Five things Principals Can do to Prepare for the Next Year

I know school is just ending and I'm already blogging about next school year.  Here's why...
The majority of the things we do is done in the summer.  It is our busiest time of the year (believe it or not).  If we do it correctly, the school year will smooth start.  That's what we all want.  In order to do that, we (principals) have a long list of items to do over the summer.  It can be a bit overwhelming.  However, start with these 5 items now and your summer work days will go much faster.

Here are my top 5 items for every new principal.
1.  A teacher binder is a must have.  It is truly a life saver.  This is our current theme for 2014-15.  Not only do I have a teacher binder...I also have a principal binder.  It is so important to have everything you need in one location.  I know we can't possibly put everything in a binder but you can put all the important items in there or things we use daily/weekly.  Head over to my store and check out all the themesMy store is here

2.  Schedules-  Schedules are so time consuming because we schedule every minute of the day.  From the minute students enter the building to the time they leave...class time is scheduled.  However, we must not forget all the in-between items.  Ex:  duties before and after school, tutoring, library check out times, drills for the year, mentoring schedules, etc...  The list goes on and on.  Just when I think I have it finished and ready to print I find one more thing to do.  My suggestion- work on it now but wait to print them until closer to the start of school.  These go in the teacher binder too!

3.  Class Lists-  This is something that takes months to do.  No kidding aside.  Balancing classes is so hard.  First I look at special programs of student populations.  For example, who needs to be served by an ESL certified teacher, who is served in special education, who is Gifted and Talented etc...  Placing these students first works best for me.  As soon as you place the students who require a special setting, then move on to the requests.  There are so situations where students can't be placed in the same room because of discipline issues.  So many factors involved with class placement. 
I want to balance and even out the classes as much as possible.  As soon as I get it finished, I double check it or have someone check over it for me.  I wish there was a simpler way so if you have one please share. 

4.  Facility Needs-It's very important to make a list of summer repairs to the building.  If you are in a large district, it might take time for all the projects to get completed.  Ask teachers to turn in a list of items needing to be repaired for their classrooms.  It could be as simple as light bulbs needing to be replaced or as big as carpet being replaced.  Painting halls or high traffic areas is a great summer project.  I took a boring wall and painted it a pretty blue/green color.  It looks gray in this photo but trust me it is a cheerful color.  The color is actually called Dragonfly. 


5.  Data Review of Needs- Reviewing the data to determine the staff development needs is so important.  Your data might be a teacher survey or something more in depth such as state testing data.  I highly recommend getting input from your teachers on what they need.  Use your data to determine what needs to be a focus for staff development for the week of August or throughout the school year.  As soon as you know what is the focus then plan a meaningful and engaging presentation.  If you don't feel you are knowledgeable about the content, reach out to fellow principals or ask you service center for help.

I hope you found this helpful.  I will check back with you again throughout the summer.  If you have something in particular you need help with, please feel free to contact me.  I'm a big INSTAGRAM lover so follow me over there. 

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