NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
ERIC Number: EJ925458
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Jan
Pages: 6
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0748-478X
Framing Your Mission
Jarrell, Andrea
CURRENTS, v35 n1 p36-41 Jan 2009
St. Paul's School in New Hampshire, the Orchard School in Indiana, Chestnut Hill Academy in Pennsylvania, and Dana Hall School in Massachusetts are like most independent schools--they have qualities that are distinctive and extraordinary. Line up their mission statements, however, and the schools sound almost interchangeable. They're all on a mission to produce talented, highly educated, global leaders who will serve and contribute to the greater good. And they aren't alone. The phrases "academic excellence," "character-building," "challenging," "life-long learning," and "global citizenship" echo through most independent school missions. But the schools themselves are very distinct places, offering different experiences and benefits to their communities. The relationship and the difference between mission and message can confound schools as they work to define their unique characteristics in a differentiate-or-die climate. They wonder, "How can we all talk about the same things yet be unique?" Or worse, they don't realize that their messaging doesn't set them apart at all but instead makes them sound like dozens of other schools. School missions may be similar, but how those missions are accomplished is what sets the schools apart. Communicating the "how" versus the "what" of the school's mission is the work of branding. Mission and brand are closely related--but quite different. Although missions don't have to differentiate schools, brands do. A brand must convey what a school does better than any other school, positioning it to successfully compete against its peers. In this article, the work being done at the four schools helps highlight what it takes to make the leap from a common mission to a singular brand.
Council for Advancement and Support of Education. 1307 New York Avenue NW Suite 1000, Washington, DC 20005. Tel: 202-328-2273; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Indiana; Massachusetts; New Hampshire; Pennsylvania