In 2012, the School Board approved the current mission statement of Lincoln Charter School: To facilitate the development of college-ready individuals through emphasis on rigorous academics and our community expectations: honesty, respect, empathy, responsibility, service and preparedness. This mission statement is based on the original charter of LCS, and serves as a catalyst for defining the “why we exist” and the community expectations are the core values of the LCS community. LCS focuses on college preparation by providing opportunities in academics, athletics, and student life to nurture a student’s potential based on their unique needs and passions.
The mission statement is the guiding principle in all decisions: hiring, student-led activities, discipline. In 2016, targeted questions regarding the mission statement and understanding of the community expectations were added to our parent and staff surveys. Based on the staff survey results that are evaluated annually, professional development on the mission statement was determined to be a need because only: 67% of staff said they were invested in the mission, 47% of staff consistently maintained community expectations for student behavior, and less than 80% said that the mission is transparent in all policies and procedures.
As a result of analyzing our data, our school facilitated professional development to define what character education looks and feels like which has enabled ALL stakeholders to use a common language and helped to increase staff investment in the mission as well as maintaining community expectations for student behavior to 90% in the 2019 staff survey. In addition to current staff focusing on the community expectations, all new hire interviews and orientations directly adhere to the MS and CEs. The initial interview questions, which highlight LCS core values, challenge applicants to self-reflect on their beliefs and practices. The orientation experience engrains the LCS purpose and “why” through rigorous activity, education and service opportunities. Throughout the school year, students are exposed to the community expectations. The mission statement is visually hanging in all classrooms and highlighted in daily morning announcements. This is reinforced by our parent survey data which consistently reports (over 90% agree) that the mission and CEs are known by families, taught in school and modeled by staff.