A well-articulated mission helps every member of a school community understand what “success” looks like for every student and to work together to achieve both short-term and long-term goals.
One of the fundamental responsibilities of a principal is to bring a school’s mission to life. But not even the most capable leader can accomplish a mission alone. The whole school has to come together to reinforce the purpose and principles through their values and behavior. An effective principal creates structures within which others can lead and contribute.
Staff members need opportunities to cultivate their shared commitment through professional learning and collaboration. They can analyze student performance data together, for example, develop interventions that help solve problems, and experiment with new curricula and programs.
Students need opportunities to build an inclusive peer culture that aligns with and enhances the mission and identity of their school. Their ongoing engagement helps keep the school on track toward its highest aspirations for what every student can achieve.
A clear mission also helps community members and partners recognize what they can do to contribute meaningfully to a school’s success and sustainability.
“The role of a creative leader is not to have all the ideas; it’s to create a culture where everyone can have ideas and feel that they’re valued.”
Sir Ken Robinson — (On the Principles of Creative Leadership)
A school’s mission is effectively a contract with students, families, and the community. Its success depends on how it fulfills that contract.
Step 1 – Research
Think about your priorities for effective and meaningful education. Is it all students graduating with mastery of certain subjects, achieving a minimum SAT or ACT score, being prepared to succeed through college, or developing social-emotional competences? Is it a combination of those things, or something else entirely?
Step 2 – Share and Engage
Share findings with your team and discuss the following questions: