This post was reprinted from the July/August Superintendent’s Newsletter, and written by Superintendent of Schools Nancy Robb
Welcome to the 2013-2014 school year! To begin this year, I am pleased to report that District 211 recently reviewed and adopted a new “brand” statement. For those not familiar with that phrase, let me describe what it means.
Branding actually stems from the practice, started in the middle ages, of marking cattle or other livestock with a unique symbol to indicate ownership. In more recent times, the term branding was imported by the business community to represent a public statement expressing a company’s qualities and goals. For example, you may remember “You can be sure if it’s Westinghouse.” That’s more than just a slogan – it announces to customers that they may have confidence in products produced by that company. Other famous brandings include “At Ford, quality is job 1;” Burger King’s “Have it your way;” Federal Express’ “When it absolutely, positively has to get there;” and Citibank’s “The Citi that never sleeps.”
These brand statements are more than catchy phrases – they also describe their organization and make an implicit promise to their consumers. Last spring, a 25-member committee representing all District 211 schools solicited input from staff members to assist in defining a concise brand statement. The purpose is to create clarity, simplicity, and identity for our District and its schools.
We asked that the brand statement reflect:
• Our defining purpose;
• That which differentiates District 211 from other school districts and makes us special;
• Our promise to students, their families, and the community;
• Our organizational qualities, characteristics, and values.
Many ideas were shared, but the conversations almost always focused on one of three things:
– District 211 has a comprehensive curriculum with over 240 courses in scores of subject areas. We also offer a large number of athletic and activity opportunities. With truly something for every student’s interest, District 211 promises to open doorways to the future for graduating students.
– With 100% of our faculty designated as “highly qualified” by the State of Illinois and with 132 National Board Certified Teachers (the most in any Illinois high school district), our faculty is not only extraordinarily prepared to educate and support our students, but they also are highly motivated to provide the best high school experience possible.
– Whether one considers the number of students in our schools who accelerate their course placement, who master advanced placement classes, who are the first in their family to go on to college, or the millions of scholarship dollars earned by our graduates, there is no doubt our students are special and they take advantage of opportunities available in District 211.
Finally, after many discussions, debates, and suggestions, we agreed to the following new District 211 brand statement: EXTRAORDINARY OPPORTUNITIES. INNOVATIVE TEACHING. EXCEPTIONAL LEARNING. That is more than just a slogan… it is our promise and one that we will make to our students, their parents, and the community every day in the upcoming school year.