Summer Break is not for Principals

Students and teachers alike look forward to the end of the school year. Time off, trips to the beach, vacations, and the pure simplicity of just doing nothing. But for a school principal, the end of a school year means turning another page and starting all over again. A principal’s job doesn’t stop at the end of the school year. Good principals spend their summers reflecting on the past year and searching for new ideas and making improvements for the upcoming school year.


In a MetLife 2012 Teacher Survey, 9 in 10 (89%) principals say that ultimately a principal should be held accountable for everything that happens to the children in a school; 74% of teachers agree in 2012, compared with 60% in 1989. So, how are you tracking?


We talked to several principals to find out how they spend their summer break preparing for the new school year. 


Here are a few of their responses:

  • -- Meet with teachers and conduct evaluations.
  • -- Implement new systems or try a school management system to see if it meets their needs .
  • --​ Review what worked, what didn’t, what new changes to implement for the next school year.
  • -- Review the school handbook and determine what policies/procedures need to be updated.
  • -- Meet with the Superintendent / Board to ensure we are aware of any changes for the upcoming school year.
  • -- Classroom management is often conducted during the summer with principals having to determine the optimal student to teacher ratio, number of classrooms for each grade, etc.
  • -- Hiring new teachers or interviewing for staffing positions.
  • -- Designing curriculum changes, especially when incorporating common core standards.
  • -- Communicating with teachers and admin staff. It’s helpful to communicate your expectations for the upcoming school year so that your staff can share your vision and everyone is on the same page.

Contrary to popular belief, principals do not get a summer break. As a principal, no matter how your previous school year went, there is always room for improvement and an opportunity to make a fresh new start. Before you know it, it will be the first day of school….AGAIN!


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