"In the Know" Weekly Newsletter - The International School

NWAIS Self-Study: School Mission

TIS Mission Statement
“The International School inspires children to become global citizens by providing a rigorous comprehensive education within a nurturing, student-centered environment of full immersion in multiple languages and cultures.”

For the “school mission” section of the self-study, a team of faculty, staff, parents and trustees examined how the school is delivering on its mission statement and core values.

The school’s mission statement was originally developed by TIS Founders Douglas and Frey Stearns in 1990 when they opened the school. The mission focused primarily on language fluency with goal to develop world citizens, a very forward-looking concept twenty-four years ago. The mission statement was revised as part of a community-wide strategic planning process in 2009, putting a stronger emphasis on global citizenship. At that time, the Board of Trustees also established a formal vision statement and set of school values. (LINK) The Board of Trustees reviewed and reaffirmed the TIS mission statement in September 2013.

The mission statement has become a more prominent part of the school since 1990, now posted around campus, on the web site and in many school documents. The vision, core values and guiding principles are less visible to the community; the self-study committee felt that those pieces could be used more to guide the school’s daily operations and planning. As a result of the self-study work, the school will be looking for additional ways to integrate the mission, vision, values and principles into school life to ensure they maintain a central role at TIS.

One of the points discussed for this self-study section is the meaning of “global citizen” in the context of our mission statement. The TIS core values include strong concepts that may be recognized as global citizenship, but the term “global citizen” is not explicitly defined. The school will be taking on a goal to establishing a common understanding of global citizenship and how we will assess our work in this area.

Overall, committee members noted the importance of balancing track language learning, cultural immersion, and the IB inquiry-based teaching. This blend of traits is what makes TIS special, creates the “TIS experience”, and allows the school to fulfill its mission statement at a high level.