The predictable elements that held Christian schools together in the 1960s were still keeping them strong in the early 1990s. Twenty years later, all those predictable elements are gone, but that reality isn’t reflected in the work of many school boards. The long-standing practice of reacting to committee reports and fine tuning operational procedures has school boards trapped in a minutia of detail that leaves little time to focus on the key items that matter most. These schools are on a path that will lead them to irrelevancy.
There are three critical targets that should capture every Christian school board’s primary attention:
1. Your School’s Purpose: Develop clarity around why your school exists and what “comprehensive curriculum” means for your school. Whether you are a school of 50 students or a school system that serves 3,000, what you are targeting needs to be crystal clear and understood.
2. Defining and measuring what you mean by “healthy” school: Every school needs a clear picture of what it means to be healthy, and clarity on how it will measure school health. What will indicate that your mission is being accomplished: enrollment statistics, test scores, finances, parent/faculty/student images of school, breadth/depth of academic program, athletics, fine arts? Clarify what is important to you.
3. Advancing your school’s mission: We advance toward mission when we identify principal/head of school goals, and clarify terms of accountability.
There is significant creativity throughout the CSI community where school leadership is figuring out how to deal with what matters most. We have a growing number of schools that are breaking through the quagmire of minutia and dealing with the critical issues of tomorrow.
More on that in future blogs.
Written by Dave Koetje, President/CEO of Christian Schools International