Most schools neglect to invest in their mission statement. Some have one that was written decades ago and never revisited. Others have a strong mission but lack buy-in from the school community. Regardless, it’s easy for these statements to get pushed to the side and forgotten. With lesson planning, activities, testing, and other school functions, teachers and administrators are busy managing the day-to-day, leaving little time to focus on something as “abstract” as a mission statement.
In order to leverage the power of a strong mission statement, schools have to realize the value one can add. This involves changing the way we think about what purpose it serves — in our learning community and beyond.
Here are some questions every school should consider:
Do you have a mission statement?
We begin with a very basic question: Does your mission statement even exist? If not, you’re not alone, and starting with a clean slate may even be an advantage as you craft one.
Does it adequately reflect your school’s brand?
Consider a prospective family in for a campus tour. Would the things you tell them sound similar to your mission statement? If not, consider rewriting it in a way that gets people excited to be a part of what you’re doing.
Do you use it in decision making?
A mission statement is a reference point for the decision makers in your school. Board members, administrators, and other key staff should be able to use the mission as a framework for staying focused and strategic.
Do your people know your mission?
Buy-in from teachers, parents, students, and supporters is incredibly important. If your people don’t know your mission (or don’t care about it), they cannot help serve as ambassadors of your brand in the community.
How To Get Started
Feeling like your mission statement needs some work, but not sure how to get started? It’s easier than you think. Consider these tips for crafting a new statement that reflects the true heart of your school.
1. Simply state why you exist.
A mission statement starts with clearly defining your core purpose. What do you do, who do you do it for, and why?
2. Define the specific ways your school impacts lives.
Sure, every school’s purpose is to provide a strong education, but how do you go beyond that to enrich the lives of those you serve?
3. Explain how you are different from others in your category.
Your mission is a resource for people to understand what you provide that they cannot get anywhere else. What are those differentiators?
4. Put it on paper!
It’s time to translate these things into a strong mission statement that will unite your school and draw in new families. Use words that excite, inspire, and empower. Focus on your unique passions and values. Keep it short and sweet, and create a plan for introducing it to your community of stakeholders. After that, don’t just stick it in a drawer and walk away. Post it in prominent places throughout your school (lobbies, corridors, classrooms, etc.) and talk about it often.
Learn More About Our Mission
At Eastern Christian School, our mission is often the reason families want to enroll their children. If you’d like to learn more about the mission, or see it in action, we invite you to visit our campus.