This logo needs to feel established, credible, and UNIQUE. It needs to tie in some of the elements of the school (see 'Wants').
We previously worked with the International Association of Amateur Heralds (lovely people who really know heraldry -- you can see our achievement here: http://www.amateurheralds.org/roll/…hool.html), but we unexpectedly saw the very same coat-of-arms used by a local chamber of commerce one week later. So, we're really, really serious about this being UNIQUE.
You can submit other options than a coat-of-arms. We have been tied to the idea of a coat-of-arms, but you can do more or different things. Sometimes the client thinks they want something in particular until they see something unexpected that they like. Don't let the seal completely block you off from creating an amazing logo.
We will use this logo as the basis for our re-branding efforts. Several additiional projects will be based on this design (e.g., a modern version for everyday use; stationery (formal and informal/everyday use); business cards; web site theme (Drupal 6); silk screening and embroidering on uniforms. So, if we find a designer we like we will have future work available.
A little about Holy Cross School:
Our students come from very diverse backgrounds and countries all over the world, making Holy Cross an international school. Holy Cross graduates excel in high school, college, and anything beyond.
We have the single best high-school preparatory program for middle school students (grades 6-8) in our area, and our high school placement record is superb.
We have an inclusion program that allows children with significant disabilities and/or learning differences to participate in a mainstream classroom. This is nearly unique in our area as most private schools won't even take these students and the public schools won't put them in mainstream classrooms.
We are a small school of ~220 students. Our teacher to student ratio is 1:10, which is excellent compared to other schools, especially when our tuition is comparable to those other schools. As a result, our school has an intimate, caring feel.
Our current web site (with our current logo) is at http://www.hcross.org. A prototype of our new web site (currently using our existing logo, but will be replaced with the new logo) is at http://www.holycrosscatholicschool.net.