• Age appropriate
• Safe and secure environment that produces students who are academically successful, creative, and productive citizens
• Problem Solving
• Learning focused
• Values, morals, integrity
• To help encourage students to set and achieve goals
• To teach each individual child to their full potential
• Set the foundation
• Student centered
Starting with this list, we discussed each point and then combined any together that could redundant. We also highlighted the key words and discussed the advantages and disadvantages of each of these. As we worked, the conversation became lively as people supported their ideas and opinions. I was reminded of the points in Patrick Lencioni's book The Five Dysfunctions of a Team as I worked hard to ensure that we had effective arguments and not an artificial harmony. I was elated when members of the team were willing to disagree with me and others and provided excellent points to back up their objections. We finally decided that we would craft a mission statement that gave the overall purpose of the school and then craft supporting points to serve as our guide in implementing these.
The first draft of our mission statement is:
The mission of Northside Primary School is to provide a safe, nurturing environment where each Kindergarten and 1st Grade child learns to his or her full potential.
This is more specific than our current mission statement, which reads, "As part of Palestine Independent School District, Northside Primary School is committed to providing quality instruction to our students. The staff is a motivated group of professionals dedicated to assisting children in the development of their greatest potential. Our vision is to equip all children who leave our school with knowledge and skills that will enable them to achieve maximum success in society."
The meeting ended with some homework, namely to use the staff input from above to create a set of guiding statements to show how we will fulfill this mission. We will meet again next week to put these together and rehash the mission, if needed.
As a part of my own reflection, I will continue to blog about this process and share with others who may be developing their own mission and vision. Hoping it will be helpful.