Mission: “We support and inspire each student to experience joy and fulfilment in realizing their potential as a knowledgeable, confident, and contributing citizen in the global community.”
In October board chairs met in Vancouver where a key focus of our work was discussing the importance of strategic planning in supporting student achievement. The Framework for Enhancing Student Learning (FESL) is intended to formalize the strategic planning that boards do to support equity in student achievement by requiring that all boards to have strategic plans and report outcomes annually. This meeting prompted a reflection on the importance and benefit of a mission statement as part of the process.
A mission statement communicates action and purpose; it helps us measure the goals in our strategic plan. We have been challenged by COVID as we have not been able to act on things the way we used to and there is a worry that COVID has pulled us away from focusing on our mission and working towards the goals as set out in our strategic plan. With each new development of the pandemic it has felt like mission impossible to remain focused on our work as a board. We have asked ourselves how do we resist the many distractions COVID provides and continue to focus on student achievement and our strategic plan? We have asked ourselves how do we continue to be leaders and model joy and fulfilment as a contributing citizen when we may be struggling too? We have asked ourselves what is something we can do to action our mission with meaning and purpose in the context of the current circumstances?
However, upon deeper reflection we see that as a board, and a district, we are holding true to our mission. We have learned that when our board’s mission communicates high expectations for student achievement we are more likely to realize them. Our mission clearly communicates high expectations for our students and our data demonstrates that we are supporting students to achieve these expectations. When we hold these high expectations and achieve these goals the impact of our mission to support each student to experience joy and fulfilment in realizing their potential as a knowledgeable, confident and contributing citizen’s in the global community extends beyond graduation. Our mission has proven a powerful tool and public education an invaluable community asset.
November brings the start of our last year of this term. We hope that you feel we have served you well the past three years and as we start to finish off the work of this strategic plan we hope you can celebrate our achievements with us. We have worked together to create a board and district culture that incorporates our shared values and demonstrates the joy and fulfilment of doing the work to support excellence and equity in student achievement. Over the next year, we will have many opportunities to learn how our mission has supported us to achieve our strategic plan goals; we are excited to share our learnings with you.
Thank you to trustees, and senior staff, for your trust in me as chair; it has been a privilege.