Everyone wants to be part of something special! Students want to be part of something special. And, your school is that place, an exceptional space filled with learning, life, and laughter. But, are you helping your students, parents, and team understand your community’s brilliance? Are you telling your story well? Does everyone know they are part of something special? Could a school manifesto help you?
Our Soul Story
At Willowstone Academy, we have a soul statement, our manifesto. It helps every member of our community understand our commitment and aspirations. It is a touchstone of trust. Through this artifact, we invite everyone into our powerful story.
Crafting Our Manifesto
Years ago, when we started to realize we needed to communicate and build trust more effectively, a brilliant thought partner shared the potential of a manifesto with us. Then, she facilitated the process of crafting it. Developing a manifesto was perfect because our particular learning experience came to life for our students. Also, it revolutionized the hum-drum mission, vision, values on every other school website. Ultimately, we invited our learners into something special. Kids deserve it.
When creating our statement, engaging our community was powerful. I write about this in more detail at 3 Reasons to Craft a Manifesto. Albeit time-consuming, listening to parents, grandparents, teachers, staff, students, and the greater community was a gift. Years later, this intentional process remains in my filing cabinet all kinds of notes serving as a diary of our culture’s formation.
Our Manifesto Grounds and Inspires Us
Even after 5 years, our manifesto continues to drive our dynamic school culture. It continues to build trust. For example, during the height of our spring pandemic lockdown, our leadership team spent time rolling around our manifesto’s words and ideas. Again, it inspired and grounded us. Even over zoom, the energy was palpable. The team whole-heartedly re-endorsed it. During the crisis, our manifesto was alive and enlivening to us.
Learn More about a School Manifesto
Here are some manifestos from other change-making organizations.
As a school leader, our school manifesto remains one of my best contributions to our community. So, if you’re curious about how a manifesto can serve your school community, let’s connect. Please join me at our next Cultivating Trust in Schools webinar. It’s an interactive lunch-and-learn format, on January 19, 2021 from 12-12:45 (PT). FREE for school leaders. You’re invited; register today.
For the sake of the children,