The Indianola Academy began the process of defining its beliefs and mission by assigning a committee made up of representatives of all stakeholder groups. The committee first outlined a process to build support and consensus among all groups. The process began with a review of the school profile data, which included analysis of all areas important to the school. The group then spent time in review of current educational research data and looked at future trends and needs which should be addressed. They worked very hard to get a picture of the challenges which our students will face in college and in the work place.
The committee's next step was to use the NSSE's School Beliefs Inventory Survey to identify beliefs which are shared by all groups. The survey contained twenty items which were ranked by stakeholders. This survey was tabulated, and the committee used the information from the survey to place the ten highest ranked items on another survey. The second survey was given to a sample of all stakeholder groups. The results of this survey were tabulated and given to committee members.
The committee then met again and divided into three small groups. The results of the ten item survey were discussed in each group. Each group was asked to select five to eight beliefs that they all agreed upon. After discussion the groups came back together, and six of the items were on every small group's selection list. These six beliefs were discussed by the whole committee and selected as core beliefs.
The committee then began the process of writing a mission statement by studying mission statements from past SACS evaluations. The committee again broke into smaller groups and discussed what IA's mission statement were taken from the NSSE's School Improvement: Focusing on Student Performance. After discussion the committee met as a whole and created a draft of the mission statement.
The beliefs and the mission statement were published to students, teachers, and parents. They were also placed o the IA Internet site for all to see. The feedback, sought from all groups, showed all groups in agreement. On April 18th, the final drafts of the beliefs and mission statement were presented to the Board of Directors. The Board compared the final drafts to the stated policies and rules and decided that the drafts were in agreement with IA's stated policies and rules. The final drafts were approved and adopted by the IA Board of Directors at the April 18, 2000, meeting.
Our mission is to keep learning first and thus prepare all students to meet the challenges of the future.