Cambridge Montessori School Launches New Mission Statement and Tagline

March 10, 2015

As parents try to find out as much as they can about the "inner workings” of a school and look for the right fit for their children, they often depend on the messages and material that the school makes available to the public. Ideally, these messages should be conveyed in a concise, vivid and memorable way. What is different about this place? What sets this school apart from all the others? What are the key messages that will motivate outsiders to take a closer look? This is why branding and marketing are important components of any private school’s operations.

At Cambridge Montessori School, we are fortunate to be part of a community that is confident of the excellence of the education that our children receive.  We can all talk about Montessori’s philosophy and educational approach and have wonderful things to say about them during conversations. But the leadership team felt that CMS could do a better job in delivering a quick and differentiating message that can provide a springboard for more in-depth conversations, the “elevator pitch” that puts the finger on our unique offering.  Some of the missing pieces were a crisp, descriptive tagline and a mission statement that builds on it.

A tagline is a concise medium to convey the most powerful differentiating value of our school. Taglines are widely used for organizations or companies. Here are some examples that come to mind:

Fisher Price: Play. Love. Grow. 
Legoland: Come play your part.
Nia Montessori: curious joyful independent thinkers.
Amherst Montessori School: Awaken, Nurture, Inspire.
Cambridge Friends School: an independent school for independent thinkers.

Some taglines are great and some others are less so. A few are so good that they become part of our daily vocabulary. What they all have in common is that they are extremely hard to develop.

In the past, CMS has had many slogans and mottos floating around that sounded great but were too vague in describing our core identity and differentiating us from other schools.  Phrases that contain words like “great, warm, nurturing, love of learning” and others come to mind – but do they truly capture the essence of what CMS does best? Doesn’t every school claim to provide these wonderful things?

We gathered a group of teachers, parents, board members, advisors and administrative colleagues from all levels and areas of our school in a task force that started to boil down who we are, what our goals are and what we stand for.  We conducted a 4-hour brainstorming session to outline the key themes to be included in the tagline. We used existing materials, dove deeply into Maria Montessori’s philosophy, looked at our mission and vision. The core marketing team then sat down to review its findings, started to word-smith its findings and sent a draft tagline to Leadership Team for review. We incorporated the feedback from the Leadership Team into the final tagline and received approval from Ingrid.

 Our school’s new tagline will be:

                                   Work the mind. Reveal the child. Unleash the potential.

We used the same process to come up with a new mission statement. A mission statement builds upon the tagline and captures, in a few succinct sentences, the essence of an organization's goals and the philosophies underlying them.  The mission statement signals what the organization is all about to your customers, staff, and the community. It describes an organization's heart and soul and serves as an inspirational beacon to everyone involved in the business.

Our school’s new Mission Statement will be:

At Cambridge Montessori School, we partner with our diverse community, using authentic Montessori principles, to reveal each child’s innate love of learning and prepare our children to thrive in a complex world.

While both the tagline and mission statement will be used in marketing materials, they are more than slogans. They go to the heart of what the Board, Leadership Team, Faculty and parents feel is special about Cambridge Montessori, an organization that is child centered but rigorous, builds on the past to set our children up for success in the future and is grounded in the community and world in which we live. We hope they both inspire you and guide your conversations about our school to the rest of your community.

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