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Monday, February 19, 2018

Revisiting Vision and Mission

Over the past few weeks, my students and I have been exploring the importance of vision and mission in the context of school leadership. We've discussed how the vision clearly defines the school's sought after destination, as well as how the mission outlines the course the school plans to take to arrive at the vision. Additionally, we've outlined how the mission statement should serve as a guide for all decisions as we move towards our stated vision. We haven't broken any new ground through these explorations, however, I think we all have a better understanding and awareness of the importance of setting a vision and mission not only as school leaders, but also for other endeavors we decide to pursue. This is always a win in my book, no matter the topic we're engaged with studying.

Something did strike me, though, as we read through countless vision and mission statements that schools post to their web sites for public consumption. I was surprised by the number of vision and mission statements that seem to have passed their expiration dates, and it got me thinking about how often school leaders should consider revisiting these important statements. Schools are regularly told tasked with implementing new programs, revising procedures for addressing local and state mandates, and even changing how they respond to requests from school community members. Although all of these tasks make up just another day for a school leader, I'm curious about how many detours they require schools to take as they pursue their stated visions. When, if ever, might some of these detours require the school community to revisit its vision and mission? Should schools revisit vision and mission simultaneously, or should some of these course altering tasks be considered to rethink mission alone?

I'm interested in your thoughts, so please share how you think schools should revisit vision and mission. Thank you!