Crafting a School Mission Statement: Objectives and Impact
To create a meaningful school mission statement, consider its core objectives.
Ask yourself, what’s the goal?
Many schools use their mission and vision statements to overload on buzzwords.
I believe this approach is unnecessary and counterproductive.
Objectives of a school mission statement should include:
- Expressing the school’s purpose
- Being student-centric
- Uniting students, staff, and parents around a common message
For a mission statement to be effective, it must be understandable and relatable for everyone involved.
Many schools miss the mark by creating statements that are overly long, complex, and ultimately devoid of meaning.
What Impact Can a Powerful Mission Statement Have?
In my view, mission statements are often underutilized in schools.
The issue isn’t the lack of mission statements, but their failure to create tangible benefits.
Schools, as complex entities, play significant roles in lives and need to foster positivity, inspiration, and unity.
A well-crafted mission statement can inject these sentiments into the school environment.
While a mission statement alone won’t transform a school, it’s a valuable tool that contributes positively and lasts for generations.
Remember, especially since it’s a cost-free strategy with enduring benefits.
How to Craft a School Mission Statement That Does Its Job
First, forget the idea that school mission statements must be complex and overly intellectual. They should be easily understandable, not requiring a wordsmith.
Secondly, it’s common for schools to confuse mission, vision, and values statements, sometimes combining all three.
A school mission statement is a present-oriented reflection of the school’s aims, values, and capabilities.
Key point: While it reflects aims and values, a mission statement shouldn’t list them explicitly; that’s for vision and values statements.
In my view, a school mission statement should be:
- Simple enough for students to understand
- Rooted in the present
- Inspirational, authentic, and humble
A school mission statement only works if embraced by students, teachers, and parents, which requires meeting most, if not all, of these guidelines.
Five Actionable Tips for Creating a School Mission Statement:
- Describe what your school does for the students.
- Brainstorm multiple statements.
- Reflect overnight after brainstorming, then review with fresh eyes.
- Seek multiple opinions.
- Remember, it’s okay to change a mission statement; it’s not set in stone.
Mission Statement Generators and Templates
I’ve discussed the 3 best free mission statement generators in another article, which you’re welcome to check out.
However, for creating mission statements for schools, these generators didn’t yield impressive results, so I wouldn’t recommend them for this specific purpose.
They seem more geared towards company mission statements.
The Whole Whale mission statement generator might be an exception, but be ready to put in significant effort yourself.
In that case, it might be more sensible not to use a generator at all.
This applies to various online mission statement templates as well; they simply don’t fit well with educational institutions.
Before delving into examples, I want to direct you to an article I wrote on the importance of a mission statement in content marketing.
Many principles from that article are also relevant to school mission statements.
11 Examples of Great School Mission Statements
Pacific Elementary School
Pacific School’s mission is to prepare children for life through experiential learning that addresses the needs of the whole child. We create a safe and secure school environment that promotes social and academic growth and develops an enthusiasm for learning, a positive self-image and cross-cultural understanding.
Lincoln Elementary School
Lincoln Elementary is committed to providing its students a rigorous and relevant education within a safe, positive and productive school environment. Collaboratively we will develop students who are lifelong learners and who can apply their talents and knowledge to become successful, contributing members in our culturally diverse and ever changing society.
Hickory Elementary School
Hickory Elementary School is a dedicated learning community committed to the academic growth of all students. We ensure all learners achieve intellectual and personal excellence while preparing for future endeavors.
Edwins Elementary School
We prepare all students to achieve excellence by providing the highest quality education to empower each to become lifelong learners who positively impact their families, communities, and the world.
Davis Middle School
Our Mission is to provide relevant and challenging instruction. We will set high expectations for students, focusing on experiences that build positive relationships, collaboration, persistence, and that encourage maximum student effort.
Brown Middle School
We, the faculty, staff and community of Brown Middle School are committed to working together relentlessly as we strive to continuously improve student achievement creating a momentous impact where every child’s unique gift is nurtured.
Cooper Middle School
The Cooper community supports the growth of all students to think critically and function as empathetic, respectful, and responsible global citizens.
Longdendale High School
Our mission is to provide an education which seeks to approach all learners on the basis of their individual needs, building self respect and motivation, rewarding progress, providing opportunities and engendering a real zest for life-long learning. We know that education that meets the needs of each individual is transformational and is central to future personal happiness.
Littlerock High School
The Mission of Littlerock High School is to provide a safe and secure setting that promotes personal and academic growth wherein students are given comprehensive and challenging opportunities to become productive citizens.
Wellesley High School
We cultivate positive learning experiences and foster responsibility and integrity so that upon leaving Wellesley High School our students will continue to contribute to their worlds.
Stone Memorial High School
The mission of Stone Memorial High School is to provide every student the opportunity to acquire the knowledge, skills, and experience necessary to be a contributing member of society.