Summertime can be a period of preparation and strategic planning for principals. It presents a unique opportunity to reflect on the previous year, reassess strategies, and plan for the upcoming academic year. This article provides a comprehensive monthly guide for school principals on tasks to be addressed during the summer months. By following these guidelines, principals can aim to improve the school culture and climate, foster professional growth among staff, enhance student achievement, and ensure a smooth return to school.
June: Reflect, Review, and Plan
Reflection and Assessment
- Review the Previous Academic Year: Begin by evaluating the past school year. Gather data on student achievement, attendance, school climate, and teacher performance.
- Conduct Staff Reviews: Hold end-of-year meetings with teachers and staff to discuss their personal experiences, achievements, and areas for improvement.
Planning for Next Year
- Draft School Goals: Based on the collected data, outline your goals for the next academic year. These should address both academic performance and school climate.
- Develop Professional Development Plans: Design programs that will enhance the skills of your teaching staff, aligned with both individual needs and overarching school goals.
School Maintenance and Improvement
- Inventory Check and Ordering: Assess the school’s resources and supplies, order what is needed for the coming year, and discard outdated materials.
- Maintenance Planning: Plan and schedule necessary building maintenance or renovation.
July: Enhance Skills, Set Procedures, and Welcome New Teachers
- Host Professional Development Workshops: Use the quiet summer period to offer professional development sessions for your staff.
- Encourage Continued Education: Promote online courses, seminars, and conferences to your staff. Foster a culture of continuous learning.
Policies and Procedures
- Revise School Policies and Procedures: Update handbooks, guidelines, and policies. Involve the staff in this process to create a sense of ownership.
- Plan the School Calendar: Finalize the academic calendar for the year, including key dates and events.
Welcoming New Teachers
- Onboarding Program for New Teachers: Develop a comprehensive onboarding program. Assign each new teacher a mentor from your experienced staff.
- New Teacher Orientation: Plan an orientation day for new teachers to familiarize them with the school and its culture.
August: Prepare, Connect, and Welcome
Preparation for the New Academic Year
- Prepare Classrooms and Facilities: Ensure classrooms, libraries, laboratories, and other facilities are clean, well-stocked, and ready for use.
- Staff Meetings: Hold meetings to communicate the school’s goals, expectations, and any new procedures or policies.
- Connect with Parents: Start the year on a positive note with a ‘welcome back’ newsletter or video message to parents.
- Community Outreach: Strengthen the school’s relationship with the community by organizing an open house or a community service event.
Welcoming Teachers and Students
- Welcome Back Event for Teachers: Host a social event for the teachers before school begins to foster a sense of camaraderie.
- First Day of School Preparation: Plan a special welcome for students on their first day back to create an atmosphere of excitement and positivity.
Incorporating these tasks into your summer planning will help to improve the school culture and climate, increase staff morale and retention, boost student achievement, and set the stage for a successful 2023-2024 school year.
Three Must-Have Resources for Principals:
- ASCD: A comprehensive professional services organization for educators that offers books, online courses, and conferences.
- National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP): Offers tools and resources on leadership, culture, and personalization.
- Edutopia: A website that offers research-based strategies and resources to improve K-12 education.