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Introducing High Meadow's Revised Mission Statement

Our revised Mission Statement is the product of a months-long process to represent the work of our extraordinary learning community in a succinct, meaningful, and useful way.

"High Meadow School is a nursery through 8th-grade independent school that celebrates childhood, the joy of learning and play, and the power of community in a student-centered environment. We honor and welcome each child’s unique voice, identity, and approach to constructing knowledge. Drawing on current pedagogical research, we center diversity, equity, civic engagement, nature, and the arts in the school’s dynamic curriculum and culture. High Meadow students graduate with a strong academic foundation and a developed sense of self, ready to contribute their passions and values to building thriving, sustainable, and equitable communities."

We're excited to share this Statement, which we finalized as part of our school's routine accreditation process through the New York State Association of Independent School (NYSAIS).

With groundwork laid in years prior, the revision process began in earnest last spring, guided by multiple previous versions of the Mission Statement. The Head of School initially worked with the Board Chair and two additional faculty members to gather information, assemble a source document, and explore the Mission Statements of peer organizations. They named a goal of creating a statement that was concise, clear in purpose, and true to the school's core values and educational approach. 

In early 2023, a second mission-revision team comprised of the Head of School, incoming Board Chair, incoming Assistant Head of School, and other faculty members returned to this work. They looked closely at dozens of missions from schools across New York State, evaluating each for clarity of purpose and meaning, ease of transference to practice, and resonance.

They also sought feedback from stakeholders in the community. In one exercise with faculty and staff, they asked each to bring a memory that they felt was a quintessential illustration of the High Meadow experience. As people shared these stories, others wrote down words or phrases that came to mind. Charting these words and phrases, staff then marked which they felt were most important to our school’s identity. They then reviewed earlier versions of the Mission Statement with this information in mind, commenting on what was worth keeping, what felt contradictory or unclear, and what might be missing from the Statement. 

The team also used data from last spring's Family Survey to glean input from parents and guardians. They considered responses to the following prompts:

  1. What are three hopes or dreams for your child's school experience?

  2. Three words or phrases that come to mind when thinking about High Meadow are:

  3. What do you like most about High Meadow?

  4. What would you say your child(ren) likes most about High Meadow?

Next, the mission team then handed their work to the administrative team and board chair for draft work and revisions, and this month, the revised HMS Mission Statement went through a final revision and comment session with the faculty and board. We're delighted that the Board of Trustees, the school administration, and the faculty have approved the mission and we look forward to incorporating it into the day-to-day and big-picture work of our school.


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