Mission statement taking shape for Pelham City Schools

The Pelham City School System Steering Committee began formulating a mission statement for the new school system during a May 20 meeting. (Contributed)

The Pelham City School System Steering Committee began formulating a mission statement for the new school system during a May 20 meeting. (Contributed)

By MOLLY DAVIDSON / Staff Writer

PELHAM—The Pelham City School System has begun to take shape as the Steering Committee worked to create a mission statement for the fledgling system during a May 20 meeting.

This is the “third big step” in the strategic planning process, and one of central importance to the new school system, Dr. Marcia Burke of strategic planning firm Burke Enterprises said.

According to Burke, a mission statement is a set of “non-negotiables,” and “provides direction and focus for action and decision making.” Once created, it should direct the school system’s operations, both short and long term.

“Don’t undersell the importance of this being a framework,” John Osborn of Burke Enterprises said, stressing the central importance of a mission statement in the decision-making of administrators during the early stages of a school system.

To identify important values, the Steering Committee discussed the reasons for establishing a separate Pelham City School System. Several concepts were echoed throughout the meeting, namely continuing the strong relationship and cooperation between the school system and the city, a commitment to diversity and a safe learning environment, a “rigorous and relevant curriculum” and a student-centered approach.

“We want to be even better by helping our students be even better,” Interim Superintendent Dr. Tim Alford said.

The Steering Committee also broke into small groups and examined the mission statements of companies, such as Nike and Apple, and other school systems, such as Mountain Brook, Demopolis and the newly drafted Opelika City Schools’ mission statement. They used these statements as examples for language and structure for a Pelham City Schools mission statement.

The Steering Committee will now work to form these concepts into a comprehensive mission statement. Burke estimated this step will be completed by mid-June and a draft of a strategic plan may be ready soon as early July.

“We’re really on a good time table, we are doing well… in getting things done,” Burke said. “You should feel good about that.”