Do you remember your principal from when you were in school? They may have greeted you in the hallways or spoke at school functions. Principals have many duties beyond interacting with students. Even in an online setting, they are vital to keeping the school running smoothly.
At Commonwealth Charter Academy (CCA), our school administrators are dedicated to providing an enriching education that meets your family’s unique needs. As a parent, you may be wondering what they do throughout the day to make that a reality. Here we’ll explore important things to know about what school administrators do.
What Do School Principals Do?
The principal of the school is like the captain of a ship. They are a leader to every school community member, including students, teachers, and other staff members. They watch over all the school operations and resolve any issues that arise. A principal is the school’s representative and serves as its face to the community.
A school administrator works diligently throughout the entire year to ensure their students’ and faculty’s needs are met. This involves handling major administrative tasks like setting budgets, designing procedures, evaluating staff members, and everything else required to maintain daily operations.
A principal reports to a superintendent or assistant superintendent and operates in the best interest of the school board, which represents the will of the school’s community members. Their purpose is to provide an education that meets the needs of every child in their school community.
Duties of a School Principal
The role of educational planners and administrators varies depending on the size and type of school they serve. Their duties are extensive, but these are the common roles of most elementary, middle, and high school principals:
1. Developing Teaching Programs
You may not think a principal has much to do with what goes on in the classroom, but they play a major role in your child’s education. School administrators implement the guidelines and programs required by the school district, state, and federal regulations. They ensure teachers incorporate these standards into their daily curriculum.
Principals monitor student achievement and evaluate teacher performance throughout the year to confirm their school performs per these regulations. This involves using test scores and other data to assess their school’s progress.
2. Implementing School Policies
School administrators are responsible for developing and coordinating security procedures for anyone who enters the building. They must also schedule regular drills to practice these procedures, so the school is prepared in case of an emergency. In addition, principals enforce many other school policies like dress codes and a code of conduct.
3. Hiring and Managing Teachers and Staff
A principal is responsible for hiring and managing school staff, including teachers and support faculty. They regularly observe and evaluate their performance and provide feedback so the staff feels recognized and supported. They also plan workshops and professional development classes so staff members have the opportunity to learn and grow. Principals may plan events for their staff to show their appreciation and help them stay motivated throughout the school year.
In smaller school systems, principals are responsible for managing the budget for the entire school. This means they are in charge of dividing funds for all school expenses, from ordering school supplies to mowing the soccer field. These decisions are tough to make.
Budgeting works differently for larger public school systems that have many stakeholders. In these districts, budget discussions typically involve administrators, board members, school employees, and interested community members. The state government is also a crucial part of the process because public schools receive most of their funding from the state.
School administrators seek grants and other funding to afford additional programs if the budget does not cover all expenses. They develop financial plans for the future and save for purchases that will benefit the school community.
5. Interacting With Students and Parents
A school administrator is responsible for counseling students and enforcing disciplinary action if necessary. If a child struggles to meet behavioral or academic expectations, the principal may meet with their parents and teachers to create a plan of action to help them.
Principals also celebrate student success. They regularly attend afterschool events like concerts and sports games to encourage their school and make an effort to get to know their students. They create programs to reward students for their academic and extracurricular achievements.
What Skills Do School Principals Need?
A principal is a leader and a pillar of support for the school they serve. Certain qualities make for an effective school administrator. School principals need the following skills:
- Problem solving: A school administrator understands that unexpected challenges are bound to appear. Instead of becoming frustrated, they examine the issue and find the root cause. They make a plan to resolve the conflict and ask for help if necessary. Principals view obstacles as an opportunity for growth and are willing to learn as they go.
- Communication: Effective principals have highly developed interpersonal skills to support all the different relationships necessary to complete their duties. They relate to their students, understand their teachers, and talk to administrators with ease. A school administrator is prepared to provide compassionate and understanding responses to solve grievances when they arise. Great communication skills are the foundation of an effective leader.
- Management: Principals manage their students and faculty with supportive leadership. They ensure everyone they serve has the right tools to succeed. They encourage their students and teachers to be leaders themselves and treat them as part of a team. They enforce discipline when necessary to ensure everyone remains on a path to success.
- Decision making: Successful principals prioritize the success of their students and educators and make decisions based on their best interests. They weigh all the factors in a given situation and seek guidance from others when necessary to make a well-supported decision.
How to Become a School Principal
It takes time and experience to become a school principal. These are the basic steps to become a member of school administration:
- First, one must earn a bachelor’s degree in education.
- Then, they must become certified, which involves testing and engaging in continued education.
- Most principals work as a teacher for at least three years.
- Next, they must earn a master’s degree in school administration.
- Then, they must become certified as a principal or administrator, which requires more preparation.
- Additional education is always beneficial, though someone may begin searching for a position as a principal at this time.
Depending on the speed and course of study one takes, this process takes 7-10 years to complete.
Does CCA Have Principals?
At CCA, we have highly qualified elementary, middle, and high school principals and assistant principals. Each of our administrators has completed extensive education and has years of experience in teaching or other related roles. Many of our staff members have held several leadership positions before becoming a principal at CCA.
Our principals are dedicated to helping students gain the knowledge, skills, and confidence necessary to become happy and productive community members. They value providing CCA families with a personalized education that meets their unique needs.
Explore Opportunities for Your Child at CCA
We nurture student achievement by creating an individualized curriculum that matches your child’s interests. Our curriculum is constantly evolving to incorporate the latest developments in education. Students have the flexibility to explore subjects at their own pace and develop a passion for knowledge.
To learn more about the opportunities available for your child at CCA, request more information today.