy and obligation to further develop an effective educational institution.
This means that school mission statements have a serious impact on your school's priorities and goals, including how money, time, and other resources are allocated. Use your vision and mission to effectively use all available resources.
It gives weight to the learning process.
School mission statements are an instrument to control and shape the learning process. In some places, school mission statements are even a precursor to accreditation because they have a huge impact on how student learning is prioritized.
Ultimately, school mission statements are teaching tools.If your mission statement emphasizes digital skills, this may prompt teachers to: ahybrid learningGetting closer. If curiosity and exploration are paramount, thenproject-based learningoDemand Based LearningThey can be useful strategies in the classroom.
When the vision and mission statement aligns with what happens in the classroom, student learning improves.
Isn't that the ultimate goal?
How Prodigy can help implement school mission statements
It's almost inevitable that your school's mission statement will prioritize academic excellence. Mathematical proficiency is a key component of academic excellence, but it is also a problem many students struggle with.
Here at Prodigy, our mission is simple:to help every child in the world to love learning.
Prodigy fosters math proficiency through daily math exercises that keep students engaged and motivated. Our unique game-based design challenges students to complete quests, explore new worlds, and earn points while answering curriculum-aligned math questions.
Unique reporting and guidance features give teachers the tools to provide each student with a personalized learning experience in an engaging and customizable environment. A powerful algorithm ensures that students are asked questions that build on their existing skills to advance through the curriculum.
Learn more about how Prodigy can bring personalized learning to your school and sign up for your free teacher account today:
- How to use Prodigy to amplify classroom lessons
- How to use Prodigy for formative assessments
- 3 Steps to Using Prodigy as an RTI Tool
- The name of the school district.
- Beliefs and values of your school community.
- Steps you're taking to achieve the long-term goal established in your vision.
- The component of your school community that makes it unique.
- Do keep it short and concise. Sum up the company's mission in just a few sentences.
- Don't write an essay. ...
- Do think long-term. ...
- Don't make it too limiting. ...
- Do find out what your employees think of the mission statement. ...
- Don't be afraid to change it.
We are committed to providing a positive learning environment that advocates considerate, responsible, and emotionally healthy behaviors. Each individual student will feel a part of the Central community, which promotes positive behavioral development.What are the 5 parts of a mission statement? ›
- Element #1 Simplicity. Keep it simple. ...
- Element #2 Captivating. Don't be boring. ...
- Element #3 Measurable. You'll know if you're succeeding in your mission if you craft it in a way that allows you to measure the results. ...
- Element #4 Relevancy. ...
- Element #5 Longevity.
Typically, a mission statement includes a basic description of the company, its purpose, and its goals.What are the 3 parts of a mission statement? ›
- The Key Market – Who is your target audience? ...
- Your Contribution – The next component to a successful mission statement is outlining your contribution. ...
- Distinction – The next component to a highly effective mission statement is distinction.
- Trap #1: Seeing this as an activity to complete. ...
- Trap #2: Focusing on the words instead of the meaning. ...
- Trap #3: Over- or under-involvement by leaders. ...
- Trap #4: Lack of team-wide conversation. ...
- Trap #5: Focusing on the external message first.
- What do we do?
- How do we do it?
- Whom do we do it for?
- What value are we bringing?
Your mission statement should make readers feel like something is happening now versus in the past. For example, write, “[Your company name] makes [your products] to enhance your quality of life,” rather than writing, “These [your products] are made by [your company name] to improve your life.”What are the 9 components of a mission statement? ›
Two years later, (David, 1989)  identified nine key components i.e. customers, products / services, markets, technology, concern for survival, philosophy, self-concept, concern for public image, and concern for employees.
Your mission statement should clearly express what your brand does, how it does it, and why the brand does it. You can quickly sum this up in your mission statement by providing the following: Brand Purpose: What does your product or service do, or aim to provide and for whom?What are the 9 basic components of a mission statement? ›
Two years later, (David, 1989)  identified nine key components i.e. customers, products / services, markets, technology, concern for survival, philosophy, self-concept, concern for public image, and concern for employees.What is the format of a mission statement? ›
Our mission is to [contribution/goal] by [what you offer/how you do it] for [target audience] so [impact]. To build/offer [what you offer/how you do it] for [target audience] to [contribution/goal] and [impact].What should a mission statement include? ›
A mission statement is a concise explanation of the organization's reason for existence. It describes the organization's purpose and its overall intention. The mission statement supports the vision and serves to communicate purpose and direction to employees, customers, vendors and other stakeholders.