Ahhh...the school mission statement. And then there is the vision statement. And, what the heck is the difference? What are we really identifying and do we ever go back and re-examine to ensure it is still what we believe?
At a session titled "Intentionality & School Design" at #Educon, for the most part, educators indicated that these statements, once created, were never looked at again. Should new staff come on board, they likely would never have a chance to understand what drove these statements. Existing staff can lose sight of from where it is they came.
Chris Lehmann, Science Leadership Academy (SLA) principal and superintendent for the Philadelphia School District asked educators to consider why it was not universal that the school community revisit these statements? He explained that at the
heart of it is a school's core values. For SLA those are: Inquiry, Research, Collaboration, Presentation, Reflection. They are posted in every classroom.
Lehmann went on to explain that they don't have a separate vision and mission statement. They just outline what they do which is: Learn. Create. Lead. This is seen in their logo.
Go to the school website and you can read the mission and vision outlined in plain language and includes the core values.
So what are the takeaways for other schools?
- Start with your core values.
- Know what you do.
- Reinforce by ensuring the consistent message is evident in classrooms and materials.
- Revisit each year.