The High Bar
The High Bar shows charter school boards and leaders (i.e., principals) the most effective ways of running their schools. It is a new, expanded incarnation of a consulting company that has served over 200 charter schools nationwide since 1998.
We offer deep knowledge and experience, and base our practices on what has proven to be most effective for most schools. Our services include objective assessments of our clients, and our advice often leads to them to make difficult decisions (fire the principal, start a massive capital campaign to buy a new school building, adopt and deliver higher standards of academic excellence, etc.).
For that reason, we want our corporate identity to be human and inspiring and thoughtful, to make our advice easier for them to accept.
We want to be perceived as a powerful mechanism for helping schools improve student achievement. Adjectives we'd like to be described by include experienced, knowledgeable, clear, practical, thorough, professional, and after the smoke clears and the tears dry, hopefully inspiring and fun.
We and our clients are comrades in arms, fighting to make the world a better place.
School board members and leaders. Charter schools are tuition-free public schools that have independent governing boards, rather than a central regional school board. Their leaders are typically highly educated, professionally accomplished, entrepreneurial, visionary, and deeply devoted to making the world a better place. Board members are all volunteers, generally with high-powered backgrounds in corporations and other professions. Out of the best of intentions, from a deep desire often to help disadvantaged children, they embark on the complex process of founding and/or running a public school---a million-dollar organization--often with no experience or training. The High Bar trains them to do it effectively. We provide resources such as model procedures and legal documents, lead board retreats, give in-person training, and most importantly, have a software platform that facilitates the gold standard of governance.
Our approach is not for schools aiming to be "adequate" or "pretty good." It is for schools who want to be excellent—to help their students achieve their maximum potential.
Vector logo to be used as the basis for our overall brand identity: Web site, software tools, business cards, letterhead, maybe coffee mugs, etc.—hopefully made by the winning designer.
It should be clever, clear, iconic, and endearing. We are here after a respected design firm failed to yield anything usable. Their designs were sterile, run-of-the-mill, awkward, with yesterday’s fickle colors. Forgettable or just annoying.
Likely, pure word art won't cut it. We want an image to go with our name, that will serve as a metaphor for what we do: reach the high bar of education administration. But the icon has to be clever and new. An apple on a book probably won't win.
FYI, some rough, back of dirty napkin sketches are attached. For a while, the most promising concept involved the letter H being made into a tightrope, and a little guy walking across it. But some persnickety clients said it was a high "wire," not a high "bar," so we'll drop it. Also, that journey isn't really the right metaphor for the more incremental approach that we take. Reaching "the high bar" takes drive, training, determination—slow, steady work, getting incrementally better. It's a very high standard—but our approach makes it ultimately attainable.
Likely, we'll want our name easily readable. Avoid being cutesy and predictable. Be insightful and clever. Fun, funky, yet competent and professional.