The Building Principal

The principal is the person in charge of the individual school. He or she is not only the instructional leader, but also is the manager of the facility’s day-to-day operation. Assistant principals help to make sure the many responsibilities of the main principal are met quickly and completely.

A partial list of a principal’s duties follows:

  • Monitor arrival and departure of students to and from the building
  • Visit classrooms
  • Conduct teacher observations multiple times during the year
  • Hold meeting with parents, students, community members, and school staff
  • Develop the school’s budget to submit for approval by the district office
  • Monitor the security of the campus
  • Manage the operation of the building and oversee the custodial staff duties
  • Meet with and approve activities of parent and community support organizations such as PTA or Partners in Education
  • Attend extra-curricular activities before and after school hours

Instructional Leadership
The principal is the primary instructional leader of his or her school. Working with teams of teachers and other administrators, the principal gives final approval to the school’s overall vision and academic goals. Every stakeholder in the school can be part of carrying out these goals; parents are included in the process through parent-school organizations, volunteer opportunities, and other activities determined by the building’s leadership team. Everyone works together to improve student opportunities for success both academically and socially. Other duties for which the principal is responsible follow, though each district is responsible for the actual assignment of administrators’ duties.

Administration
As the leader of the school, the principal is responsible for managing and developing building processes and policies with the permissions allowed by the federal, state, district, and local laws and guidelines. With the building administrative and leadership teams, the principal sets the school’s activity calendar, manages budget items, oversees distribution of resources, approves schedules/programs, and assigns responsibilities among staff members.

Discipline
School safely is of primary importance to everyone involved in the school. In addition to maintaining basic security procedures, the safety of a school requires students to adhere to the building rules and guidelines. The principal ensures that school rules are understood and followed; a behavior guide or code of conduct is available for all children and parents to read.

Hiring, Supervising, Evaluating
The principal is responsible for everyone who works in the building. The principal hires teachers and other staff members, evaluates them with the help of assistant principals and other designated evaluators, and recommends termination when warranted. Also, he or she is in charge of ensuring that everyone on the staff completes all required annual professional development hours.

Communication
The principal oversees the communication among everyone involved with the school. This includes the school board, district office personnel, professional organizations, educational groups, college and career-training institutions, community members, local businesses, teachers & staff, parents, and students.