It's interesting that the business branding and marketing scene is finally catching up with having a purpose bigger than a product or service. We in education have had a lock on this as there are few greater purposes than educating and preparing young people for the future! However, we have just done a really poor job of marketing it. This is understandable as sharing what we do does not get the same priority as the doing what we do (it's quite a bit of work if you didn't know), but no longer in the world in which we live. It is vital for a successful school to let their families and community know, see, share and tell the story of the great things happening at school!
It's easy to say that kids are our purpose. We'd be absolutely correct, but that doesn't necessarily make us unique from the thousands of other schools or clearly reflect or build a school identity. In order to have a bigger purpose beyond a single bottom line, we cross function our branding efforts and our mission, vision and values. Having a clear mission, vision and values is vital but in the context of your schools story how it is shared with as well as understood and articulated by the community. In addition, how are we living it out on a daily basis? How is it manifested in the work that is done with students in classrooms? How does the community see it in action? What the business community is catching on to is that people desire connection and then connection to the larger purpose. What we in education need to step up to is the work to build and grow that connection.
Even though there are lines drawn, families that live within those lines and those folks are going to enter the doors of school doesn't create the connection to purpose. Relationships are what further the purpose that we want to fulfill and creates the closeness that amongst our community! Just as purpose and relevance can help students connect to learning, that greater purpose will draw our families and communities together for the benefit of students!
How are you establishing, sharing and drawing others to your school's "bigger purpose"?