So I  was a little bored today when I was giving quizzes in my classes so I thought I would put down on paper the mission statement for the school I will build one of these days.  

It is the purpose and mission of (insert school name here), within the context of the Christian gospel (included if its a Lutheran school), to provide for our students, parents, and teachers an excellent educational environment, in which all members will be held individually accountable, to teach and train the community members in the knowledge and skills needed to be responsible citizens of their own community, and all member share a common responsibility in providing the best educational outcomes for all individual members of this community.

 There are several main parts of the mission statement I want to expound to you my readers.

to provide for our students, parents, and teachers an excellent educational environment,

An excellent educational environment is not just the job of the teachers and administrators of a school.  It is the job of all members of the school community.  Teachers need to maintain high expectations and appropriate activities to help students learn.  Students need to work hard and do their best to meet those expectations.  Parents need to support the teachers and look out for the best interest of their students.

all members will be held individually accountable, to teach and train the community members in the knowledge and skills needed to be responsible citizens of their own community

One of the key ideas behind my school is individual accountability on all levels.  Students must be accountable for themselves and their grades.  Parents need to be held accountable in their job to help their students to succeed.  Teachers also are accountable to make sure they are doing what is best for the student to learn.  We are all individually accountable for our actions, no matter how much students may work together to learn, or teacher collaborate to make good lessons, or parents work together to make the school better.  At the end of the day you are only judged by your merits and work.  No one else can be to blame for your lot in life than yourself and your own choices.  That is what I mean by individual accountability.

The other part of this phrasing refers to the knowledge and skills.  Schools are not just about teaching facts, but processes.  Math is not just 2+2=4, but how do we get to that.  English is not just about the essay but how to write it.  Government is not just about reading documents but being able to analyze and break them down and interpret them for today.  Good skills are just as vital in schools than the facts built around those skills.

all members share a common responsibility in providing the best educational outcomes for all individual members of this community.

The  other key phrase behind my school is common responsibility.  While we may be held individually accountable for our actions we are our brother’s keeper.  This means it is the responsibility of the teacher to make sure grades are accurate and the students are aware of them.  Also to assist students to better themselves and their grades to as best as they can be.  It is the student’s responsibility to know what their grade is and to seek out help when he/she might need.  It is the parent’s responsibility to be involved in their students education and to seek out help for them when the cannot advocate it for themselves.  Also to make sure the school is teaching knowledge and skills that are relevant to our communities.  All members of the school share in the responsibility of the educational outcomes of the school.

The emphasis on community is to bring out the idea of teaching civic virtue.  The community could be the school, our town, state or even the nation as a whole.  We need to teach our kids that sometimes the good of the community goes above our individual wants, needs and rights.

within the context of the Christian gospel

Depending on the type of school I build, this may or may not be included in the mission statement.  I believe all life should be lived in the context of Christian Law and Gospel, but in a public charter school these ideas will probably be frowned upon.  Though their is nothing wrong with using the law on a student who has not been responsible.  Just as their is nothing wrong with showing some grace, with appropriate consequences to a student who shows true remorse at their actions.

Its taken awhile to formulate this into a real statement, but that is the mission of my school.  The largest emphasis is on the idea of individual accountability and common/shared responsibility.  Let me know what you think.  Have a nice day and weekend.

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